Crye Precision LLC et al v. Bennettsville Printing

Filing 67

MEMORANDUM and ORDER: Plaintiffs motion 59 to strike is DENIED. Ordered by Judge Frederic Block on 2/7/2017. (Innelli, Michael)

Download PDF
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK --------------------------------------------------x CRYE PRECISION LLC, and LINEWEIGHT LLC, MEMORANDUM & ORDER 15-cv-00221 (FB) (RER) Plaintiffs, -againstBENNETTSVILE PRINTING, Defendant. --------------------------------------------------x Appearances: For the Plaintiffs: ROBERT ALLEN HOROWITZ Greenberg Traurig LLP MetLife Building 200 Park Avenue, 15th Floor New York, New York 10166 For the Defendant: CHRISTINA DOMINIC CARBONE JONATHAN FRANK HOLLIS Loeb & Loeb 345 Park Avenue New York, New York10154 LAUREN BETH GRASSOTTI Meyer Suozzi English & Klein PC 990 Stewart Avenue, Suite 300 Garden City, New York 11530 BLOCK, Senior District Judge: On June 17, 2016, Crye Precision LLC (“Crye”) and Lineweight LLC (“Lineweight”) (collectively, “plaintiffs”) filed an amended complaint for a declaratory judgment and for injunctive relief against Bennettsville Printing (“Bennettsville” or “defendant”). After discovery, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment (“MSJ”) in which two exhibits were included: letters written by the United States Army’s Contracting Command (“Army”) in which Crye’s prior intellectual property licensing agreements, including the one central to this action, were referenced and dissected. Pls.’ Motion to Strike at 15–27. Plaintiffs now move pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c)(2) (“Rule 56”) and Federal Rule of Evidence 403 (“Rule 403”) to strike these exhibits as well as any references to these addenda in defendant’s dispositive filings. Two reasons, strengthened by one well-established tenet, compel denial of plaintiffs’ request. First, these letters constitute an “official record” and represent the results of a formal inquiry by a governmental entity and are thus admissible pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 803(6) and may be properly considered without contravening Rule 56(c)(2). FED. R. EVID. 803(8) (exempting from the hearsay prohibition factual findings from a legally authorized investigation by a public entity where no circumstance “indicate[s] a lack of trustworthiness”); FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c)(2) (evidence submitted in support of a motion for summary judgment may be struck if inadmissible).Second, “while it is not unheard of to exclude evidence under Rule 403 at the summary judgment stage, . . . normally the balancing process contemplated by that rule is best undertaken at the trial itself,” Adams v. Ameritech Servs., Inc., 231 F.3d 414, 428 (7th Cir. 2000), an approach that has been endorsed by several district courts within the Second Circuit, see, e.g., SEC v. McGinnis, No. 5:14-cv-6, 2015 WL 2 5643186, at *15 n.12 (D. Vt. Sept. 23, 2015) (“[T]he reason for excluding evidence that is unfairly prejudicial (because it may inflame the jury) is simply not present at the summary judgment phase.”); Murray v. Miron, No. 3:11 CV 629 (JGM), 2015 WL 4041340, at *9 (D. Conn. July 1, 2015) (noting that the “fact-intensive, context-specific inquiry” required by Rule 403 “must be made at trial” (emphasis added)). Both these conclusions are buttressed by the Second Circuit’s repeatedly-cited “preference that litigation disputes be resolved on the merits.” Marfia v. T.C. Ziraat Bankasi, 100 F.3d 243, 249 (2d Cir. 1996). For the foregoing reasons, plaintiffs’ motion to strike is DENIED. SO ORDERED /S/ Frederic Block_________ FREDERIC BLOCK Senior United States District Judge Brooklyn, New York February 7, 2017 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?