Woltmann v. Chicago Gridiron, LLC, No. 11 C 5994, Min. Order. (N.D. Ill. May 3, 2012) (Norgle, J.).

Judge Norgle denied plaintiff’s sanctions motion in this copyright case.  The motion was based upon alleged conduct underlying an earlier motion to compel discovery that plaintiff lost before Magistrate Judge Ashman.  But plaintiff did not file

This morning, the Northern District lost a great judge when Judge Ashman passed away at the age of 81.  Judge Ashman retired in 2009 and then was recalled, continuing to serve as a magistrate judge until he passed away.  Chief Judge Holderman had some particularly kind words about Judge Ashman in the Court’s statement today:

Bone Care Int’l, LLC v. Pentech Pharma., Inc., No. 08 C 1083, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 16, 2010) (Ashman, Mag. J.).
Judge Ashman granted plaintiffs’ motion to strike defendants’ late-filed expert declaration. The Court previously held that discovery in this case was long closed and that “enough [was] enough.” The Court, therefore, granted the motion to strike defendants’ expert declaration filed with a Daubert motion for three reasons:
The Court’s February 9, 2010 Order holding that “enough [was] enough” regarding discovery was still in effect.
Plaintiff would suffer prejudice from defendants’ late-filed expert declaration with trial “looming.”
Defendants had the information required in December 2009, before discovery closed.

Continue Reading Enough Really is Enough: Court Strikes Expert Declaration

Bone Care Int’l, LLC v. Pentech Pharm. Inc., No. 08 C 1083, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 16, 2010) (Ashman, Mag. J.).
Judge Ashman granted plaintiffs’ motion to strike defendants’ expert affidavit (the “Affidavit”) in this patent case. The Affidavit was filed in support of defendants’ Daubert motion filed after the close of fact discovery. The Court struck the Affidavit for three reasons:
The Court had already warned the parties regarding discovery that “enough [was] enough.”
The Affidavit, which contained substantive opinions and calculations, would prejudice plaintiffs. Discovery was closed, trial was looming, and plaintiffs would not have had enough opportunity to consult their experts or to file supplemental reports addressing the Affidavit.
Defendants had the information in the Affidavit at least by December 2009. Defendants could have filed the information as part of a timely expert report.

Continue Reading Court Strikes Post-Discovery Expert Declaration

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.

Continue Reading The State of the Northern District Remains Strong

Bone Care Int’l, LLC v. Pentech Pharms, Inc., No. 08 C 1083, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 4, 2010) (Ashman, Mag. J.).
Judge Ashman granted defendants’ motion for a protective order precluding plaintiffs’ proposed supplemental expert reports as untimely filed. Plaintiffs’ supplemental reports sought to respond to alleged improper new material in defendants’ reply expert report. Reasoning that “[e]nough is enough,” the Court granted the motion to avoid an additional round of expert reports by both sides, further delaying resolution of the case. The Court, however, noted that plaintiffs were free to move in limine to exclude any allegedly new or unfair material in defendants’ reply report.

Continue Reading “Enough is Enough:” Court Denies Supplemental Expert Reports

Heriot v. Byrne, No. 08 C 2272, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill., Apr. 9, 2008) (Ashman, Mag. J.).
Judge Ashman issued this Order finding that certain of defendants’ allegedly privileged documents were privileged and ordering that others be produced. The Court did not discuss specific documents or the analysis that went into the decisions. But the Court did provide the following list of general explanations for why some documents asserted to be privileged were in fact not privileged and had to be produced:
* not confidential;
* did not reveal privileged communications, directly or indirectly; or
* the advice was that of accountants, not lawyers, and was not used to assist the lawyers in giving legal advice.
Both young lawyers preparing privilege logs and senior lawyers reviewing them for exchange would do well to read this list. It covers most of the common reasons documents are erroneously withheld as privileged.

Continue Reading Court Orders Production of Allegedly Privileged Documents After In Camera Review

Heriot v. Byrne, No. 08 C 2272, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill., Mar. 20, 2008) (Ashman, Mag. J.).
Judge Ashman denied in part and granted in part Defendants’ discovery motion seeking certain allegedly privileged documents, and denied in part and withheld ruling on the remainder of plaintiffs discovery motion regarding allegedly privileged documents. Of particular interest, the Court held that new Fed. R. Evid. 502 governing inadvertent disclosure of privileged documents applied in this case although it was not filed after the rule took effect because the case was pending at that time and because defendants, who opposed application of the rule, identified no reason that its application in this case would be unjust. Having decided that Fed. R. Evid. 502(b) applied to allegedly inadvertent disclosures, the Court identified the test to determine whether the disclosure was a waiver of privilege as follows: 1) determine whether the disclosed material was privileged; 2) determine whether all three Fed. R. Evid. 502(b) factors are met, including inadvertence. The Court also noted that in analyzing the three factors courts were free to consider any of the five factors from Judson Atkinson Candies, Inc. v. Latini-Hohberger Dhimantec, 529 F.3d 371 (7th Cir. 2008).

Continue Reading FRE 502 Applies in Case Pending on 502’s Effective Date

Chief Judge Holderman recently gave his annual State of the Northern District speech. In a word, Judge Holderman said that the state of the District is “good.” Here are some of the highlights of the presentation (click here to read the Court’s press release):
* Judge Gettleman intends to take senior status May 5 and Judge Coar intends to take senior status August 12. Additionally, Magistrate Judge Ashman intends to retire later this year.
* Combined with the vacancy created when Judge Filip went to the Justice Department, when Judges Gettleman and Coar take senior status there will be three Article III and one magistrate vacancies on the Court.
* Civil filings were up 2.7% in 2008 over 2007. And the Court resolves those disputes quickly. The Northern District is in the top 10% of district court with its median time of 6.2 months to disposition.
* The Court is participating in a pilot program which allows jurors to fill out jury forms and get information about their service online.

Continue Reading State of the Northern District is Good

Constant Compliance, Inc. v. Emerson Process Mgt. Power & Water Sol’ns., Inc., No. 08 C 3724, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 13, 2009) (Ashman, Mag. J.).
Judge Mason granted in part plaintiff’s motion to bar defendant from opposing plaintiff’s claim constructions because of defendant’s failure to meet the Court’s deadline for the parties to exchange proposed claim constructions. In response to an interrogatory, defendant identified claim terms that it believed required construction. But defendant did not submit any proposed constructions until two weeks after receiving plaintiff’s constructions on the date of the Court’s deadline for joint exchange of constructions. The Court held that defendant was barred from offering constructions for those terms it identified as requiring construction in its interrogatory response, but allowed defendant’s constructions of those terms offered by plaintiff, but not in defendant’s response. Additionally, as to the terms identified in defendant’s interrogatory response, the Court adopted plaintiff’s constructions because no alternative construction had been timely offered.

Continue Reading Missing Joint Claim Construction Deadline Bars Opposing Offered Constructions