I’m sorry – I just can’t hear about a court “sitting in equity” without wondering whether everyone needs to reach in their briefcase and find their wigs. (I realize a few may already have them on, and guys, your secret – such as it is – is safe with me). That’s probably not quite what it looked like in Judge Mazzant’s courtroom in Sherman when he pressed “enter” to paste his electronic signature on the opinion in this interesting Lanham Act case dealing with remedies. But a good exposition of the law is always welcome, so let’s see what happened here.
Today’s post celebrates the Cowboys defense’s “lites out” performance yesterday against Kansas City (okay, aside from one play) with an examination of some interesting holdings with respect to an improper venue motion in an EDTX case involving a party named … Lites Out. (I live for this stuff – you know that).
My new favorite verdict form is the one from this case, where the foreperson wrote in “no infringement”. Alas for the defendants, they wrote in $15 million in damages and $2 million on attorneys fees on the rest of the claims, as detailed below.
There are not a lot of personal jurisdiction cases since Daimler AG v. Bauman that provide a current analysis of the law on personal jurisdiction challenges, so this recent opinion from the EDTX is useful for those wanting to update their standards.
The other Sherman holding of interest outside the litigation world recently was Judge Mazzant’s ruling invalidating the Obama administration’s rule expanding overtime protections for white collar workers, discussed below.
I wanted to provide a brief update for those interesting in recent activity in the Ezekiel Elliott case pending before Judge Mazzant in Sherman.
While the case is interesting to many due to its subject matter, the Court’s most recent order provides a helpful and potential useful analysis not just of injunctive relief, but of review of an arbitrator’s decision for “fundamental fairness.”
Yesterday’s hearing on whether the NFL’s six-game suspension against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott would be enjoined or stayed has concluded, and Judge Mazzant promised the parties a ruling Friday. But because of the timing, the NFL agreed during the hearing that the pending suspension would not start until after Sunday’s season opener, regardless of the Court’s ruling. The proceedings before Judge Mazzant in the the two and a half hour hearing focused on whether the proceedings were fundamentally unfair. The Court will decide if 1) there is a substantial chance of success on the merits for the NFLPA and Elliott; 2) there is a substantial threat of immediate and irreparable harm for which there is no remedy of law; 3) if there is a substantial threat of greater injury from not granting the injunctive relief than from granting it; and 4) whether the injunctive relief will disserve the public interest.
The NFL Players Asssociation’s request for emergency injunctive relief preventing the NFL from suspending Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been set for a hearing in the EDTX courthouse in Sherman at 5pm Tuesday afternoon, September 5. Although ESPN is reporting that the request has been granted, I think they are misreading Judge Mazzant’s order, which simply set a hearing. But perhaps the TRO was granted separately.
Another flavor of waiver argument post-TC Heartland is when a defendant files its motion to dismiss under FRCP 12(b)(3) after filing its answer, in violation of the requirements of Rule 12(h). The question presented to yet another an Eastern District court earlier this week is whether raising the improper venue defense in the answer preserved the party’s ability to file a motion after the answer was filed.
They’re not JMOLs, but motions for entry of judgment can also provide useful insight into common issues in trial that can be of interest, as was in this case of equine romance gone bad in the form of the heartbreak of HERDA.