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Microsoft Trial Misconduct Cost $40 Million 231

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-he-wasn't-feeling-vindictive dept.
SpuriousLogic writes "The judge who banned Microsoft from selling its Word document program in the US due to a patent violation tacked an additional $40 million onto a jury's $200 million verdict because the software maker's lawyers engaged in trial misconduct, court records reveal. In a written ruling, Judge Leonard Davis, of US District Court for Eastern Texas, chastised Microsoft's attorneys for repeatedly misrepresenting the law in presentations to jurors.'Throughout the course of trial Microsoft's trial counsel persisted in arguing that it was somehow improper for a non-practicing patent owner to sue for money damages,' Davis wrote. The judge cited a particular incident in which a Microsoft lawyer compared plaintiff i4i, Inc. to banks that sought bailout money from the federal government under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. 'He further persisted in improperly trying to equate i4i's infringement case with the current national banking crisis implying that i4i was a banker seeking a "bailout,"' Davis said."
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Microsoft Trial Misconduct Cost $40 Million

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  • MvP (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:18AM (#29090111)

    Microsoft... vs... patent trolls.. who do I hate??

    • Re:MvP (Score:5, Funny)

      by moon3 (1530265) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:00AM (#29090379)
      Tough call, as it is Alien vs Predator kind of fight.
    • Re:MvP (Score:5, Funny)

      by johannesg (664142) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:57AM (#29091149)

      Microsoft... vs... patent trolls.. who do I hate??

      You are perfectly within your rights to hate both. Doing so has the great advantage that you really don't need to aim carefully, should you decide to be sure from orbit...

    • Re:MvP (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @09:05AM (#29091237)

      While I don't like software patents, I think i4i are not really patent trolls. From what I've read, they actually have a product that plugs into MS Word that does what their patent says it does. So it's not like they applied for a patent and sat around waiting for everyone to adopt XML. i4i have a product, they patented the "technology," and Microsoft simply implemented the same functionality which threaten their product. Like all great American companies, i4i sued.

      • Re:MvP (Score:4, Informative)

        by dgatwood (11270) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:20AM (#29092345) Journal

        They may not be patent trolls, but they sure are acting like patent trolls. They applied for a patent on something that has been done for decades, then chose to sue in a district in Texas that is known for automatically allowing all patents and ignoring validity challenges (and thus is the venue of choice for patent trolls). About the only thing not patent troll about them is that they actually had a product at one time. Even still, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

        • Re:MvP (Score:5, Informative)

          by s73v3r (963317) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .r3v37s.> on Monday August 17, 2009 @12:04PM (#29094263)
          If you were trying to sue someone for violating your patent, where would you rather do it: A jurisdiction very friendly to patents, or one that is hostile to patents?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by dgatwood (11270)

            Neither. I would follow the traditional rules for choice of venue, and thus would sue in a court near me. Normally, the venue for a lawsuit should be the court nearest to the plaintiff or the court nearest to the defendant.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Like all great American companies, i4i sued.

        i4i is Canadian.

    • by WgT2 (591074)

      Just because a bully becomes a victim doesn't mean the bully gets changed from being who they are or what they've done.

  • Damnit! I'm torn! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:19AM (#29090119) Homepage

    On one hand, it's fun to see Microsoft getting punished, on the other, I happen to agree with Microsoft's argument with regard to patent trolls.

    I think Microsoft might have made out better this way anyway. Arguing to invalidate the patent could have hurt them and their practice of patent filing and arguing Bilski could have really blown the lid off of things. In short, they more or less had to defend "software patents" while at the same time finding a legal argument against the plaintiff.

    • by mcvos (645701)

      On one hand, it's fun to see Microsoft getting punished, on the other, I happen to agree with Microsoft's argument with regard to patent trolls.

      It's an odd feeling to find myself agreeing with Microsoft, but in this particular case, I do. On the other hand...

      Arguing to invalidate the patent could have hurt them and their practice of patent filing and arguing Bilski could have really blown the lid off of things. In short, they more or less had to defend "software patents" while at the same time finding a legal argument against the plaintiff.

