Friday, December 27, 2013

Identiseal Corp. v. Positive Identification Systems, Inc. case brief

Identiseal Corp. v. Positive Identification Systems, Inc. case brief summary
560 F.2d 298 (1977)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appeal from the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which dismissed plaintiff's complaint because plaintiff failed to file a pretrial report as ordered by the court.

CASE FACTS
During the pretrial phase of plaintiff's case, the district court issued an order compelling plaintiff to conduct discovery. Plaintiff moved to vacate the order, asserting that it would not be in its best interest to conduct pretrial discovery. The district court nevertheless dismissed plaintiff's action, since plaintiff failed to file a pretrial report as required by the order.

DISCUSSION
  • On appeal, the court reversed the district court's dismissal of the action. 
  • The court cited Fed. R. Civ. P. 16, which granted district courts wide discretion to advance the cause being tried and to simplify procedures before the case reached trial. 
  • However, the court noted, this discretion was not without limits. 
  • The court held that Fed. R. Civ. P. 16 did not authorize the district court to dismiss plaintiff's action for failure to conduct discovery, since plaintiff's failure to do so could not be characterized as "failure to prosecute."
CONCLUSION
Judgment dismissing plaintiff's action was reversed, because Fed. R. Civ. P. 16 did not authorize district court to dismiss action based on plaintiff's failure to conduct pretrial discovery.


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