John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Samsung Demands New Apple Trial

Apple’s $1 billion victory over Samsung in the companies’ recent patent trial was tainted by the jury foreman’s bias and should be thrown out and the case retried.

That’s the gist of a new legal filing by Samsung today calling for a new trial in its pitched battle with Apple over smartphone IP. In it, Samsung argues that jury foreman Velvin Hogan never told the court that he was sued in 1993 for breach of contract by Seagate, a company in which Samsung is a major investor. That suit ultimately forced him to file for personal bankruptcy, and Samsung contends that Hogan’s feelings over it could have influenced the verdict in its trial with Apple.

“Mr. Hogan’s failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in questioning,” Samsung said in its filing, adding that Hogan didn’t answer truthfully during voir dire. “Mr. Hogan’s public statements suggest that he failed to answer the court’s question truthfully ‘in order to secure a seat on the jury,’ in which case bias is presumed.”

Further complicating matters is the fact that the attorney who sued Hogan on Seagate’s behalf is married to a partner at Quinn Emanuel, the law firm that represented Samsung in the case at issue here.

Why is this only coming out now?

Hogan, for his part, says there was no misconduct, contending that he was obligated only to tell the court of litigation in which he’d been involved in the past decade, and his spat with Seagate was far older than that. “Had I been asked an open-ended question with no time constraint, of course I would’ve disclosed that,” Hogan told Bloomberg. “I’m willing to go in front of the judge to tell her that I had no intention of being on this jury, let alone withholding anything that would’ve allowed me to be excused.”

But as Groklaw notes, the transcript of Hogan’s voir dire makes no mention of that limited time frame.

“The next question is, have you or a family member or someone very close to you ever been involved in a lawsuit, either as a plaintiff, a defendant, or as a witness?”

Sounds pretty open-ended to me.

Samsung has not yet replied to a request for comment on its filing. Apple declined to provide one.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik