LAWRENCE P. GILLEN, Plaintiff Below, Appellant,
CONTINENTAL POWER CORPORATION and EDWARD HENRY KIMMEL, Defendants Below, Appellees
Submitted September 12, 2014
Case Closed December 4, 2014.
This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.
Court Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County. C.A. No. N10C-05-090 (PRW).
Before HOLLAND, RIDGELY, and VALIHURA Justices.
Henry duPont Ridgely, Justice
This 18th day of November 2014, upon consideration of the parties' briefs and the record on appeal, it appears to the Court that:
(1) The plaintiff-appellant, Lawrence P. Gillen, filed this appeal from a Superior Court jury's verdict in favor of the defendants-appellees, Continental Power Corporation (" Continental" ) and Edward Henry Kimmel, the Superior Court's April 7, 2014 opinion and order denying Gillen's motion for a new trial, and the Superior Court's April 8, 2014 order awarding the defendants $2,997.69 in attorneys' fees and costs. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.
(2) The record reflects that Gillen and Kimmel met in the fall of 2007. Gillen sold power conditioning systems and Kimmel was the founder, president, and sole stockholder of Continental, a Delaware corporation that sold power conditioning systems for residential and commercial use. Gillen initially purchased power conditioning systems from Continental and resold the systems to his own customers, primarily EcoQuest. In 2008, Gillen became an independent manufacturer's sales representative for Continental. After Ecoquest filed for bankruptcy, the relationship between Gillen and Kimmel gradually deteriorated.
(3) In April 2010, Gillen filed a pro se complaint against Continental and Kimmel. Gillen alleged that he, Kimmel, and Continental " entered into an agreement in October 2007 whereby they agreed to be 50/50 partners in the distribution and installation in energy savings devices in residence and commercial property in Delaware and other locations" and that he did not receive 50% of the profits as the parties had agreed. Gillen asserted claims for breach of contract, tortious interference, fraud, and defamation. In October 2012, the Superior Court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the tortious interference, fraud, and defamation claims, but denied the motion with respect to the breach of contract claim.
(4) In July 2013, Gillen retained counsel, who requested a continuance of the September 2013 trial dates so that a particular witness could attend the trial and counsel could familiarize himself with the case. The Superior Court granted the motion and re-scheduled the trial to begin on October 28, 2013. On September 30, 2013, Gillen's counsel moved to withdraw. The Superior Court granted the motion and denied Gillen's request for another continuance.
(5) Gillen then retained new counsel, who requested a continuance so he could prepare for the trial. Counsel also later informed the Superior Court that he had a scheduling conflict on the last day of trial. The Superior Court granted the motion for a continuance over the objections of the defendants and re-scheduled the trial to begin on December 4, 2013. The Superior Court bifurcated the trial so that the trial would proceed on liability only, with a hearing on damages to be scheduled if necessary. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.
(6) Gillen filed a motion for a new trial and his counsel moved to withdraw. The Superior Court granted the motion to withdraw and denied the motion for a new trial. The Superior Court awarded the defendants $2,997.69 for attorneys' fees and costs they incurred in responding to the second motion for ...