Interesting case this week in which Judge Gilstrap granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment of a “fair use” defense in a copyright infringement case in which the defendant alleged various causes of action arising out of an employment termination, and attempted to use a purloined video clip as evidence. The facts look like something off Dr. Phil. In fact, they actually were.
Motions for summary judgment are often used to isolate and dispose of claims that are factually unsupported. A classic example is where, as here, a contract between the parties is alleged to preclude or limit certain claims or elements of damages. Such a case was presented in this recent opinion by Judge Mazzant in Sherman in which
It was just three days ago that I posted on the emergency motion filed by the remaining defendants after last Friday’s noninfringement verdict in Tyler arguing that the verdict against the first defendant collaterally estopped the plaintiff from proceeding against the remaining defendants. This afternoon Judge Gilstrap denied the motion, and trial will presumably proceed as scheduled on Tuesday. The attached order makes for a bracing start to the weekend, as I discuss below.
They aren’t quite as near and dear to my heart as JMOL rulings, but pretrial rulings are a close second. The parties the ground rules for the conduct of the trial, including limine rulings, orders resolving the inevitable disputes over admissibility of expert testimony, and rulings on any summary judgment motions that remain outstanding. The seven rulings from this case, which is set for trial in only a few weeks, are a pretty good example of the genre. Below are copies of the rulings with analysis.
Yesterday I posted on a case where the defendants persuaded the court to conduct an expedited mini-Markman on three terms. That reminded me that several weeks back I posted briefly about Judge Gilstrap’s ruling in another case where he sua sponte set a mini-Markman on two terms and after construing them granted summary judgment as to thirteen defendants. I wanted to go back and analyze that order (attached) in more detail.
Summary judgments of noninfringement are always worth noting when they come out because they give insight into how attorneys effectively persuade judges that a determination that is usually fact-intensive still doesn’t raise triable factual disputes. This was the case
Remember Let’s Make a Deal with Monty Hall? The game show where contestants had to chose their prize by picking a curtain? Remember how badly the contestants wanted to change their mind after there was a goat behind the curtain they chose – and a new car behind the one they didn’t? Well, a somewhat similar situation was presented in Script Security Solutions v . Amazon.com, 2:15cv1030, in which