IN RE: READREN: Nov. 17, 2016. Before Moore, Hughes, and Stoll.

The Takeaway:

  • Mandamus carries a very high standard of showing “clear and indisputable” right to relief with the unavailability of other legal channels to obtain the same relief.

Procedural Posture:

The defendants in the underlying N.D Cal. case petitioned the CAFC for a writ of mandamus to challenge the district court’s order compelling them to produce allegedly privileged documents. The CAFC denied the petition.

Analysis:

  • Appellate Jurisdiction: The CAFC had jurisdiction to decide the petition for a writ of mandamus challenging the district court’s order as the petitioner’s patent infringement counterclaims were compulsory under Fed R.Civ.P 13(e), and as such, the CAFC had jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a).
  • Burden of Proof: The petitioners sought to challenge the district court’s order compelling them to produce allegedly privileged documents after denying their request for an evidentiary hearing and to supplement the record. As the relief was sought through mandamus, the CAFC would only overturn the district court upon showing of a “clear and indisputable” right to relief with no alternative avenues to obtain the same relief. Petitioners failed to meet this high standard and accordingly the CAFC denied the petition.