United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S ORAL MOTION FOR
JUDGMENT AS A MATTER OF LAW
E. Kobayashi United States District Judge
23, 2016, Plaintiff Ronald Barranco (“Plaintiff”)
made an oral motion for judgment as a matter of law on
Defendants 3D Systems Corp. and 3D Systems, Inc.'s
(collectively “Defendants”) counterclaims
(“Plaintiff's Rule 50(a) Motion”). [Minutes,
filed 5/23/16 (dkt. no. 263).] The Court heard oral argument
on the motion, and permitted the parties to submit written
briefs on the matter. [Id.] On May 24, 2016,
Plaintiff filed a Supplemental Brief in Support of His Motion
for Judgment as a Matter of Law Re: “Accounting”
(“Plaintiff's Supplemental Brief”). [Dkt. no.
267.] The same day, Defendants filed a memorandum in
opposition to Plaintiff's Rule 50(a) Motion
(“Defendants' Supplemental Brief”). [Dkt. no.
269.] In an Entering Order filed on June 22, 2016
(“6/22/16 EO”), the Court granted Plaintiff's
Rule 50(a) Motion as to Defendant's counterclaim for
failure to convey the website lasersintering.com
(“LSCOM”). [Dkt. no. 287.] After careful
consideration of the remaining arguments in the motion,
supporting and opposing memoranda, and the relevant legal
authority, Plaintiff's Rule 50(a) Motion is HEREBY DENIED
as to Defendants' counterclaim for breach of the
non-compete agreement for the reasons set forth below.
filed his Complaint on August 23, 2013, and Defendants filed
their Amended Counterclaims Against Plaintiff on November 5,
2014 (“Amended Counterclaims”). [Dkt. nos. 1,
118.] Jury selection took place on May 17, 2017, and trial
commenced the same day. [Minutes, filed 5/17/17 (dkt. no.
251).] The trial proceeded on: Plaintiff's claims for (1)
breach of contract (“Count I”), (2) breach of the
covenant of good faith and fair dealing (“Count
III”), and (3) unjust enrichment (“Count
VI”); and Defendants' counterclaims for (1) failure
to convey LSCOM (“Counterclaim Count I”) and (2)
breach of the non-compete agreement (“Counterclaim
Count II”). On May 20, 2016, Plaintiff rested his
case, and Defendants made an oral motion for judgment as a
matter of law (“Defendants' Rule 50(a)
Motion”). [Minutes, filed 5/20/16 (dkt. no. 259).] In
an Entering Order filed on May 23, 2016, the Court granted
Defendant's Rule 50(a) Motion as to Count VI, and
reserved ruling on the remainder of the motion. [Dkt. no.
262.] On May 23, 2016, Defendants rested their case and
renewed their Rule 50(a) motion. [Minutes, filed 5/23/16
(dkt. no. 263).] As previously noted, the Court considered
Plaintiff's Rule 50(a) Motion the same day, and
determined that, with regard to Counterclaim Count I,
Defendants had failed to present any evidence of damages and
that Plaintiff was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See 6/22/16 EO. On May 26, 2016, the parties
presented closing arguments, and the jury began deliberations
immediately thereafter. [Minutes, filed 5/26/16 (dkt. no.
278).] On May 27, 2016, the jury reached a verdict, and found
in favor of Defendants on all remaining counts. See
Special Verdict Form, filed 5/27/16 (dkt. no. 282).
6/22/16 EO, the Court reiterated that it had granted
Plaintiff's Rule 50(a) Motion as to Counterclaim Count I.
[Dkt. no. 287.] Moreover, pursuant to the Defendants'
oral agreement at the status conference held on June 21,
2016, the Court denied Defendants' Rule 50(a) Motion as
moot. [6/22/16 EO at 2.]
Civ. P. 50 provides, in relevant part:
(a) Judgment as a Matter of Law.
(1) In General. If a party has been fully heard on
an issue during a jury trial and the court finds that a
reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient
evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue, the
(A) resolve the issue against the party; and
(B) grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law against
the party on a claim or defense that, under the controlling
law, can be maintained or defeated only with a favorable
finding on that issue.
(2) Motion. A motion for judgment as a matter of law
may be made at any time before the case is submitted to the
jury. The motion must specify the judgment sought and the law
and facts that entitle the movant to the judgment.
(b) Renewing the Motion After Trial; Alternative Motion for a
New Trial. If the court does not grant a motion for judgment
as a matter of law made under Rule 50(a), the court is
considered to have submitted the action to the jury subject
to the court's later deciding the legal questions raised
by the motion. No later than 28 days after the entry of
judgment - or if the motion addresses a jury issue not
decided by a verdict, no later than 28 days after the jury
was discharged - the movant may file a renewed motion for
judgment as a matter of law and may include an alternative or
joint request for a new trial under [Fed. R. Civ. P.] 59. In
ruling on the renewed motion, the court may:
(1) allow judgment on the verdict, if the jury returned a
(2) order a new trial; or
(3) direct the entry of judgment as a matter of law.
Court has stated:
The standard for judgment as a matter of law mirrors that for
granting summary judgment. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing
Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 149-50 (2000). “[I]n
entertaining a motion for judgment as a matter of law, the
court . . . may not make credibility determinations or weight
the evidence.” Id. at 149. Rather, the court
“must view the evidence in the light most favorable to
the nonmoving party . . . and draw all reasonable inferences
in that party's favor.” Josephs v. Pac.
Bell, 443 F.3d 1050, 1062 (9th Cir. 2006). Where there
is sufficient conflicting evidence, or if reasonable minds
could differ over the verdict, judgment as a matter of law is
improper. Pier ...