United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana
TOTAL REBUILD, INC.
PHC FLUID POWER, L.L.C. Plaintiff Defendant
RULING AND ORDER
BRIAN A. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
Total Rebuild, Inc. and Defendant PHC Fluid Power, L.L.C.
failed to submit a joint proposed scheduling order-as the
Court ordered-and instead filed motions that threaten the
January 22, 2019 trial setting of this three-year-old patent
infringement case. (Docs. 151, 152, 153).
August 22, 2018, the Court held a status conference to settle
on dates for a Markman hearing and for
trial. (Doc. 149). Counsel for both parties
attended the conference and discussed the status of the case.
(Id.). The Court set a Markman hearing for
November 28, 2018 and a jury trial for January 22, 2019
through January 25, 2019. (Id.). No party objected.
(Id.). The Court also directed the parties to file a
joint proposed scheduling order. (Id.). The parties
did not do so.
the parties filed separate proposed scheduling orders. (Docs.
150, 151-1). The orders agreed on a January 22, 2019 trial
date. (Docs. 150, p. 1; 151-1, p. 1). The orders differed,
however, on the following proposed deadlines:
Phase I Discovery
November 21, 2018
November 7, 2018
Plaintiffs Expert Reports
November 30, 2018
October 15, 2018
Defendant's Expert Reports
December 14, 2018
November 6, 2018
January 11, 2019
November 14, 2018
November 8, 2018
November 20, 2018
Motions in Limine
January 18, 2019
January 8, 2019
September 4, 2018, Defendant moved the Court to adopt its
proposed schedule. (Doc. 150). Plaintiff then moved the Court
to continue the January 22, 2019 trial setting to which it
had agreed just two weeks prior. (Doc. 151).
Motion to Continue
moves the Court to continue the trial because (1) one of its
counsel is quitting the practice of law, and its remaining
counsel are not "apprised with the case"; and (2)
Defendant has denied Plaintiff access to the devices that
Plaintiff contends infringe on its patent. (Doc. 152, p. 1).
first argument lacks merit. Plaintiff is represented by two
additional attorneys who have been on the pleadings for over
three years. (Doc. 1). Counsel's failure to become
"apprised with the case" after litigating it for
three years is not good cause for a continuance under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b). See Squyres v. Heico
Co., 782 F.3d 224, 237 (5th Cir. 2015) (good cause
requires the movant to show that it cannot meet the deadline
second argument fails to persuade. Plaintiff suggests that it
needs a continuance because of Defendant's
"obstruction of discovery and bad faith attempt to rush
this case to an unfair conclusion." (Doc. 152-2, p.
4). Plaintiff offers no evidence of bad faith or obstruction.
(Id.). Defendant, by contrast, offers sworn
testimony refuting Plaintiffs assertions. (Doc. 154-1). For
example, Defendant's counsel attests under penalty of
perjury that Plaintiffs counsel was granted about 20 hours to
inspect Defendant's design documents. (Doc. 154-1).
the Court assumes Plaintiffs assertions of obstruction to be
true, a continuance is unwarranted. If Defendant violated its
discovery obligations, as Plaintiff now argues,
Plaintiff could have filed motions to compel months
And if a January 22, 2019 trial date is unworkable, as
Plaintiff now argues, then Plaintiff could have
raised the issue with the Court at the August 22, 2018 status
conference. Plaintiff did neither. If Plaintiff is prejudiced
by the January 22, 2019 trial setting, it is because
Plaintiff failed to exercise due diligence. Squyres,
782 F.3d at 238.
has not shown good cause for continuing the January 22, 2019
trial of this case. (Doc. 152). The Court therefore DENIES
Plaintiffs Motion to Continue, (Doc. 152), and turns to