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Farstone v. Apple: With “far too many disputes,” Court orders face-to-face meet and confer to resolve motion to compel

Apple filed a motion to compel discovery from Farstone Technology, Inc. (“Farstone”) by way of a Joint Stipulation as required by the court’s local rules. After the court reviewed the joint stipulation, it found that there were significant problems and that too many disputes remained for the court to resolve.

As a result, the court concluded that the meet and confer process had failed that the parties had not complied with Local Rule 37-1. “After reading the Joint Stipulation, the Court cannot but conclude that the meet and confer process has failed. There are far too many disputed issues. Both sides are not being as reasonable and flexible as they should be and as the Local Rules contemplate. Specifically, Local Rule 37-1 requires counsel to ‘confer in a good faith effort to eliminate the necessity for hearing the motion or to eliminate as many of the disputes as possible.’ (Emphasis added.)”

The court then ordered an extension of the deadline for supplemental briefs and ordered the parties “to engage in an intensive face-to-face meet and confer for the purpose of narrowing the disputed issues.”

The court also explained that the parties were expected to significantly narrow the issues in dispute and that it would not hesitate to order sanctions. “The parties are to reflect in their supplemental briefs in the opening paragraph what issues identified in the Joint Stipulation are no longer in issue and then, in the body of the brief, as to each issue remaining in dispute, what offer has been made to resolve it. The Court expects to see a significant narrowing of the issues in the parties’ supplemental briefs. The parties also are directed to review the governing legal standards set forth in this Court’s Order of May 13, 2015. The Court will not hesitate to impose sanctions as appropriate under Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 37(a)(5) if a party’s position is substantially unjustified.”

Farstone Technology, Inc. v. Apple Inc., Case No. CV 13-01537-ODW (JEMx) (C.D. Cal. May 15, 2015)

The authors of are patent trial lawyers at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP. For more information about this case, contact Stan Gibson at 310.201.3548 or