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GAGNER v. AUTONATION INC.

December 14, 2005.

SCOTT GAGNER, Plaintiff,
v.
AUTONATION, INC., et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On November 30, 2005 this Court issued its memorandum order ("Order"), ruling on the motions in limine that defendants (referred to here collectively for convenience as "Madden," treated as a singular noun) had filed following this Court's entry of the Final Pretrial Order ("FPTO") that had brought the case to trial readiness.*fn1 Now Madden's defense counsel have submitted a motion seeking reconsideration of the Order's rulings.

This Court is of course no stranger to the operative principles for addressing such motions. Indeed, the quotation from the first of the two cases cited in Madden's current motion as setting out such principles (the Publishers Resource case) was taken directly from one of this Court's own earlier opinions that had not only been affirmed but also expressly adopted by our Court of Appeals, while the second of those Seventh Circuit case quotations came from the same Above the Belt opinion by the late Judge Dortch Warriner that this Court has consistently relied on — with full attribution, of course — for fully two decades.

  But then, having paid lip service to those cited and quoted principles, the current motion proceeds to flout them, reflecting only defense counsel's disagreement with this Court rather than in any way demonstrating that this Court had "patently misunderstood" defense counsel or "made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension." It has done neither — it had fully recognized and then rejected the Madden arguments. Thus the situation is one that calls to mind another opinion of this Court that was written under similar circumstances and that has been cited and quoted by other courts around the country: Quaker Alloy Casting Co. v. Gulfco Indus., Inc., 123 F.R.D. 282, 288 (N.D. Ill. 1988) (as adapted to this case):
Despite what [Madden] appears to think, this Court's opinions are not intended as mere first drafts, subject to revision and reconsideration at a litigant's pleasure. Motions such as this reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the limited appropriateness of motions for reconsideration.
  Under the circumstances here, then, the motion for reconsideration merits no more than short shrift. Because the Order fully explained the reasons for this Court's rulings, this opinion will swiftly dispatch counsel's unhappiness with those rulings. Ex-Employees Jastrowski, Lydon and Zloch

  Madden initially urges that evidence should be excluded at trial as to the charges and lawsuits filed against it by the three above-listed ex-employees and as to the settlement of those claims (in the latter respect, see, e.g., Fed.R.Evid. ("Rule") xxxx). But the Order can be searched in vain for any ruling as to the admissibility of such evidence. What then is there to "reconsider"?

  Next, counsel disagrees with what Order at 5-7 held as to other evidence regarding the age discrimination claims made by those ex-employees, even though this Court grounded such admissibility squarely within Rule 404 (b) and rejected excludability under Rule 403. This time the motion is thus accurately characterized as seeking reconsideration, but the earlier-stated principles call for its rejection as well.

  Ex-Employee Willie Wright

  What has just been said in the preceding paragraph applies with equal force (or perhaps with greater force, see Order at 8) as to this ex-employee. Again denial of the motion is called for.

  "Stray Remarks" and Hearsay

  This time it seems that defense counsel have not read Order Ex-Employees Jastrowski, Lydon and Zloch

  Madden initially urges that evidence should be excluded at trial as to the charges and lawsuits filed against it by the three above-listed ex-employees and as to the settlement of those claims (in the latter respect, see, e.g., Fed.R.Evid. ("Rule") 408). But the Order can be searched in vain for any ruling as to the admissibility of such evidence. What then is there to "reconsider"?

  Next, counsel disagrees with what Order at 5-7 held as to other evidence regarding the age discrimination claims made by those ex-employees, even though this Court grounded such admissibility squarely within Rule 404 (b) and rejected excludability under Rule 403. This time the motion is thus accurately characterized as seeking reconsideration, but the earlier-stated principles call for its rejection as well.

  Ex-Employee Willie Wright

  What has just been said in the preceding paragraph applies with equal force (or perhaps with greater force, see Order at 8) as to this ex-employee. ...


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