The parties in this patent infringement action could not agree on the order of proof at trial. Defendants sought to present their invalidity defense first, arguing that if the patent is invalid, they could not be liable for infringement. The plaintiffs opposed the request to re-order the proof at trial and contended that their infringement claim should be presented first.
The district court noted that it had broad discretion to "exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of examining witnesses and presenting evidence." Federal Evidence Rule 611(a); see also Matter of Yagman, 796 F.2d 1165, 1171 (9th Cir. 1996) ("[T]he conduct and order of the trial are matters vested in the discretion of the district judge."); Gen. Signal Corp. v. MCI Telecomm. Corp., 66 F.3d 1500, 1507 (9th Cir. 1995) (reviewing district court's trial management for abuse of discretion).