IP Watchdog has an excellent breakdown. And this part of the analysis seems spot on:
Past litigation reports from Lex Machina have pointed to the fact that volatility in patent case filings are typically triggered by changes to the patent system, or even just proposed changes. Spikes in patent litigation have closely preceded changes like the abrogation of Form 18 to plead patent infringement in district court as well as the enactment of provisions of the America Invents Act. Given the fact that the debate on patent reform isn’t currently reverberating in Congress the way it has in recent years, it’s possible that the recent downturn in high-volume plaintiff filings is due to calmer waters in the patent system. The next foreseeable change to the U.S. patent system stem from the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, so it will be interesting to see if the court’s ruling in that case creates any similar volatility in case filings.
This is a very interesting article on the increasing and intentional assignment of multi-district litigation (MDL) dockets to relatively new federal judges.
The Fourth Circuit’s openness to live streaming comes in the wake of significant public interest in the Ninth Circuit’s live stream of similar arguments in February. More the 137,000 people logged on to hear those arguments.
From the National Law Journal story:
Rob Rosborough, a partner at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna in Albany, New York, added that he was “impressed by how accessible it made the proceedings seem in a highly technical case like that one.”
“You could hear phenomenal attorneys on both sides advocate for their clients on issues that had an impact on millions of people nationwide,” Rosborough said. “I do think that the Fourth Circuit, and all courts, should livestream arguments in all cases, especially in cases like the travel ban that have drawn such public interest.”
The Fourth Circuit has not live streamed arguments to date, although it does post audio files of arguments on its website the day after they are held.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has released its 2016 report and statistics on the activities of the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Courts. The public version of the report is available here, courtesy of Lawfare. Further analysis from Lawfare is here.
David Lat has a typically insightful post at Above the Law, looking at the potential nominees for openings in the federal district courts and federal circuit courts. One of the more striking parts of his analysis is the relative youth of many of the names being kicked around — most are in their 30s or 40s. This makes sense from the President’s perspective; younger judges allow him to shape the federal bench for decades to come. But it is also a moment of reckoning for those of us in that generation. Continue reading “Gen X prepares to take the bench”
In several states, the two senators collectively create a screening committee to recommend names of local attorneys and state judges to the President for a federal judicial appointment. The committees are not mandatory, and have been used somewhat haphazardly over time, but they do allow senators to provide useful information to the President about qualified individuals for the federal bench. The committees also help lock the senators in when home-state openings arise: by pre-screening a list of possible candidates, the senators are essentially telling the President that they will support any nominee who comes from that list. Such advance agreement avoids the embarrassment that Senator Michael Bennett must have felt earlier this month when, for purely partisan reasons, he had to vote against an extremely well-qualified fellow Coloradan, Neil Gorsuch, for the Supreme Court. Continue reading “Washington’s senators ask President to honor work of their judicial screening committee”
The Federal Judicial Center, the research arm of the federal courts, has updated its website. It’s terrific — clean, easy to search, and filled with important and interesting studies commissioned by the Judicial Conference and its various committees over the years. A must for researchers or any individuals interested in the workings of the federal courts.