United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. Campbell Senior United States District Judge
January 30, 2019, the Court granted summary judgment in favor
of Defendants United States Life Insurance Company
(“U.S. Life”) and American General Life Insurance
Company, d/b/a AIG Benefit Solutions. Doc. 116. Plaintiff
Cynthia Cheney has filed a motion for reconsideration with
respect to U.S. Life only. Doc. 120. Oral argument will not
aid in the Court's decision. For the following reasons,
the Court will deny the motion.
for reconsideration are disfavored and should be granted only
in rare circumstances. See Ross v. Arpaio, No.
CV-05-4177-PHX-MHM, 2008 WL 1776502, at *2 (D. Ariz. Apr. 15,
2008). Motions for reconsideration are not the place for
parties to make new arguments not raised in their original
briefs and arguments. See Carroll v. Nakatani, 342
F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003). Nor should such motions ask
the Court to rethink what it has already considered. See
United States v. Rezzonico, 32 F.Supp.2d 1112, 1116 (D.
Ariz. 1998). Motions for reconsideration should be denied
“absent a showing of manifest error or a showing of new
facts or legal authority that could not have been brought to
its attention earlier with reasonable diligence.” LRCiv
7.2(g)(1); see also United Nat'l Ins. Co. v. Spectrum
Worldwide, Inc., 555 F.3d 772, 780 (9th Cir. 2009);
Nakatani, 342 F.3d at 945.
argues that the Court based its ruling on an argument first
raised in U.S. Life's reply, to which Plaintiff was
unable to respond, and which “produced an incorrect
result that contravenes controlling law.” Doc. 120 at
1. Although there are variations on Plaintiff's arguments
throughout her motion, they generally boil down to three
Plaintiff argues that U.S. Life's reply brief asserted
for the first time that Plaintiff's disability should be
judged on the basis of her “regular job” as it
existed on the day before her claimed disability date of
January 1, 2007. Id. at 7. Plaintiff argues that it
was error for the Court to consider this late-breaking
Plaintiff argues that consideration of this argument produced
error because her disability should not have been evaluated
on the basis of her claimed disability date. Rather,
Plaintiff asserts that U.S. Life knew her disability claim
was in fact based on her inability to work as a trial lawyer
and that her last trial was in October 2005. Id. at
2. As a result, Plaintiff claims, it was
“disingenuous” for U.S. Life to suggest that
Plaintiff's claimed disability should be judged as of
January 1, 2007. Id.
Plaintiff presents case law and arguments that were not
included in her response to U.S. Life's motion for
summary judgment. Id. at 11-17. The thrust of these
arguments is that U.S. Life cannot rely on adjustments
Plaintiff made in her professional work to accommodate her
disability as defining her “regular job” for
purposes of the disability analysis. Id. Plaintiff
instead argues that her disability should have been assessed
as of the end of her trial practice in late 2005, not on the
basis of her adjusted work schedule in late 2006.
these arguments satisfies the standard for a motion for
Arguments Made In U.S. Life's Motion.
Court cannot accept the premise of Plaintiff's motion to
reconsider - that U.S. Life waited until its reply brief to
argue that Plaintiff's disability should be judged on the
basis of her claimed disability date and the work she was
doing before that date. Although much of U.S. Life's
summary judgment motion was based on a legal argument the
Court did not accept - that Plaintiff is disabled only if she
has a “complete inability” to perform the
material duties of her regular job - the motion clearly
called attention to the requirements of the Policy on which
the Court ultimately relied. See Doc. 116.
opening statement, U.S. Life's motion argued that
Plaintiff was not unable to perform her “regular
job” - a defined term in the insurance policy
(“Policy”). Doc. 92 at 1; see also Id.
at 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15 (all referring to
Plaintiff's “regular job” in quotation
marks). The motion correctly quoted the Policy's
definition of “regular job” as “that which
[she] was performing on the day before disability
began.” Id. at 2. The motion also quoted the
requirement that Plaintiff's “specialty in the
practice of law” must be assessed “on the day
before total disability began.” Id.
the motion plainly asserted that Plaintiff's date of
disability was January 1, 2007. Id. at 5, 9. The
motion acknowledged that Plaintiff had claimed various
disability dates during the claims process, and even
clarified that her last trial was in October 2005, but the
motion claimed that Plaintiff “is not asserting ...