Looks like United States District Judge Alan D Albright is setting up his own personal intellectual property clearinghouse in the Western District of Texas


United States District Judge Alan D Albright took the bench in 2018. He is the sole United States District Judge of the Waco Division of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.

As the sole District Judge in residence (he is assisted by one United States Magistrate Judge) any and all cases filed in the Waco Division automatically go to him.

Since he took office, 250 patent cases have been filed in the Western District of Texas, more than in the previous four years combined. Almost all of them in his Division.

And in the Waco Division, civil filings have doubled, going from 350 in the year before he took office to 725.

After being confirmed, but before commencing his duties, Albright took a tour of the country to spread the word that an IP and civil plaintiff bar friendly jurisdiction was opening up. Spread the word and they will come. Several IP and general civil law firms have opened offices in Waco. Because Austin, Texas is a hotbed of high tech industry, it is far easier for civil plaintiffs to establish proper venue in the Western District of Texas. Once proper venue is established, it does not matter which division they file in. They skip the much larger courthouses in Austin, San Antonio and El Paso and go straight to Waco.

Prior to taking office, Albright spent his entire career as a civil plaintiffs attorney, primarily specializing in intellectual property.

That opens the possibility that the Waco Division could turn into an Intellectual Property Judicial Hellhole.

The fact that he could grab such a massive IP caseload in such a short time speaks to an urgent need for further venue reform.

I would change the rules to require division specific venue. If a Plaintiff or Defendant is located in Austin, than require the case to be filed in Austin, not Waco.

1 Like

Advertising to firms on how he would rule before cases are even brought before him? That sounds a little off.

1 Like

He didn’t go quite that far. :smile:

But he did make it clear that he would be running cases in a manner that generally is beneficial to the plaintiffs bar. And he has done so to this point.

He has not been on the bench long enough to get a picture as to how his rulings are coming down, whether in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants.

A pattern that the Senate is following, it would appear.

As impeachment is a a distinctly political process, permissible though perhaps distasteful.

Time to necropsy this thread for an UPDATE:

(WARNING: There is an f-bomb in the linked article.)

Quoting from the linked article:

The two professors – J. Jonas Anderson and Paul Gugliuzza – lay out the problems pretty starkly:

One judge, appointed to the court less than two years ago, has been advertising his district—through presentations to patent lawyers, comments to the media, procedures in his courtroom, and decisions in patent cases—as the place to file your patent infringement lawsuit. And he has succeeded. In 2018, the Western District received only 90 patent cases—a mere 2.5% of patent suits nationwide. In 2020, the Western District is on track to receive more than 800—the most of any district in the country. Importantly, these suits are overwhelmingly filed by so-called patent trolls—entities that don’t make any products or provide services but instead exist solely to enforce patents.

The centralization of patent cases before a single judge, acting entirely on his own to seek out patent litigation, is facilitated by the Western District’s case filing system, which allows plaintiffs to choose not just the court but the specific judge who will hear their case. These dynamics—a judge advertising for patent cases and plaintiffs shopping for that judge—undermine public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary, make the court an uneven playing field for litigants, and facilitate the nuisance suits patent trolls favor.

As they note, it seems like an easy thing to fix if Congress had the will:

Two reforms would help solve this problem: first, district judges should—by law—be randomly assigned to cases and, second, venue in patent cases should be tied to geographic divisions within a judicial district, not just the district as a whole.

Congress need to act on this crap NOW. This is just â– â– â– â– â– â– â–  insane.

Also, though not mentioned in the linked article, I would limit the number of plaintiff’s attorneys going to the Federal bench. Unfortunately, many on the civil bar can’t seem to realize that once they are on the bench, they are NOT representing the plaintiff in a suit.