Plexxikon Inc. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Filing 350

ORDER APPOINTING SPECIAL MASTER. Signed by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. on 12/5/2019. (ndrS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/5/2019)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 PLEXXIKON INC., Plaintiff, 8 9 10 11 v. Case No. 17-cv-04405-HSG ORDER APPOINTING SPECIAL MASTER Re: Dkt. No. 264 NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS CORPORATION, United States District Court Northern District of California Defendant. 12 13 Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53, and by the parties’ agreement, the Court 14 finds that the appointment of Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte (Ret.) as a special master is warranted in 15 this case to address Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine No. 4. See Dkt. No. 264. In light of Judge 16 Laporte’s detailed knowledge of this case as the former discovery magistrate judge, the Court 17 finds that considerations of fairness and judicial economy constitute “exceptional circumstances” 18 that require her appointment. The Court further finds that use of a special master here will 19 materially advance the litigation, and thereby achieve considerable cost-saving to all parties. 20 Accordingly, by December 20, 2019, the Court requests Judge Laporte to file a declaration under 21 28 U.S.C. § 455 stating that there is no ground for disqualification. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 53(b)(3). 22 Judge Laporte’s appointment as special master shall be effective upon the filing of this 23 declaration. Following the appointment, the parties are directed to contact Judge Laporte’s case 24 manager Sandra Chan at JAMS to coordinate the date, time, and place of any appearance. 25 Notice. The Court gave all parties notice of its intent to appoint Judge Laporte as special 26 master and an opportunity to be heard with respect to such appointment during the December 3, 27 2019, case management conference, see Dkt. No. 347. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 53(b)(1). 28 Scope of Duties. Judge Laporte shall review all briefing and supporting documentation 1 related to Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine No. 4; determine if supplemental briefing is necessary; hear 2 argument; and prepare and file a report and recommendation on the factual findings and 3 disposition of the motion in limine, with all reasonable diligence. The parties shall provide Judge 4 Laporte with copies of all motion papers and other documents relevant to Plaintiff’s Motion in 5 Limine No. 4. 6 Scope of Authority. Judge Laporte shall have all the powers set forth in Rule 53(c)(1). 7 Preservation of Record. Pursuant to Rule 53(b)(2)(c), Judge Laporte shall maintain files 8 consisting of all documents submitted by the parties and any written orders, findings, and/or 9 recommendations. Judge Laporte shall serve the report and recommendation on the parties by 10 filing it on the docket. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Communications. To facilitate the fulfillment of her duties, Judge Laporte may 12 communicate ex parte to the Court to the extent that she deems it necessary and appropriate. In 13 addition, Judge Laporte may have ex parte communications with a party, but such 14 communications shall be limited to administrative matters such as scheduling hearings, telephone 15 calls or briefing, if such arrangements cannot be made in a timely manner by contacting Judge 16 Laporte’s case manager. 17 Review of Report and Recommendation. The parties must file any objection to the report 18 and recommendation within ten (10) days of its entry on the docket. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 53(f)(2). 19 If any party objects to the report and recommendation, it shall be the objecting party’s 20 responsibility to file the objection and the record materials necessary to review the report and 21 recommendation, including any transcripts of proceedings and any supplemental documents 22 submitted by the parties. Failure to provide the record shall constitute grounds for the Court to 23 overrule the objection. The Court shall review findings of fact for clear error, and shall review de 24 novo any conclusions of law. 25 Fees. The parties will split the fees for Judge Laporte upfront. However, following receipt 26 of the report and the Court’s order on the motion in limine, the Court will allocate the fees in a fair 27 and reasonable manner, considering the reasonableness of the parties’ respective positions (i.e., for 28 a legitimate dispute, fees will be assessed 50–50, while a party raising an unreasonable position 2 1 2 3 4 5 will bear 100% of the fees associated with the dispute). IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: 12/5/2019 ______________________________________ HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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