Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement Denied

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.

Preliminary injunctions & seizure under the DTSA

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.

… but her emails

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.

Life Goes On After Jason Witten: Patent Claims No / Contract Claims Yes = Attorneys Fees

It’s a sad day with Jason Witten retiring from our beloved Cowboys, so I decided I had to wear the jersey to work. Which made for interesting sidewalk conversation when I asked a herd of lawyers headed past my office how they were expecting their hearing with Judge Gilstrap to go, where they were on the docket, and which pretrial motions they had rulings on already.  (This time next week Law.com will probably be running a story about how homeless people in Marshall quiz visiting lawyers about federal civil procedure).

But life goes on … as it did for the parties in this case in which Judge Mazzant entered judgment for $24 million and change following a jury verdict last fall in which the jury found that there was no patent infringement but that there was a breach of contract, specifically a confidentiality agreement, and assessed $15 million in damages.

Withdrawing Deemed Admissions

Some afternoons it’s not the weather than sends chills down your spine but the thought that you could have been in a party’s position in a case you’re reading.  In the attached, Judge Mazzant denied a party’s motion to withdraw a party’s motion to withdraw and amend deemed admissions.  The order provides a useful guide on what facts are important when you find yourself in a similar situation.  Or, let’s be clear here – how not to respond to discovery requests.