No. 15-cv-00221 (FB) (RER).


United States District Court, E.D. New York.

Editors Note
Applicable Law: 28 U.S.C. § 1332
Cause: 28 U.S.C. § 1332 Diversity - Other Contract
Nature of Suit: 190 Contract: Other
Source: PACER

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Crye Precision LLC, Plaintiff, represented by Robert Allen Horowitz , Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Crye Precision LLC, Plaintiff, represented by Lauren Beth Grassotti , Meyer Suozzi English & Klein PC.

Lineweight LLC, Plaintiff, represented by Robert Allen Horowitz , Greenberg Traurig, LLP & Lauren Beth Grassotti , Meyer Suozzi English & Klein PC.

Bennettsville Printing, Defendant, represented by Christian Dominic Carbone , Loeb & Loeb & Jonathan Frank Hollis , Loeb and Loeb LLP.


FREDERIC BLOCK, Senior District Judge.

On June 17, 2016, Crye Precision LLC ("Crye") and Lineweight LLC ("Lineweight") (collectively, "plaintiffs") filed an amended complaint for a declaratory judgment and for injunctive relief against Bennettsville Printing ("Bennettsville" or "defendant"). After discovery, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment ("MSJ") in which two exhibits were included: letters written by the United States Army's Contracting Command ("Army") in which Crye's prior intellectual property licensing agreements, including the one central to this action, were referenced and dissected. Pls.' Motion to Strike at 15-27. Plaintiffs now move pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c)(2) ("Rule 56") and Federal Rule of Evidence 403 ("Rule 403") to strike these exhibits as well as any references to these addenda in defendant's dispositive filings.

Two reasons, strengthened by one well-established tenet, compel denial of plaintiffs' request. First, these letters constitute an "official record" and represent the results of a formal inquiry by a governmental entity and are thus admissible pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 803(6) and may be properly considered without contravening Rule 56(c)(2). FED. R. EVID. 803(8) (exempting from the hearsay prohibition factual findings from a legally authorized investigation by a public entity where no circumstance "indicate[s] a lack of trustworthiness"); FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c)(2) (evidence submitted in support of a motion for summary judgment may be struck if inadmissible).Second, "while it is not unheard of to exclude evidence under Rule 403 at the summary judgment stage, . . . normally the balancing process contemplated by that rule is best undertaken at the trial itself," Adams v. Ameritech Servs., Inc., 231 F.3d 414, 428 (7th Cir. 2000), an approach that has been endorsed by several district courts within the Second Circuit, see, e.g., SEC v. McGinnis, No. 5:14-cv-6, 2015 WL 5643186, at *15 n.12 (D. Vt. Sept. 23, 2015) ("[T]he reason for excluding evidence that is unfairly prejudicial (because it may inflame the jury) is simply not present at the summary judgment phase."); Murray v. Miron, No. 3:11 CV 629 (JGM), 2015 WL 4041340, at *9 (D. Conn. July 1, 2015) (noting that the "fact-intensive, context-specific inquiry" required by Rule 403 "must be made at trial" (emphasis added)). Both these conclusions are buttressed by the Second Circuit's repeatedly-cited "preference that litigation disputes be resolved on the merits." Marfia v. T.C. Ziraat Bankasi, 100 F.3d 243, 249 (2d Cir. 1996).

For the foregoing reasons, plaintiffs' motion to strike is DENIED.



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