CyberTech Rambler

October 3, 2012

How not to be a juror

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 6:20 pm

The unredacted Samsung Motion for Judgement As A Matter of Law in the Apple vs. Samsung case shows what Samsung thinks about the Jury Foreman Hogan. I do think Samsung was right in filing a redacted version in an attempt not to subject Hogan to too much scrutiny. Unfortunately, the information Samsung seek to redact is in the public domain, and in such an important case it is a fine line between Hogan’s privacy and the public’s interest to know what Samsung thinks about the jury. Thus, I have mixed feeling about releasing an unredacted copy. I believe Hogan should be given the chance of filing his own papers with the court as that will allow his point of view to be kept on record.

As GrokLaw reported, the judge is not inclined to intervene in the jury’s thought process. The few cases involving jury mentioned in the motion all deals with jury misconduct. They all rightly require two ingredients before the trial verdict is vacated: (1) Something the jury did in contrary to the judge’s instruction;, and (2) The thing that the jury did in (1) has significant bearing to the verdict.

I always believe that nothing much in Hogan’s post trial comments that tantamount will warrant an automatic vacation of the verdict. Take away the fact that we might have a juror  here likes to bask in the limelight a bit too much, that we have someone that took his prejudice into the jury room and make a lot of mistakes in his deliberation, that we have someone pro-patent in the jury, and human’s natural instinct to boost and overstates about one’s involvement in something one is proud of, we are still some distance away from  demonstrating his action weights significantly on the outcome of the verdict.

Samsung best chance to vacate the verdict based on Hogan misconduct is his potential prior bias against Samsung. On the surface, his failure to disclose he had a lawsuit with a company that had significant dealing  with Samsung since his lawsuit is  disturbing. It all, however, predicated on Mr Hogan making the link between that company and Samsung before or during the trial. Did he? I am not sure. A lot of time has passed since the lawsuit in 1993. It is not that difficult to find anyone on the street who has less than two degree of separation between himself and a company as big as Samsung.  Is it possible that he knew? The fact that he and his wife had to declare bankruptcy as a result of the lawsuit means it is very likely that he has heighten interest in that third party company’s dealings. Even if he did not, he might be in an industry where the link between Samsung and the company is widespread knowledge.

Proving he has prior knowledge is difficult. Samsung’s lawyer know that. That is why their attack concentrate on him not laying bare the facts during jury selection. In particular, they are building on the fact that he had not disclosed the lawsuit as prejudice against Samsung.

Without a doubt, Hogan’s eagerness for the limelight has came back to haunt him. His words and his conduct are being used by Samsung’s lawyer in an effort to get the verdict vacated.

So far, he have not come up with good answer to support the fact that he is fair to Samsung. Significantly, instead of claiming that he did not know about the potential link to Samsung in his prior lawsuit, he said that he did not disclose the lawsuit because he believe the judge is asking about the past 10 years only. That suggests strongly that he knew about the link then. Not good for him. Anyone trying to be fair to Samsung would disclose it regardless whether he thinks the judge’s instruction is about the past 10 years only.



  1. As I commented on Groklaw, this reads more like a bad legal drama than real life.


    Comment by Wayne Borean — October 4, 2012 @ 3:38 am | Reply

    • Agreed. But in its defense I must say it is entertaining.

      Comment by ctrambler — October 4, 2012 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

  2. I’m not a lawyer. If the way this verdict was reached and the argumentation jury used is OK, can we trust the legal system at all? Is jury really allowed to redefine what prior art is and is the system really OK with it? Because if yes, I do not want to be judged by a jury. They may use some alternative version of law I never heard about to find me guilty.

    Comment by Question — October 4, 2012 @ 6:42 am | Reply

    • The legal system would work a lot better if they did not allow jury trials for this kind of case like they do in a lot of other countries. I believe the phrase is “a jury of their peers”, but that can only really apply to individuals. With corporations who is their peers, other corporations? The judge is supposed to apply the law, the jury is supposed to deliberate the facts. But when the facts are highly technical, and the jury also makes decisions that are confused with matters of law, how can an outcome be anything but garbage? It should be a panel of judges that make these rulings, and judges that are expert in the subject matter.

      Comment by Bigpicture — October 4, 2012 @ 6:59 am | Reply

      • @Question, @Bigpicture

        All systems, including trial by jury or trial by bench has its advantages and disadvantages. Throughout the years, courageous juries had formed our legal system for the better. If not for them resisting finding felon guilty because the the punishment is gravely disproportionate we will still be hanging people for petty crimes. One jury even want to jail in England because they stuck to their guns and return a verdict that the trial judge did not like just to establish their independence (from BBC’s The Strange Case of The Law

        The bigotry or bias of one juror normally cannot sway the whole jury so there are check and bound within the jury itself. Unless of course, the juror holds sway in the jury. That is rare.

        We will have complex case that is difficult for the jury to digest, even at times panel of judges has problem digesting the fact, so it does not really matter whether is it a jury trial or bench trial in complex cases. Take for example, in early 2000s judges had to be educated on the technicality of how to run an internet. Someone has to explain to them terms we take for granted today.

        I really don’t know whether bench trial or jury trial is good in complex cases. The only thing I know is I want someone impartial and not involved in the sector the lawsuit is about. This way, we get independent review of the issue under trial for the particular industrial/business sector. One find that, in the long run, we get the best results out of the trials.

        Comment by ctrambler — October 4, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  3. […] his lawsuit with the company that has dealing with Samsung in as discussed in my previous article.  Furthermore as GrokLaw points out in PJ’s second update of the article, another juror […]

    Pingback by In defense of Hogan’s 10 years claim … « CyberTech Rambler — October 4, 2012 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

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