c|net: Judge to review whether foreman in Apple v. Samsung hid info

Apple-Samsung jury foreman Velvin Hogan appearing on Bloomberg TV in August.
(Credit: Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/Bloomberg TV)

Federal District Judge Lucy Koh will “consider the questions” of whether the jury foreman in Apple v. Samsung “concealed information” during the jury selection process and whether there was any misconduct.

Koh said she will look into the matter during a December 6 hearing. As part of her inquiry, Koh said she will require Apple to disclose what information the company’s lawyers knew about the jury foreman.

Samsung is trying to get the $1 billion patent judgment that a jury awarded Apple in August thrown out. Apple filed suit against Samsung last year claiming the South Korea-based company had ripped off some of the technology and designs that went into the iPad and iPhone. Samsung countersued, alleging Apple violated some of its patents.

After the verdict, Samsung alleged that it didn’t receive a fair trial as a result of juror misconduct.
Samsung argued that jury foreman Velvin Hogan didn’t disclose during jury selection that he had been sued by Seagate, his former employer. Samsung pointed out in court papers that Seagate and Samsung have a “substantial strategic relationship.” The litigation with Seagate led Hogan to file for personal bankruptcy in 1993. Samsung maintains Hogan should have informed the court about the case.

From Koh’s order:

On October 30, 2012, Samsung filed a motion to compel Apple to disclose the circumstances and timing of Apple’s discovery of certain information regarding the jury foreperson. On November 2, 2012, Apple filed an opposition. At the December 6, 2012 hearing, 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. 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.

Typically, it’s hard to overturn a jury decision for alleged misconduct, say legal experts. The reason for that is U.S. law doesn’t want lawyers trying to peek into the jury room.

In September, Brian Love, a law professor at Santa Clara University who’s followed the trial closely said he thought it would be difficult for Samsung to get the decision thrown out based on jury misconduct. “You’re looking for material,” Love said, “or something else coming in that wasn’t introduced at trial, a juror reading reports about the case and they’re being influenced by outside forces.”

That wasn’t the case with Hogan. During voir dire, Hogan did disclose that he had been involved in litigation with a former partner when the judge asked him if he had ever been involved in litigation.
Hogan has noted, in response to Samsung’s allegations, that the judge didn’t ask for a complete listing of all the lawsuits he had been involved with.

From: http://news.cnet.com

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His past legal issues with Seagate is clearly a case for bias against Samsung if he knew about the Samsung/Seagate relationship.

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