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ITC Denies Summary Determination Motion Where Respondent Filed the Motion Two Hours Past the Filing Deadline

The Respondent, Pandigital, Inc. (“Pandigital”) in this ITC investigation filed a motion for leave to file its motion for summary determination out of time. The proposed schedule in the matter required the filing of the summary determination motion by July 17, 2012. The deadline for filing documents with the ITC is 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time and Pandigial filed the summary determination motion on July 17th, but at 7:25 p.m. Eastern Time. Accordingly, the motion was considered filed on July 18, 2012, one day late.

Pandigital argued in its motion for leave to file out of time that the document was late because its counsel mistakenly believed that the filing deadline was 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. As Pandigial’s counsel acknowledged, the ITC Handbook on Filing Procedures states:

When the Commission has imposed a deadline on the filing of a document, the Secretary will consider the document timely filed electronically only if the user has “clicked” the “confirm” button on the final confirmation page for electronic submission by 5:15:59 p.m., eastern time, on the day that the document is due to be filed, and received e-mail notification of receipt.
(ITC Handbook on filing Procedures at Section F(1).)

The Administrative Law Judge did not find that counsel’s mistaken belief as to the time for filing the brief was good cause: “Counsel’s mistaken belief about the filing deadline does not constitute the good cause necessary to accept the late filing. (See Ground Rule 1.8). Attorneys practicing before the ITC are expected to know all of the applicable rules of practice. Deadlines will not be extended because of counsel’s failure to follow the rules.”

Accordingly, the Administrative Law Judge declined to consider the summary determination motion.

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The decision from the Administrative Law Judge serves as a cautionary reminder that waiting until the last minute to file can have severe consequences. Given that filings can–and do–go wrong it is far better to file earlier and to always check the rules well in advance of filing to make sure briefs are timely filed.

In the Matter of Certain Digital Photo Frames and Image Display Devices and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-807 (Administrative Law Judge Robert K. Rogers, Jr. July 19, 2012)

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