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STEADFAST INSURANCE CO. v. AUTO MARKETING NETWORK

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


January 27, 2004.

Steadfast Insurance Company
v.
Auto Marketing Network, Inc., et al

The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOAN H. LEFKOW, District Judge Page 2

(Resered for use by the Court)

ORDER

On October 27, 2003, this court granted the motion of defendant/counter-plaintiff Imperial Credit Industries, Inc., ("Imperial"), for a new trial on its counterclaim of bad faith insurance litigation against plaintiff/counter-defendant Steadfast Insurance Company ("Steadfast"). Thereafter, on December 8, 2003, the court denied Steadfast's motion to augment its expert witness list. Before the court is Steadfast's motion to reconsider the December 8 memorandum opinion and order. Steadfast believes that reconsideration is warranted because its expert report, which was not available to the court when it issued the December 8 opinion, demonstrates that Steadfast's motion should have been granted. As stated below, the motion to reconsider is denied.

  A motion for reconsideration serves the limited function to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence. Rothwell Cotton Co. v. Rosenthal & Co., 827 F.2d 246, 251 (7th Cir. 1987), The motion also serves a valuable function where the court "has patently misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties, or has made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension." Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1990) (quotation omitted).

  In the December 8, 2003 memorandum opinion and order, this court denied Steadfast's motion to augment its expert witness list on grounds that Steadfast never did designate its own experts within the time frame allocated by the court. While true that the court did initially grant Steadfast's motion to strike Imperial's expert witnesses, that came nearly eight months after the close of expert discovery. This was not a situation in which Steadfast relied on the striking of Imperial's experts in not designating any of its own. Steadfast had ample opportunity to designate its own experts but never did. Steadfast, however, asserts that it "never imagined" that the court would allow Lubet and Diamond to testify, But this goes far to confirm Imperial's view that Steadfast's failure to designate an expert was merely a gamble by Steadfast that the court would grant its motion to strike. Moreover, Steadfast claims that had the court originally denied its motion to strike (which, once again, was granted eight months after the close of expert discovery), it would have promptly moved to augment its expert witness list at that time. Therein lies the point. Because Steadfast had not designated an expert witness during the proscribed time, the court would not have been inclined to grant the motion then, and is not inclined to do so now. Steadfast's motion to reconsider is denied [#336], Page 1

20040127

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