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Cornelius v. Deluca, 10-Cv-027-BLW (D. Id.; Mar. 15, 2011)

Cornelius v. Deluca, 10-Cv-027-BLW (D. Id.; Mar. 15, 2011)

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Court denies plaintiffs' request to unmask a commenter (and moderator) at bodybuilding.com, and looks to the website's privacy policy to find an expectation of privacy on the part of the commenter/moderator.
Court denies plaintiffs' request to unmask a commenter (and moderator) at bodybuilding.com, and looks to the website's privacy policy to find an expectation of privacy on the part of the commenter/moderator.

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Published by: Venkat Balasubramani on Mar 28, 2011
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHODEREK W. CORNELIUS and SI03,INC,Plaintiff,v.RYAN DELUCA d/b/a BODYBUILDING.COM; BYRNAMATTHEWS DELUCA d/b/aBODYBUILIDING.COM;BODYBUILDING.COM, LLC;MOLECULAR NUTRITION, LLC;M.A.N. SPORTS, INC.; DESIGNERSUPPLEMENTS, INC.; GASPARINUTRITION, INC.; THERMOLIFEINTERNATIONAL, LLC; ADVANCEDNUTRITION; UNIQUE NUTRITION,INC.; ENGINEERED SPORTSTECHNOLOGY, LLC; PALO ALTOLABS; SNS NUTRITION; BODYWELL NUTRITION, LLC; ISSRESEARCH; ERGOPHARM, INC.;BETANCOURT NUTRITION, INC.;and NIMBUS NUTRITION, LLC,Defendants.Case No. 1:10-CV-027-BLW
MEMORANDUM DECISION ANDORDERINTRODUCTION
Before the Court is Defendant Bodybuilding.com, LLC’s Motion for
 
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EMORANDUM
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ECISION AND
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RDER
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Reconsideration of November 29, 2010 Order (Dkt. 231). Bodybuilding.com asks theCourt to reconsider its decision directing Bodybuilding.com to disclose the identity of thepseudonymous poster known as “INGENIUM.” For the reasons set forth below,Bodybuilding.com has convinced the Court that it incorrectly ordered Bodybuilding.comto disclose INGENIUM’s identity.
LEGAL STANDARD
A motion to reconsider an interlocutory ruling requires an analysis of twoimportant principles: (1) error must be corrected; and (2) judicial efficiency demandsforward progress. The former principle has led courts to hold that a denial of a motion todismiss or for summary judgment may be reconsidered at any time before final judgment.
Preaseau v. Prudential Insurance Co.
, 591 F.2d 74, 79-80 (9th Cir. 1979). While even aninterlocutory decision becomes the "law of the case," it is not necessarily carved in stone.Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes concluded that the "law of the case" doctrine "merelyexpresses the practice of courts generally to
 
refuse to reopen what has been decided, not alimit to their power."
Messinger v. Anderson
, 225 U.S. 436, 444 (1912). "The onlysensible thing for a trial court to do is to set itself right as soon as possible whenconvinced that the law of the case is erroneous. There is no need to await reversal."
In reAirport Car Rental Antitrust Litigation
, 521 F.Supp. 568, 572 (N.D.Cal.1981)(Schwartzer, J.).The need to be right, however, must be balanced with the need for forwardprogress. A court's opinions "are not intended as mere first drafts, subject to revision and
 
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reconsideration at a litigant's pleasure."
Quaker Alloy Casting Co. v. Gulfco Indus., Inc
.,123 F.R.D. 282, 288 (N.D.Ill.1988). "Courts have distilled various grounds forreconsideration of prior rulings into three major grounds for justifying reconsideration:(1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence or anexpanded factual record; and (3) need to correct a clear error or to prevent manifestinjustice."
Louen v Twedt 
, 2007 WL 915226 (E.D.Cal. March 26, 2007). If the motion toreconsider does not fall within one of these three categories, it must be denied. 
ANALYSIS
1
. Bodybuilding.com’s Former Counsel Had No Authority to Commit DisclosingINGENIUM’s Identity.
During a hearing on November 10, 2010, Bodybuilding.com’s former counselstated:So in direct answer to your question, [Plaintiffs are] seeking the identity of a number of users and posters, not just INGENIUM. And that’s where wedraw the line. We have objected to many of the discovery requests and said,“We will give it to you about INGENIUM, but not anybody else.” That’s anissue for the Ninth Circuit.
Hrg. Tr.
at 30:6-12, Dkt. 229. The Court understood from this statement thatBodybuilding.com would agree to disclose INGENIUM’s identity to Plaintiffs.Bodybuilding.com has since retained new counsel, and Bodybuilding.com nowstates that the comments by former counsel in the November 2010 hearing were whollyunauthorized. In addition, Bodybuilding.com argues that neither Bodybuilding.com had
 
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ECISION AND
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