Judge to Review Samsung Jury Misconduct Claim

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.