Today Vringo filed a motion for reconsideration of the order entered yesterday that denied Vringo's 3rd Motion for Sanctions Against Google.
The 3rd Motion for Sanctions was heard and denied by Magistrate Judge Lawrence Leonard. In truth, Judge Leonard probably should have granted the motion for sanctions, since Vringo's motion sought to disqualify evidence that Google produced after the Court's deadline for discovery. Discovery deadlines are pretty routinely enforced in Federal Courts. This should be more so the case when the parties are merely a week from trial, the stakes are high in the case, and the outcome affects publicly traded companies.
Of note, Judge Leonard is a very new Judge. According to this article, his first day on the job was only a few days ago, on October 1, 2012. Although Judge Leonard has plenty of experience as a government lawyer, the truth of the matter is that it is a very different mindset being the Judge instead of an attorney.
I wonder whether Judge Leonard's decision to give Google a second chance after the discovery cutoff was a result of any hesitance on his part to make a decisive ruling in a high profile, high stakes, case, being a literally brand new judge?
I think this is a good motion for reconsideration by Vringo. The discovery cutoff is there for a reason, and there ought to be a REALLY good reason given when a party seeks to provide discovery after the discovery cutoff. I have not seen any such reason in this case to justify Google's late discovery exchange. Normally, parties have a right to appeal a Magistrate Judge's decision to a Federal Judge (Judge Jackson). Unfortunately, I wonder if Judge Jackson will be hesitant to overrule Magistrate Judge Leonard in this instance, for fear of cutting his legs out from under him since he is so new?
I think in fairness, the motion should at least be re-heard before Judge Jackson. However, I doubt the Court will want to give Vringo as much due process as that, especially at Judge Leonard's expense.
Disclosure: I am long VRNG.