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Judge Davis Announces Preliminary Decision on Summary Judgment Motion Prior to Releasing Full Opinion in Order to Help Parties Better Prepare for Trial

May 16, 2019

In Optical Air Data Systems, LLC v. L-3 Communications Corp., et al., C.A. No. N17C-05-619 EMD CCLD, Judge Davis granted partial summary judgment in favor of the defendants and counterclaim plaintiffs L-3 Communications Corporation, Display Systems Division, and L-3 Communications Avionics Systems, Inc. (collectively, “L-3”).

The decision arose from cross-motions for summary judgment filed shortly prior to trial. Oral argument was held a month later. During the summary judgment hearing, the Court informed the parties of some preliminary assessments as to the strengths or weaknesses of some of the claims and counterclaims, and otherwise took L-3’s motion for summary judgment under advisement. Due to the quick turnaround time between the hearing and the trial, the Court warned that a decision on L-3’s motion may not be rendered prior to trial. The Court, however, held a teleconference a month or so after the hearing to announce a preliminary decision and better allow the parties to prepare for trial. Ultimately, the Court entered judgment in favor of L-3 on Count 5 (fraud in the inducement and misrepresentation) and Count 6 (breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing). The Court also narrowed Count 10 (conspiracy) and Count 11 (defamation) to only communications purportedly made to one non-party entity. Otherwise, summary judgment on all remaining claims and counterclaims was denied due to genuine issues of material fact.

Analysis: This case highlights the speed at which the CCLD judges will work to accommodate parties on a tight litigation schedule. Here, given the short period of time between the summary judgment proceedings and trial, the Court held a teleconference concerning its preliminary decision prior to releasing the written opinion. The Court reiterated that this was to help the parties better prepare for trial.

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