Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Misconduct of Plaintiff's Lead Trial Counsel Does Not Warrant New Trial

Despite finding attorney misconduct, the court denied defendant's motion for a new trial and rejected the argument that plaintiff tainted the jury verdict by discussing the results of another case involving one of the patents-in-suit. "[Plaintiff] told the jury that: (1) another jury found the [patent] valid; (2) the Federal Circuit affirmed that verdict; and (3) as a result, [a third party] paid over $500 million dollars to [plaintiff]. . . . [T]he Court first concludes that there was 'attorney misconduct' in the sense that there were multiple violations of the Court's orders regarding the proper and improper uses of facts about the [other case]. These violations were committed by [plaintiff's] lead counsel . . . The Court's efforts to ensure a fair trial to both sides were made all the more difficult by [plaintiff's lead counsel's] decision to walk up to the line the Court had drawn and, several times, step right over it. . . . The Court finds that it is not reasonably probable that [lead counsel's] conduct with respect to the [prior case] influenced the jury's verdict. The Court reaches this conclusion based primarily on the strength of the evidence presented by [plaintiff]. After all, this was a case in which the undisputed damages evidence was that an entire industry -- other than [defendant] and one Chinese company -- took licenses from [plaintiff] for innovative technology that saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs."

Masimo Corporation v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, et al, 1-09-cv-00080 (DED May 18, 2015, Order) (Stark, J.)

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