      ... if MS chose to defend (or not attack) the validity of software patents in general or this patent in particular, but only claimed that the reason it was invalid is because the patent holder wasn't using it, then they get what they deserve. It's a silly patent and they should have attacked it.

    • Re:Damnit! I'm torn! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:37AM (#29090211) Homepage Journal

      I happen to agree with Microsoft's argument with regard to patent trolls.

      Which part? Equating the patent troll i4i with a banker looking for TARP bailout money sounds a lot like a Wookie Defense to me. It seem that Microsoft's attorneys should have simply stuck with the facts at hand. Does i4i have an implementation of their patent? Have they ever? And, most importantly, was their patent sufficiently obvious to someone skilled in the art? Remember, the USPTO doesn't have the final say in whether or not a patent is enforceable. The courts, however, do.

      MIcrosoft's attorneys need to stop playing silly games and start litigating their case.

      • Re:Damnit! I'm torn! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pjt33 (739471) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:48AM (#29090263)

        The thing which surprises me is that the story doesn't say anything about a direct punishment of the lawyers. It seems like a straightforward case of contempt of court.

        • by gavron (1300111) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:59AM (#29091171)
          You're surprised the lawyers didn't get punished? Sir, perhaps I can point you to www.groklaw.net. SCO has been pushing outside the envelope of ethical litigation since 2003. That's SIX YEARS of doing it. They have received no sanctions, endless do-overs, and are now in a trustee Chapter-11 (instead of Chapter 7) bankruptcy.

          CLEARLY lawyers not only DO NOT get punished, but are REWARDED for behaving in this manner.

          The good guys (that would be us the humans, as well as the named other parties in the cases) all lose, and the unethical lawyers win.

          Cheers,

          Ehud

      • Re:Damnit! I'm torn! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by noundi (1044080) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:08AM (#29090487)

        Does i4i have an implementation of their patent?

        This [i4i.com] seems to be a product which is related to this patent. I don't know, slashdotters seem to be very quick to judge on the behalf of MS, claiming that i4i are patent trolls. I haven't seen any proof that they are, and until I do I'll consider this suit valid. Ironically those just spewing the phrase "patent troll" without providing any proof nor data are what? That's right -- trolls themselves.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by BlueKitties (1541613)
          I find it ironic that product is designed to work with Word. I can see why they would want to sue though, seeing as how MS just bundled in software that removes the need for their add on. From what I've read, the patent is on something which strips the raw text from the surrounding tags -- meaning I can call "open" on a file stream in C++, read in the data as a string, all without worrying about the tags (because the tags are logically separated already in a different location.) Eitherway, I'm not a fan of
          • Re:Damnit! I'm torn! (Score:5, Informative)

            by wbren (682133) on Monday August 17, 2009 @09:28AM (#29091585) Homepage

            I find it ironic that product is designed to work with Word. I can see why they would want to sue though, seeing as how MS just bundled in software that removes the need for their add on.

            The problem isn't that Microsoft bundled technology into Word. The problem is that i4i had a patent on said technology, and that Microsoft knew about the patent [informationweek.com] before deciding to "make it obsolete."

            From what I've read, the patent is on something which strips the raw text from the surrounding tags -- meaning I can call "open" on a file stream in C++, read in the data as a string, all without worrying about the tags (because the tags are logically separated already in a different location.)

            I suggest reading the entire patent [uspto.gov] before trying to summarize. It's significantly more complex than what you described.

            Eitherway, I'm not a fan of copyright, no matter who's getting f'd'n'the'a.

