Niazi Licensing Corporation v. St. Jude Medical S.C., Inc.
ORDER. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Niazi Licensing Corporation's request for leave to file a motion for reconsideration 336 is DENIED. (Written Opinion) Signed by Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright on 11/18/2021. (RJE)
CASE 0:17-cv-05096-WMW-BRT Doc. 340 Filed 11/18/21 Page 1 of 4
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Niazi Licensing Corporation,
Case No. 17-cv-5096 (WMW/BRT)
St. Jude Medical S.C., Inc.,
This matter is before the Court on the October 27, 2021 letter request filed by local
counsel representing Plaintiff Niazi Licensing Corporation (NLC). (Dkt. 336.) NLC’s
local counsel seek leave to file a motion for reconsideration of the Court’s October 25,
2021 Order, which granted in part Defendant St. Jude Medical S.C., Inc.’s (St. Jude)
motion for attorneys’ fees.
This District’s Local Rule 7.1(j) prohibits filing a motion for reconsideration
without leave of court.
A party may receive permission to file a motion for
reconsideration only by showing “compelling circumstances.” LR 7.1(j). “Motions for
reconsideration serve a limited function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to
present newly discovered evidence.” Hagerman v. Yukon Energy Corp., 839 F.2d 407,
414 (8th Cir. 1988) (quoting Rothwell Cotton Co. v. Rosenthal & Co., 827 F.2d 246, 251
(7th Cir. 1987)). A motion for reconsideration cannot be employed to repeat arguments
previously made, introduce evidence or arguments that could have been made, or tender
new legal theories for the first time. See id.
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NLC’s local counsel do not purport to present newly discovered evidence, but
instead they suggest that the Court’s October 25, 2021 Order awarding attorneys’ fees to
St. Jude contains manifest errors of law and fact. In particular, NLC’s local counsel
argue that they should not be held liable for the award of attorneys’ fees because of the
narrow scope of their responsibilities as local counsel.
In the attorneys’ fees order, this Court observed that NLC’s attorneys had
persistently engaged in bad-faith efforts to prolong this litigation after October 2019:
These efforts included repeatedly relying on evidence that
had not been disclosed during fact discovery, repeatedly
disregarding the deadlines established in the Court’s
scheduling order, willfully violating this Court’s order
striking improper evidence, and advancing unreasonable and
meritless arguments. NLC persisted in this conduct even
after St. Jude repeatedly identified deficiencies in the merits
of NLC’s case and warned NLC that St. Jude would seek
attorneys’ fees if NLC continued to prolong this case.
Moreover, in opposing St. Jude’s pending motion for
attorneys’ fees, NLC’s attorneys continue to misrepresent the
record and advance objectively meritless arguments,
examples of which are addressed in footnotes 5 and 6 of this
Order. Because this conduct demonstrates intentional and
reckless disregard of NLC’s attorneys’ duties, . . . sanctions
NLC’s local counsel have not identified a manifest error of law or fact in the foregoing
findings and conclusions. NLC’s local counsel have been involved in this case from the
lawsuit’s inception, having filed NLC’s complaint in November 2017.
District’s local rules, local counsel must “participate in the preparation and presentation
of the case.” LR 83.5(d)(2)(A). Consistent with this obligation, NLC’s local counsel’s
names appear in the signature block of all of NLC’s submissions to the Court, including
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the submissions that led this Court to conclude that NLC’s attorneys intentionally and
recklessly disregarded their duties to the Court.1 As such, the record demonstrates that
NLC’s local counsel participated in the preparation and presentation of NLC’s case,
including the sanctionable conduct the Court has identified. And to the extent that NLC’s
local counsel did not participate in preparing or presenting the sanctionable filings
submitted by NLC’s lead counsel, such lack of participation demonstrates an intentional
or reckless disregard of local counsel’s duties to the Court under Local Rule
83.5(d)(2)(A) (providing that local counsel “must . . . participate in the preparation and
presentation of the case”).2 For these reasons, the record does not reflect a manifest error
of law or fact as to the scope of the Court’s attorneys’ fees order.
Moreover, even if NLC has arguments and evidence demonstrating that its local
counsel should not be held responsible for the sanctionable conduct of NLC’s lead
The fact that NLC’s local counsel did not physically sign these filings is
immaterial given that local counsel’s names appear on the filings and local counsel were
required to participate in the preparation and presentation of NLC’s case. Cf. Ideal
Instruments, Inc. v. Rivard Instruments, Inc., 243 F.R.D. 322, 348 n.6 (N.D. Iowa 2007)
(observing that it would be “hypertechnical and nonsensical” to conclude that local
counsel has no responsibility for sanctionable filings that include local counsel’s name
merely because local counsel did not physically sign the filings).
NLC’s local counsel rely on Macawber Engineering, Inc. v. Robson & Miller, No.
3-92-556, 1994 WL 763880 (D. Minn. Jan. 28, 1994). But Macawber is inapposite. At
issue in Macawber was a motion for summary judgment in a legal malpractice action
alleging negligence, not sanctions or attorneys’ fees imposed based on affirmative
intentional conduct by counsel. 1994 WL 763880, at *3. Moreover, although the court
in Macawber recognized that “duplication of efforts by lead and local counsel” is not
required by Local Rule 83.5(d), this recognition does not mean that local counsel bear no
responsibility for persistent sanctionable submissions filed in local counsel’s name over
the course of more than a year. Id.
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counsel, such arguments and evidence are untimely. NLC had the opportunity to present
such arguments and evidence to the Court when NLC opposed St. Jude’s motion for
attorneys’ fees. NLC did not do so. To the extent that NLC’s local counsel attempts to
raise new arguments, legal theories or evidence for the first time now, more than six
months after the attorneys’ fees issue was briefed to the Court, a motion to reconsider is
an improper means for doing so. Hagerman, 839 F.2d at 414 (recognizing that a motion
for reconsideration cannot be used to introduce evidence, arguments or legal theories that
could have been presented earlier). Indeed, courts have held local counsel jointly and
severally liable for attorneys’ fees in similar circumstances. See, e.g., Young Apartments,
Inc. v. Town of Jupiter, 503 F. App’x 711, 727–28 & n.10 (11th Cir. 2013) (affirming
district court’s order holding local counsel jointly and severally liable for attorneys’ fees
under 28 U.S.C. § 1927 when local counsel’s name appeared on filings and local counsel
did not make timely arguments opposing the attorneys’ fees award as applied to him).
In summary, because NLC’s local counsel have not demonstrated the requisite
compelling circumstances, their request for leave to file a motion to reconsider is denied.
Based on the foregoing analysis and all the files, records and proceedings herein,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Niazi Licensing Corporation’s request for
leave to file a motion for reconsideration, (Dkt. 336), is DENIED.
Dated: November 18, 2021
s/Wilhelmina M. Wright
Wilhelmina M. Wright
United States District Judge
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