Trial - Page 4

Northern District of Texas (Dallas)

Chief District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn

Albritton, IV v. Acclarent, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted the defendant's Unopposed Motion for Continuance of Trial, requesting that the Court continue the trial by approximately four months because the COVID-19 pandemic has made defendant “unable to procure testimony from several key trial witnesses—in spite of its diligence—if the trial proceeds in September.” In particular, the defendant indicated that many of its “key trial witnesses live out of state and are at greater risk for COVID-19 due to their respective age groups and/or pre-existing health conditions.” The Court reset the trial date to March 1, 2021 at 8:30 a.m., from September 21, 2020, with the pretrial conference to be held on February 26, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. (Case No. 3:16-cv-03340; July 7, 2020).  

Southern District of Texas (Houston Division)

District Judge Andrew S Hanen

Legacy Separators LLC v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas’s Houston Tyler Division sua sponte issued an order notifying the parties that there will be “no jury trials in the month of September”, a fact that the Court felt would “likely surprise no one monitoring the COVID-19 statistics.”  In a prior Order, the Court had cancelled the jury trial which had been scheduled to start on August 24, 2020 because the Houston Division had suspended all jury trial until September 8, 2020 “due to the apparent resurgence of COVID-19 cases.”   However, now “the Court believes that the best course of action is for the parties to give proposed dates for a weeklong jury trial in either October, November, or December.”   On September 23, 2020, the Court issued an Order setting the jury trial for November 30, 2020 and the pretrial conference from November 16, 2020. The parties were informed, however, that the Houston Division is only picking one jury per day so the trial may not begin exactly on the 30th.  The Court indicated that it intends to try the case in the courtroom but that “health concerns will be a consideration and [it] . . . may limit attendance at trial.”  Counsel were advised to “keep this in mind as they formulate their trial teams and plan their witness schedules . . . [and to] exercise caution and common sense as to what individuals are needed each day and [that] excess personnel should not be in attendance.” On November 10, 2020, the Court issued a Timing Order allocating 14.5 hours to each side for all testimony and testimony related matters in the jury trial beginning on November 30, 2020. The Court also indicated that “due COVID-19 social distancing, [it] will limit the number of attorneys, spectators, and extra personnel in the courtroom.” On November 17, 2020, the Court issued an Order granting defendant’s Motion to Allow Remote, Video Link Trial of At-Risk Witnesses. During telephonic proceedings on November 19, 2020, the Court notified the parties that trials are cancelled until January 19, 2021, and instructed the parties to meet and confer to find a date between January 19 and February 8, 2021 to set trial.  (Case No. 4:14-cv-02081; July 9,  2020, August 12, 2020, September 23, 2020, November 10, 2020, November 17, 2020 and November 19, 2021)

District Judge Lynn N. Hughes

FlexSteel Pipeline Technologies, Inc. v. Offshore Piplines and Risers (OPR) Inc. et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas’s Houston Division sua sponte issued an Order of Appearances indicating that “to accommodate health care, the court prefers only one lawyer appear for each party.” The pretrial conference was set for September 21, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. (Case No. 4:18-cv-02351; September 17, 2020).

Western District of Texas (San Antonio)

District Judge David A. Ezra

M-I LLC v. FPUSA, LLC – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio issued an Order that due to need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the delays that will be associated with jury selection, “the cost of subsistence of [the] jury panel and empaneled jury members, including cost of coffee, lunch, and other necessaries incurred by [the] jury during Court recesses shall be paid by the United States Government.” The jury trial is set to begin on October 4, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.  On October 19, 2021, the Western District of Texas jury returned its verdict, finding that the asserted patents were shown to be directly and indirectly infringed, were not shown to be invalid or unenforceable for inequitable conduct or unclean hands, and that the plaintiff was entitled to lost profits damages of $969,433. (Case No. 5-15-cv-00406; October 4, 2021 and October 19, 2021).   

