This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in a veterans case, a nonprecedential opinion in a patent case, and one nonprecedential order dismissing a petition for a writ of mandamus. Here are the introductions to the opinions and the text of the order.
Monk v. Wilkie (Precedential)
Petitioners Conley F. Monk, Jr. and seven other veterans petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”), requesting class action certification for the class of veterans whose disability claims had not been resolved by the Board of Veterans Appeals (“BVA” or “Board”) within one year of the filing of a Notice of Disagreement (“NOD”). Petitioners define the proposed class as:
[I]ndividuals who . . . applied for and [were] denied VA [Veterans Affairs] disability benefits, in whole or in part; [and] timely filed an NOD upon denial of an original, reopened, or remanded claim; [and] the VA has failed to render a decision on the pending appeal within twelve (12) months of the date of the NOD.
Amended Petition at 7 (Dec. 20, 2017) (ECF No. 57). Petitioners request judicial action to compel the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to decide all pending appeals within one year of receipt of a timely NOD. Petitioners stated that the proposed class constituted at least 470,000 claimants, and was increasing.
The Veterans Court took the matter en banc, and requested Petitioners to separate or limit the requested class action into issues that meet the “commonality” standard of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2):
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Petitioners declined to limit the requested class action, stating that “systemic delay” exists in the VA claims system, and broad judicial remedy is required. The Veterans Court then denied the requested class certification, stating that “[t]he relief the petitioners seek does not satisfy Rule 23(b)(2)’s standard as there is no single injunction that provides relief to the class as a whole.” Vet. Ct. Op. at 181. This appeal followed.
Finjan, Inc. v. Juniper Networks, Inc. (Nonprecedential)
Finjan, Inc. (“Finjan”) appeals from an order issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (“Unsealing Order”) amid patent-infringement litigation between Finjan and Juniper Networks, Inc. (“Juniper”). That order provides for unsealing a Daubert-related order (“Daubert Order”) and states in full:
The order on the Daubert motions, filed under seal today, shall remain under seal for two weeks, during which one or more parties may seek appellate review of this order to obtain redactions. Thereafter, absent order from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the order on the Daubert motions will be filed on the public docket by December 17 at noon.
J.A. 1 (emphasis omitted). The district court stayed unsealing of the Daubert Order pending this appeal. J.A. 14.
Finjan asks us to reverse the Unsealing Order and issue an order of our own “granting limited redactions of eight lines” of the Daubert Order that Finjan asserts disclose confidential licensing terms discussed between Finjan and third-party licensees. Appellant’s Br. 4. Juniper does not oppose. We have jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine. See Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Apple, Inc., 964 F.3d 1351, 1357–58 (Fed. Cir. 2020); Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., 727 F.3d 1214, 1220 (Fed. Cir. 2013).
In re Drevaleva (Nonprecedential Order)
Tatyana E. Drevaleva petitions for a writ of mandamus directing the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to vacate the judgment in case No. 20- CV-00642 or to rule on her motion to vacate that judgment.
After Ms. Drevaleva was unsuccessful in suing her former employer for unlawful termination, retaliation, and lost wages, she filed the instant suit against the magistrate judge who was assigned to her prior case and the United States, seeking damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) and California state law. The district court dismissed the claims as barred by judicial immunity. Ms. Drevaleva filed a motion to vacate the judgment, which remains pending. This petition followed.
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Here, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, not this court, would have jurisdiction over a proper appeal from a final judgment arising out of a civil action pursuant to the FTCA. Because this court would not have jurisdiction over an appeal from the underlying case, we lack jurisdiction to issue mandamus relief. While this court has authority to transfer matters to the appropriate regional circuit under 28 U.S.C. § 1631, we cannot say it would be in the interest of justice to do so here.
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
The petition is dismissed. All other pending motions are denied as moot.