Rule 54(b) — Factors for Determining Appropriateness of Entering Partial Judgment Pursuant to Rule 54(b)

From Paetec Commc’ns, Inc. v. MCI Commc’ns Servs., Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56252 (E.D. Pa. May 9, 2011):

Under Rule 54(b), where a suit involves multiple claims, a district court may enter final judgment on a subset of claims so long as there is "no just reason for delay," Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b);

(aa) Deciding whether to enter final judgment pursuant to Rule 54(b) "involves two separate findings: (1) there has been a final judgment on the merits, i.e., an ultimate disposition on a cognizable claim for relief; and (2) there is 'no just reason for delay,'" Berckeley Inv. Group, Ltd. v. Colkitt, 455 F.3d 195, 202 (3d Cir. 2006);

(bb) With respect to the second step of the analysis, courts consider five factors:

(1) the relationship between the adjudicated and unadjudicated claims;

(2) the possibility that the need for review might or might not be mooted by future developments in the district court;

(3) the possibility that the reviewing court might be obliged to consider the same issue a second time;

(4) the presence or absence of a claim or counterclaim which could result in set-off against the judgment sought to be made final;

(5) miscellaneous factors such as delay, economic and solvency considerations, shortening the time of trial, frivolity of competing claims, expense, and the like.

Id. at 203; ***

(dd) As to the fifth finding, we have decided an issue important to the telecommunications industry as a matter of first impression; entering final judgment pursuant to Rule 54 (b) is particularly appropriate in such cases, see, e.g., Pichler v. UNITE, 646 F. Supp. 2d 759, 765 (E.D. Pa. 2009) (explaining, on remand, that the Court had entered judgment pursuant to Rule 54(b) on several "novel questions" that were issues of first impression" in our Court of Appeals)***>

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