NORTHROP GRUMMAN COMPUTING SYSTEMS, INC. v. USA
ORDER granting 65 Motion in Limine; granting 66 Motion in Limine for partial summary judgment. Signed by Judge Francis M. Allegra. (si) Copy to parties.
In The United States Court of Federal Claims
(Filed: May 17, 2011)
NORTHROP GRUMMAN COMPUTING
THE UNITED STATES,
On March 21, 2011, defendant filed a motion in limine for summary judgment, in part,
concerning non-breach of the non-substitution clause and exclusion of evidence and testimony
upon this issue. On the same day, defendant filed a motion in limine to exclude the report and
testimony of plaintiff’s expert Scott W. Woehr. The motions have been fully briefed. Based on
its review of these briefs and accompanying materials, the court rules as follow:
Defendant’s motion in limine for partial summary judgment on non-breach
of the non-substitution clause is hereby GRANTED. In the court’s view,
the Federal Circuit’s decision in McHugh v. DLT Solutions, Inc., 618 F.3d
1375 (Fed. Cir. 2010), is controlling. The Federal Circuit, faced with a
nearly identical non-substitution clause, interpreted “replace” to require
the defendant to take some action beyond continuing to use the same,
unmodified software it had previously used. Id. at 1380. Application of
this ruling here leads to the conclusion that defendant’s continued use of
the ISP-based software did not constitute a replacement of the Oakley
software. Accordingly, the court finds, as a matter of law, that defendant
did not breach the non-substitution clause of the modified Delivery Order.
The court reserves the right to issue a more extensive opinion on this issue
as part of any ruling or opinion ultimately resolving this case; and
Defendant’s motion in limine to exclude Scott W. Woehr is hereby
GRANTED. Mr. Woehr, in his expert report and deposition testimony,
opines on the interpretation and application of the clauses at issue to the
facts in this case. In the court’s view, his report and testimony involve
issues that are within the unique purview of the court; the report and
testimony would not assist the court as the trier of fact here. See Fed. R.
Evid. 702. Accordingly, the court finds that his expert testimony is
inadmissible. See Stobie Creek Invs. LLC v. United States, 608 F.3d 1366,
1383-84 (Fed. Cir. 2010), aff’g, 81 Fed. Cl. 358, 360-62 (2008) (citing
cases excluding expert testimony on legal issues and analysis); Mola Dev.
Corp. v. United States, 516 F.3d 1370, 1379 n.6 (Fed. Cir. 2008).
At the May 20, 2011, pre-trial conference, the parties shall be prepared to discuss
how the foregoing rulings impact their witness lists.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ Francis M. Allegra
Francis M. Allegra
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