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Joseph J. Farnan: Demonstrating “Good Cause” to File an Untimely Amended Pleading

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A recent decision by district judge Joseph J. Farnan Jr. highlights the expedited schedule a party must pursue to successfully amend a pleading past a discovery deadline. Under FRCP 16(b)’s “good cause” standard, unlike the more lenient amendment standard in FRCP 15(a), an untimely amendment “hinges on [the] diligence of the movant.” According to the Court, the following discovery schedule – implemented to uncover a new inequitable-conduct defense – satisfied the good-cause standard:

June 5: Subpoena issued to witness
June 15: Documents produced by witness
June 16, 23, 24, 26: Depositions
June 30: Motion to amend filed
Under the circumstances of this case, a one-month window from subpoena to motion demonstrated the necessary diligence for amending a pleading outside the scheduling order’s confines.

ICU Medical Inc. v. Rymed Tech. Inc., C.A. No. 07-468-JJF (D. Del. Dec. 16, 2009) (Farnan, J.).

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