Yesterday, Judge Williams issued an opinion ruling on motions in limine for the trial starting next week in Cirba Inc. (d/b/a DENSIFY) v. VMWare, Inc., C.A. No. 19-742-GBW (D. Del.) (a case we've discussedseveraltimesbefore).
In it, he addressed several MILs. These opinions are always interesting, but given all of the recent discussion of litigation funding, I thought Judge Williams' order on the plaintiff's litigation funding MIL is worth noting.
Plaintiffs in the case moved in limine to preclude reference to their litigation funding arrangements:
There were two litigation-funding related hearings set forth tomorrow in Chief Judge Connolly cases. Both were canceled today.
The first was in the Nimitz cases, C.A. Nos. 21-1362, 21-1855, and 22-413. As we discussed last week, the Court set this hearing after Nimitz failed to produce the broad formation- and funding-related discovery that the Court required from it.
Later last week, the plaintiff in that case produced the required documents. Today, the Court canceled the hearing so that it would have time to review the recent production:
ORAL ORDER: Whereas (1) on Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 4:23 p.m., Mr. Pazuniak submitted to the Court documents …
Litigation funding has become a popular topic this year, deserving of its own synopsis. For those who missed out on the recent blow-by-blow events as they happened, relive the saga below.
This is a bit lengthy. You've been warned. Pour yourself a cup of tea first and get comfortable.
The Exposition: Discovery on Litigation Funding is a Mixed Bag
To set the stage, let's discuss litigation funding disputes in the District of Delaware before the most recent developments. Over the past few years, discovery disputes regarding litigation funding issues have produced mixed results. The Court sometimes grants motions to compel litigation funding materials, and other times denies them, and may (rarely) conduct an in camera review to evaluate …
When I was young, I had a pet crab. Not a hermit crab, but a big honking giant land crab. He lived in a terrarium in my room and I would wave at him every day when I left for school. He would wave back. This is the best part of having a crab.
What you might not know about crabs, is that they're smart. They are curious creatures that will spend their whole day wandering around foraging. They will slowly stack rocks in one corner of their tank to make a ramp. They will specifically make this ramp in the corner of the tank that has the inlet for the water filter. They will (somehow) remove the clamps holding the top down and seize freedom at any cost. It's pretty much like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park.
Longtime readers will have guessed that this story is leading to a development in the Mavexar saga. And readers, I will not disappoint you. Just hours ago, Judge Connolly issued a memorandum order in the Nimitz case setting ...
We haven't written about Mavexar for a while. But a new order today shows that the Court hasn't let up.
We discussed last year how, following a hearing in which the nature of Mavexar came out, the Court ordered the parties and attorneys in some of the Mavexar cases to submit to the Court a broad range of communications among the plaintiffs, Mavexar, and their attorneys.
Today, the Court issued a similar order in an additional case, Backertop Licensing LLC v. Canary Connect, Inc., C.A. No. 22-572-CFC (D. Del.). That case was the one at issue in the November 10 hearing, where the owner of Backertop testified that she is a paralegal who is married to …
So, my new year's resolution was not to write any more about the Mavexar hearings until we got something really juicy. Unfortunately, due to the holidays there hasn't been much else to write about these last few weeks. I made it almost 3 days though, which is a personal best for resolutions of this sort.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Mavexar hearings has been the general lack of participation from the opposing parties in the hearings, many of whom have already been dismissed. This unique state of affairs has left me to imagine what the papers might look like if a defendant really went to town on the issue.
As we noted last week, Following the Federal Circuit's denial of their mandamus petition, Nimitz failed to produce the documents ordered by the Court by the December 8th deadline. Judge Connolly responded by issuing an order for Nimitz to show cause why it should not be sanctioned for that failure.
Well, Nimitz Responded
On the deadline to respond to the show cause order, Nimitz filed a short (653 word) paper explaining why it had not produced the documents. The upshot is that it intends to seek rehearing of the denial of its mandamus petition:
Nimitz is filing a Combined Petition For Panel Rehearing …
Before we get too deep into the weeds on round 237 of the Mavexar saga, I wanted to propose a mascot. Something we can use on the site so that you can instantly spot one of these posts (you can also use the tags, of course). Having given it all the thought I am prepared to, I propose Mavexar the crab-monster.
Here he is happily greeting you and welcoming you to sit by his fire.
Andrew may have a competing vision, but for now, look for Crab Man!
A Missed Deadline
Following the Federal Circuit's denial of Nimitz's Mandamus petition last week, we saw our first action from Judge Connolly on these newly un-stayed cases. I had not recalled that, under his original order, the plaintiff was scheduled to produce the documents related to its relationship with Mavexar and IP Edge by December 8. As it happens, that was the same day the Federal Circuit lifted the stay.
Neither the Federal Circuit's preliminary stay order, nor its ultimate denial of the mandamus petition adjusted that deadline. Nor, apparently, did Nimitz request the District Court amend that deadline.
So the 8th came and went with no production of documents. Indeed, up through yesterday there is no mention of the submission on the docket, which ultimately led the Court to issue a brief order requiring Nimitz to "show cause as to why it should not be sanctioned for failure to comply with the November 10 Memorandum Order." Nimitz Technologies LLC v. CNET Media, Inc. C.A. No. 21-1247-CFC, D.I. 37 (D. Del. Dec. 14, 2022). The Court did note, however, it would ...
We've posted a lot about the Mavexarhearings. Earlier this month, two of the plaintiffs in cases that had hearings scheduled, Creekview IP LLC and Waverly Licensing LLC, filed nearly-identical petitions for mandamus.
The petitions are linked below. In each, the petitioner seeks to reverse Chief Judge Connolly's order scheduling an evidentiary hearing to investigate compliance with the Court's standing orders:
Petitioner respectfully requests that the Court issue a writ of mandamus reversing the Memorandum Order and ending the judicial inquisition of Petitioner.
The petitions argue that the Court lacked Article III standing, because the cases had been dismissed, that Chief Judge Connolly abuse his discretion in issuing the standing order, and that Congress has …
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