United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
CEH ENERGY, LLC ET AL.
KEAN MILLER LLP ET AL.
SECTION "L" (2)
ORDER & REASONS
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration. R.
Doc. 47. Defendants oppose the motion. R. Doc. 53. Having
considered the parties' submissions and the applicable
law, the Court now issues this Order & Reasons.
lawsuit arises from the representation by Defendants of
Plaintiffs who are investors in Louisiana oil prospects.
Plaintiff CEH Energy, LLC (“CEH Energy”) is a
Delaware corporation, wholly owned and created by Plaintiff
Shenzhen Careall Investment Holdings Group Co., Ltd.
(“Careall”), for the purpose of investing in
Louisiana oil prospects. R. Doc. 1 at 1-2. Plaintiffs
invested a total of $2.1 million in two oil prospects. R.
Doc. 1 at 5. The oil prospects were owned by Intrepid
Drilling, LLC (“Intrepid”), which is owned by
Bill Simmons. R. Doc. 1 at 2. Plaintiffs allege that the
investments were fraudulent. R. Doc. 1 at 25-26. Plaintiffs
filed a lawsuit in federal court in Mississippi against
Intrepid and Bill Simmons claiming that these defendants
failed to disclose material omissions, including a $205
million outstanding RICO judgment, and defrauded Plaintiffs.
R. Doc. 1 at 5, 10-11.
in the present lawsuit are Kean Miller LLP (“Kean
Miller”) and Stephen Hanemann. R. Doc. 1. Stephen
Hanemann is a partner at Kean Miller. R. Doc. 1 at 3. Stephen
Hanemann was engaged by Plaintiffs, at the suggestion of Bill
Simmons, to represent them regarding their investments in
Louisiana oil prospects. R. Doc. 1 at 2-3. Plaintiffs allege
that Kean Miller and Stephen Hanemann already were, and had
been, representing Intrepid and Bill Simmons. R. Doc. 1 at 4.
Plaintiffs allege that Kean Miller and Stephen Hanemann had a
conflict of interest, failed to disclose material omissions
regarding the investment, and breached their fiduciary
duties. R. Doc. 1 at 5-6, 30.
claim that had they known about the conflict of interest they
would have hired different counsel. R. Doc. 1 at 7.
Plaintiffs further allege that competent counsel would have
discovered and/or disclosed the judgments against Intrepid
and Bill Simmons, and Plaintiffs, had they been so informed,
would not have made the oil prospect investments. R. Doc. 1
at 7. Plaintiffs bring the following claims against Kean
Miller and Stephen Hanemann: breach of fiduciary duty,
conspiracy, conversion, negligent misrepresentation, unjust
enrichment, violation of Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act
(“LUTPA”), detrimental reliance, and fraud. R.
Doc. 1 at 39-48. Plaintiffs request damages in the amount of
their investment as well as attorney fees. R. Doc. 1 at
November 20, 2017, the Court granted Defendants' motions
to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims with prejudice. R. Doc. 45.
The Court held that all of Plaintiffs' claims were
perempted under La. R.S. 9:5605 or if they fell under the
statute's fraud exception were prescribed under Article
3492. R. Doc. 45. Judgment was entered for Defendants on
November 21, 2017. R. Doc. 46. Plaintiff now moves the Court
to reconsider its Order and Judgment. R. Doc. 47.
move the Court to reconsider under Rule 59(e). R. Doc. 47-1
at 1. First, Plaintiffs argue that this Court's decision
is at odds with Judge Morgan's ruling in In re:
Queyrouze, et al., 2017 WL 5185426 (E.D. La. Nov. 8,
2017). R. Doc. 47-1 at 2. Second, Plaintiffs argue that the
Court relied on bad law. R. Doc. 47-1 at 1. Third, Plaintiffs
argue that the Fifth Circuit's ruling in Gerdes v.
Estate of Cush, 953 F.2d 201 (5th Cir. 1992), dictates
reconsideration in this case. R. Doc. 47-1 at 6. Finally,
Plaintiffs argue that public policy favors finding a ten-year
prescriptive period for breach of fiduciary duty claims
against attorneys. R. Doc. 47-1 at 10. Defendants oppose
Plaintiffs' motion. R. Doc. 53.
LAW & ANALYSIS
Standard of Review
asking a court to reconsider an order are generally analyzed
under the standards for a motion to alter or amend a judgment
pursuant to Rule 59(e) or a motion for relief from a judgment
or order pursuant to Rule 60(b). See Hamilton Plaintiffs
v. Williams Plaintiffs, 147 F.3d 367, 371 n. 10 (5th
Cir. 1998). Rule 59(e) governs when the motion is filed
within 28 days of the challenged order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).
Because Plaintiffs' motion was filed within 28 days of
entry of the Order & Reasons it challenges, the Court
treats the motion as one pursuant to Rule 59(e).
59(e) motion “is not the proper vehicle for rehashing
evidence, legal theories, or arguments that could have been
offered or raised before the entry of judgment.”
Templet v. HydroChem Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 479 (5th
Cir. 2004) (citing Simon v. United States, 891 F.2d
1154, 1159 (5th Cir. 1990)). Rather, Rule 59(e) serves the
narrow purpose of correcting manifest errors or law or fact,
or presenting newly discovered evidence. Lavespere v.
Niagra Mach. & Tool Works, Inc., 910 F.2d 1667, 174
(5th Cir. 1990); Templet, 367 F.3d at 479.
“‘Manifest error' is one that ‘is plain
and indisputable, and that amounts to a complete disregard of
the controlling law.'” Guy v. Crown Equip.
Corp., 394 F.3d 320, 325 (5th Cir. 2004) (quoting
Venegas-Hernandez v. Sonolux Records, 370 F.3d 183,
195 (1st Cir. 2004)). In the Fifth Circuit, altering,
amending, or reconsidering a judgment under Rule 59(e)
“is an extraordinary remedy that should be used
sparingly.” Templet, 367 F.3d at 479. “A
Rule 59(e) motion should not be used to re-litigate prior
matters that . . . simply have been resolved to the
movant's dissatisfaction.” Voisin v. Tetra
Technologies, Inc., 2010 WL 3943522, at *2 (E.D. La.
Oct. 6, 2010). District courts have “considerable
discretion in deciding whether to grant or deny a motion to
alter a judgment.” Hale v. Townley, 45 F.3d
914, 921 (5th Cir. 1995). Yet at the same time, the Rule
59(e) standard “favors denial of motions to alter or
amend.” S. Constructors Group, Inc. v. Dynalectric
Co., 2 F.3d 606, 611 (5th Cir. 1993).