Western District of Texas (Waco)

District Judge Alan D. Albright

Broadband iTV, Inc. v. DISH Network LLC -- The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco issued an Amended Scheduling Order setting the jury trial for November 15, 2021.  On October 7, 2021, the parties filed the Proposed Joint Pretrial Order which indicated that the parties “recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the manner of presentation of witness testimony.” In addition, there was an agreement that “[t]here will not be any attempt to use the COVID-19 pandemic or related conditions against any party or its witnesses or how any party structures its trial presentation (i.e., through use of video testimony).” (Case No. 6:19-cv-00716; July 26, 2021 and October 7, 2021).

CloudofChange, LLC v. NCR Corporation  The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco issued a Notice of Trial Procedures in anticipation of trial on May 17, 2021, including COVID-19 safety protocols to provide a safe environment for all parties and trial participants.  On April 21, 2021, the Western District of Texas jury returned its verdict, finding that the patents were willfully infringed, not proven invalid and that plaintiff was entitled to lump sum damages of $13,200,000.00 on its claim of patent infringement. On July 13, 2021, the Court entered Judgment in accordance with the jury verdict. (Case No. 6-19-cv-00513; May 13, 2021, May 20, 2021 and July 13, 2021).

Digital Retail Apps Inc. v. H-E-B LP – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco entered the parties Joint Stipulation And Order Postponing Trial, agreeing to postpone the trial date from February 19, 2021 to an available date in April in order to allow the COVID-19 pandemic situation to ameliorate. The parties had noted that the worsening COVID-19 pandemic raised significant concerns for both parties’ attorneys, witnesses, and experts regarding the risks posed to anyone attending the in-person trial. The Court adopted the parties’ proposed schedule, which resets the jury trial to April 19, 2021.  (Case No. 6:19-cv-00167; January 13, 2021).

Fintiv, Inc. v. Apple Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco issued an Order denying defendant’s Motion To Stay of the jury trial, but “to afford the Federal Circuit more time to resolve [defendant]’s mandamus petition, the Court [continued the] trial for one week, with a new trial date of October 12, 2021.” As part of its analysis, the Court found that the defendant’s reliance on the “surge of COIVD cases does not justify a continuance or stay either.” The Court found unavailing the argument based on “outdated facts”, in particular the Court’s statements back in March 2020 and the Standing Order dated on April 9, 2020. The Court noted that with a much better understanding of COVID, it “has safely conducted six patent jury trials and several other non-patent civil trials and criminal trials during the COVID pandemic between October 2020 and June 2021, with no reported COVID exposure of those involved in any of the trials.” And further noted that “it is even safer to conduct jury trials now compared to early 2021 given that COVID vaccines, which have been proved to be highly effective, are readily available in the United States.” The Court also indicated that “even if the trial is continued to February or March 2022, there is no guarantee that COVID pandemic will subside by then.” On October 4, 2021, the Court issued an Order transferring the case to the Austin division and resetting the jury trial to start on January 10, 2022 at 9:00AM. (Case No. 1-19-cv-01238; September 16, 2021 and October 4, 2021).

Jiaxing Super Lighting Electric Appliance Co., Ltd. et al v. CH Lighting Technology Co., Ltd. et al. - The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco issued an Order Concerning Final Pretrial Conference Motions entering motions that the Court had provided oral rulings on during the Final Pretrial Conference. Among the granted motions was an agreed upon Motion in Limine to exclude information relating to plaintiffs’ political affiliations, plaintiffs’ nationalities, and COVID-19. The jury trial is set to begin on November 1, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. On November 4, 2021, the Western District of Texas jury returned its verdict, finding that the asserted patent was not shown to be invalid and that one defendant was shown to be willfully infringing the asserted patent, entitling plaintiff to $13,872,872.00 for past damages, and that a second defendant was also shown to be infringing, but not willfully, entitling the plaintiff to $298,454.00 for past damages. (Case No. 6:20-cv-00018; October 15, 2021 and November 4, 2021).

