Source Code Review

Protective orders are often entered in civil cases to protect confidential information from public disclosure. The more complex the case, the more complex the orders become, with varying levels of protection depending on the type of information, often culminating with near clean-room procedures for source code.

Such procedures usually begin with the provisions in a court’s standing protective order, but are often modified by the parties to reflect particular needs or concerns in a particular case. Only occasionally, as here, do the parties need to refer a dispute over a particular provision for resolution by the court, but when it occurs it’s informative to see what the dispute was and how the Court resolved it.

EDTX Court Status During Shutdown

Chief Judge Gilstrap has previously issued a general order staying all civil actions pending in the Eastern District of Texas in which the United States or an agency, corporation, officer or employee of the United States is a party and that party is represented of record by the United States Attorney (or an Assistant United States Attorney in light of the DOJ’s temporary lack of staff and funding. Effective close of business today a second general order will go into effect deeming all employees within the EDTX including the District and Magistrate Courts and their personnel, the Bankruptcy Court and its personnel, the District Clerk’s office, staff attorneys, court interpreters and coordinator, court reporters and the United States Probation Office, as essential to carry out and support the constitutionally required judicial functions of the Court. Accordingly, all employees will be required to report to work for regular duties and hours unless otherwise instructed. Employees who are off work for any reason will be placed on furlough status for whatever period of time they are not working. The General Services Administration, United States Marshals Service and all courthouse protective services and maintenance contractors are also required to maintain all functions necessary for the continued operation and safety of the courthouses and personnel within the District.

Deposition Location/Motions for Reconsideration

Fair warning – my January 2019 celebrity crushes are Jaylon Smith and Marie Kondo, so you may be seeing somewhat strained metaphorical references to both. I think that Marie Kondo would be terribly frustrated by civil litigation because orders often spark joy only in part. In cases like this one, it may be because the court is addressing both a substantive issue – do I get what I’m asking for – and a procedural one – did I ask for it correctly? So let’s see if the request for overseas depositions sparked joy for the Court.

Indefiniteness – the NASCAR of court holdings

Maybe it’s just me, but reading Markman rulings is sometimes a little like watching NASCAR. I’m only interested in the crashes. There are no doubt significant things happening when the Court adopts one party’s construction over the other, but without familiarity with the case it’s not immediately obvious how damaging the holding is. But as this case shows, to paraphrase Rob Lowe’s observation in a somewhat different context in About Last Night… with indefiniteness … you know. You know?

Senate Confirms John Garrison as EDTX U.S. Marshal

In the final hours of the last Congress the U.S. Senate confirmed about 70 nominees for various posts, including John Garrison as U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Texas. The two pending nominees for vacant judgeships in Tyler and Beaumont were not among them, and there has not been a formal nomination for the third vacancy. All pending nominations have now lapsed, but it is expected the current nominees will be renominated in the near future in the new Congress.

John is a familiar face locally, having joined the Marshals Service in 1990 as a deputy U.S. marshal. He has spent his entire career in the Eastern District of Texas, serving as the district’s sex offender investigations coordinator, judicial security inspector and acting assistant chief. He also served as a member of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and the Marshals Service Special Operations Group.

Prior to joining the USMS, John served as a deputy sheriff for the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office in Alexandria, Louisiana, from 1987 to 1989. He served in the Marine Corps from 1977 to 1980.

If memory serves, his experience includes executing warrants at rib joints in Marshall, but we were all a lot younger back then …

Congratulations to John, and we all look forward to continuing to work with you!