MaryJoan McNamara Named New ALJ

Judge MaryJoan McNamara has joined the ITC as an administrative law judge. With the addition of Judge McNamara, the ITC now has a full complement of six judges to preside over Section 337 investigations. Judge McNamara replaces Judge E. James Gildea, who retired last August after six years of service.

Judge McNamara’s first day at the ITC was August 10, 2015. Chief ALJ Bullock has thus far transferred four Section 337 investigations to Judge McNamara: Investigation Nos. 337-TA-930, 337-TA-945, 337-TA-947, and 337-TA-957. Judge McNamara has already issued a full set of ground rules. See Certain Touchscreen Controllers and Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-957, Order No. 7 (Aug. 13, 2015). These ground rules indicate that Judge McNamara expects the parties in patent-based investigations to “disclose and solidify their claim construction positions early” in the proceedings and that she is amenable to holding Markman hearings. See Ground Rule 1.13 (“Procedural Schedule”) (providing for the early exchange of disputed claim terms and proposed constructions) and Ground Rule 1.14 (“Early Claim Construction”) (setting forth procedures for Markman hearings).

Of note, in Inv. No. 337-TA-957, Judge McNamara modified the procedural schedule to add a Markman hearing and deadlines for related claim construction submissions, although the parties had not requested a Markman hearing. See Order No. 8 (Aug. 13, 2015). Judge McNamara also recommended that technology tutorials be held in conjunction with the Markman hearing. See Order No. 8 at 3 n.2.

Prior to joining the ITC, Judge McNamara served as an ALJ at the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (National Hearing Center) in Baltimore, Maryland. Before becoming an ALJ, Judge McNamara was a civil litigation attorney in private practice, where she handled trial and appellate matters; a consultant to the State Department on certain provisions of the Hague Convention; and an Equal Employment Opportunity specialist in the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Adjudication and Compliance. Judge McNamara holds a juris doctor from Northeastern University, a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.