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CE Resource, Inc. v. Magellan Group


August 21, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge


Plaintiff CE Resource, Inc. ("Plaintiff") initiated this action on December 9, 2008. Presently before the Court is the Motion for Reconsideration of the Order Denying Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant The Magellan Group, LLC ("Magellan"). Defendant's Motion is denied.*fn1


Plaintiff was established for the purpose of providing continuing medical education to nurses and is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, and various individual states.

In September 2007, Plaintiff and Defendant Joseph Knight ("Knight"), a freelance writer, entered into a Freelance Writer Agreement. Pursuant to that Agreement, Knight represented that a course on "The Herpes Viruses" ("Product") was the result of his original work. Knight also denied having submitted the Product to any other party, to have published the Product, or to do so in the future. Plaintiff subsequently registered the Product with the United States Copyright Office.

Plaintiff later conducted an internet search and came to the conclusion that Knight had submitted another course series, "Herpes Simplex Virus: An Introduction" and "Chicken Pox: The Varicella Zoster Virus," which allegedly copied substantial portions of the Product belonging to Plaintiff, to Magellan for publication.

According to Plaintiff, Magellan purchased the infringing courses from Knight, and Knight delivered one or more copies of those infringing courses to Magellan. Additionally, Plaintiff claims that Magellan copied, distributed, and sold copies of the infringing products and willfully ignored Knight's wrongful acts.

Plaintiff then sent cease and desist letters to both Knight and Magellan and eventually filed this action alleging causes of action for Copyright Infringement (against all Defendants), Breach of Contract (against Knight only), and Violations of California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq., and 17500, et seq. (against Magellan only).


A court should be loathe to revisit its own decisions unless extraordinary circumstances show that its prior decision was clearly erroneous or would work a manifest injustice. Christianson v. Colt Indus. Operating Corp., 486 U.S. 800, 817 (1988). This principle is generally embodied in the law of the case doctrine. That doctrine counsels against reopening questions once resolved in ongoing litigation. Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Indians v. Hodel, 882 F.2d 364, 369 n.5 (9th Cir. 1989). Nonetheless, in certain limited circumstances, a court has discretion to reconsider its prior decisions.

A timely filed motion for reconsideration under a local rule is construed as a motion to alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59(e). Schroeder v. McDonald, 55 F.3d 454, 459 (9th Cir. 1995). A motion for reconsideration is treated as a Rule 59(e) motion if filed within ten days of the judgment being entered, but as a Rule 60(b) motion if filed more than ten days after judgment. See Am. Ironworks & Erectors Inc. v. N. Am. Constr. Corp., 248 F.3d 892, 898-99 (9th Cir. 2001).

Since this motion is seeking reconsideration of a final judgment and was timely filed, the Court will treat it as a Rule 59(e) motion.

Absent "highly unusual circumstances," reconsideration pursuant to Rule 59(e) is appropriate only where 1) the court is presented with newly discovered evidence; 2) the court committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust; or

3) there is an intervening change in controlling law. School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County v. Acands, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993)(citations and quotations omitted). Mere dissatisfaction with the court's order, or belief that the court is wrong in its decision, are not grounds for relief under Rule 59(e).


Defendant cites to no law indicating Defendant is even remotely aware of the circumstances under which this Court will revisit its own decisions. Rather, Defendant simply challenges the Court's reasoning and logic, citing no newly discovered evidence or other extenuating circumstances that might justify reconsideration.

Defendant is cautioned that the Court does not look favorably upon motions that fail to address the applicable law. Accordingly, while Defendant's legal arguments might have had some persuasive value had they been filed in its original motion or reply, they are simply irrelevant now.


Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration (Docket No. 45) is DENIED. The hearing scheduled August 27, 2009, at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom 7 is hereby vacated.


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