On August 13, the Federal Circuit issued another order denying a petition for a writ of mandamus, this one in In re DISH Network L.L.C., another case we have been following because it attracted an amicus brief. While the court denied the petition, the court noted that “the district court here erred in relying on DISH’s general presence in Western Texas without tying that presence to the events underlying the suit.” As a result, the court stated it is “confident the district court will reconsider its determination in light of the appropriate legal standard and precedent on its own.” Also, notably, Judge Reyna wrote a concurring opinion in this case. Here is a summary of the case, the order, and the concurring opinion.
DISH Network L.L.C. petitioned for a writ of mandamus directing the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas to transfer this case to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Judges O’Malley, Reyna, and Chen formed the panel for this case. A per curiam order described the facts of the case:
In this case, the district court found that the local interest factor was neutral in part because DISH “employs over 1,000 employees and owns call centers, warehouses, a remanufacturing center, and a service center in this District.” . . . However, elsewhere in its decision, the court found that employees working from these locations did not possess information relevant to this case.
According to the panel, relevant case law from the 2020 Federal Circuit case In re Apple Inc. held that the “the local interest factor ‘most notably regards not merely the parties’ significant connections to each forum writ large, but rather the significant connections between a particular venue and the events that gave rise to a suit.’” In that case, the Federal Circuit determined “the district court . . . ‘misapplied the law to the facts by so heavily weighing Apple’s general contacts with the forum that are untethered to the lawsuit, such as Apple’s general presence in WDTX[.]’”
Applying Apple, this panel held that “the district court . . . erred in relying on DISH’s general presence in Western Texas without tying that presence to the events underlying the suit.” The Federal Circuit panel also cited the court’s recent opinion in In re Samsung Electronics Co. for support.
Despite the district court’s error, the panel did “not view issuance of mandamus as needed here because we are confident the district court will reconsider its determination in light of the appropriate legal standard and precedent on its own.” The court, moreover, indicated it expects “that the district court will expeditiously reconsider this matter before resolving substantive issues in the case.”
Notably, Judge Reyna wrote a concurring opinion to express his concern about sending the case back to the district court given that he was “not convinced [the action] is supported by precedent.” He noted the case is “not a case of first impression” or “a recent change in law.” As such, he described the case as “more interlocutory than mandamus” and argued there is “a need for caution lest we risk creating a new form of relief that is not the mandamus relief established in rule or precedent.”