This is a particularly interesting opinion resolving multiple competing summary judgment motions in an employment case against a county brought by a female doctor who discovered she was being paid less than a subsequently hired male doctor. What makes this case interesting is that the EEOC filed suit against the county on behalf of the doctor, and then the EEOC, and the county filed cross motions for summary judgment against each other as well as against the doctor.
One of the more annoying recent FRCP amendments moved section (f) of FRCP 56 to Section (d), so that the habit of referencing “56(f) motions” seeking an extension of the time to respond to a motion for summary judgment to obtain additional discovery must now be changed to reflect references to 56(d) – which of course no one yet recognizes as the same thing. (Law clerks don’t count).
Contested Rule 56(d) motions are actually fairly rare in practice since most motions are filed after the close of discovery, and where they are not, or additional discovery is still needed, parties frequently work out by agreement the time necessary to obtain the additional discovery. Which makes an order like this that pops the hood on 56(d) to tell us what arguments courts find persuasive particularly useful.
Apparently experts are an issue in the black dirt part of the district as well, judging by these opinions from Judge Mazzant last week. They cover topics ranging from the “rebuttal” issue Judge Payne also addressed last week to lawyer-written reports, sick experts, and other more bespoke subjects.
Some of the most fun you can have in a courthouse is trying to enforce a settlement, or defend against one you didn’t think you had. Unfortunately for legal scholars like you, dear reader, there are not a lot of cases that go to the mat hard enough on this issue of contract interpretation to generate a written opinion with tests and prongs and all that good stuff.
That’s why I was particularly interested to see this recent opinion affirming a magistrate judge’s recommendation that such a motion be denied.
This is a proposed national class action dealing with annuity contracts. Defendants sought summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract claims. The Court’s ruling had something for each side.
Spoiler alert: they’re both granted in part.
But it’s always worth laying out the facts in motions to compel to see what the court found justified relief and what didn’t. In addition, this is the rare order that even mentions the new “proportionality” standard in amended Rule 26.
Today appears to be former employee day, topped off with the first seizure order I’ve seen under the still relatively new Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which is what we used to call UTSA, or TUTSA or TTSA back when it was common law or Texas statutory law. In this case, a former employee is alleged to have taken the company’s trade secrets. Judge Mazzant authorized seizure of a laptop belonging to the company in the employee’s possession, but the laptop couldn’t be found, which set the stage for the injunction proceeding as well as additional excitement for the defendants’ electronic devices.
You know those cases where an employee leaves the company and after being sued by the employee the company discovers that some things happened to documents relating to the claim? This is one of those cases, and the aspect we’re looking at is the motion for sanctions arising out of the alleged destruction of documents alleged by be relevant to the claims by the former employee.
It was literally a dark and stormy night in Lavon, Texas when the plaintiff’s home, including allegedly the brick veneer, was damaged in a hailstorm/windstorm. The insurance claim that arose out of that storm generated a recent order granting only a wee bit of a motion to exclude an expert witness in the Sherman Division.
This is a trademark and unfair competition case. The case ended with an injunction, which was then followed by the defendant taking bankruptcy. Plaintiff, however, continued to see the Defendant violating the injunction through its social media posts, and filed a motion for contempt, which is where the interesting part started.