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United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
July 31, 1991, Decided
[*642] ON MOTION
MICHEL, Circuit Judge
Tandon Corporation seeks to appeal the April 19, 1991 order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, No. C89-1812, denying its motion for separate trials on the issue of willfulness and denying its motion to certify an earlier order compelling discovery of [*643] certain opinion letters of counsel. Quantum Corporation moves to dismiss the appeal. Because the order sought to be appealed is not yet final, we grant Quantum's motion and dismiss the appeal.
This matter arises from the pre-trial stages of a patent infringement suit brought by Quantum Corporation and Plus Development Corporation (Quantum) against Tandon Corporation (Tandon) in the [**2] United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In July, 1990, Quantum moved to compel Tandon to produce documents relating to prelitigation opinion letters of counsel regarding the patents in suit or, in the alternative, to preclude all reference to or reliance upon such communications by Tandon. Tandon countermoved for separate trials on the issues of willfulness and reissue intervening rights, if necessary, after the conclusion of the trial on liability and damages, and for deferral of discovery of the attorney opinion letters until after the trial on liability and damages.
At a July 1990 hearing, the district court considered the motions. It ruled from the bench that liability and damages would be tried together, but deferred ruling on whether willfulness would be tried separately and whether, after in camera review, production of the documents would be compelled.
After in camera review, on March 13, 1991, the district court granted Quantum's motion to compel Tandon to produce the attorney-client documents. Tandon moved for "amendment" of the March 13 order, requesting a ruling on the issue of a separate trial on willfulness, and for certification [**3] pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), (c)(1) of the March 13 order and of any adverse ruling denying severance of the willfulness issue. The issue of a separate trial on intervening rights was not pursued after the March 1991 proceeding.
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940 F.2d 642 *; 1991 U.S. App. LEXIS 17187 **
QUANTUM CORPORATION and PLUS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. TANDON CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellant
Subsequent History: [**1] As Amended August 21, 1991.
Prior History: Appealed from: United States District Court for the Northern District of California; William H. Orrick, Jr., Judge.
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Civil Procedure, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Final Judgment Rule, Evidence, Privileges, Attorney-Client Privilege, General Overview, Interlocutory Orders, Discovery & Disclosure, Discovery, Protective Orders