Earthy, LLC v. BB&HC, LLC, No. 16 C 4934, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 10, 2017) (Kim, Mag. J.). Magistrate Judge Kim granted declaratory judgment defendant BB&HC’s motion to quash a subpoena of an individual member of BB&HC in this trademark dispute involving BB&HC’s EARTHY DELIGHTS mark. Because the individual member had a “minimal role” … Continue Reading
NuCap Indus., Inc. v. Robert Bosch LLC, NO. 15 C 2207, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 19, 2016) (Gottschall, J.). Judge Gottschall overruled plaintiff NuCap’s objections to Magistrate Judge Kim’s decision denying NuCap the right to serve additional discovery related to defendant Robert Bosch’s alleged change in position during litigation in this trade secret suit … Continue Reading
Coach Services, Inc. v. Durbin’s Restaurant & Bar, No. 10 C 7154, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 25, 2012) (Kim, Mag. J.). Judge Kim continued plaintiff’s motion to compel a third party deposition in order to give the third party an opportunity to comply. The Court gave the third party two options: 1. Appear for … Continue Reading
Hard Drive Prods. v. Does 1-48, No. 11 C 9062, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. June 14, 2012) (Kim, Mag. J.). Judge Kim denied two Doe defendants’ motions to quash subpoenas to their Internet service providers in this copyright case involving BitTorrent downloads of adult movies as part of a “swarm.” The first motion was denied … Continue Reading
Itex, Inc. v. Work Rite Uniform Co., No. 08 C 1224, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 31, 2011) (Kim, Mag. J.).
Judge Kim granted in part defendants' motion to compel supplemental answers to defendants' requests for admission. The requests at issue sought an admission regarding whether plaintiff had performed very specific tests as part of its pre-suit investigation. Plaintiff objected on the ground that answering the request would violate its attorney-client privilege and attorney work product protections. But the Court held that the requests were "artfully" drafted to avoid seeking any indication of whether the tests were performed at the request of counsel or not. Instead, the requests simply sought an admission as to whether the specific tests were performed at all. The Court also noted that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not require proof of a denial, which had been given in this case despite that.
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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 fifth in the series) focuses upon Magistrate Judge Kim:
Be civil in court and in your papers.
Do not include extraneous emails or exhibits to score points. They do not work.
Tell your story in your answer, do not just deny.
Rule 56.1 statements: short and concise facts.
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Rosenthal Collins Group, LLC v. Trading Techs. Int'l, Inc., No. 95 C 4088, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 29, 2010) (Kim, Mag. J.).
Judge Kim granted declaratory judgment defendant Trading Technologies ("TT") approximately $290,000 of $375,000 requested in fees and costs pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2) in this patent case.* On March 14, 2007, the Court held that declaratory judgment plaintiff Rosenthal Collins Group's ("RCG") summary judgment motion was "misleading," "disingenuous" and "prematurely filed" - click here to read more about the opinion in the Blog's archives. The Court, therefore, found RCG's conduct sanctionable, struck the motion without prejudice, struck the supporting Buist declaration, and ordered RCG to pay costs for TT's software consultants, and attorney's fees and costs related to the sanction motion.
On July 17, 2008, the Court denied RCG's motion to vacate the sanction order and again ordered RCG to pay: 1) TT's consultant; 2) TT's deposition of the Buists; and 3) TT's prosecution of the sanctions motions. The Court also ordered the parties to comply with Local Rule 54.3 by trying to come to agreement on the issues.
Initially, the Court observed that "contentiousness and obvious material distrust" demonstrated by both sides had "leached" into the parties briefing. The Court awarded TT the full amount of its expert fees and costs because those fees and costs were specifically awarded by Judge Moran and because TT showed that all of the expert's work was impacted by or resulted from the misconduct. Those fees were approximately $52,000.
The Court also awarded TT's attorney's fees and costs of approximately $157,000 related to the depositions of the experts at issue. The only reduction was for a series of identical, cryptic time entries for "preparation of Buist witness kit". The court could not determine whether the fees were justified. The Court awarded TT its actual costs, instead of limiting the costs to the Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d) limits because this sanction award was pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37 and, therefore, was not limited by Rule 54(d). The Court finally awarded $86,000 in fees and costs related to TT's sanctions motion. The Court generally found TT's fees and expenses reasonable, with limited exceptions. The Court limited fees for writing a "simple" two-page motion to two hours. The Court also deleted approximately $11,000 in apparently duplicative time entries.
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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.
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Chief Judge Holderman announced that the Northern District of Illinois has appointed three new magistrate judges to seven year terms. All three new magistrates are former Northern District law clerks. Here are the biographies of each new judge as provided by the Northern District (emphasis added):
Jeffrey T. Gilbert received his law degree from Northwestern University (1980). He is a partner with Reed Smith in its Chicago office and is a member of the firm's regulatory litigation group. Mr. Gilbert originally practiced with Sachnoff & Weaver, which combined with Reed Smith in 2007. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Gilbert served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Marvin E. Aspen, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer by 2010. Mr. Gilbert is also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University Law.
Administrative Law Judge Young B. Kim was born in South Korea. He received his law degree from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law (1991). Judge Kim began his legal career as an Assistant Public Defender in Cook County, working in various misdemeanor courtrooms and in the Domestic Violence Division. Two years later, he served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Charles R. Norgle, Sr., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. After his clerkship, Judge Kim joined the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois, where he litigated both civil and criminal cases. During his seven-year service, Judge Kim focused on healthcare fraud, medical malpractice, and employment discrimination cases. In 2001, Judge Kim accepted an appointment with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as an Administrative Law Judge. Judge Kim is one of the recipients of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's "2004 Best Lawyers Under 40" award.
Sheila M. Finnegan received her law degree from the University of Chicago (1986) and currently co-chairs Mayer Brown's Chicago litigation practice, handling civil and criminal trials. In 2008, 2009, and 2010, she was recognized as one of the top 50 women lawyers in Illinois by Super Lawyers. Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Ms. Finnegan served as Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois. She also served for several years on the Financial Fraud Task Force. Ms. Finnegan served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Milton I. Shadur, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and is an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University Law School.
Welcome to the Northern District bench Judges Finnegan, Gilbert and Kim.
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