521 F.Supp.2d 575 (E.D.Tex. 2007), C. A. 9 06-CV-00155, Blackboard, Inc. v. Desire2Learn, Inc.

Docket NºC. A. 9 06-CV-00155
Citation521 F.Supp.2d 575
Party NameBlackboard, Inc. v. Desire2Learn, Inc.
Case DateNovember 05, 2007
CourtUnited States District Courts, 5th Circuit, United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District Texas)

Page 575

521 F.Supp.2d 575 (E.D.Tex. 2007)

BLACKBOARD, INC., Plaintiff,


DESIRE2LEARN, INC., Defendant.

Civil Action No. 9:06-CV-00155-RHC.

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Lufkin Division.

Nov. 5, 2007

J. Thad Heartfield of The Heartfield Law Firm, Beaumont, TX, Christopher D. Bright, Daniel R. Foster, and Fay E. Morisseau of McDermott Will & Emery-Irvine, Irvine, CA, Claudia R.S. Schwartz, Evan A. Parke, James G. Rizzo, Michael S. Nadel, and Rebecca A.H. Watson of McDermott Will & Emery-Washington, Washington, DC, Clayton Edward Dark, Jr., Attorney at Law, Lufkin, TX, for Plaintiff.

Gregory S. Norrod, Jason J. Keener, Jonathan R. Spivey, Michael S. Kramer, and Sharon R. Barner of Foley & Lardner-Chicago, Chicago, IL, James J. Zeleskey, Attorney at Law, Lufkin, TX, Jo Ben Whittenburg of Orgain Bell & Tucker, Beaumont, TX, for Defendant.


RON CLARK, District Judge.

Blackboard has moved to strike Desire2Learn's fourth dispositive motion for

Page 576

exceeding the sixty page limit of the scheduling order. The page limit was adopted to encourage counsel in focusing on key issues. Allowing Desire2Learn to exceed the limit is not likely to illuminate the issues in this case, so the motion is granted.

The parties in this case have, between them, filed 48 motions, responses and replies in less than 14 months, which, including attachments and exhibits, consists of no fewer than eleven thousand pages. They seem to share the misconception, popular in some circles, that motion practice exists to require federal judges to shovel through steaming mounds of pleonastic arguments in a Herculean effort to uncover a hidden gem of logic that will ineluctably compel a favorable ruling. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the context of a motion for summary judgment, for example, it is counsel's responsibility to hone in on the precise dispositive elements of a case, concerning which "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact." This is frequently easier for a defendant, which need only negate one essential element of a plaintiff's cause of action. If an opponent's case is so weak that a wide choice of dispositive arguments is available, it should be easy to choose one or two of the best. Inundating the court with a veritable smorgasbord of issues from which to choose leads to the conclusion that a party is unable to articulate clear grounds for judgement as a matter of law.

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