            We're talking about patents, not copyrights. There's a big difference.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by BlueKitties (1541613)
              I did read it. Tell me what I'm misreading:

              "A computer system for the manipulation of the architecture and content of a document having a plurality of metacodes and content by producing a first map of metacodes and their addresses of use in association with mapped content
              [...]
              Current practice suffers from inflexibility. Documents combining structure and content are inflexible because they tie together structure and content into a single unit which must be modified together. The content is locked into on
          • by noundi (1044080)

            I find it ironic that product is designed to work with Word. I can see why they would want to sue though, seeing as how MS just bundled in software that removes the need for their add on. From what I've read, the patent is on something which strips the raw text from the surrounding tags -- meaning I can call "open" on a file stream in C++, read in the data as a string, all without worrying about the tags (because the tags are logically separated already in a different location.) Eitherway, I'm not a fan of copyright, no matter who's getting f'd'n'the'a. (Though, for the record, this is Slashdot -- everyone hates MS. But they hate patent trolls more, hence the response.)

            I agree with you completely. It is ridiculous, but so are MS patents, and so are the rest of the existing software patents. Ridiculous or not they are still valid, and I see no reason why MS can defend their patents and others cannot. To me it seems that people just assume that it's a patent troll simply because it's a lawsuit against MS (who god forbid would never do such a thing). I'm not bashing MS in particular, I've said this before and I'll be happy to say it a thousand times more but luckily HTTP sav

        • You are extremely gullible.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Theaetetus (590071)

        I happen to agree with Microsoft's argument with regard to patent trolls.

        Which part? Equating the patent troll i4i with a banker looking for TARP bailout money sounds a lot like a Wookie Defense to me. It seem that Microsoft's attorneys should have simply stuck with the facts at hand. Does i4i have an implementation of their patent? Have they ever? And, most importantly, was their patent sufficiently obvious to someone skilled in the art? Remember, the USPTO doesn't have the final say in whether or not a patent is enforceable. The courts, however, do.

        MIcrosoft's attorneys need to stop playing silly games and start litigating their case.

        This. Their argument was, essentially, that "we infringed, but the law is wrong." This is as effective as Tenenbaum's argument "yes, I distributed your copyrighted songs, but the law is wrong." Fine argument for the legislature, horrible argument for a court.

        • One cannot simultaneously claim "the law is wrong" while claiming the very same law is right.

          Microsoft is trying to claim XOR and AND at the same time.

      • by Bilbo (7015)
        The problem seems to be though that the courts and the USPTO are stuck in a game of passing the buck.

        The USPTO says, "We don't have the resources of domain knowledge to figure out if all patents are valid, so we'll just approve anything that looks reasonable, and then let the courts haggle it out."

        For the most part (unless the lawyers specifically steer the case in a different direction), the Courts say, "Well, we're experts in the LAW, not in patents, so if the USPTO granted the patent, then we'll just

      • by cmacb (547347)

        It seem that Microsoft's attorneys should have simply stuck with the facts at hand.

        That would be terrain the company is totally unfamiliar with.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom (822)

      On one hand, it's fun to see Microsoft getting punished, on the other, I happen to agree with Microsoft's argument with regard to patent trolls.

      Yes, but if you want a law changed, the proper venue is through your lobbyists in Washington DC, not in the courtroom.

      As you said, the MS lawyers could have argued on a broader scale, but chose not to. Guess why.

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        Not entirely true, you can rely on jury nullification to keep a law in place (for your competitors) but give you a free pass. I'm betting the judge didn't like the hinting about nullification - any time the people of the country can just decide laws don't apply, that tends to put the legal profession on edge.

        The PROPER way to do it is to change the law, but it won't get changed retroactively unless this particular case gets all the way to the supreme court. Plus, it's not in Microsoft's best interests to

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          The PROPER way to do it is to change the law, but it won't get changed retroactively unless this particular case gets all the way to the supreme court. Plus, it's not in Microsoft's best interests to fight a court case and then turn around and make it easier for their competitors. That doesn't make any sense.

          Plus, MS is fighting for SOME patent reform, but they firmly believe that if you invent something you should be able to capitalize on it. So they don't actually want the laws to go away, which is what a

    • See it like this: No matter which one of them gets hurt, you always win. :D

    • Microsoft has, once again, tried to treat the courts with disdain, In this case in "Persuing a line of argument that the court has rejected", now its counsel have the right to object, and ensure that the court's ruling is manifest in the transcript for an appeal but they must stop flogging a dead horse when told to otherwise they, and their client face scanctions, and in this case got them!

