Vacation Plans Get in the Way of Maxava v. Vision Trial
November 27, 2012 Alex Woodie
A pre-paid vacation has gotten in the way of the trial scheduled to begin next April in Maxava‘s trade libel case against Vision Solutions. The two-and-a-half week vacation for a lawyer for Sirius, a co-defendant in the case, caused the parties to delay the trial date from early April to late May.
In a status conference on September 17, lawyers for Maxava, Vision, and Sirius agreed to a trial date of April 2, and a pretrial conference date of March 21. However, the trial date conflicted with the pre-paid, two-and-a-half week vacation of Sirius lawyer Friedrich Seitz. According to court records, Seitz has already paid for a vacation from April 5 through April 23.
While Seitz should have brought his vacation plans up during the September 17 status conference, he didn’t. Instead of forcing him to choose between missing the trial or missing his pre-paid vacation, lawyers for all parties agreed on November 13 to push the pre-trial conference back to May 2, and to push the trial start date back to May 28.
This is the latest in a long series of delays in the case, which Maxava originally filed as a false advertising case in December 2009 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. For the last couple of years, the case–which has been expanded to include Sirius as a defendant and to include allegations of trade libel, interfering with prospective economic advantage, and anti-competitive, monopolistic behavior in violation of the Sherman Act, in addition to the original accusations of false advertising, or Lanham Act violations–has taken place in Judge George Wu’s courtroom in U.S. District Court Central District of California Western Division, based in Los Angeles.
Even before the latest scheduling conflict (a trial had originally been scheduled for November 2012 before being pushed to April, and now to May), the slow pace of the case and the long lapses between court appearances has caused some ripples. There’s also no guarantee that there will even be a jury trial, as Judge Wu still has yet to issue his ruling on Vision’s request for a summary judgment, which would effectively throw out Maxava’s case against Vision.
This case has had numerous ups and downs and twist and turns–at least according to the documents that haven’t been redacted or pulled from the public’s view. In the middle of 2010, Maxava got a boost when the court granted a temporary injunction against Vision. Then in December 2011, Vision got a boost when Judge Wu issued a preliminary ruling that heavily favored Vision’s arguments.
As is the case with most lawsuits, win or lose, the lawyers on each side stand to gain the most. With all those billable hours, it’s enough for quite the vacation.