MV3 Partners LLC v. Roku, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco sua sponte set a telephone conference for May 13, 2020 during which the Court indicated that the trial date has been reset from June 1, 2020 to June 29, 2020, in light of the Supplemental Order Regarding Court Operations Under The Exigent Circumstances Created By The COVID-19 pandemic issued on May 8, 2020 by Chief Judge Orlando L. Garcia, and that the Final Pretrial Conference is postponed from May 20, 2020 until a later date in June at which time it will be held in person. The Court further indicated that the jurors will probably have voir dire the Thursday or Friday before the trial. According to a May 1, 2020 Minute Entry, there will be 8 jurors selected from a jury pool of 48 and the seating in the gallery will be 4 per bench. In a June 4, 2020 Pretrial Conference, trial procedures were reviewed including that the parties will provide box lunches for the jury each day, the witnesses will be behind plexiglass, the number of people sitting at counsel table will be limited to 3, there will be no physical exhibits except for ELMO available to the jury, and only one counsel from each side may approach the bench during any bench conference. On April 8, 2020, the Court had previously denied defendant’s motion to continue the June 1 trial, stating that such a continuance would be premature as “the trial is still several weeks away.” In addition, the court issued a standing order on April 9, 2020 for all patent infringement cases in the post-Markman stage of litigation, acknowledging the “potential difficulties related to the COVID-19 virus that parties in patent cases may experience” and, thus, “is willing to consider all reasonable adjustments to the current orders to allow the parties to complete discovery…and file appropriate motions.” The court required only that the parties meet-and-confer first, further stating that it would give “great deference” to joint scheduling proposals. In a June 15, 2020 Minute Order the Court explained that it will not be able to hold the trial as it has been set due to the COVID-19 pandemic and suggested to reset the trial for August 3, 2020, however the Court indicated that it “cannot guarantee that the pandemic will allow the trial to go forward then.”  The Court cancelled the Final Pretrial Conference, currently scheduled for June 18, 2020, and indicated that the conference will be postponed until about 10 days before the new trial date. During a July 7, 2020 Status Conference, the Court sua sponte let the parties know that the trial will need to continued again due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court suggested that Jury Selection be held on September 3rd or 4th and that the trial be reset to start on September 8th, despite some expressed concern from counsel that “planning the trial for September may be too soon.” The Final Pretrial Conference will be held on August 27, 2020. During a discovery hearing held on August 10, 2020, the defendant “voiced that due to the current pandemic and the numbers associated with it in Waco, that their clients feel it would be possibly unsafe for their health and they would like the trial to be moved further out - possibly October.”  Despite being “surprised”, having thought that “everyone was on board with moving forward in September,” the Court continued the jury selection and trial due to the defendant’s issues. (Case No. 6:18-cv-00308; May 13, 2020, June 4, 2020, June 15, 2020, July 7, 2020 and August 10, 2020).

MV3 Partners LLC v. Roku, Inc. Order - May 11, 2020
MV3 Partners LLC v. Roku, Inc. Order - June 4, 2020
MV3 Partners LLC v. Roku, Inc. DI 308
MV3 Partners LLC v. Roku, Inc. DI 309
MV3 Partners LLC v. Roku, Inc. DI 385

SAS Institute Inc. v. World Programming Limited et. al. – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas’s Marshall Division denied, without prejudice, the parties’ Joint Motion to Continue Trial Setting, requesting a 90-day extension to the jury trial – currently scheduled to begin with jury selection on July 6, 2020 -- due to travel restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court acknowledged “the need to protect parties, court staff, witnesses, corporate representatives, and practitioners during this crisis”, but felt the motion is premature “[g]iven the constant evolution of the pandemic” and related travel restrictions. In particular, The Court noted the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions may very well change several times before the scheduled jury selection, hopefully in ways that may assuage the present concerns raised by the Motion. Nonetheless, the Court also noted that “[t]he parties are free to seek similar relief at a later date, if present impediments do not abate or are otherwise modified/lifted.” (Case No. 2:18-cv-00295; May 22, 2020).