      Given Microsoft's record of persistent misconduct in litigation, eg lying at the Anti-Tust trial, contempt in EU procee
    • I think we all agree that the laws are pretty borked. Even Microsoft has said as much, from time to time. It would behoove Microsoft to actively lobby for sane laws, no? Of course, sane laws work against the most well intentioned people from time to time - but they don't enable deadbeats to rape and pillage established enterprises.

    • by digitig (1056110)

      I happen to agree with Microsoft's argument with regard to patent trolls.

      But they should address that argument to the legislature, not try to tell the court that the law is something other than it is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by afxgrin (208686)

      But i4i is a real company, who wrote specialized add-ons to Word, and they patented some method of XML Authoring. I don't see how this is patent trolling. Patent trolling consists of getting something patented, not doing anything at all with said patent, waiting for a major corporation to infringe, and then sue. Microsoft was well aware of i4i and blatantly infringed on the patent. i4i didn't wait some unreasonable amount of time before taking Microsoft to court on this subject.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:20AM (#29090125) Journal
    Instead of trying to educate the jury that the whole point of "Extensible" markup language is to extend and customize the files the lawyers were pulling stunts. In the tragedy of errors, I cant decide who to root for.
    • Educating juries is a slippery slope. If you do that, they might expect that every time from now on and that wouldn't be too good an idea for MS in the long run.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ash Vince (602485)

      Instead of trying to educate the jury that the whole point of "Extensible" markup language is to extend and customize the files the lawyers were pulling stunts.

      Please bear in mind that this case was being conducted in Eastern Texas.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_District_Court_for_the_Eastern_District_of_Texas [wikipedia.org]

      This court has long history of being friendly to patent trolls because of the aging population who will make up the jury and Pro-IP jugdes. Do you really want to try and teach a bunch of 50-60 year olds XML in front of a judge who is bias in favour of the opposing lawyer? Chances are the judge himself has no idea about XML, and any time you brough

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        To dredge up every slashdotters favourite, the car analogy: Would you let someone who could not drive become a driving test examiner?

        Judging by the quality of the drivers out there at present, I really don't think it would make a difference if all driving examiners were 6 year-olds with developmental disorders.

      • by PitaBred (632671)
        I'm all for requiring a college degree to serve on a jury.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ash Vince (602485)

          I'm all for requiring a college degree to serve on a jury.

          How would that help?

          My point was regarding specialist knowledge, not that the average texan jury did not have any education. The older population of eastern texas are probably equally likely to have been through college, just not as likely to have been through college recently enough to have been exposed to technology based courses.

          To put it in terms of my example on my taxation and healthcare: I am a college graduate who is highly technically literate, however my knowledge of tax law and accounting as pret

    • by javelinco (652113) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:59AM (#29091167) Journal
      I have a suggestion - try rooting for the side that is RIGHT. Instead of who you "like better" or "hate a little less." Trust me - the world would be a better place if we could all pull that off.
  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:20AM (#29090127) Homepage Journal

    If we could see the court transcript, we'd have more info about why MS were fined x, y, z.

    If someone has a PACER account, they could put the transcript on archive.org simply with the RECAP plugin:

    * https://www.recapthelaw.org/ [recapthelaw.org]

    And then we could have a more complete picture on http://en.swpat.org/wiki/I4i_v._Microsoft [swpat.org]

    • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:33AM (#29090189) Homepage Journal

      If we had the transcript, maybe we could see:

      • Did the judge understand the patent?
      • How did the judge interpret each concept?
      • What misconduct did the judge see?
      • Is the exclusion of future products that remove meta data there because the patent doesn't cover that or because the judge wants to give MS a path to avoid future infringement?
      • Any hints at what MS's possible grounds for further appeal are?

      The court transcript, even though it's a public domain document, is only provided to people by the court if they make an account and pay 8c per page. Once you have the page, since it's public domain, you can post it anywhere. RECAP [recapthelaw.org] is a Firefox or IceCat [gnu.org] plugin that can automatically post those public domain transcripts to archive.org so that we can all read them and link to them, and that would help with documenting case law in the USA [swpat.org] on swpat.org, among other things.

