Richards Layton & Finger
 

Judge Andrews Affirms Magistrate Judge's Order Denying Discovery Sanctions

January 13, 2017

In AVM Technologies, LLC v. Intel Corp., C.A. No. 15-0033-RGA-MPT, 2016 WL 7374537 (D. Del. Dec. 19, 2016), Judge Andrews affirmed Magistrate Judge Thynge’s oral order denying plaintiff AVM Technologies, LLC’s motion for discovery sanctions. AVM requested that the defendant, Intel Corp., “be precluded from ‘making any arguments that its timing analyses and any simulations . . . do not accurately reflect the manufactured products’; . . . and [have] a negative inference . . . drawn in Plaintiffs favor due to Defendant’s failure to produce” certain data. Id. at *1. Magistrate Judge Thynge denied that motion during a discovery hearing, AVM filed objections, Intel responded, and Judge Andrews reviewed the decision under an abuse of discretion standard. Under this standard, Judge Andrews highlighted the reasoning in the magistrate judge’s ruling and found that there was no evidence in the objections that made the factual findings in the ruling clearly erroneous. Without any clearly erroneous factual findings, Judge Andrews found no abuse of discretion in Magistrate Judge Thynge’s ruling and affirmed.

Key Points:  In his decision, Judge Andrews highlighted the discretionary nature of discovery sanctions. He also recognized Magistrate Judge Thynge’s prior handling of numerous discovery disputes for this case and her familiarity with the proceedings and the current dispute. This decision demonstrates the high bar that applies in seeking to overturn a magistrate judge’s decision on discovery issues.