United States District Court, District of Columbia
Charles H. Rogers, Jr., Plaintiff,
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
P. MEHTA, District Judge.
Charles R. Rogers seeks reconsideration of the court's
Order dated April 6, 2016, which awarded $490 to Defendant
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 for expenses incurred as
a result of Plaintiff's counsel's failure to attend a
deposition that he had noticed. See Pl.'s Mot.
for Reconsideration [hereinafter Pl.'s Mot.], ECF No. 34;
Order, ECF No. 33. Because Plaintiff failed to file an
opposition to Defendant's motion seeking an award of
expenses, the court treated the motion as conceded, as
permitted under Local Civil Rule 7(b), and granted the
requested award. Order at 1. Plaintiff now asks for
reconsideration on the ground that "Local 689's
Motion is patently false" and that "the undersigned
never scheduled such deposition nor consented to it on that
date or at any other time." Pl.'s Mot., ECF No. 34,
at 1. Plaintiff's argument comes too late.
the Order awarding expenses did not constitute a final
judgment, the court evaluates Plaintiff's Motion for
Reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b).
See Cobell v. Norton, 355 F.Supp.2d 531,
539 (D.D.C. 2005) (citations omitted). Rule 54(b) provides
that "any order... that adjudicates fewer than all the
claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all of the
parties... may be revised at any time before the entry of a
judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties'
rights and liabilities." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54.
jurisdiction, relief under Rule 54(b) may be granted "as
justice requires." Cobell, 355 F.Supp.2d at 539
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted). That
abstract phrase has been understood to mean that a court will
grant a motion to reconsider under Rule 54(b) "only when
the movant demonstrates: (1) an intervening change in the
law; (2) the discovery of new evidence not previously
available; or (3) a clear error in the first order."
Zeigler v. Potter, 555 F.Supp.2d 126, 129 (D.D.C.
2008) (citation omitted).
has satisfied none of these grounds. His Motion cites no law,
let alone an intervening change in law. He offers no
"new" evidence, as all of the facts constituting
his defense were available to him before the court entered
its April 6, 2016, Order. And he has not demonstrated clear
error. In granting the award for expenses, the court treated
Defendant's motion as conceded, as permitted under Local
Rules, because Plaintiff failed to respond to it. See
Cohen v. Bd. of Trustees of the Univ. of District of
Columbia, No. 15-7005, 2016 WL 1612810, at * 3 (D.C.
Cir. Apr. 22, 2016) (recognizing Local Civil Rule 7(b) as a
docket-management tool). In his Motion, Plaintiff only offers
excuses for missing the deadline, see Pl.'s Mot.
at 2-3; he does not contend that the court clearly erred in
finding that he failed to oppose Defendant's motion for
extent that Plaintiff's Motion can be construed to
request late-filing of his opposition, see id., that
request is denied. Rule 6(b) allows courts to extend
deadlines, even after the time to act has expired "if
there is good cause and the party failed to act because of
excusable neglect.'" Cohen, 2016 WL
1612810, at *2 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B)). The
"excusable neglect" standard requires counsel to
have "some reasonable basis' for not meeting the
filing deadline." Id. (citation omitted). Here,
Plaintiff's counsel has offered none. He claims that he
was unable to respond to Defendant's motion because one
of his large clients had a health emergency that required
counsel's attention; because the motion "on its
face" is "false and frivolous"; and because of
the press of other client business "occasioned by the
tax filing deadline of April 18, 2016." Pl.'s Mot.
at 2-3. None of these is a "reasonable basis" for
missing the filing deadline. Indeed, it appears to the court
that Plaintiff's counsel consciously ignored a known
deadline for one client because he deemed business for other
clients to be more pressing. Such an excuse rises to neither
good cause nor excusable neglect for missing a
the court admonishes Plaintiff's counsel for the caustic
and unprofessional rhetoric used throughout his pleadings. He
accuses opposing counsel of filing a "patently
false" motion and "know[ing] it, " Pl.'s
Mot., at 1; "[lying] to this Court for money, "
Pl.'s Reply, ECF No. 38, at 1; exhibiting "duplicity
toward this Court, " id. at 3; and engaging in
unethical behavior by double-billing clients, Pl.'s Mot.
at 2. Litigation can be a rough and tumble business. It is
not for the faint of heart. But a lack of decorum and respect
and casting unfounded aspersions on opposing counsel has no
place in litigation, especially before this court. Counsel
would be well advised to tone down his rhetoric in future
foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration
 The court also has considered the four
factors set forth in Pioneer Investment Services Co. v.
Brunswick Associates Limited Partnership, 507 U.S. 380,
395 (1993). The third and fourth factors-(3) the reason for
the delay and whether it was within counsel's reasonable
control and (4) whether counsel acted in good faith-clearly
weigh against Plaintiff. Counsel does not claim that he was
unaware of the deadline or missed it inadvertently. He easily
could have avoided missing the deadline by filing a motion
for extension of time, but elected not to do so.
Additionally, this is not counsel's first missed deadline
in this case. Indeed, the court saved counsel from dismissal
of this suit when he failed to timely respond to
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and to timely effect
service. See Order, ECF No. 7; Mem. Op. and Order,
ECF No. 9. Furthermore, as to the other two factors set forth
in Pioneer Investment Services -(1) the risk of
prejudice to the other side and (2) the length of the delay
and the ...