        • Did the judge understand the patent?
        • How did the judge interpret each concept?

        Certainly you meant Jury in those two points.

  • I read down to... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I read down to "eastern district of texas" before figuring out what was going on.
    MS complains that patent trolls should get a life and make a product, judge slaps 40 mil on top of the 200 mil product. Time for software providers to stop doing business in ED Texas (or all of Texas, if necessary). I'm not sure what sort of patent they ran into (probably "putting words onto computer" sometimes equally obvious/prior art'd), but how that could equate to a quarter billions is beyond me.

  • I knew patent trolls employed lawyers, but I had not realised they employed judges too.
    • Re:Fol de Rol (Score:5, Informative)

      by miffo.swe (547642) <`daniel.hedblom' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:24AM (#29090145) Homepage Journal

      Its just that this company isnt a patent troll. Its a former close partner to Microsoft.

    • Why would a plaintiff need to employ a judge when the law is on their side? Sometimes the injustice/corruption exists in the legislative branch of government, you know.

      • Re:Fol de Rol (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pieroxy (222434) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:57AM (#29090349) Homepage

        the law is on their side

        Extending the "Extensible markup language" seems like a no-brainer. It is in the name of XML!!! And I thought patents had to be non obvious !

        Not really sure on which side the law is on that one. That said, explaining this to a judge might prove to be a complex situation.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by blind biker (1066130)

          Just because XML is eXtendible, doesn't mean that a particular idea implemented through that extension isn't non-trivial (lots of negations, I know...) and hence, patentable.

          This is like saying that sailing and navigating a ship was a known skill at the time of James Cook, so his discovery of New Zealand and Australia aren't really discoveries at all. But in fact, he used a lot of skills and was a talented navigator (often stated as the best of his time) to successfully perform his journeys and draw maps th

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Theaetetus (590071)

          Extending the "Extensible markup language" seems like a no-brainer. It is in the name of XML!!! And I thought patents had to be non obvious !

          A common misconception on Slashdot is that patents are solely defined by their titles. The mere fact that XML has the word "Extensible" doesn't mean that anything you could ever write to extend it is therefore obvious. Consider - once the internal combustion engine was invented, did that make all engine improvements obvious? Fuel injectors? Catalytic converters? How about the new sparkplug-less engines?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:27AM (#29090159)

    $2 million for mp3s, $40 million for a bad argument.

    Do these judges send a $10 million bill to toilet paper companies when they have to wipe their backside?

    • $40m sounds like a lot, but that's 0.07% of microsoft's revenue stream. The judge basically flicked M$ on the ear for that argument.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Prof.Phreak (584152)

        $40m is still about a million copies of Windows to sell... that's like losing all the revenue stream from sales to a major city.

    • Speaking of which, I wonder if any judge is going to fine the RIAA $40 million for comparing the defendant in a copyright infringement case to a seafaring marauder who terrorizes travelers and disrupts trade.
    • by Hatta (162192) *

      $2 million for mp3s, $40 million for a bad argument.

      Do these judges send a $10 million bill to toilet paper companies when they have to wipe their backside?

      No, they just use the 8th amendment.

  • will they wake up and fight for abolishing software patents. Good to see....

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Nesa2 (1142511)
      Unfortunately, there is always more money to be made by companies trolling for patents than coming to a realization how badly designed system is and taking up a fight to have it revised.

      It's not like Microsoft is not a patent troll themselves. They made more money over monopolies they hold thanks to the current patent system than they will ever lose by being sued by other companies.

      It would take truly revolutionary government leadership to change something like patent system in US. I'd honestly rather
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:01AM (#29090387) Journal
    First off, I am no lawyer. My understanding of Groklaw [groklaw.net] suggests that ODF would immune to this patent.