Profectus Technology LLC v. Google LLC f/k/a Google Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco issued a Notice Of Trial Procedures, notifying the parties of trial procedures for the jury trial set for Monday October 4, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. The procedures included COVID-19 safety protocols such as pre-entry health assessments, face covering, social distancing, and partial sequestration of the jury. The Order also provides for audio access for the public via an audio feed, and a live video feed of the trial proceedings provided to party-affiliated individuals who choose to observe the trials remotely and any witnesses who choose to testify remotely. The Court also noted that “remote trial participants and observers should silence electronic devices other than the devices necessary to their remote participation, close unnecessary computer programs or applications (such as email or calendar notifications), and take steps to remove or minimize anything in their remote workspace that might distract from the integrity of the proceedings.” In addition, all remote participants are required “to do their best to maintain professionalism in order to conduct a fair and efficient trial . . . [and anyone] appearing virtually shall dress in the same manner as they would if they physically appeared in the courtroom.” The Court also issued a Jury Sequestration Order that the jury be sequestered, in light of the continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from the time they report to the jury room each day until released by the Court at the end of each day.  On October 6, 2021, the Western District of Texas jury returned its verdict, finding that the asserted patent was not directly or indirectly infringed and was shown to be invalid by clear and convincing evidence. (Case No. 1-20-cv-00101; September 23, 2021 and October 6, 2021).

USC IP Partnership, LP v. Facebook, Inc. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco issued a Notice of Trial Procedures, including COVID-19 Safety Protocols, for the jury trial to be held on December 13, 2021.  In the Proposed Joint Final Pretrial Order, the parties stipulated that they would not “introduce any arguments or references to religious or political beliefs, race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or health (including COVID-19 vaccination status) of a Party, witness, or attorney, or commenting on related topics including political issues/leanings and/or the COVID-19 pandemic. The parties also set forth procedures for potential witness disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including agreement that “in the event any witness who is scheduled and disclosed to appear live to testify, becomes unable to do so due to COVID-19 illness or travel restrictions (whether imposed by the United States or by the witness’ country of origin) or otherwise, the witness may be called via live videoconference.” In a proposed jury instruction, the parties noted that “some of the video recordings of witnesses you see may be of lower quality because the witnesses had their depositions taken from home . . . due to COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time and . . . [that the jury] should not hold the quality of the video, the location of the witness, or any other circumstances arising from COVID-19 restrictions against either party.” On December 6, 2021, after hearing arguments during the final pretrial conference the Court determined that it would grant the defendant’s motion for summary judgement for patent ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101, and it cancelled the jury trial.  (Case No. 6:20-cv-00555; November 11, 2021, December 3, 2021 and December 6, 2021).

VideoShare, LLC v. Google LLC et al. - The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco issued an Amended Scheduling Order setting the jury trial for November 8, 2021.  On October 12, 2021, the parties filed the Proposed Joint Pretrial Order which contained a list of agreed upon MILs, including an agreement to “exclude testimony, argument, evidence, or reference to the religious beliefs, political party affiliation, health (including vaccination status), race, ethnicity, national origin, and/or sexual orientation of the parties, witnesses, or counsel.” On November 4, 2021, the Court issued a Notice Of Trial Procedures, notifying the parties of trial procedures including COVID-19 safety protocol and remote participate decorum. On November 16, 2021, the Western District of Texas jury returned its verdict, finding that the asserted claims of the patent-in-suit were infringed and not shown to be well-understood, routine and conventional.  The jury found that plaintiff was entitled to damages of $25,900,000.00 to reasonably compensate for the infringement. (Case No. 6:19-cv-00663; August 3, 2021, October 12, 2021, November 4, 2021 and November 16, 2021).

VLSI Technology LLC v. Intel Corporation – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco issued an Amended Notice of Trial Procedures in anticipation of trial on April 12, 2021, including COVID-19 safety protocols to provide a safe environment for all parties and trial participants.  On April 21, 2021, the Western District of Texas jury returned its verdict, finding that the patents were not proven to be infringed. (Case No. 1-19-cv-00255; April 7, 2021 and April 21, 2021).

Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk)

Chief District Judge Mark S. Davis

Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. v. Bentley Motors Ltd., et. al. – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s Norfolk Division granted the parties’ joint motion to extend currently pending deadlines in light of complications related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including agreeing to remove the trial date previously scheduled for October 13, 2020. The court found the “parties acted diligently and timely in making this joint request” and that good cause supported extensions in all deadlines. In a May 5 Order, pursuant to the General Orders in case 2:20mc7 re the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019, the Rule 16(b) Scheduling Order was amended to reset the Final Pretrial Conference for February 5, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. and the Jury Trial for February 23, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. The Markman Hearing was held remotely on May 21, 2020 using ZoomGov. On October 30, 2020, Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard issued an Opinion and Order granting in part defendant’s Motion to Strike [Expert’s] Untimely Damages Theory and granting its alternative relief to re-open discovery. As part of its analysis of the relevant factors, the Court noted that defendant may have been without remedy to cure if “the trial schedule of this case not been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” However, here the Court may exercise its discretion to re-open discovery to explore the factual basis of the new theory. On January 12, 2021, the Court issued an Order cancelling the jury trial currently set to begin on February 23, 2021, pursuant to the Court’s General Order No. 2020-16, which ordered that all civil jury trials were continued until further notice. The Court further indicated that a new trial date will be set once civil trials are allowed to resume. (Case No. 2:18-cv-00320; April 9, 2020, May 5, 2020, May 21. 2020, October 30, 2020 and January 12, 2021).

Jaguar Land rover Ltd. v. Bentley Motors Ltd., et. al. Docket 344 - May 21, 2020

District Judge Robert G. Doumar

Appotronics Corp. Ltd. v. Delta Electronics, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk granted the parties’ Joint Motion for Extension of Case Schedule, resetting the currently scheduled May trial to now commence on October 25, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., with the final pretrial conference to be conducted on October 14, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. The parties had informed the Court, among other things, that plaintiff’s witnesses “would be unable to travel from China to the United States for the currently scheduled trial in May due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, which are likely to remain in place for the next few months.”  (Case No. 2:19-cv-00466; March 12, 2021).

Magistrate Judge Robert J. Krask

Biedermann Technologies GmbH & Co. KG v. K2M, Inc. et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s Norfolk Division issued an Order rescheduling the pretrial conference to October 15, 2021 at 9:30 a.m., and determining that it should be conducted remotely using the platform in keeping with the guidance delineated in General Order No. 2020-16, Case No.2:20mc7, because of the public health emergency posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. On August 19, 2021, the Court granted the parties’ Joint Motion  for Limited Supplementation of Expert Reports and Extension for Related Pre-Trial Disclosures finding that good cause was shown. (Case No. 2:18-cv-00585, presiding before District Judge Mark S. Davis; May 17, 2021 and August 19, 2021).

Senior District Judge Henry C. Morgan, Jr.

Centripetal Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s Norfolk Division denied defendant’s Motion Opposing Trial Entirely by Videoconference, filed in response to the court’s decision to hold the trial by Zoom's videoconference platform. In response to the pandemic, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued General Order 2020-09 (“Authorization to Use Video Teleconferencing Pursuant to the CARES Act”), providing temporary emergency video and teleconferencing for civil and criminal hearings, including the use of Zoomgov for remote proceedings, and General Order 2020-11 (“Public Access to Remote Hearings”), authorizing access to the press and public to listen by a toll free telephone line to proceedings held remotely during the pandemic. Defendant raised a variety of concerns with respect to the decision to proceed with the trial via Zoom, including security, its ability to effectively cross examine witnesses and the Rule of Sequestration. In particular, the defendant argued that the lack of security on the Zoom platform would jeopardize its confidential material which may be made available to the public during a video trial. However, the court rejected this argument because a trial in the courtroom would similarly be open to the public. The court felt any concerns regarding cross examination of witnesses were unwarranted because “both parties are required to disclose all exhibits, except those [] used for purposes of impeachment, in advance of trial and therefore both sides will know what evidence is intended to be presented at trial…[and] are required to prepare an exhibit book.” With respect to the Rule of Sequestration, the court indicated that if called upon to do so, it would impose its usual limitation upon witness discussion of testimony with another witness or counsel discussing past testimony with the witness in advance of present testimony. The court also pointed to Local Rule 83.3 and noted that “the general prohibition on televising, recording or photographing any civil or criminal court proceedings remains in effect for remote proceedings.” Further explaining “that the operation of any video or audio recording device by any lawyer, litigant, participant or observing member of the public or press is prohibited during remote proceedings.” On April 27, 2020, the Clerk filed the approved Joint Pretrial Order. The Court issued its Opinion and Order on October 5, 2020, finding one asserted patent not infringed and the other three patents valid and literally infringed. The Court awarded actual damages of approximately $755 Million, which was enhanced to $1.9 Billion due to willful infringement and pre-judgment interest.  (Case No. 2:18-cv-00094; April 23, 2020 & April 27, 2020 and October 5, 2020).

