Judge Rakoff Fast-Tracks Bookseller Lawsuit Against Amazon, Publisher
Lawyers who file class-action lawsuits usually like to drag things out in the hopes of signing more plaintiffs (and boosting their fee), but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen in this case.
Judge Jed Rakoff, the presiding judge in the recently filed Book House Of Stuyvesant Plaza, Inc. et al v. Amazon.Com, Inc. et al lawsuit, released a daunting trial schedule this week which leaves the plaintiffs and defendants not nearly as much time as they would like to file motions and respond.
Judge Rakoff gave the plaintiffs until 21 March to file an amended complaint. He is also giving the defendants until 1 April to file motions to dismiss. All replies and counter replies must be filed by Thursday, 18 April. The plaintiffs and defendants are expected to show up in court and present oral arguments on the motions on 25 April. Judge Rakoff did agree to stay discovery until after the 25 April hearing, but he also advised the parties to be ready to go to trial within six months of the oral arguments, by October 2013.
This tight trial schedule was set only days after the judge tersely rejected a schedule jointly proposed by the defendants and plaintiffs (except Amazon, which still has not publicly responded).
It’s been just under a month since this lawsuit was filed in New York. In the original complaint 3 indie bookstores claimed that Amazon and the 6 major US publishers conspired to rig the ebook market so the smaller competitors would be shut out. As I pointed out earlier this week it does not appear that the plaintiffs have a strong case.