United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division
H. KENNETH LEFOLDT, JR. PLAINTIFF
DONALD RENTFRO, et al. DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
STARRETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons below, the Court grants
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike  his Motion to Enter
Final Judgment , denies Plaintiff's
Motion for Reconsideration , and denies as
moot Plaintiff's Motion to Stay Discovery .
this Court and the Court of Appeals have discussed the
factual and procedural background of this case. See
Lefoldt v. Horne, LLP, 853 F.3d 804 (5th Cir. 2017);
Lefoldt v. Rentfro, No. 5:15-CV-96-KS-MTP, 2017 WL
5972692 (S.D.Miss. Dec. 1, 2017); Lefoldt v.
Rentfro, No. 5:15-CV-96-KS-MTP, 2016 WL 1436678
(S.D.Miss. Apr. 11, 2016).
December 1, 2017, the Court granted Defendant Horne,
LLP's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment  as to
Plaintiff's professional malpractice claims for the years
2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Lefoldt, 2017 WL 5972692
at *3. The Court noted that “the existence of a
professional relationship” was the first element of a
malpractice claim, and that to prove “the existence of
a professional relationship, ” a plaintiff must provide
evidence that it manifested its intent to the defendant that
it provide services for the plaintiff. Id. at *2
(citing Gibson v. Williams, Williams &
Montgomery, P.A., 186 So.3d 836, 848 (Miss. 2016)).
“A community hospital board of trustees, as does any
public board in the State of Mississippi, speaks and acts
only through its minutes.” Wellness, Inc. v. Pearl
River Cnty. Hosp., 178 So.3d 1287, 1290 (Miss. 2015).
Therefore, because the minutes of NRMC's Board did not
reflect that NRMC manifested its intent that Horne provide
accounting services for the years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013,
the Court found that Plaintiff could not prove the existence
of a professional relationship between NRMC and Horne for
those years. Lefoldt, 2017 WL 5972692 at *3.
Plaintiff responded to the Court's order with a bevy of
motions, which the Court now addresses.
Motion to Strike 
the Court grants Plaintiff's Motion to
Strike  his Motion to Enter Final Judgment .
Motion for Reconsideration 
Plaintiff filed a motion seeking several alternative forms of
relief. Plaintiff argues that the Court should reconsider its
Memorandum Opinion and Order  granting Horne's
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment  as to
Plaintiff's malpractice claims for the years 2010, 2011,
2012, and 2013. Alternatively, Plaintiff argues that the
Court should enter a Rule 54(b) judgment as to those claims,
or certify the issue for interlocutory appeal.
motion asking the court to reconsider a prior ruling is
evaluated either as a motion . . . under Rule 59(e) or . . .
under Rule 60(b). The rule under which the motion is
considered is based on when the motion is filed. If the
motion is filed within twenty-eight days after the entry of
judgment, the motion is treated as though it was filed under
Rule 59, and if it was filed outside of that time, it is
analyzed under Rule 60.” Demahy v. Schwarz Pharma,
Inc., 702 F.3d 177, 182 n. 2 (5th Cir. 2012).
Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration  was filed
within twenty-eight days of the Court's Memorandum
Opinion and Order  granting Defendant's Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment , and Rule 59 applies.
Rule 59(e) motion calls into question the correctness of a
judgment.” Templet v. Hydrochem, Inc., 367
F.3d 473, 478 (5th Cir. 2004). There are three grounds for
altering a judgment under Rule 59(e): “(1) an
intervening change in controlling law, (2) the availability
of new evidence not previously available, or (3) the need to
correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice.” Williamson Pounders Architects, P.C. v.
Tunica County, 681 F.Supp.2d 766, 767 (N.D. Miss. 2008).
Rule 59(e) motions are “not the proper vehicle for
rehashing evidence, legal theories, or arguments that could
have been offered or raised before the entry of judgment,
” Templet, 367 F.3d at 478, and they
“should not be used to . . . re-urge matters that have
already been advanced by a party.” Nationalist
Movement v. Town of Jena, 321 F. App'x 359, 364 (5th
Cir. 2009). It is “an extraordinary remedy that should
be used sparingly.” Id. Before filing a Rule
59(e) motion, a party “should evaluate whether what may
seem to be a clear error of law is in fact simply a point of
disagreement” with the Court. Atkins v. Marathon
LeTourneau Co., 130 F.R.D. 625, 626 (S.D.Miss. 1990).
Plaintiff argues that the Court should reconsider its earlier
ruling because the NRMC Board's executive session minutes
from 2010 through 2014 reflect that NRMC entered into a
professional relationship with Horne. The Board's
executive session minutes were not presented to the Court
with the previous motion. In fact, this is the first time
that the executive session minutes have been raised in this
matter, despite the fact that NRMC's relationship with
Horne and the extent to which it is reflected in the
Board's minutes have been at issue since December 2015.
Horne's counsel represented in briefing that Plaintiff
first produced them in early 2017 - after the interlocutory