After weeks of opening statements, the plaintiff’s attorney in the Microsoft trial in Iowa, showed not one but two videos to the jury as the opening evidence in the case. The jury spent six days watching video testimony. The first one was a ten hour video deposition of Bill Gates. That was followed by a video deposition of the former CEO of Novell, Richard Williams which was not completed. In three weeks the jury has heard opening statements and the video taped depositions. It was then dismissed for the holidays until January 4th. The trial is expected to last six months.I’ve previously commented on the wisdom of opening a trial with this much video testimony (12/12/06)
The judge has ruled that the plaintiff’s lawyer can call expert witnesses to the stand more then once. The plaintiff claims different companies and persons suffered damages from a Microsoft monopoly in the class action suit. The Judge agreed that it would be helpful to the jury to hear testimony from the experts about different companies at separate times rather then in one session. This ruling make sense in a trial of this complexity. Presenting units of testimony and evidence by subject matter should help the jury to follow the evidence.
The defense has asked to be allowed to cross examine the plaintiffs about their relationship to the plaintiff’s lawyer before the filing of the lawsuit, about their purchase of non-Microsoft software and their computer experiences. The judge has taken the motion under advisement. I fail to see what relevance there would be to the "relationship" between client and attorney before the filing of litigation and assume there is an ulterior motive in asking to be allowed to do so.