"There's not a jail here. Less than 10 percent of the cases in Marshall are criminal cases, which is very unusual for a district court."
The whole issue with summary judgements is just one of a litany of local rules and standing orders that makes the Eastern District of Texas appealing to patent holders. These rules all but ensure a case will go to trial, which is already slightly more favorable to patent plaintiffs but also comes with the added likelihood of settling out of court. If you're facing a multimillion dollar trial and the patent troll suing you offers to settle for $100,000, you're likely going to take the deal and get the hell out of dodge (or, Marshall, rather). Since the patent holder gets to decide where to file the suit, suddenly the massive influx of patent cases in Marshall starts to make sense: The court is friendly to patentees."The way to attract patentees is not simply to be more expert than other courts, it's to be more patentee-friendly than other courts," Reilly said. "And that's what we've seen in the Eastern District of Texas."Having a lot of patent cases isn't inherently bad, and those in Marshall's law community argue the patentees are more enticed by the expertise in the area than better odds of settling. But it's difficult to imagine why so many patent holders would flock to this obscure, rural jurisdiction, which is no longer the fastest in the country, if there wasn't at least the idea of a benefit. And therein lies the main criticism.
"That's not at all how our judicial system is meant to work."