A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Entries for tag: Judicial Vacancies

Fork in the Road
Jens Lelie, Unsplash

Ever since Judge Stark was confirmed to the Federal Circuit, one of the most common questions I've received is: what will happen to his current cases, and when will we know?

There have already been some reassignments to visiting judges, but few clear indications of what may happen in the bulk of Judge Stark's current cases. We got some more hints yesterday in this oral order from Judge Stark:

ORAL ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this case will be reassigned to another judge and the pretrial conference (currently scheduled for March 24) and jury trial (currently scheduled for April 6) will be rescheduled by that judge. Accordingly, the current pretrial conference and trial dates are …

Andreas Dress, Unsplash

It is with heavy heart that I announce that Judge Stark has finally been confirmed to the Federal Circuit. Appointed to our little Court in 2010, Judge Stark's time with us has been all too brief, and he will be dearly missed by all of us who practiced before him and/or shared his love of T. Swift (2/2)

With Judge O'Malley set to retire on March 11, Judge Stark is likely to be sworn in very shortly thereafter. If the past is any guide, we can soon expect Judge Stark's active cases to be transferred to visiting visiting judges or magistrates while the district awaits a new Article III judge.

We here at IP/DE will keep you updated on any Judge Stark happenings at the Federal Circuit, on the theory that he will always carry a piece of Delaware with him, like a traveling embassy for the first state.

Goodbye Judge!
Goodbye Judge! Japanese cat figurines, Alain Pham, Unsplash

Following Judge Stark's nomination to the Federal Circuit and subsequent smooth appearance before the Judiciary Committee, we've all begun to wonder when he would begin unloading his pending cases.

Well wonder no more!

On Tuesday, Judge Stark issued the following oral order in 360Heros, Inc. v. GoPro, Inc., C.A. No. 17-1302-LPS, D.I. 260 (D. Del. Jan. 18, 2022):

Having reviewed the parties' letter relating to the jury trial currently scheduled to begin on March 7 . . . IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the trial is CONTINUED to a date to be determined. The parties are advised that in advance of trial, likely sometime in February, …

Yesterday, Chief Judge Connolly issued nearly identical oral orders across five cases, instituting a new procedure for referral of the case to a magistrate judge:

ORAL ORDER: On or before December 22, 2021, the parties shall either (1) submit to the Clerk of Court an executed Form AO 85 Notice, Consent, and Reference of a Civil Action to a Magistrate Judge, indicating their consent to have a United States Magistrate Judge conduct all proceedings in this case including trial, the entry of final judgment, and post-trial proceedings; or (2) a joint letter indicating that both parties do not consent to a reference of this action to a Magistrate Judge. The letter should not indicate which party or parties did not …

As we've mentioned, Judge Stark has been nominated to the Federal Circuit. He had his nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. The full video is available on the Judiciary Committee web site: Link to Video.

In the video, Judge Stark's introduction by Delaware Senators Carper and Coons starts at 49:27, and Judge Stark himself appears at 1:04:42. The introductions are about 7 minutes long, and the questions run for about 30 minutes.

Some highlights about Judge Stark, mostly from the introductions:

  • 14 years on the bench
  • 6000 civil and criminal cases
  • 2400 patent cases
  • 93 trials (63 patent trials)
  • 2100 written opinions
  • Only 2% of his opinions reversed or affirmed with criticism

As …

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

Big news! The White House announced today that Judge Leonard P. Stark of the District of Delaware is set to be nominated to the Federal Circuit.

Assuming he is confirmed, Judge Stark will actually be the second judge to be elevated to an appellate court from the District of Delaware in recent memory, following The Honorable Kent A. Jordan's elevation to the Third Circuit in 2006.

Congratulations to Judge Stark!

Another Judicial Vacancy? No problem.

Despite its enormous patent case load, the District of Delaware remains a small court, with just four district court judges (although the Judicial Conference …