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Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells Grants IBM's Motion to Expedite
Tuesday, June 13 2006 @ 06:26 PM EDT

Yes, Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells has granted IBM's Request for Expedited Briefing and Hearing, and no, of course she didn't follow SCO's ridiculous suggestion to give IBM only three days to respond to whatever SCO files in opposition to IBM's Motion to Confine SCO's Claims to, and Strike Allegations in Excess of, the Final Disclosures. Here's the Order Granting IBM's Motion for Expedited Briefing and Hearing [PDF] with the schedule Wells has set:
  • SCO's opposition to motion due: 6/19/06 by 5:00 p.m.
  • IBM's reply due: 6/26/06 by 5:00 p.m.
  • A hearing will be held after briefing is complete.

The fact that no hearing has been set means, I guess, that she doesn't know until she sees the briefs what to do next, since SCO has raised the new issue of IBM's motion allegedly being a "dispositive" motion. If it is, she has to pass the baton to Judge Dale Kimball, who is the presiding judge and the only one who normally would rule on dispositive motions.

As you'll recall, with a smile, SCO suggested they get until the the 19th and then IBM would have to respond by the 22nd, which would have allowed IBM only 3 days. Instead, SCO will get ten days, and IBM seven. That's fair, and harmonious with the usual pattern.

IBM immediately responded [PDF] to SCO's suggested schedule. Of course they didn't accept the proposed 3 days. IBM didn't object to SCO getting until the 19th; it suggested either SCO getting until the 19th, as SCO wanted, with IBM then getting until June 27 to respond; or alternatively, they asked that SCO's deadline be the 16th, with IBM getting until June 21. So IBM got one day less than it asked for, but essentially it got what it asked for.

I noticed something else. Look at the dates. IBM filed its Reply, with its proposed schedules, on June 13. Judge Wells signed her Order on that same day, so I think it is very likely, since she didn't refer to the IBM document at all, while referencing all the other documents, including SCO's, that she picked a date without having read IBM's input, and they both reached essentially the same concept of what would be fair. Think about what that might mean for SCO to be odd man out on the fairness meter.

Pacer also reveals that SCO's legal team is minus one attorney, Mark Clements, who leaves the firm Hatch, James and Dodge for health reasons, and is no longer practicing law, so it's not about this case, and I'm sure we all genuinely wish him well with his health struggle:

You'll note a footnote in the Order, on page 2:

SCO agreed to expedited briefing and proposed this date for the submission of their opposition memo in response to IBM's motion. See SCO's Mem. in Resp. p. 2.

This isn't, in my view, throwing them a bone. It's an indication that the judge is aware this issue is very likely to be appealed by whichever side loses. She understands the significance of what is playing out. The footnote makes it impossible for SCO to complain about the date.


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