Judge will Review if Apple/Samsung Jury Foreman Withheld Info
After the jury decision in the Apple/Samsung patent fight in the US came out, lots of people pointed to statements from the foreman of the jury, Vel Hogan, that raised serious questions about Hogan's understanding of the legal issues at play, especially pertaining to prior art. It also suggested possible bias. Still, even with all of that, it's very, very difficult to get a jury ruling thrown out on jury misconduct -- but Samsung has unveiled one bit of info that Judge Lucy Koh has now agreed to review: whether or not Hogan needed to reveal that he had a legal dispute with Seagate, a former Hogan employer, who is also a major strategic partner of Samsung. Koh is also asking Apple's lawyers to reveal if they knew this info, which Samsung's lawyers did not.
At the December 6, 2012 hearing, the Court will consider the questions of whether the jury foreperson concealed information during voir dire, whether any concealed information was material, and whether any concealment constituted misconduct. An assessment of such issues is intertwined with the question of whether and when Apple had a duty to disclose the circumstances and timing of its discovery of information about the foreperson.
While this is an interesting move, and worth watching, I doubt much will come out of it. Hogan did admit that he'd had legal issues in the past with a former employer, but no one delved into who or why.
During voir dire, Hogan did disclose that he had been involved in litigation with a former partner when the judge asked him if he had ever been involved in litigation.
Hogan has noted, in response to Samsung's allegations, that the judge didn't ask for a complete listing of all the lawsuits he had been involved with.
Again, most of this aspect is just a sideshow to the eventual long series of appeals that will come in this case -- and I doubt that the judge will find misconduct here. But just the fact that judge is considering it makes it worth following.
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