In a harshly worded ruling, a federal judge has rejected California Federal Bank's request that he reconsider an April 16 decision in the thrift's regulatory goodwill case.

"Plaintiff's motions have no merit," Judge Robert H. Hodges Jr. of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims wrote in the very first sentence of the two- page ruling.

The judge found last month that California Federal was entitled to $23 million in damages for the government's 1989 decision to eliminate a favorable accounting treatment granted earlier that decade to acquirers of ailing thrifts.

The award was a mere fraction of the $1.5 billion the thrift had sought.

"If plaintiff finds our conclusions to be 'vague, ambiguous, incomplete, and contrary to clearly established facts and laws,' such arguments should be made to the federal circuit," the judge wrote in a May 6 order.

"Plaintiff's argument that the trial court's opinion is 'permeated with legal errors' and similar criticisms should be made to the federal circuit as well."

A spokeswoman for the thrift had no immediate reaction.

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