A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

CDC / Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Last week we wrote that jury trials are back, based on Judge Stark's detailed memorandum order scheduling an August 3rd jury trial in Sunoco.

Yesterday, Judge Stark ended up delaying that trial after all.

Plaintiff had filed a letter setting forth some interesting reasons why the Court cannot conduct a fair jury trial:

  • Video-conferenced witness testimony risks unfair results
  • The jury pool is affected by Coronavirus' disparate impact (e.g. to minorities and the elderly)
  • Plaintiff's Texas-based attorneys would have to quarantine; Defendants Delaware-based attorneys would not
  • Plaintiff's witnesses live in Philadelphia, and cannot travel to Delaware for in-person witness prep without having to quarantine

They also noted that Coronavirus cases over the past 14 days have been trending up in Delaware, meaning that the Court cannot move to Phase Two of its reopening plan (the first phase permitting jury trials).

Defendants filed their own letter stating that they are still ready to proceed.

After the letters, Judge Stark scheduled a teleconference and ultimately issued a docket order continuing the trial.

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