United States District Court, District of Columbia
UNITED STATES ex rel. LANDIS, et al., Plaintiffs,
TAILWIND SPORTS CORP., et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER R. COOPER United States District Judge
19, 2014, the Court issued a Memorandum Opinion granting in
part the CSE Defendants’ motion to dismiss Relator
Floyd Landis’s Second Amended Complaint. See
ECF No. 174. In doing so, it considered whether the
False Claims Act’s ("FCA’s") tolling
provision applies to relators’ claims as to which the
United States has not intervened. That provision reads as
(b) A civil action under section 3730 may not be brought-
(1) more than 6 years after the date on which the violation
of section 3729 is committed, or
(2) more than 3 years after the date when facts material to
the right of action are known or reasonably should have been
known by the official of the United States charged with
responsibility to act in the circumstances, but in no event
more than 10 years after the date on which the violation is
whichever occurs last.
31 U.S.C. § 3731(b). After thorough briefing on the
issue-and fully accounting for the split of authority among
lower courts-the Court adopted the "majority
approach": that the FCA’s tolling provision does
not apply to relators’ non-intervened claims. Mem. Op.
of June 19, 2014, at 28, 30. The Court reasoned that it would
"def[y] logic to hinge the tolling question on when the
responsible governmental official possessed sufficient
knowledge to act, when in reality that governmental official
has chosen not to act." Id. at 30. Because the
government had not intervened against the CSE Defendants, the
Court concluded that Relator could recover against them only
for allegedly false claims submitted on or after June 10,
2004-not on or after June 10, 2000, as the tolling provision
would have allowed.
has moved the Court to reconsider this portion of its prior
Memorandum Opinion. His motion is "based on" two
Supreme Court opinions-one decided before the Memorandum
Opinion was issued, and one after-and "is further
supported by" a recent decision of this Court. Mem.
Supp. Relator’s Mot. Reconsideration 3 ("Mot.
Reconsideration"), ECF No. 497. Relator also repeats
arguments he made at the motion-to-dismiss stage and raises
others for the first time. Because Relator has not met the
stringent standard for reconsidering interlocutory orders,
the Court will deny his motion.
the so-called "law of the case" doctrine,
"when a court decides upon a rule of law, that decision
should continue to govern the same issues in subsequent
stages in the same case." Arizona v.
California, 460 U.S. 605, 618 (1983); see also
LaShawn A. v. Barry, 87 F.3d 1389, 1393 (D.C. Cir. 1996)
("[T]he same issue presented a second time in
the same case in the same court should lead
to the same result."). The doctrine, as such,
does not technically apply to interlocutory orders such as
the partial granting of a motion to dismiss. Langevine v.
Dist. of Columbia, 106 F.3d 1018, 1023 (D.C. Cir. 1997).
And under Rule 54(b), the Court’s earlier decision
"may be revised at any time before the entry of a
[final] judgment." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). In a sense, then,
the Court is "free to reconsider" its analysis on
the FCA tolling issue. Filebark v. U.S. Dep’t of
Transp., 555 F.3d 1009, 1013 (D.C. Cir. 2009).
"this is not to say that district courts should take
lightly reconsideration of the orders of their
colleagues." Moore v. Hartman, 332 F.Supp.2d
252, 256 (D.D.C. 2004). Although Rule 54(b) does not specify
the standard of review applicable to motions for
reconsideration of interlocutory orders, they should be
reconsidered only "as justice requires." United
States v. Slough, 61 F.Supp. 3d 103, 107 (D.D.C. 2014)
(quoting United States v. Coughlin, 821 F.Supp.2d 8,
18 (D.D.C. 2011)). That phrase is a doctrinal term of art-in
deciding whether "justice requires" reversal of its
prior interlocutory order, a court may consider whether it
 patently misunderstood a party,  has made a decision
outside the adversarial issues presented to the Court by the
parties,  has made an error not of reasoning but of
apprehension, or  whe[ther] a controlling or significant
change in the law or facts [has occurred] since the
submission of the issue to the Court.
Singh v. George Washington Univ., 383 F.Supp.2d 99,
101 (D.D.C. 2005). Under a slightly different formulation, a
court should "grant a motion for reconsideration of an
interlocutory order 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." BEG Invs., LLC v. Alberti, 85
F.Supp. 3d 54, 58 (D.D.C. 2015) (quoting Stewart v.
Panetta, 826 F.Supp.2d 176, 177 (D.D.C. 2011)). District
courts should "be guided by the general principles
underlying the [law-of-the-case] doctrine" in applying