Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Judge denies defendant's reconsideration motion in SONY v. Tenenbaum, notes that audiocast of appeals court oral argument will be online

In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, Judge Gertner has denied the defendant's "reconsideration" motion on the ground that defendant had initially prevailed, hence had no reason to move for reconsideration.

The Court also noted that the appellate court's oral argument will be taped, and an audiocast made available online.

The Court's order reads as follows:

Judge Nancy Gertner: Electronic ORDER entered. The Defendant's Motion for Extension of Time [786] and Motion for Reconsideration [787] are DENIED. The Plaintiffs have declined to move for reconsideration of the Court's January 14, 2009 Order, preferring to rely on the pending proceedings in the First Circuit. While the Defendant has moved to reconsider, his motion is late and without basis as he previously prevailed on the narrowcast issue in this Court. The First Circuit has set a date for oral argument, currently scheduled for April 8, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., and has solicited amicus briefs. Significantly, given the nature of this appeal -- whether the district court may "narrowcast" a legal argument -- the First Circuit has indicated that the argument before it will be audiotaped and posted online after the fact. See First Circuit Calendaring Notice, March 10, 2009, Case No. 09-1090. There is no equivalent in the district court, hence the litigation in this case.

Commentary & discussion:

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Michael said...

According to the motion that the defendant filed, they wanted the court to reconsider its order to allow cameras in the courtroom in order to get the court to allow cameras in the courtroom. I'd like to know why the motion was filed in the first place.

derivative said...

The appeals court found some information that hadn't been presented to the district court. In light of that information, the district court invited a reconsideration motion. When the plaintiffs neglected to file one, the defense went ahead and filed one, apparently just in case the judge was going to sua sponte change her mind, based on the document the appeals court uncovered.

I'm not a lawyer or a judge, but I would suspect that, even though the motion was denied, it has been read, and if the judge found its contents reasonable, she will be more willing to wait until the appeals court rules, rather than to go ahead and overturn her own ruling.

From a procedural point of view, it is much easier for the judge to deny this motion on the grounds that the defendants already got what they want, than it is to reopen things, get another filing from the plaintiffs and yet another response to that from the defendants. But whether the contents of the motion kept the judge from changing her mind is something only the judge will know.

Anonymous said...


This man hopes you are right and not that this was just another bone-head move by the Defense.

{The Common Man Speaking}