The United States Court of Federal Claims

Court of Federal Claims Judge Eric G. Bruggink

Securitypoint Holdings, LLC v. USA – The U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued it Final Pretrial Order following the pretrial conference held on September 14, 2020. The trial will commence in-person and virtually at 9:00 a.m. (EDT) on October 5, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, “the parties will be limited to two attendees per side in the building at a time,” with only “one witness [being] allowed in the building at a time,” and the parties “will also be required to follow all posted COVID-19 guidelines.” (Case No. 0:11-cv-00268; September 16, 2020).

Court of Federal Claims Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith

University of South Florida Board of Trustees v. United States of America – The U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued an Order on November 2, 2021 with respect to the pretrial conference which was previously scheduled to held on November 8, 2021.  The Court offered the parties the opportunity, due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic concerns, to participate either in-person or virtually for the pretrial conference. The court noted that the parties should keep in mind that no more than ten people are permitted in the courtroom at any time, and the court requires three participants in the room. The court indicated that it does not oppose the virtual participation of multiple persons for each party at the pretrial conference, but will require any non-speaking virtual participants to turn off their video feed and ensure their microphone is muted unless called on by the court. The Court also informed the parties that the courthouse is currently closed to members of the public, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, and it “anticipates that there will be much material to cover during the pretrial conference to ensure a smooth trial in the hybrid courtroom and virtual environment that the court anticipates for the trial in this matter as a result of the restrictions” On November 9, 2021, the Court issued a Trial Management Order after holding a pretrial conference memorializing the discussion and understanding reached, including COVID-19 Protocols. The Court addressed the COVID-19 Protocols which include: 1) requiring  counsel of record for each party to orally certify at the beginning of each day of the proceeding that any in-person participants (their colleagues, staff, and clients) are asymptomatic for COVID-19; 2) a limitation that no more than ten people may be in the courtroom at any time, and since the court will require three people in the room, the parties may have between them a total of seven people in the courtroom at one time; 3) requiring counsel to submit, for contact tracing purposes, a list of in-person participants each day, including their names, titles, and contact information; 4) a mask requirement in the courthouse and the courtroom at all times; and 5) a limitation of four people at a time on the elevator. The Order also included Attorney Declaration and Participant Declaration attachments representing an acknowledgment of having read the trial management order and agreement to abide by the procedures, terms, and conditions as set forth therein. The Court also noted that it “will allow additional time beyond 5:00 p.m., if required and as possible, given the COVID-19 restrictions in place, for the continuity of witness testimony or another compelling reason.”  Trial will be held, with the parties presenting both virtually by Zoom for Government and in-person for five days, beginning on December 6, 2021. On December 2, 2021, the Court issued an Order concluding that proceeding with the trial virtually is prudent  “given the remaining uncertainty regarding when and if a funding arrangement will be finalized before next week and the lingering uncertainty regarding Covid-19 protocols caused by discovery of the omicron variant in the United States.” The Court further advised the parties that it was amenable to delaying the start of the trial to December 7, 2021, if the change to a virtual format complicates preparation for either party.  (Case No. 0:15-cv-01549; November 2, 2021, November 9, 2021 and December 2, 2021).

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