Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Kerry Winn v. Amerititle

March 10, 2011

KERRY WINN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
AMERITITLE, INC, AN OREGON CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is Plaintiff Kerry Winn's Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment (Dkt. 39). For the reasons expressed below, the Court will deny Winn's motion.

ANALYSIS

After entering judgment in favor of Defendant Amerititle, Inc., the Court awarded Amerititle attorney fees pursuant to Idaho Code § 12-120(3) in the amount of $51,352.50. Winn contends that the Court erred by ruling that (1) Winn consistently took the position throughout the lawsuit that an escrow agreement existed between himself and Amerititle; and (2) apportionment of fees was not necessary because a commercial transaction constituted the gravamen of all three claims asserted by Winn. Winn maintains that this case did not involve the exchange of goods, services, or property between the parties in an alleged commercial transaction but instead involved a claim that Amerititle breached an assumed a duty to Winn to distribute the escrow funds to Tamarack North, Inc. and Yoriko Fuhriman jointly.

1. Legal Standard

A motion to reconsider an interlocutory ruling requires an analysis of two important principles: (1) error must be corrected; and (2) judicial efficiency demands forward progress. If it is clear the Court has committed an error, "[t]he only sensible thing for a trial court to do is to set itself right as soon as possible when convinced that the law of the case is erroneous. There is no need to await reversal." In re Airport Car Rental Antitrust Litigation, 521 F.Supp. 568, 572 (N.D.Cal. 1981)(Schwartzer, J.).

The need to be right, however, must be balanced with the need for forward progress. A court's opinions "are not intended as mere first drafts, subject to revision and reconsideration at a litigant's pleasure." Quaker Alloy Casting Co. v. Gulfco Indus., Inc., 123 F.R.D. 282, 288 (N.D.Ill.1988). Courts have distilled various grounds for reconsideration of prior rulings into three major grounds for justifying reconsideration:

(1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence or an expanded factual record; and (3) need to correct a clear error or to prevent manifest injustice. McDowell v. Calederon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 (9th Cir.1999) (citation omitted). If the motion to reconsider does not fall within one of these three categories, it must be denied.

2. The Court Correctly Awarded Attorney Fees to Amerititle Pursuant to Idaho Code § 12-120(3).

With respect to Winn's first point of error, the Court correctly found that Winn alleged throughout this litigation that an escrow agreement existed between himself and Amerititle. In his Complaint, Winn alleged that "[b]y paying and delivering the Escrow Deposit solely to TNI without the consent of Plaintiff or his predecessors-in-interest to the PSA, Defendant breached the terms and conditions governing its disposition of the Escrow Deposit, for which breach Defendant is liable under Idaho law." Compl. ¶ 1. By referring to "terms and conditions," Winn implies that he believed an agreement relating to the distribution of escrow funds existed between himself and Amerititle. Indeed, as Winn points out, he argued that Amerititle "breached its contractual duties" it owed to Winn. Pl.'s Opp. at 3-4, Dkt. 20.

In addition, at other points in this litigation, Winn referenced his "agreement" with Amerititle. For example, Winn argued:

* Winn's claim against AmeriTitle sounds in both contract and tort. Pl.'s Summ. J. Br. at 3, Dkt. 11-2.

* Amerititle treated Winn, and Winn at all times acted, as a party to the Escrow, with AmeriTitle. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.