A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: bench-trial

In light of the ongoing delays in restarting patent jury trials, and the rising COVID-19 numbers nationwide, it's no surprise to see Judge Andrews recognize that parties may be better served by having a bench trial in the near future rather than waiting an indeterminate time for a jury to be available:

ORAL ORDER: The court doubts that a jury trial will be feasible on Feb. 1. On the other hand, a bench trial would be very feasible. The parties are requested to discuss with each other whether they would mutually agree to a bench trial on Feb. 1, and, if they both do agree, report that fact to the court by no later than Dec. 9. If one …

Calendar
Adam Tinworth, Unsplash

Here is a list of some of the upcoming jury/bench trials in the District of Delaware.

As you can see, aside from Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years', there is one jury trial per week starting 11/16 and continuing into next year.

  • November 3: Judge Noreika has a remote bench trial scheduled in W. R. Berkley Corporation v. Niemela, C.A. No. 17-32-MN (D. Del.), a non-compete case.
  • November 16: Chief Judge Stark has a criminal jury trial scheduled in U.S. v. Aaron Davis, C.A. No. 19-101-LPS (D. Del.), a fraud case. The Court issued an order last week finding that seven witnesses could testify remotely, and making some statements …

COVID-19
COVID-19, CDC/Hannah A Bullock; Azaibi Tamin

Chief Judge Stark today denied an emergency request by defendants to delay a remote bench trial scheduled to start next week.

The Court had previously solicited the parties' preferences on how to handle trial and, before the pretrial conference, ordered that the trial would be fully remote. At the pretrial conference, neither party objected to that ruling.

Last week, however, Defendants sought emergency relief to delay the trial in order to convert it to a "partially remote" trial, submitting a declaration from their client that they had not authorized their now-former in-house counsel to agree to a fully virtual trial.

They cited due process rights and the importance of in-person testimony …

Gavel
Gavel, Bill Oxford, Unsplash

Judge Andrews is holding a virtual bench trial in a contract action today. The Court posted a dial-in for public access:

Remark: The public may access the Bench Trial scheduled to start 7/6/2020 by dialing the following phone number: 571-353-2300, then enter 792973273. The dial-in information provides listening capabilities only. (crb) (Entered: 07/06/2020)

Judge Andrews set forth his reasoning for holding a virtual trial in an order in June:

I had a teleconference with the parties on June 5. I suggested a virtual trial. I did not think it was fair for one side to have lawyers in the courtroom while the other side did not. A virtual trial (by which …