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On Demand Direct Response, LLC v. Mccart-Pollak

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 28, 2019

ON DEMAND DIRECT RESPONSE, LLC AND ON DEMAND DIRECT RESPONSE III, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
SHANA LEE MCCART-POLLAK D/B/A LOL BUDDIES ENTERPRISES, Defendant. AND ALL RELATED CASES

          ORDER

          MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. SUMMARY

         The Court issued an order in this case on January 11, 2019 (“MSJ Order”), granting summary judgment to Third Party Defendant Kevin Harrington (“Harrington”) on Third Party Plaintiff Shana Lee McCart-Pollak's (“Pollak”) sole remaining claim against him for unjust enrichment. (ECF No. 406.) Before the Court is Pollak's motion for reconsideration of the MSJ Order.[1] (ECF No. 413 (“Motion”).) Because Pollak has not met her burden to show the Court should reconsider the MSJ Order-and as further explained below-the Court will deny her Motion.

         II. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

         A more thorough discussion of the background facts appears in the Court's MSJ Order, and several other prior orders. (ECF Nos. 191, 215, 275, 406.) The Court refers to its prior orders for those facts, and does not repeat them here. Briefly, Pollak alleges that Harrington stole her idea for Bluetooth Low Energy-enabled stuffed animals that would allow family members to exchange messages with children, and flipped that idea to third parties without compensating her, who marketed a similar product called CloudPets. (ECF No. 225 at 2-3.)

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         Plaintiff seeks reconsideration under Rules 59(e) and 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 413 at 1-2.) The Ninth Circuit has held that a Rule 59(e) motion for reconsideration should not be granted “absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the controlling law.” Marlyn Nutraceuticals, Inc. v. Mucos Pharma GmbH & Co., 571 F.3d 873, 880 (9th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). Under Rule 60(b), a court may relieve a party from a final judgment, order or proceeding only in the following circumstances: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied; or (6) any other reason justifying relief from the judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b); see also De Saracho v. Custom Food Mach., Inc., 206 F.3d 874, 880 (9th Cir. 2000) (noting that a district court's denial of Rule 59 and Rule 60(b) motions is reviewed for an abuse of discretion).

         Thus, a motion to reconsider must set forth “some valid reason why the court should reconsider its prior decision” and set “forth facts or law of a strongly convincing nature to persuade the court to reverse its prior decision.” Frasure v. United States, 256 F.Supp.2d 1180, 1183 (D. Nev. 2003). “Motions for reconsideration are disfavored.” LR 59-1(b). Reconsideration is appropriate if the Court “(1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law.” Sch. Dist. No. 1J v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993). But “[a] motion for reconsideration is not an avenue to re-litigate the same issues and arguments upon which the court already has ruled.” Brown v. Kinross Gold, U.S.A., 378 F.Supp.2d 1280, 1288 (D. Nev. 2005).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Pollak offers several arguments in asking the Court to reconsider its MSJ Order. Though it is not persuaded by any of the arguments she raises in her Motion, the Court will address what it construes as Pollak's two primary arguments here.[2]

         Plaintiff first argues that the Court clearly erred as a matter of law-meriting reconsideration-because it drew inferences in Defendant's favor, which is inappropriate because Defendant moved for summary judgment, and the Court must draw all inferences in the nonmoving party's favor. (ECF No. 413 at 2-8, 14-16.) The Court is not persuaded by this argument. Mere disagreement with an order is an insufficient basis for reconsideration. Further, the majority of Pollak's Motion is devoted to rearguing arguments she made in opposition to Harrington's summary judgment motion-and repeated arguments the Court has already rejected do not merit reconsideration. (Compare ECF No. 413 with ECF No. 386.) See also LR 59-1(b); Brown 378 F.Supp.2d at 1288 (“A motion for reconsideration is not an avenue to re-litigate the same issues and arguments upon which the court already has ruled.”). In addition, the summary judgment standard upon which Plaintiff relies in making this argument is tempered by an overarching requirement of reasonableness-for example, an issue is genuine if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable fact-finder could find for the nonmoving party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986). The Court need not draw every possible inference in Plaintiff's favor. Because the inferences Plaintiff wishes the Court had drawn in her favor are not reasonable, the Court declines to reconsider the MSJ Order on this basis.

         Plaintiff further argues the Court should reconsider its prior order because of claimed newly-discovered evidence that purportedly shows Harrington made money from the sale of CloudPets. (ECF No. 413 at 16-18.) The Court disagrees. Pollak's proffered evidence (ECF No. 413 at 119-135 (the “Summary Report”)) does not merit reconsideration of the MSJ Order because it does not show Harrington made money from the sale of CloudPets. As such, it does not help her establish her unjust enrichment claim upon which the Court granted summary judgment to Harrington in the MSJ Order.

         Even if Pollak's read of the Summary Report is correct, [3] Pollak relies on a chain of unsupported inferences to get from her read of the Summary Report to the conclusion that the Summary Report shows Harrington made money from CloudPets, which would support her unjust enrichment claim if true. Specifically, she refers back (id. at 17-18) to a copy of a press release she attached to her opposition to Harrington's motion for summary judgment regarding As Seen On TV, Inc.'s 2012 purchase of the domain name asseenontv.com, and its corresponding license agreement with Delivery Agent, “which calls for a 7.5% royalty of gross revenue to the owner of the website, which is now As Seen On TV, Inc.” (ECF No. 386-2 at 53.) In that same press release, Mary Beth Gearheart is quoted as saying, “I am so proud to say that my late husband's dear friend Kevin Harrington will own AsSeenOnTV.com.” (Id. at 54.) She combines this information with her conclusion from the Summary Report that Delivery Agent sold $8280 worth of CloudPets in the second two quarters of 2015 to conclude that Harrington made $621 in 2015 from the sale of CloudPets. (ECF No. 413 at 18.) This is not a reasonable conclusion because it depends on unsupported inferences including: the press release accurately summarizes the terms of the purported license agreement, which is not before the Court; Ms. Gearheart's statement that Harrington will “own AsSeenOnTV.com” is accurate, and remained so in 2015; all of Delivery Agent's sales were made via asseenontv.com; the 2012 royalty agreement was still in place in 2015; and all payments made to As Seen On TV, Inc. by Delivery Agent directly flowed through to ...


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