    The relevant passage:

    "Custom XML" refers to content within the file that is of a different XML format, with a separate "custom schema" to describe that content. The problem with such content is that there is no way for a standard to describe how such data should be interpreted, as it is by definition in a "custom format" and can be any kind of data. That is why "custom XML" is not allowed in ODF documents, and that is one of the reasons why OOXML is such a miserable standard.

    And this

    Interesting, no? There's one more headline, but only to debunk, Matt Asay's Microsoft's 'Custom XML' patent suit could put ODF at risk. Actually, it doesn't, so far as I know. Custom XML was one of the reasons ODF folks thought the OOXML "standard" was crudely designed, and that it had no place in a standard. It was a big discussion, and basically, to the extent I understood it, the issue was this: that it was a short cut on Microsoft's part, so it wouldn't have to do things in the usual standard way but could just keep things as they were, dumping a lot of processing stuff into the format, where, ODF folks said, it didn't belong. The very name should tell you why.

  • Setting aside the whole debate over patent trolls, it seems to me that Microsoft hired a particularly incompetant lawyer. This sounds more like misconduct and I'm surprised that the lawyer isn't subject to personal sanctions.
    • I agree in principle, and maybe Microsoft should sue their law firm for damages.

      But then again, that misconduct might be Microsoft's idea in the first place. In the last antitrust ligitation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft [wikipedia.org]) they were caught submitting faked videos as evidence. So this could just be another instance of Microsoft playing games with the courts.

  • Penalize client? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:03AM (#29090409) Homepage Journal

    I don't know a lot about the intricacies of the legal system, but why is the client penalized for the behavior or mistakes of the attorney? Does the client dictate or approve every word that comes out of the attorneys mouth in court? If the attorney used misleading wording then shouldn't the attorney be censured or fined and not have that penalty included in the actual judgment?

    Maybe this isn't applicable at all, but what if an attorney represented someone guilty of committing a crime, and the judge tacked a few extra years onto the sentence because he didn't like the attorney or what they said?

    • Re:Penalize client? (Score:5, Informative)

      by gnasher719 (869701) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:16AM (#29090583)

      I don't know a lot about the intricacies of the legal system, but why is the client penalized for the behavior or mistakes of the attorney? Does the client dictate or approve every word that comes out of the attorneys mouth in court? If the attorney used misleading wording then shouldn't the attorney be censured or fined and not have that penalty included in the actual judgment?

      It happens because it is the client who hired the lawyer. If you do something wrong while acting for your company, the company will quite likely be held responsible for what you do. Same with the lawyer. There is always the possibility to sue your lawyers in a situation like this, if you think that they were reckless or guilty for you losing the money. Let's say if your lawyer appears in court drunk and you lose the case because of that, you might very well have grounds to sue.

    • Re:Penalize client? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:43AM (#29090913) Homepage Journal

      why is the client penalized for the behavior or mistakes of the attorney?

      Why is the client rewarded for the behavior or successes of the attorney?

    • "what if an attorney represented someone guilty of committing a crime, and the judge tacked a few extra years onto the sentence because he didn't like the attorney or what they said?"

      If the lawyer wilfully lied to the Court, then the Judge is fully entitled to issue a fine, for contempt of court.

  • The judge is pissed off that his district is switching from WordPerfect to Word.
  • Wow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hugg (22953) on Monday August 17, 2009 @09:18AM (#29091437)

    Can any law-talking folk explain how the $290 million figure is derived? And if the state of Texas collects tax on this award? Not being conspiratorial, I really don't know much about the follow-the-money aspect of these cases.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gpf2 (1609755)
      And if the state of Texas collects tax on this award?

      The State of Texas has no income tax.
    • by tangent3 (449222)

      I'm beginning to think that the entire legal system is a scam to make money flow from people outside the system into people that are inside the system.

  • If the transcripts have proven anything since the TARP was initiated, it's that the majority of banks didn't want the TARP money, and that the Fed and the government practically forced it down their throats. As a result of TARP, many of the banks had to take the money and pay the government a material (i.e. large) amount of interest, dividends, and warrants.

    The only institutions which needed and wanted the TARP funds are AIG and C. The rest wish they could have not been forced to take it.

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