Medek v. Medek, No. 2559-VCP (Del. Ch., July 27, 2009), read opinion here. A prior decision in this case by the Court of Chancery was reviewed on this blog here.
This letter decision denied a Motion for Reconsideration of a Fee Award that was previously granted in a prior decision which can be found at 2009 WL 2005365 (Del. Ch. July 1, 2009).
This case is a helpful reminder of the high threshold that must be met pursuant to Chancery Court Rule 59 (f).
In essence, the court explained in a 7-page letter that there was nothing presented in the motion which would have changed the original opinion of the court. In particular, the plaintiff sought reargument on the refusal to award fees and costs on two of the claims. However, Rule 59(f) provides that a Motion for Reargument will only be successful when “the court has overlooked a controlling decision or principle of law that would have controlling effect, or the court has misapprehended the law or the facts and the outcome of the decision would be different.” More importantly, the moving party must make a showing that “the court’s misunderstanding of a factual or legal principle is both material and would have changed the outcome of its earlier decision.” As additional support for its opinion, the court interpreted the applicable provision providing for attorneys’ fees, as requiring more than simply establishing a breach. Rather, in order for fees to be awarded pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the non-breaching party also had to prove a claim for relief based on the breach. Thus, the Motion for Reconsideration was denied.