Court Denies Motion to Compel Litigation Finance Discovery in Long and Winding Flash Memory Suit

January 20, 2019

As part of a clean up after the December 2018 close of fact discovery, District Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California has denied a motion to compel discovery related to the financing of an NPE plaintiff’s litigation as irrelevant under the circumstances of the case. Micron tethered relevance of the information sought to a need to “uncover possible bias issues” with witnesses testifying on behalf of plaintiff MLC Intellectual Property, LLC (MLC IP) and with any potential jurors in the upcoming trial, currently scheduled for August 2019. The court disagreed, noting that MLC IP had complied with the disclosure requirements of the local rules, identifying its principals as the only nonparties having a financial interest in the suit’s outcome, and had confirmed that nonparty witnesses are not funding the litigation. The court also pointed to its ability to question jurors about potential bias issues in camera if necessary. As this long and winding litigation heads into its expert discovery period, the court has yet to resolve all of the parties’ disputes over their pleadings.

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