A recent decision by a federal district court in Texas serves as a powerful reminder that law firms must carefully and constantly monitor their clients’ case developments. In Two-Way Media LLC v. AT&T Operations, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas denied a motion by AT&T for an extension to appeal a 2013 verdict that it infringed patents owned by Two-Way Media LLC. The motion deadline had passed in December 2013, but 18 lawyers from AT&T’s outside counsel missed the deadline because of allegedly ambiguous email docket notices. According to AT&T, the lawyers only realized in January 2014 that all post-trial motions had been resolved in November 2013, triggering the 30-day period for filing an appeal. The district court, however, held that was not an excuse, and declined to grant AT&T an extension to appeal. The court held that “it is not sufficient for attorneys to rely on the electronic and email notifications received from the [Electronic Case Files] system, as the docket entries and notifications do not always convey the court’s disposition in its entirety . . . . The substance of the orders carry validity under the law, not the electronic [filings].” AT&T’s appeal of the district court’s decision is currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.