United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ELADIO CRUZ, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF HIS MINOR CHILD, MELISSA CRUZ
ORDER AND REASONS
L. C. FELDMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Louis Koerner's motion for a new trial on
the sanctions the Court imposed in its Order and Reasons,
dated December 8, 2016. For the following reasons, the motion
a storied proceeding about one lawyer's bizarre antics
toward the Court and his patent disregard of his professional
was brought on as lead counsel for a civil rights suit in
this Court based on his “experience” in the
federal forum. Despite having knowledge of the October 3,
2016 trial date months ahead of time, Koerner arranged for,
and took, a tropical vacation days before the commencement of
trial. The record establishes that counsel failed to comply
with critical deadlines the Court set for documents due
before trial. Plaintiff's counsel failed to timely
deliver a bench book to the Court and to the defendant's
counsel. This failure, coupled with other untimely requests
from plaintiff's counsel, caused the Court to issue an
Order on September 28, 2016 continuing the case's trial
date. As a result, the Court ordered a contempt hearing for a
determination of whether Koerner and his co-counsel should be
held in contempt of Court.
Court held a contempt hearing on December 8, 2016. In its
Order and Reasons the Court found Koerner in contempt of
Court, in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 1927 and Rule 11 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and ordered him to pay
all of the fees and costs that the defendant, Tracy Fulton,
had incurred from September 3, 2014 until September 28, 2016.
now moves the Court to reconsider its sanctions imposed on
December 8, 2016.
requesting reconsideration of court orders generally fall
under Rule 54(b), Rule 59(e), or Rule 60(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. See Higgins v. Cain, No.
07-9729, 2012 WL 3309716, at *1 (E.D. La. Aug. 13, 2012);
Waste Mgmt. of La., Inc. v. River Birch, Inc., No.
11-2405, 2012 WL 876717, at *1 (E.D. La. Mar. 14, 2012);
Castrillo v. Am. Home Mortg. Servicing, Inc., No.
09-4369, 2010 WL 1424398, at *3-4 (E.D. La. Apr. 5, 2010).
Rule 59(e) provides that a motion to alter or amend a
judgment must be filed no later than twenty-eight days after
the entry of judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Rule 60(b), on the
other hand, applies to motions filed after the twenty-eight
day period, but demands more “exacting substantive
requirements.” See Lavespere v. Niagara Mach. &
Tool Works, Inc., 910 F.2d 167, 173-74 (5th Cir. 1990),
abrogated on other grounds, Little v. Liquid Air
Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1078 (5th Cir. 1994) (en banc).
Rule 59(e) motion ‘calls into question the correctness
of a judgment.'” Templet v. Hydrochem,
Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 478 (5th Cir. 2004) (quoting In
re Transtexas Gas Corp., 303 F.3d 571, 581 (5th Cir.
2002)). Because of the interest in finality, Rule 59(e)
motions may only be granted if the moving party shows there
was a mistake of law or fact or presents newly discovered
evidence that could not have been discovered previously.
Id. at 478-79. Moreover, Rule 59 motions should not
be used to relitigate old matters, raise new arguments, or
submit evidence that could have been presented earlier in the
proceedings. See id. at 479; Rosenblatt v.
United Way of Greater Houston, 607 F.3d 413, 419 (5th
Cir. 2010)(“[A] motion to alter or amend the judgment
under Rule 59(e) ‘must clearly establish either a
manifest error of law or fact or must present newly
discovered evidence' and ‘cannot be used to raise
arguments which could, and should, have been made before the
judgment issued.'”)(citing Rosenzweig v. Azurix
Corp., 332 F.3d 854, 864 (5th Cir. 2003)(quoting
Simon v. United States, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159 (5th
Cir. 1990)). The grant of such a motion is an
“extraordinary remedy that should be used
sparingly.” Indep. Coca- Cola Employees' Union
of Lake Charles, No. 1060 v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United,
Inc., 114 F. App'x 137, 143 (5th Cir. Nov. 11, 2004)
(citing Templet, 367 F.3d at 479). The Court must
balance two important judicial imperatives in deciding
whether to reopen a case in response to a motion for
reconsideration: “(1) the need to bring the litigation
to an end; and (2) the need to render just decisions on the
basis of all the facts.” Templet, 367 F.3d at
first, and most comic, argument Koerner urges is that the
Court misinterprets its own deadlines. The Court's
scheduling order, given to counsel months in advance of
trial, instructed that a bench book of exhibits is to be
delivered to the Court five working days before trial. A
trial set to commence on Monday, October 3, 2016, would mean
that the bench book would be due to the Court on Friday,
September 23, 2016; that is, five working days before trial.
Koerner ridiculously argues that the Court misapplies the
meaning of “five working days” before trial; he
argues that five ...