A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Entries for tag: Personal Electronics

Broken Phone
Laura Rivera, Unsplash

We've written a fair bit about the Court's new personal electronics policy, implemented just over a year ago. We've discussed how to request permission to bring electronics in, the fact that you (probably) don't need to meet-and-confer, and the fact that, if you list too many people, your motion might be denied.

On one level, it seems kind of silly to devote this much attention to the question of whether the people on your team can browse their phones during a hearing. But on another level, it's important and impactful—particularly for trials, it's essential that the team members who are actually doing the work can communicate, pull up exhibits, take notes, and so on. …

Personal Electronics in Courtroom
AI-Generated, displayed with permission

The text of the District of Delaware Local Rules require non-pro se parties to meet-and-confer on every non-dispositive motion:

RULE 7.1.1. Statement Required to be Filed with Nondispositive Motions.
Except for civil cases involving pro se parties or motions brought by nonparties, every nondispositive motion shall be accompanied by an averment of counsel for the moving party that a reasonable effort has been made to reach agreement with the opposing party on the matters set forth in the motion. Unless otherwise ordered, failure to so aver may result in dismissal of the motion. For purposes of this Rule, “a reasonable effort” must include oral communication that involves Delaware counsel for any moving party and Delaware …

Broken Phone
Greg Rosenke, Unsplash

Last year, the District of Delaware implemented a policy prohibiting most people who do not have a bar card from using personal electronics to the courthouse.

Notably, as of this month, Delaware phased out physical bar cards in favor of a printable version. I've had no trouble getting in with the printed bar card, so far, but I've heard secondhand that others may have had issues.

But what happens when out-of-town attorneys don't have a bar card at all, and need to use their personal electronics during the hearing? They must file a motion (or stipulation) and ask for an exemption from the rule.

So far, the Court has generally been willing to grant exceptions to …

Maybe leave the headphones at the office.
Maybe leave the headphones at the office. Christopher Gower, Unsplash

Earlier this year, the District of Delaware implemented a new policy of requiring bar cards, or an order from the Court, to bring electronics into the courthouse.

Courthouse staff have accepted out-of-state bar cards just fine. But one recurring issue is that some states simply do not issue bar cards, or only issue them optionally. Not all out-of-state attorneys have them.

As a result, in the lead up to hearings, parties often file stipulations or unopposed motions for leave for various people to bring electronics into the courthouse. The Court usually—but not always—grants these.

This post is just a reminder that, in such stipulations and motions, it's best …