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Callaway Golf Co. v. King Sports

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 5, 2008

CALLAWAY GOLF COMPANY, A DELAWARE CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KING SPORTS, INC., A GEORGIA CORPORATION, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: M. James Lorenz United States District Court Judge

ORDER DISMISSING DEFENDANTS AT GOLF AND KEVIN CHANG ON THE STIPULATED TERMS AND DENYING IN PART JOINT MOTION FOR A PARTIAL JUDGMENT

On April 24, 2008, Plaintiff and Defendants AT Golf and Kevin Chang filed a Joint Motion for Permanent Injunction Based on Stipulation After Settlement ("Joint Motion" and "Stipulation," respectively). For the reasons which follow, the Joint Motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

In this patent and trademark infringement, breach of contract, and business tort action, Plaintiff and Defendants AT Golf and Kevin Chang entered into a settlement agreement and Stipulation. The parties stipulated to certain findings of fact, a permanent injunction against AT Golf and Kevin Chang, and entry of a final judgment. Although these parties have settled their dispute, the case continues against Defendants King Sports, Inc. and M&M Golf, Inc. who are not parties to the Stipulation.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) provides in pertinent part: Judgment on Multiple Claims or Involving Multiple Parties. When an action presents more than one claim relief . . . or when multiple parties are involved, the court may direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more, but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay. . . .

The power to enter partial final judgment "is largely discretionary, to be exercised in light of judicial administrative interests as well as the equities involved, and giving due weight to the historic federal policy against piecemeal appeals." Reiter v. Cooper, 507 U.S. 258, 265 (1993)(citations and quotation marks omitted). In Morrison-Knudsen Co., Inc. v. Archer, the Ninth Circuit elaborated on the requirements of Rule 54(b):

Judgments under Rule 54(b) must be reserved for the unusual case in which the costs and risks of multiplying the number of proceedings and of overcrowding the appellate docket are outbalanced by pressing needs of the litigants for an early and separate judgment as to some claims or parties. The trial court should not direct entry of judgment under Rule 54(b) unless it has made specific findings setting forth the reasons for its order. Those findings should include a determination whether, upon any review of the judgment entered under the rule, the appellate court will be required to address legal or factual issues that are similar to those contained in the claims still pending before the trial court. A similarity of legal or factual issues will weigh heavily against entry of judgment under the rule, and in such cases a Rule 54(b) order will be proper only where necessary to avoid a harsh and unjust result, documented by further and specific findings.

655 F.2d 962, 965 (9th Cir. 1981).

The parties stipulated, without elaborating, that "there is no just reason for delay in entering a final judgment." This is insufficient for the court to make the necessary specific findings outlined in Morrison-Knudsen.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows:

1. The parties' request for entry of final judgment is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to incorporating the terms of their Stipulation into the final judgment at the conclusion of the case in its entirety.

2. All claims asserted against Defendants AT Golf and Kevin Chang are hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE on the terms specified in the Stipulation filed April 24, 2008 and in the parties' settlement agreement.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20080505

© 1992-2008 VersusLaw Inc.



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