In an opinion Monday, Judge McMahon denied a motion by Blackberry and certain former executives for summary judgement in a securities class action. In the same ruling, she denied Blackberry’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ Rule 56.1 statement, which allegedly contained improper legal arguments instead of factual responses. Judge McMahon criticized the motion as “pointless” and “desperate”:
Defendants filed a Rule 56.1 statement in this case, and Plaintiffs filed their responsive paragraph-by-paragraph contention, citing evidence, of the facts in dispute. At times, Plaintiffs admittedly stray into improper legal argument in their “factual” recitations. But Plaintiffs version of the facts — and the evidence supporting that view of the facts — is perfectly apparent from reading the Rule 56.1 statement.
Defendants move to strike Plaintiffs’ responses in whole and “deem Defendants’ undisputed facts admitted.” This is a silly and pointless motion, one obviously (and desperately) made because, unless the Rule 56.1 statement is stricken, the record is replete with disputed facts. . . . .
Plaintiffs’ responses and objections, which dispute Defendants’ facts and cite to evidence that rebuts Defendants’ statement of facts, does not contravene Rule 56.1. Rather, it is Defendants’ motion to strike that is procedurally improper. To the extent that Plaintiffs incorporate legal argument into their responses and objections — and they do — this Court will simply not consider those statements.