Sunday, November 24, 2013

International Business Machines Corp. v. Edelstein case brief

International Business Machines Corp. v. Edelstein case brief summary
526 F.2d 37 (2d Cir. 1975)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner sought a writ of mandamus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 1651 and Fed. R. App. P. 21against the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking extraordinary relief from certain rulings by the judge in ongoing suit in which petitioner was being tried for alleged violations of § 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 2.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner, on trial in the district court for alleged violations of § 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 2, filed a petition for a writ of mandamus against the chief judge of the district court seeking relief from certain rulings by the judge.

DISCUSSION

  • Determining that the judge exceeded his authority in making the rulings, the appellate court granted the writ. 
  • The judge's ruling precluding petitioner from privately interviewing adverse witnesses impaired the constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel and was contrary to the principles that all parties had a right to interview an adverse witness in private without the presence or consent of opposing counsel and without a transcript being made. 
  • The judge's ruling refusing to file petitioner's papers with the clerk of court constituted an impermissible interference with petitioners' right to make a record for purposes of appeal. 
  • Finally, the judge's ruling that all motions be submitted to the court in writing upon five or ten days notice was improper because it effectively eliminated a party's ability to make oral motions. 
  • Moreover, oral motions were virtually mandated by Fed. R. Civ. P. 7(b)(1).

CONCLUSION
The appellate court granted the petition for a writ of mandamus, concluding that the district court exceeded his authority in precluding petitioner from privately interviewing adverse witnesses, refusing to file petitioner's papers with the clerk of the court, ordering petitioner not to make oral motions in open court during the trial, and directing that motions be in writing and within the time limits provided by the federal procedural rules.

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