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Legal Memorandum: Attorney's Fees Award Reconsideration

Issue: WHAT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO DEMONSTRATE A COMPELLING CIRCUMSTANCE THAT PERMITS THE COURT TO DISREGARD AN ATTORNEY’S FEE REMEDY SET FORTH IN THE PARTIES’ CONTRACT?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Compelling circumstances; Attorney's fees award; Motion for reconsideration
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 556 N.W.2d 238
Cited Statutes: Rule 115.11
Date: 01/01/2006

The law is clear that attorney’s fees are recoverable if expressly authorized by contract.  Van Vickle v. C.W. Scheurer & Sons, 556 N.W.2d 238, 242 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996).  Moreover, if a Defendants’ argument on contains nothing they did not or could not have argued the first time around, there will no reconsideration.  A federal court presented with a motion for reconsideration admonished the movant in these words:

This Court’s opinions are not intended as mere first drafts, subject to revision and reconsideration at a litigant’s pleasure.  Motions such as this reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the limited appropriateness of motions for reconsideration.

Santelli v. Electro-Motive, 136 F. Supp. 2d 922, 941 (N.D. Ill. 2001).

In short, there is nothing that justifies a Motion to Reconsider if there has been no intervening change in the law since the Court’s initial Order on an issue, no demonstration that any aspect of the decision is “palpably wrong” and no showing of compelling circumstances that would require the Court to reconsider its initial attorney’s fees award.  See Rule 115.11 & Comments.

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