The Federal Circuit has taken another valuable step toward transparency in its operations. Notably, the court has begun to post electronic versions of orders resolving motions that are processed through its Senior Staff Attorney. Publication began on January 30, 2009. I have sought some clarification from the Court on its statement that "certain orders are not posted on this page."
The outcomes of motions are important to the parties involved as well as amicus filers. There have also been occasions when the outcome of a motion impacts stock prices. Perhaps the most common stock-swinging issue involves the Federal Circuit's decision on whether to stay injunctive relief pending appeal. Previously, these orders were difficult to obtain electronically or remotely.
Certain motions may be decided by the Clerk – especially when a motion is unopposed. Others go to a Federal Circuit judge assigned to handle motions that month. My understanding is that the Senior Staff Attorney will ordinarily present the motion (and response) to the judge with a potential order as well. If a case is already scheduled on the hearing calendar, motions will be transmitted to the panel for adjudication.
Most of the orders are mundane. Here is a sample from last week:
- IGT v. Alliance Gaming: Denying motion to dismiss on for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (no final order).
- Blackboard v. Desire2Learn: Granted motion to remove protective order covering the E.D. Tex. supplemental claim construction judgment.
- Garber v. CME: Extension of time granted.
- The Forrest Group v. Bon Tool: Motion granted to allow Paul Hletko to file an amicus brief. Forrest Group had opposed.
- Excel Innovations v. Indivos Corp: Motion granted to allow Mark Davies to take over as principal counsel.
- Search for CAFC Orders [LINK]
- CAFC Guide to Motion Practice [LINK]
- Top 10 easy-to-fix problems with motions [LINK]