United States District Court - Northern District Court of California

Claudia Wilken, Chief Judge

Richard W. Wieking, Clerk of Court

Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte

ELIZABETH D. LAPORTE is a United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California. Appointed on April 4, 1998, Judge Laporte presides over numerous civil cases randomly assigned to her with the parties' consent, including patent, trademark, copyright and other business litigation, employment, civil rights and environmental cases. She also presides over criminal matters, conducts settlement conferences, and resolves discovery disputes.

Judge Laporte is the author of Managing the Runaway Patent Case, an article published in the Summer 2003 issue of the Northern California ABTL [Association of Business Trial Lawyers] Report, and Getting the Most Out of Judicial Settlement Conferences, published in the Winter 2006 issue. She also served as a judicial reviewer to the Continuing Education of the Bar's (CEB's) California Civil Discovery Practice, and authored an article on the 2006 e-discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for CEB's Civil Litigation Reporter.

Judge Laporte is a member of the Board of Governors for the Northern California Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco. She is also a judicial observer for the Sedona Conference Working Group on Electronic Document Retention and Production and a former member of the Federal Circuit's Bench Bar E-Discovery Committee. Judge Laporte has recently been appointed the Alternative Dispute Resolution Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California, previously served as the Chair of the Executive Board of the Ninth Circuit Magistrate Judges, and was a member of the Jury Trial Improvement Committee of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge Laporte regularly speaks and participates in panels concerning patent litigation, jury trials, e-discovery, employment law, settlement, and other topics. Recent examples include:

  • The Sedona Conference E-Discovery Meeting, panelist on “The Future of E-Discovery in Civil Litigation” and “The Duty to Preserve: Judicial Expectations for Party Conduct and Lawyer Oversight” (October 2010)
  • Federal Judicial Center E-Discovery Judicial Training Program, panelist on “Rules 26 and 16, Proportionality and Cooperation,” “Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product: Limitations on Waiver: A Discussion of New Rule 502” and Judges Roundtable (April, July and September 2010)
  • Association of Corporate Patent Counsel 2010 Summer Meeting, panelist on “A Discussion from the Bench: Appellate, District Court and Magistrate Judge Perspectives on the Evolving Legal Landscape” (June 2010)
  • International Quality and Productivity Center (“IQPC”) Information Retention and E-Disclosure Management Summit in London, England, participant on Judge's panel (May 2010)
  • Federal Judicial Center/Berkeley Center for Law & Technology Seminar, panelist on “Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age”(May 2010)
  • Practicing Law Institute, panelist on judicial panel discussing effective trial presentation, seeking the court's assistance in resolving pre-trial disputes, Markman procedures, and using dispositive motions to maximum effect (March 2010)
  • International Seminar on Intellectual Property in Taiwan, Panelist (July 2009)
  • Stanford Law School Conference on Intellectual Property Law and the Biosciences, “Views From the Bench” patent litigation panel (May 2009)
  • California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, presided over mock sexual harassment trial (October 2008)
  • Georgetown University Law Center, Advanced E-Discovery Institute, panelist on “The Federal Rules Amendments - The Judicial Perspective,” “The Duty to Make Reasonable Inquiry,” and “Judicial Roundtable” (November 2008)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers 35th Annual Seminar, moderator, “Preparing the Corporate Witness to Testify” panel (September 2008)
  • 2008 Northern District of California Judicial Conference, moderator, “The Unseen Jury” panel (May 2008)
  • Northern District of California Practice Program on jury selection, panelist (January and March 2008)
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association Mid-Winter Institute, presentation on intellectual property litigation and e-discovery (January 2008)
  • Northern District of California Practice Program Patent Roundtable (October 2007)
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association's 2007 Advanced Patent Litigation Seminar (June 2007)
  • Northern District of California Judicial Conference, Jury Trial Innovations breakout session (May 2007)

Prior to her appointment, Judge Laporte served as Chief of Special Litigation for the San Francisco City Attorney's Office (1996-98); Administrative Law Judge for the California Department of Insurance (1991-96); Partner, and previously associate, at Turner & Brorby (1983-91); and Law Clerk to the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel, Northern District of California (1982-83). Prior to attending law school, she was a policy planner/economist at the Federal Trade Commission from 1977-1979.

Judge Laporte is a graduate of Princeton University, class of 1975, and holds a masters degree from Oxford University (as a Marshall Scholar from 1975-77), and a J.D. from Yale Law School, Class of 1982. Judge Laporte was named a Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer in 1996.