Benchslaps, Biglaw, California, Federal Judges, Intellectual Property, Patents

Benchslap of the Day: Why, I Oughta!

There is no better way to head into the weekend feeling good about yourself than with a little bit of schadenfreude.

To that end, we have a nice, swift benchslap to the pants from a federal court in California. Even more fun, the receiving attorneys work for a Biglaw firm.

Let’s check out one judge’s reaction to the latest in discovery shenanigans…

Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato, from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, was not happy with the way plaintiffs were handling defense discovery requests in CareFusion 303, Inc. v. B. Braun Medical Inc. [PDF]. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is an intellectual property case.)

Foley & Lardner is the firm in trouble here, although they are not name-dropped in this specific order. (You can see more information about the case here, though.) The benchslap is barely a page, but in last week’s judicial order, I think Judge Nakazato got his point across:

Further, this Court has no sympathy for plaintiffs in patent infringement cases who fail to fully comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. (“Rule”) 26(a) and also fail to produce clearly relevant, responsive documents in the required time and manner, especially where, as here, the Court has set a tight discovery schedule. The Court also has no sympathy for footdragging and delays committed by a plaintiff represented by large law firms with the resources to comply with Rule 26(a)’s initial disclosure requirements long before filing a patent infringement lawsuit, and the resources and ability to prepare proper and timely responses to discovery requests. Accordingly, if Plaintiff and its counsel know what is good for them, they will make every effort to persuade Defendant to file a notice of withdrawal of its Application by performing the following no later than noontime, March 12, 2012[.]

Hopefully, Foley got its stuff together by the deadline, which has already passed. If not, things might get worse:

Plaintiff may have until noontime, March 12, 2012, to file an opposition to the Application subject to the understanding that, if the Court finds the opposition lacks merit, the Application will not only be granted, but Plaintiff (including its President and CEO) and all of its counsel of record in this case may be further order to personally appear at a hearing and ordered to show cause why severe sanctions should not be imposed against each of them for forcing Defendant to bring the Application.

Mmm-mmm. I love me some discovery quibbles!

CareFusion 303, Inc. v. B. Braun Medical Inc.: Order [U.S. District Court for the Central District of California]

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