Based on the mass exodus of high-priced talent from the courtroom following its oral argument at last month’s Panel hearing, imPaneled can safely say that In re Carrier IQ, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litig., MDL 2330, was the main event at that hearing. Plaintiffs favoring the United States District Court for All IT-Related MDLs (“D.A.I.M.,” a/k/a the N.D. Cal.) opened both the briefing and oral argument, the latter by Tony Shapiro (pronounced Sha-PEER-o in his native NYC) of Hagens Berman. The usual flood of plaintiff written submissions favoring various other districts followed the initial one, but only three counsel–arguing for the C.D. Cal., the N.D. Tex. and the N.D. Ill.–spoke at the hearing. Software developer Carrier IQ and its cell phone manufacturer co-defendants predictably weighed in for the D.A.I.M.
To the surprise of no one, that is where it went. The only surprise–at least to imPaneled–was the Panel’s assigning the case to Judge Chen, as Judge Davila’s name arose repeatedly at the hearing. Panelist Judge Breyer (also of the D.A.I.M.) was party to much of the speculation at the hearing as to which N.D. Cal. judge might get the proceeding, then “took no part in the decision of th[e] matter.” imPaneled has not undertaken to complete the massive pointing and clicking effort that would be necessary to get the back story as to any of that, but welcomes further insight from any of the millions who are reading this post.