Newman and Moore Agree to Mediation in District Court Case

“Both Newman and a member of the Special Committee must personally participate in the mediation hearing and a status on the outcome of the mediation must be delivered to the court on or before August 2, 2023.”

https://depositphotos.com/75987423/stock-photo-mediation.htmlAccording to an Order filed today by Judge Christopher Cooper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Retired Judge Thomas Griffith will informally mediate with the parties in the case brought by Judge Pauline Newman against the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC’s) Special Committee that is investigating the question of her competence to continue serving on the court.

CAFC Chief Judge Moore “identified a complaint” against Newman in April of this year and, as one of the members of a Special Committee of the Federal Circuit Judicial Council, first expanded and then narrowed the scope of that investigation over the past few months. Most recently, on Thursday, July 6, Judge Cooper, who was assigned the district court case brought in May by Newman against Moore, said he recognized that the dispute “is obviously of great sensitivity as well as importance to both the Federal Circuit bar and the public in the courts more generally” and called for the parties to enter into mediation.

Today’s filing says that the parties filed a Joint Statement on Suggestion of Mediation and that the court therefore directed them to engage in “informal mediation before the Honorable Thomas P. Griffith (ret.).” Both Newman and a member of the Special Committee must personally participate in the mediation hearing and a status on the outcome of the mediation must be delivered to the court on or before August 2, 2023.

In the meantime, the briefing on Newman’s request for a preliminary injunction has been stayed.

Many in the IP community have called for the investigation to be transferred to a different circuit court. Retired CAFC Chief Judge Paul Michel in an article authored for IPWatchdog this week said that Newman’s case seems to be a “textbook example warranting transfer” but called Judge Cooper’s call for mediation a potential “ray of light.”

Another former CAFC Chief Judge, Randall Rader, commenting on Judge Michel’s article, said the Federal Circuit should reject the petition and issue an apology to Newman for compromising her right to medical privacy. “Nothing is more unseemly than the release of accusations about private medical conditions, especially when other facts contradict and impeach those charges,” Rader wrote.

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