and any additional harm done is outweighed by the hardship on TGC if the Court denies the stay and considerations of judicial economy, the final factor in the Court's analysis.
Turning to this final factor, apart from the hardships on TGC, considerations of judicial economy weigh against the potential harm to Hertz and in favor of the stay. The express language of § 1407 provides that civil actions may be transferred for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings, inter alia, to "promote the just and efficient conduct of such actions." 28 U.S.C. § 1407. Without a short stay, the Court loses the potential efficiencies that would be created by having pretrial issues involving common facts and law decided by a single judge.
A transferee judge would be responsible for managing all cases by and against TGC involving the GAIN Network. That judge would have the opportunity to become familiar with the technology at issue and evaluate the facts, rendering consistent pretrial decisions in all of the consolidated actions based upon that more thorough understanding. To decide Hertz's motion before the MDL Panel decision, the Court would have to invest the time and resources in understanding the technology at issue and develop a better understanding of the facts than the parties have presented thus far. Given the short time until the MDL Panel will consider the motion, this Court's immediate and substantial investment of time is a waste of judicial resources.
All this is to say that balanced against the possible harm to Hertz caused by a short delay in the Court's deciding its motion for a preliminary injunction are TGC's actual hardship in terms of its financial burden and duplicative effort in defending its GAIN Network, the potential lessening of that hardship by MDL Panel consolidation, and considerations of judicial economy. While it is a close call, this balance tips in favor of granting a temporary stay pending the MDL Panel's decision whether to consolidate this action with others involving the GAIN Network. The Court, therefore, grants TGC's motion for a temporary stay of this action.
For the foregoing reasons, the defendant's motion to stay these proceedings is granted. All proceedings in this matter, including the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction, are hereby stayed until ten days from the final decision of the MDL Panel on TGC's motion for consolidation. The parties should advise the Court forthwith of the MDL Panel's decision. An appropriate order follows.
This matter having come before the Court on defendant The Gator Corporation's ("TGC") motion to stay proceedings; and
The Court having held oral argument on March 10, 2003 and considered the submissions of the parties; and
For the reasons set forth in the Opinion issued this day; and
Good cause having been shown;
It is this 13th day of March, 2003 ORDERED that all proceedings in this action, including plaintiff The Hertz Corporation's motion for a preliminary injunction, are stayed pending the decision by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on TGC's motion to coordinate and consolidate this action with other actions involving TGC; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the stay of these proceedings shall expire ten (10) days after the issuance of the final order of the MDL Panel on the motion for consolidation, and the parties shall advise the Court forthwith of the MDL Panel's final decision.