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The anatomy of a successful Reconsideration request

The anatomy of a successful Reconsideration request

A motion for reconsideration is generally allowed only on one of these grounds where there has been an intervening change in the controlling law, where new evidence that was not previously available has become available or where it is necessary to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not specifically provide for the filing of motions for reconsideration. Instead, such motions for reconsideration request are treated as a motion to alter or amend a judgment under Fed.Rules Civ.Proc.Rule 59(e) or motions for relief from judgments or orders under Fed.Rules Civ.Proc.Rule Rule 60(b).

The purpose of motion to reconsider is to correct manifest errors of fact or to present newly discovered evidence.  Therefore granting motions for reconsideration for lesser causes not only wastes judicial resources, but is also unjust to the parties that have invested the time and effort arguing on the original papers.

A motion for reconsideration is generally allowed only on one of three grounds:

  1. where there has been an intervening change in the controlling law;
  2. where new evidence that was not previously available has become available; or
  3. where it is necessary to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice.

Generally, a motion for reconsideration should addresses only factual and legal matters that the Court may have overlooked.  It may not be used to argue a new legal theory.  It is improper on a motion for reconsideration to ask the Court to rethink what it had already thought through-rightly or wrongly.  Mere dissatisfaction with the court’s ruling is not a proper basis for reconsideration. However, in addressing the claims of a party on a motion for reconsideration, the court is free to expand upon or clarify the reasons supporting its prior ruling.

Motions for reconsideration will not generally be considered when filed more than ten days after the judgment at issue is entered. However, this deadline does not apply to the reconsideration of interlocutory orders.  In regards to interlocutory orders, whether a motion for reconsideration has been timely filed or not rests solely on whether or not the motion was filed unreasonably late.

Many courts are of the opinion that motions for reconsideration are an unnecessary duplication of the court time and counsel fees to the client.  Therefore, it is important for a motion to reconsider, be prepared and look at the facts and legal analysis very carefully and thoroughly.

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