A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Entries for tag: DED

Will this be the last time we use our COVID-19 image? I hope so.
Will this be the last time we use our COVID-19 image? I hope so. Fusion Medical Animation, Unsplash

Yesterday, the Judicial Conference announced the end to the exception permitting remote public access during COVID-19:

The COVID-19 emergency is no longer affecting the functioning of the federal courts, the Judicial Conference’s Executive Committee has found, setting in motion a 120-day grace period in which federal courts may continue to provide the same remote public audio access to civil and bankruptcy proceedings as they did during the emergency.
The Executive Committee finding takes effect May 24. The grace period, which ends Sept. 21, relates only to the Judiciary’s temporary broadcasting exception for remote audio public access to civil and bankruptcy proceedings. …

"No, I don't have a bar ID, I'm an expert witness. But you can't expect me to sit through this whole trial at $550/hr without looking at Reddit on my phone." AI Generated, displayed with permission

Prior to today, it has generally been easy to bring phones and other electronics (except for standalone cameras and recording devices) into the District of Delaware courthouse. The security team checks IDs, but did not require further identification to keep your phone.

Today, the Court issued a new electronics policy, which requires members of the public to lock their phones and other devices away upon entering the courthouse:

1. All cameras and personal electronic devices shall be subiect to inspection upon entry to the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building and United States Courthouse. Such devices may not be used in violation of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 53 (prohibiting courtroom photography and broadcasting in criminal cases) and Local Civil Rule 83.2 (prohibiting photographs and broadcasting). The Court may authorize exceptions for investitures, ceremonial or naturalization proceedings, law school moot court proceedings, and activities sponsored by a bar association for continuing legal education.
2. Subject to the exemptions set forth in Paragraph 4 of this Standing Order, all cameras, cellular telephones, smart phones, smart watches, and similarly sized personal electronic devices shall be ...

Broken Communication
Reid Naaykens, Unsplash

Parties can freely stipulate to many things in the District of Delaware, and often stipulations to extend deadlines are filed close to the last minute, especially where the parties are working toward agreement but ultimately cannot agree on the final filing in time (or else are having trouble connecting with the other side).

However, stipulations filed close to the Delaware witching hour (5:00PM EST) can be fraught with risk of the Court's denial, as we’ve seen in past heart-stopping examples. We’ve warned before that requests to move Court-scheduled conferences are in the “iffy” category, and combined with last minute filing, can end in disappointment for everyone, as shown in an oral order from Judge Noreika last week in Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. v. Lupin Limited et al., C.A. 21-1042, D.I. 197 (D. Del. Jul. 16, 2021):

On April 17, 2023, the Court instructed the parties to talk to each other about their disputes so that a follow-up call with the Court (set for April 21, 2023) would be more productive than the prior call. On April 21, 2023, a few hours before the set call, the parties submitted a stipulation requesting the April 21 call be delayed. After further inquiries, it became clear that, in the five days after the Court directed the parties to TALK, they did not do so. The Court intended to address that during the April 21 call, but no counsel appeared for the call (notwithstanding that the Court had not granted the request for a delay). THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, should the parties not inform the Court that they have resolved their dispute in full by Tuesday April 25, 2023, lead trial counsel SHALL appear in person in Courtroom 4A on April 26, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. ORDERED by Judge Maryellen Noreika on 4/21/2023.

Judge Noreika previously indicated frustration with the magnitude of this particular discovery dispute (on search methods to find responsive documents), so the parties were on thin ice long before ...

I'll fix that for you...
Sasun Bughdaryan, Unsplash

The Court issued an order today clearing all of our calendars for the District of Delaware's Bench and Bar, which is set for September 21-22, 2023.

The order says that it moves all filing and service deadlines to the following Monday:

WHEREAS, the Court having announced that it will host its biennial District of Delaware Bench and Bar Conference on September 21 and 22, 2023, and the
Court wishing to promote the participation of as many members of the Bar as possible;
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that all members of the court - District, Magistrate, and Bankruptcy Judges - will, to the greatest extent possible, cancel and refrain from scheduling court proceedings and filing deadlines on …

Density Column
AI-Generated, displayed with permission

Earlier this month, Judge Williams denied a defendant’s motion to bifurcate a second patent trial in Cirba, Inc. et al v. VMware, Inc., C.A. 19-742, D.I. 1623 (D. Del. Mar. 7, 2023) (oral order). In that case, the patentee had won an initial victory at trial, but the Court later granted a motion for a new trial based on evidentiary issues.

The defendant moved to stay the second trial because nearly all of the patents at issue had been found invalid—or were in danger of being found invalid—during a pending re-exam proceeding. The parties finished briefing, but the Court has not yet ruled or heard oral argument on the motion to stay. …

Judge Andrews
Wikipemedia Commons

We're a little bit slow on the draw on this one. But for anyone who hasn't heard, the District of Delaware announced on Friday that Judge Andrews will take senior status in December 2023. The announcement notes that Judge Andrews will maintain a full caseload:

The United States District Court for the District of Delaware announces that Judge Andrews informed the President on January 5, 2023 that he intends to take senior status at the end of December 2023. Judge Andrews expects to continue with a full caseload once he becomes a Senior Judge.
Judge Andrews is an exemplary judge and colleague, and the Court is extremely grateful that he will continue to serve this institution and the public as a Senior Judge.

The District of Delaware hasn't had a judge on senior status for some time. To the extent that a new judge is appointed and Judge Andrews maintains a full caseload while on senior status, that's akin to a fifth judgeship for D. Del.—a 25% increase in the number of available judges.

The Law360 article on the announcement has some more details, including some very nice comments by Chief Judge Connolly.

District Court Seal

The District Court yesterday announced the selection of Laura D. Hatcher as the new magistrate judge to replace the irreplaceable Chief Magistrate Judge Thynge, who has announced plans to retire on March 31, 2023.

As the Court sets forth, Ms. Hatcher has worked for two firms here in Delaware, as well as the U.S. Attorney's Office:

Ms. Hatcher is currently the Chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware. In her five years as an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Hatcher has handled a wide variety of civil and criminal matters. Before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, Ms. Hatcher worked as a litigation associate with DLA Piper (2012-2017) and Richards, Layton & …

Judge Stark being sworn in by Chief Judge Kimberly A. Moore
Judge Stark being sworn in by Chief Judge Kimberly A. Moore U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

This isn't news for Delaware FBA members, since Delaware FBA president Jeremy Tigan helpfully sent around an e-mail yesterday.

But for anyone who isn't already aware, Judge Stark's investiture will take place on Thursday 10/13 at 3:00 P.M. ET. You can watch it live here. That link should be active about 15 minutes before the event. Congratulations again to Judge Stark!

Wilmington, <a href='#' class='abbreviation' data-bs-toggle='tooltip' data-placement='top' title='Delaware'>DE</a>
Andrew Russell, CC BY 2.0

Today we started seeing cases re-assigned to incoming Judge Williams. So far, we've seen re-assignments in cases from Chief Judge Connolly and Judge Noreika, including in a case that is set for trial next month. I've only seen one of our firm's vacant judgeship case re-assigned so far, but I would expect many or all of those cases to go as well—we'll see.

Judge Williams doesn't yet have a listing on the District of Delaware website, but we'll keep an eye out for that too, and we'll most likely have a post about his procedures.

UPDATE: Judge Williams' page is now …