Procedure for Sealing

Old Dallas Post Office and Court House

I posted yesterday on a judge’s order denying an unopposed motion for leave to seal a filing, noting the problems commonly encountered with such filings.  A reader forwarded me the court’s standing order setting forth the summary judgment-like briefing requirements parties must comply with in order to file any sentence of a document under seal, and I thought it was worth some analysis, both of the order itself and of how to comply with its efficiently.

Some Courts Are Easier To Seal In Than Others

Judge Kinkeade denied the defendants’ unopposed motion, noting that “[w]hile the Court agrees that some of this information might deserve sealing, nothing in Kinaxis’ perfunctory briefing demonstrates that disclosure of the information threatens harm to Kinaxis that outweighs the public’s right to inspect the records of this Court” and that the problems are “all too common” in briefing of motions to seal judicial records.

You Think 70-10 Is A Good Start? Dallas Cowboys Get Case Transferred and Patent Invalidated On Day Suit Is Filed

Last week the Dallas Cowboys were sued over their stadium app in the Fort Worth Division of the Northern District of Texas. Before the day was out, U.S. District Judge Judge Mark Pittman had issued a show cause order why the case shouldn’t be transferred to the Dallas Division, and Chief U.S. District Judge Alia Moses issued an order finding the patent unenforceable as claiming unpatentable subject matter in a different case filed in Waco. That’s pretty much the judicial equivalent of starting out 70-10 in your first two games. The funny part was what happened next. The plaintiff’s lawyer had to tactfully explain to the court that, um, the “regular and established place of business” for this patent case is the Cowboys’ stadium, which “is” located in the Fort Worth Division, not the Dallas Division. Of course one wonders why the case wasn’t filed where the Cowboys are headquartered, which is, of course not in the Dallas Division either, but in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division at the Star in Frisco.

Motion for Sanctions Granted

The court found that a website owned by the defendant contained multiple violations of the court’s active order in this trademark case.  It rejected the defendant’s assertion that the website was a “test” website left up accidentally excused its presence.  The sanction was that the defendant would bear the full cost of an upcoming mediation, as well as reasonable attorneys fees associated with the filing of the motion and the discovery of the violation.