Lawyer Monthly Magazine -December 2019 Edition

Breedan the weapons expert pointed this gun at his wife and pulled the trigger, his intent and state of mind was exactly as mine is now,” and I immediately in one fluid and rapid motion put the gun to the temple of my co-counsel’s head and pulled the trigger. Everyone in the courtroom gasped. I then set the gun down and said “nothing further.” They acquitted him of the murder charge. What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve experienced at trial? After we rested our case in the multimillion-dollar St. Clair v. Canon trial, opposing counsel handed us a document that had not been previously produced. A lot of bad things happened to Canon and its counsel after that. This was a patent infringement case where we represented a company that owned some key patents on digital camera technology. Our inventors had worked on their invention during the evenings and on weekends while they kept their day jobs at a small California defense contractor named Mirage Systems. A little over a year earlier, we had won a $25 million verdict against Sony on the same patents. And prior to the Canon trial we had sued and settled with a number of other digital camera makers, including Olympus and Nikon. During the course of discovery, Canon developed a theory that our inventors’ employer, Mirage Systems, actually owned the patents pursuant to the employment agreement between the inventors and the company. Canon listed the CEO and president of Mirage on its trial witness list. We suspected that Canon must have made some type of deal with Mirage because it would not have been in Canon’s best interest to win our case based on an ownership defense only to then face a suit from Mirage. We repeatedly asked if Canon had a deal with Mirage. Canon insisted that it had complied with its discovery obligations and refused to produce any more documents. We asked again twice in the week before trial. This brings us back to where the story started. After we rested our case, Canon’s lead counsel handed us an agreement between Canon and Mirage in which Mirage gave a covenant not to sue to Canon if Mirage ended up owning the patents. I immediately asked the judge (Joseph Farnan in Delaware) for a hearing and moved to strike Canon’s ownership defense. Judge Farnan grilled Canon’s lawyer for over half an hour. Canon’s lawyer insisted that they didn’t have to produce the document during discovery. When Judge Farnan asked why they were producing it now, Canon’s lawyer said he thought “Mr. Schutz might ask our witnesses if there was an agreement between Canon and Mirage.” During the course of grilling Canon’s lawyer, Judge Farnan said that he had Super Lawyers By Ronald J. Schutz, Robins Kaplan LLP 55 DEC 2019 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM I REMIND MY TEAM THAT THE ONLY THING THE JURY WILL KNOW ABOUT THE CASE IS WHAT THEY SEE AND HEAR INSIDE THE COURTROOM, WHICH IS A FRACTION OF WHAT THE TRIAL TEAM KNOWS.

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