Cellphones, Intellectual Property, john quinn, Litigators, Silicon Valley, Technology, Trials

John Quinn Defends His Personal Honor As Apple v. Samsung Trial Gets Crazier

Man, I really wish I could sit in the gallery at the Apple v. Samsung trial over the next few weeks. It’s a war zone down in San Jose. In court yesterday, Judge Lucy Koh became “livid” when she found out about a Samsung statement describing evidence that had been ruled inadmissible by the court. She demanded to know John Quinn’s involvement in the statement (Quinn Emanuel represents Samsung), and then she threatened to sanction him. Whoa.

Quinn was ordered to explain himself, and we’ve got the declaration he filed this morning. It’s a doozy, and predictably, the master litigator does not take kindly to, in his words, “media reports… falsely impugning me personally”…

Before we get to the declaration of John Quinn, let’s take a look at what happened yesterday. According to The Recorder, it was quite a scene:

Samsung’s team got off to a rougher start with U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh. Quinn Emanuel’s John Quinn made an appearance but only succeeded in irking Koh before the jury entered the courtroom.

He asked to admit as evidence images of Samsung mobile phones before the iPhone had been introduced — a request already rejected.

Quinn said he had never before begged the court, but he was begging now.

“Don’t make me sanction you,” Koh snapped. When Quinn persisted, she angrily asked him to sit down. He did.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

Samsung issued a press release in the afternoon saying that “the excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design.”

[Apple lawyer Harold] McElhinny told Koh about the release after the jury has been dismissed, saying it was a clear attempt to influence jurors. Koh said she wanted to know who wrote the release and who on Quinn Emanuel’s team had authorized it. She also said she wanted an affidavit from Quinn himself about his involvement in the release.

John Quinn

Not a great start for Samsung. CHECK YOU SEAT. To be fair, though, other media reports have said that Judge Koh is “clearly unhappy” at both parties for not settling the case before trial.

In any case, John Quinn filed his declaration this morning by the 9 a.m. (West Coast time) deadline. Like many of the firm’s documents, it’s not dull. He acknowledges, first and foremost, that he “approved and authorized the release of a brief statement,” following “multiple requests from members of the media seeking further explanation… as to the basis for Samsung’s claims, made in open court and in its public trial brief[.]”

Here are some highlights from the five-page declaration, but it’s worth a read all the way through (we’ve reprinted it in full on the next page):

Contrary to the representations Apple’s counsel made to this Court, Samsung did not issue a general press release and more importantly, did not violate any Court Order or any legal or ethical standards. These false representations by Apple’s counsel publicly and unfairly called my personal reputation into question and have resulted in media reports likewise falsely impugning me personally.

According to one of our sources, “the word ‘contempt’ was bandied about by Apple’s lawyer.” So Quinn’s personal frustration may be at least somewhat understandable.

It seems like the main thrust of the declaration is that everything from the release was “previously in the public record.” He explains that everything was “specifically addressed in open court with the media in attendance.”

Quinn also directly addressed accusations that Samsung’s legal team was trying to intentionally mislead jurors. He made the (fairly obvious, in my humble opinion) observation that jurors had already been instructed not to read any form of media relating to the case.

He continues by effectively alleging hypocrisy on the part of Apple’s legal team:

As this Court has acknowledged, this is a case with genuine and substantial commercial and public interest and with enormous potential commercial impact. The media has been reporting in salacious detail Apple’s allegations of Samsung’s supposed “copying”, causing injury to Samsung’s public reputation as a company. Moreover, Apple’s baseless and public assertions that Samsung’s transmission to the media of public information constituted contempt of court and that these actions were intended to pollute the jury were themselves glaring falsehoods, highlighting why Samsung has every right to defend itself in the public domain from unfair and malicious attacks.

John Quinn declined to provide any additional comment for this story when we contacted him. We also reached out to Harold McElhinny, Apple’s attorney at Morrison & Foerster, but have yet to hear back.

On the bright side, for everyone not personally involved in the case, it’s definitely living up to the hype. The trial, which is expected to last about a month, resumes on Friday.

(If you’re interested, check out the full John Quinn declaration, along with links to additional news stories, on the next page.)

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