A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: scheduling

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Dave Kim, Unsplash

As we discussed in our primer on bringing a discovery dispute in Delaware, each judge has their own procedures for scheduling a hearing on discovery disputes. Perhaps because of these different procedures, the time between request and conference varies quite a bit. Because it's sometimes useful to know how long you might expect to wait before receiving a decision on your dispute, I present you, dear reader, with the average time from request to hearing for each of the Article III Delaware Judges as of today (based on their 5 most recent scheduled conferences):

  • Judge Andrews - 21 Days
  • Judge Connolly - 19 days
  • Judge Noreika - 25 Days
  • Judge Stark - 39 Days

As we've covered pretty exhaustively, its getting harder and harder to schedule a trial next year in the District of Delaware. In fact, given the huge number of delays and cancellations of trials that were previously scheduled for this year, most of 2021 is already double or triple-booked with trials.

So it's no surprise that parties that don't have firm dates already on the calendar for next year are eager to lock something—anything—down. That's what happened in Arendi S.A.R.L. v. LG Elecs., Inc., et. al., C.A. No. 12-1595 (LPS), last week. In that case—which is actually seven related cases—the scheduling order (as modified by recent COVID-related stipulation) set a deadline for dispositive motions that had briefing set to conclude next …

Chief Judge Stark on Friday scheduled the first post-COVID-19 patent jury trial that I've seen, in Guardant Health, Inc. v. Foundation Medicine, Inc., C.A. No. 17-1616-LPS-CJB, D.I. 487 (D. Del. Oct. 16, 2020). (The potential Judge Noreika trial I mentioned recently is not going forward).

The Court had offered the November 30 date late last month. The defendant objected to it due to a conflict. The defendant also argued that the jury pool will not be representative, lacking older jurors, and that holding a trial would go against CDC guidance.

The Court was not persuaded. It did, however, set the following restrictions:

  • No live witnesses: The Court accepted a proposal that since not all witnesses can …

Unsurprisingly, in light of COVID-19, recent signs indicate that the Court is all booked up for this year, and probably for a large part of next year.

Here, for example, is a Judge Stark order from yesterday:

ORAL ORDER: Having discussed with the parties on repeated occasions whether and when to schedule this patent infringement case for a jury trial (see, e.g., D.I. 474, 549, 583, 590, 591, 593, 596, 605, 607, 608, 610-15) and having found (unfortunately) no date that is reasonable and available to all parties and to the Court, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that trial in this matter is CONTINUED to a DATE TO BE DETERMINED, most likely in 2021 (and certainly NOT in 2020). IT …

Stopwatch
Stopwatch Veri Ivanova, Unsplash

In First Quality Tissue, LLC v. Irving Consumer Products Ltd., C.A. No. 19-428-RGA (D. Del.), defendant swapped its previous counsel, Michael Best, for Latham and Watkins, and sought a twelve-week extension of the schedule.

The parties agreed that some kind of extension was needed regardless of the change in counsel, with numerous pending disputes, 24 noticed depositions, and only 3 days left in discovery. Plaintiff proposed a 4-week extension. Even with four weeks, the parties would likely have to dual-track the depos to get them done in time.

Judge Andrews, however, did not buy the idea that a change in counsel warrants a large schedule extension, and held that the responsibility for …