“I Said Good Day, Sir!”

Dont Waste My Time Again Do any of you come here for legal analysis and opinion? Judging from your search terms, let’s leave that question unanswered. But there are a dogged few, a ragtag bunch of judges, judicial staff, ham-and-schleppers and BigFirmers who — in between copious sessions browsing for cat piano mashups and free x-rated content (sometimes simultaneously) — actually come here to learn something. So here’s a lesson — don’t waste the Court’s time raising new arguments you should have thought about the first time.

For example, if you’re the plaintiff and you’ve just been hit by defendants for a big fee award under an offer of judgment theory, and the Court has “thoroughly and painstakingly” reviewed your arguments (not to pat oneself on the back), don’t go back and try to argue entitlement in a motion for reconsideration you big fat dummy:

After this Court thoroughly and painstakingly reviewed the arguments raised by Plaintiff in opposition to the motion, which resulted in a material reduction of the fees and costs requested by Defendant, Plaintiff (still unsatisfied) seeks to start over and have the Court review the matter anew with arguments that could have, but were not, raised in a timely fashion in opposition to the original motion.

Oy, not good so far….

Having obtained only limited success through its original arguments in opposition to the motion for fees, Plaintiff – without any explanation or suggestion why any entitlement arguments could not have been raised earlier – simply asks that the Court exercise its discretion to reopen the matter and consider new legal theories. But the Motion presents no persuasive factual or legal basis for the Court to do so under the circumstances. To paraphrase Judge Birch, this too constitutes a second – but untimely – bite at the apple. The Court will not entertain these untimely arguments now and rests this Order entirely on that procedural basis.

 I said Good Day Sir! I agree with this as a policy matter. Also, why would you not raise issues regarding entitlement (the form is bad, the release is bad, not everyone named etc.) as a threshold issue?

The only wrinkle is that the area of law — offers of judgment/proposals for settlement under Fla. Stat. § 768.79 — is wildly, hopelessly screwed up, and has been for decades.  There are badly reasoned decisions, conflicting statutes, amendments to statutes, cases that deal with older versions of statutes, you name it.

Good thing our friends in Tallahassee are working hard on cleaning it all up!