Judge to Review Samsung Jury Misconduct Claim

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Judge Lucy Koh has agreed to review Samsung's complaint of Jury misconduct in the patent infringement trial that awarded Apple over US$1 billion in damages. The December 6 hearing will focus on whether or not Jury foreman Velvin Hogan intentionally withheld personal information that could show he had a conflict of interest.

Judge Koh to review Samsung's Jury misconduct claimsJudge Koh to review Samsung's Jury misconduct claims

Samsung's legal team accused Mr. Hogan of intentionally withholding that he had been sued by his former employer Seagate in 1993 to recover a $25,000 loan. Mr. Hogan filed bankruptcy after the lawsuit, but said he didn't disclose the information because he wasn't asked.

Samsung said it has a "substantial strategic relationship" with Seagate and owns 9.6 percent of the company's shares. The company also said it feels Mr. Hogan intentionally withheld information about his earlier lawsuit so that he wouldn't be excused from the Jury.

As part of her review, Judge Koh has ordered Apple to disclose any information it knew about Mr. Hogan's prior dealings with Seagate, according to CNET. "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," Judge Koh said.

Mr. Hogan said he didn't mention the lawsuit because the court asked for disclosure of litigation that was from the last ten years. The court transcript, however, seems to tell a different story where jurors were asked, "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?"

That could become a point of contention during the December 6 hearing, although Apple will likely claim Mr. Hogan's legal wrangling with Seagate aren't material to this case and failure to share the information doesn't constitute misconduct.

Assuming Samsung convinces Judge Koh that Mr. Hogan acted inappropriately by withholding the information the verdict could potentially get tossed out, forcing both companies to start over with a new multi-month trial.

Overturning a Jury's verdict isn't any easy process, but Samsung does have the discrepancy in court transcript and Mr. Hogan's interpretation of the questions he was asked, and no doubt the company's legal team will use that to try to convince Judge Koh that he knew he was withholding important information.

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12 Comments Leave Your Own

thats so velvin

Velvin, you magnificent bastard.

Alan

His conduct during voir dire is a secondary issue.

The primary issue is that his self-reported conduct in the media after the trial suggests that he introduced incorrect and extraneous legal standards in the jury room. The role of a juror is to decide the facts; not act as a legal authority.
And this is why the voir dire is important. From the transcript:
Court to Hogan during Voir Dire: ...“So I want to make sure that…you would apply the law as I instruct you and not based on your understanding of the law based on your own cases.”

Lex Ignoramus

@Alan Very interesting comment, thanks. What puzzles me is that the quote appears to me to be something that would be said by the Judge to the jury during their “instructions,” before their “retiring for deliberation,” rather than something said in preliminary trail screening which is what I thought “voir dire” referred to in the American legal system.

If you care to clarify that, I’d appreciate that.

thanks, Lex

daemon

“What puzzles me is that the quote appears to me to be something that would be said by the Judge to the jury during their “instructions,” before their “retiring for deliberation,” rather than something said in preliminary trail screening which is what I thought “voir dire” referred to in the American legal system.”

No Lex, that’s done during Voir Dire, cause if they can’t, that’s when you dismiss them from the Jury and pull another one from the Jury Pool. The instructions explain the Law to the Jury,

Lex Ignoramissimus

@daemon ... thanks for clarifying that for me. in your honor, I have taken a new last name.

in ignorantia est beatitudo, Lex

Alan

The case hinges on what went on in the jury room. Not his failure to properly answer the questions before the trail.

Look at the video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9cnQcTC2JY) and you’ll see he misunderstands prior art and that his misunderstanding, according to him,  was used to break the jury stalemate. The theory of prior art he articulates here is in direct contradiction of jury instruction #31.

All this doesn’t mean the verdict will be thrown out because that’s a hard thing to make happen. But you know this is going to appeal, if it doesn’t.

 

 

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Lex Ignoramissimus

@Alan Thanks for the learned commentary. I watched the video (surreal to me), and now I will have to go and download the official transcript .pdf file, and read what Jury Instruction #31 says, and watch the video again.

I’d be interested to know if your analysis of Velvin’s violation is based on the general “gestalt” of the entire video, or on specific moments, if you care to comment further.

regards, Lex

Alan

Thanks but I don’t deserve credit. Read Groklaw. I don’t always agree with their opinions, but they do read the primary documents and provide links to all of them so you can read them for yourself. And they explain the law.

You can read Samsung’s motion here: http://www.groklaw.net/pdf4/ApplevSamsung-2013.pdf
It provides a fairly clear explanation of their issue with Hogan.  Whether the court agrees with them is another matter but they clearly have something to gripe out.

Alan

The jury instructions are here:
http://www.groklaw.net/pdf3/ApplevSamsung-1903.pdf

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Samsung said that one of the lawyers who represented Seagate against Hogan is married to one of the lawyers who represented Samsung in the case, according to the Register. Koh said she will review the matter at a hearing on Dec. 6.
“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,” the judge said in her order, according to CNET.

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