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Branch Banking and Trust Co. v. Jones

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

March 7, 2019

LAURA MASSEY JONES, et al., Defendants.


          Joseph M. Hood Senior U.S. District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on the parties' motions to alter, amend, or correct the preliminary injunction previously imposed by the Court. [DE 52; DE 55; DE 58]. After reviewing the briefs, the Defendants' motion to alter or amend [DE 52] and supplemental motion to alter or amend [DE 58] are GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART and Plaintiff's motion to correct [DE 58] is GRANTED.

         I. Procedural History

         This action, initially filed in November 2018, has a complex and lengthy procedural history[1] that need not be repeated in full here.[2] Previously, after a hearing, the Court granted a preliminary injunction to preserve the status quo for the duration of this lawsuit. [DE 48]. Subsequently, the Defendants moved to alter or amend the preliminary injunction. [DE 52]. Then, the Plaintiff moved to correct the preliminary injunction. [DE 55]. Finally, the Defendants filed a supplemental motion to clarify. [DE 58]. At present, the motions have either been fully briefed or the time for briefing has passed. As a result, the pending motions are ripe for review.

         II. Analysis

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) permits a party to file a motion to alter or amend a judgment within 28 days after the entry thereof. “A court may grant a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend if there is: (1) a clear error of law; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) an intervening change in controlling law; or (4) a need to prevent manifest injustice.” Intera Corp. v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605, 620 (6th Cir. 2005).

         “A motion under Rule 59(e) does not simply provide an opportunity to reargue a case, and it must be supported either by a showing that the district court made an error of law or by newly discovered evidence.” Whitehead v. Bowen, 301 Fed.Appx. 484, 489 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir. 1998); Roger Miller Music, Inc. v. Sony/ATV Publishing, LLC, 477 F.3d 383, 395 (6th Cir. 2007)). The Rule is not “a substitute for appeal.” Turner v. City of Toledo, 671 F.Supp.2d 967, 969 (N.D. Ohio 2009). “If . . . a Rule 59 motion merely quibbles with the Court's decision, the proper recourse is not a motion for reconsideration but instead an appeal to the Sixth Circuit.” Zell v. Klingelhafer, No. 13-cv-458, 2018 WL 334386, at *4 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 8, 2018).

         A. BB&T's Request for Oral Argument

         BB&T has requested oral argument pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(f). [DE 61 at 1, Pg ID 903]. But BB&T has not explained why oral argument is necessary in this matter or how additional argument will assist the Court in resolving the pending motions. As the Court noted, this case has a complex history and the record is well developed. Additionally, the Court heard oral argument from the parties on the motion for preliminary injunction and the parties have either fully briefed the pending motions or the time for briefing has passed. As such, oral argument is unnecessary to resolve the disputes currently pending before the Court.

         B. Defendants' Motion to Alter or Amend

         The Defendants contend that the Court's preliminary injunction contains inconsistent provisions necessitating correction or clarification. In response, the Plaintiff claims that the Defendants are trying to reap the rewards of their wrongful solicitation of BB&T customers. These arguments and the relevant provisions of the preliminary injunction are discussed below.

         (1) Relevant Provisions of the Preliminary Injunction

         The Court's preliminary injunction states in part,

Defendants Laura Massey Jones, Ralph S. “Bud” Watson, II, John Cadwell, and The Farmers National Bank of Danville, d/b/a WealthSouth, as well as their representatives, employees, agents, and assigns, are hereby ENJOINED from doing the following:
. . .
(c) Receiving any future benefit from solicitation of BB&T's current or potential depositors, customers, or clients in breach of Jones's[3], Watson's, and Cadwell's non-solicitation agreements and the Individual Defendants' nondisclosure agreements from September 4, 2018, until this matter is resolved[.]

[DE 48 at 2, Pg ID 691 (emphasis in original)]. This provision is intended to prevent any future harm to BB&T by enjoining WealthSouth from transferring the business of any former BB&T customer who was solicited in violation of the BB&T non-solicitation ...

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