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Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C. v. Fishman

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

May 7, 2015

SPECTOR GADON & ROSEN, P.C., Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT M. FISHMAN, Defendant. ROBERT M. FISHMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
ALAN B. EPSTEIN and SPECTOR GADON & ROSEN, P.C., Defendants.

OPINION

JOEL H. SLOMSKY, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

On April 6, 2015, Plaintiff Robert M. Fishman ("Fishman") filed a Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. No. 52) of the Court's March 30, 2015 Order (Doc. 51) granting Defendants Alan B. Epstein and Spector, Gadon & Rosen PC's ("Defendants") Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on Fishman's legal malpractice claim filed under E.D. Pa. Civil Action Number 13-5198.

In the Motion for Reconsideration, Fishman asks the Court to reconsider its judgment, arguing that: (1) it was an error for the Court in its Opinion on the Motion to consider facts and conclusions stated in Arbitrator Melinson's Opinion; (2) by considering the Melinson Opinion, the Court erred in not converting the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings into one for summary judgment; and (3) the Court improperly treated the findings of fact in the Melinson Opinion on whether there was a settlement agreement between Fishman and his employer, UAI, as "effectively claim preclusive" in the legal malpractice claim that was the subject of the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. (Doc. No. 52 at 3-4.)

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

"[F]ederal courts have a strong interest in the finality of judgments, " and therefore grant motions for consideration sparingly. Continental Cas. Co. v. Diversified Indus., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. 1995). Where the movant is "ask[ing] the Court to rethink what [it] had already thought through, " reconsideration will be denied. Glendon Energy Co. v. Bor. of Glendon, 836 F.Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Similarly, this Court has consistently held that "mere dissatisfaction with the Court's ruling is not a proper basis for reconsideration." Boardakan Rest. LLC v. Atl. Pier Assocs., LLC, No. 11-5676, 2013 WL 5468264, at *4 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 2, 2013) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted).

A motion for reconsideration will only be granted on one of three grounds: (1) there has been an intervening change in controlling law; (2) new evidence, which was not previously available, has become available; or (3) it is necessary to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. Blue Mountain Mushroom Co. v. Monterey Mushroom, Inc., 246 F.Supp.2d 394, 399 (E.D. Pa. 2002) (quoting Smith v. City of Chester, 155 F.R.D. 95, 96-97 (E.D. Pa.1994)). A motion for reconsideration "addresses only factual and legal matters that the court may have overlooked." Glendon Energy Co., 836 F.Supp. at 1122. "When a motion for reconsideration raises only a party's disagreement with a decision of the court, that dispute should be dealt with in the normal appellate process, not on a motion for reargument." Database Am., Inc. v. Bellsouth Adver. & Publ'g Corp., 825 F.Supp. 1216, 1220 (D.N.J. 1993) (citing Florham Park Chevron, Inc. v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 680 F.Supp. 159, 163 (D.N.J. 1988)) (internal quotation marks omitted).

III. ANALYSIS

Fishman does not list in his Motion for Reconsideration the three grounds for reconsideration set forth in Blue Mountain Mushroom. Therefore, the Court has to determine on which ground he relies. In the Motion, Fishman does not state that there has been either (1) an intervening change in controlling law or (2) available new evidence, thus eliminating the first two Blue Mountain Mushroom factors as possible grounds for relief. Instead, Fishman apparently is arguing that the Court committed a clear error of law, relying on the third factor.

A. Consideration of the Melinson Opinion Did Not Constitute an Error of Law

First, Fishman argues that the Court improperly "shoe-horned" Arbitrator Melinson's opinion in its analysis of Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. (Doc. No. 52 at 3.) Fishman states:

[T]his Honorable Court held that the arbitrator's opinion was reviewable because it was relied upon and was integral to the operative pleading. On the contrary, the operative pleading does not regard that arbitrator's Order nor incorporated [sic] by reference. On the contrary, the operative pleading merely regards the fact of the arbitrator's opinion-not its propriety let alone certainly not the findings of fact giving rise [sic].

(Id.)

In support of his position, Plaintiff now relies on Schmidt v. Skolas, a 2014 Third Circuit decision in which the court held that the district court erred in considering certain documents attached to a motion to dismiss. 770 F.3d 241, 249 (3d Cir. 2014). Although Fishman did not cite Schmidt in his memorandum in opposition to the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Fishman cites Schmdit in his current Motion for the proposition of law that the critical determination as to whether a document can be considered is "whether the claims in the complaint are based' on an extrinsic document and not merely whether the extrinsic document was explicitly cited." Id. at 249. Although the Court did not expressly rely on Schmidt in the Opinion granting Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the ...


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