Lang Exteriors, Inc. v. Lang Windows, Inc., No. 11 C 5517, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 16, 2012) (Finnegan, J.).
Judge Finnegan denied individual defendant Lang’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) & (6) motion to dismiss this Lanham Act suit. Lang argued that plaintiff Lang Exterior could not bring claims directly against Lang without piercing the corporate veil. But Seventh Circuit law allows personal claims against corporate officers where there was a “special showing” that the officer acted beyond the scope of her official duties. Plaintiff’s pleadings were sufficient to make that showing at the Rule 12(b) stage. Specifically, plaintiff pled:
- Lang founded defendant Lang Windows and deliberately chose a name to confuse.
- Lang personally emailed contacts using a pseudonym she used for plaintiff in order to confuse customers.
- Lang created a website intending to confuse.
The Court also deemed waived Lang’s arguments reviewed for the first time on appeal.
In late January, the Northern District’s six newest judges attended a Federal Bar Association* panel to offer insights into their practices and chambers. The recurring theme of the discussion was a call for civility: Civility in court. Civility in briefs. Civility in emails. Over the next several weeks, I will provide summaries of each judge’s comments and insights. This post (the third in the series) focuses upon Magistrate Judge Finnegan:
- Discuss ways to streamline cases early
- Plan early discovery to focus issues and settlement conferences
- Will sometimes meet counsel without clients before a full settlement conference
- Follow Seventh Circuit E-Discovery Program
Chief Judge Holderman recently gave the annual State of the Court address, concluding that the Northern District continues to be an active, growing district court. Civil case filings were up 6.2% from 2008 to 2009, and the Northern District remains in the top 10% of district courts for median time to disposition – 6.2 months.
The Court began 2009 with one vacant judgeship – created by Judge Filip’s March 2008 resignation. The Court ended 2009 with from after Judges Bucklo, Coar and Gettleman took senior status. In February 2010, Judge Manning also took senior status. Judge Feinerman was confirmed last month, reducing the vacant seats by one, but there could be five vacancies again at the end of July when Judge Anderson retires.
The magistrate bench was also active. Judges Ashman and Keys shifted to recalled status. Judges Finnegan, Gilbert and Kim joined the bench.
Finally, the number of registered e-filers is up 18% to over 25,000. And the daily filing rate is up 15% to an average 867 documents per day.