From: John Danforth
Former Rambus Senior Legal Advisor
To: Members of Investor Village Message Board
Thought it would be nice to share his post here, enjoy.
Winter is coming -- thoughts on our wait.
This is not the further summing up I promised in my last post. But as we wait for the jury I thought I would share my views about the wait.
After a spectacular Indian Summer – with this week’s ASP surfing contest (go Kelly Slater!!) at our Ocean Beach enjoying remarkable waves, offshore winds, great crowds and 70+ degree sunshine – San Francisco got its first real taste of winter today: cold driving rain under dark clouds.
Which brings me to our jury. I fear I share the impatience of many here. But I am not discouraged and I somehow feel that this change of seasons will have a positive impact on the pace of deliberations. Really.
We are trained from childhood to buckle down and get stuff done when the days start getting colder and shorter. I suspect the jury will feel this too. And there is, of course, the fact that every big box store around is stocking up on Christmas decorations. Halloween (very big in this town) is past. Time to move on to serious stuff.
So I thought I would spend this rainy evening reflecting briefly on what we now know, and why we here in the City by the Bay have good reason to feel better right now than many in Boise or Seoul.
To begin with, there is the evidence itself. Liability seems clear, and much of that liability evidence suggests strongly that the defendants knew that RDRAM was poised to waterfall throughout the memory market. If RDRAM was just a short term product or a niche product, why bother with all the conspiracy stuff?
We also know that the Rambus closing argument (read it) was commanding and captured the jury’s attention – in an obvious way that (from what I saw in person) was in stark contrast to the polite attention the jury seemed to pay to the defendants’ closings.
And then there is the series of things the jury has (during deliberations) asked to be brought back to them for a second look. I cannot imagine a series of jury requests less in keeping with the hopes of Micron’s lawyer when he asked the jury to look closely at the evidence. They have looked closely but not at stuff that Micron can be too happy about.
Finally, for what it is worth, I share the view that deliberations go on this long when a jury knows something very, very important is at stake. I very much doubt (and most authorities seem to agree) that deliberations go this long when a jury is going to rule against liability. I also credit the reports (from multiple RFP members) that the jury seems to be consistently upbeat and cohesive. None of those reports point to any problem with this jury reaching the needed level of consensus on the many issues they have to resolve. And Judge McBride has confirmed many times that the jury feels it is not having any problems with its work.
Do I wish that this case was over and done with two years ago? Of course. Do I wish the verdict form was shorter? Certainly. Do I wish that the jury had been so angered by what they heard about “RDRAM killing” that deliberations would have ended in hours or days? Absolutely. And do I wish there were fewer limits on the evidence that this jury heard? No doubt.
But we got the trial we got and it went very well from what I could see.
Ample evidence of defendants’ guilt was presented methodically and logically and (as far as I can tell) largely dispassionately by Rambus in this trial. It makes sense to me that the jury would take that as a model for how to go about its own work. So we wait. I think it turns out fine – and (at this point) relatively soon.
Best wishes. Here’s hoping the skies will clear, the ASP can finish their contest tomorrow, and Kelly Slater can get his well-merited rewards (again).
"(It doesn't matter what conclusion she comes to....it matters what proof is given to support any conclusion.)"
When a ruling of document destruction and spoliation occurs; the burden of proof that no damages occurred to the complaining party fall squarly on the party that destroyed the documents. As it turns out RMBS cannot prove that the documents were not of any value, as they kept no record of the documents and their content.
"(EVIDENCE that Micron was harmed by document destruction)"
Micron has already proved that and it was affirmed by the CAFC.
It is the degree of intent of RMBS and the appropriate remedy that is remanded for consideration by JSR. Spoliation is already a proven fact.
It is just so simple. Nothing else to consider in the JSR court.
The evidence discussed in the linked CAFC opinion clearly show that destroying evidence was done as part of the litigation strategy.
This very fact alone indicates that they did so to to impair the defense of future defendents.
If you haven't come to this conclusion you must not have read the full document.
There is no need to cite here on this board authority for the well-settled and beyond dispute proposition of what the federal district court v. appellate court roles are regarding factual findings and application of the law, as a general matter.
The point here, though, is that Robinson's reputation as an incompetent judge, and a biased, rogue one at that, with an historically unprecedented record for reversals of close to 40% of her decisions, is well known at the CAFC and before the Bar.
She ruled in this case without legally required acceptable evidence, and particularly not only regarding necessary bad faith, but without any minimally adequate showing by Micron that it was specifically damaged by the spoliation. Simply screaming the magic word "spoliation" then dismissing the case is legal error.
That's why she was reversed (yet again). And "her work" reference is typical of a confused notion of the proper role of the judge. It's Micron's job to find and submit the evidence to the court, not her's. She rules after an adequate hearing.
It's a waste of time continuing to debate this stuff at this point, particularly with those who reason backward from hoping for a desired result.
We'll see what happens. And any rogue decision can get reversed again.
Once again you are so wrong! You make false statement and twist words trying to make a very clear cut ruling by the CAFC into something that is not the fact.
Anyone reading your post can easily realize that you are the biased one.
Apparently MU proved their case that they were harmed by the RMBS spoliation; as the CAFC affirmed that JSR's spoliation ruling was upheld.
You just can not get around that; except by making false and misleading statements. JSR has the whole situation figured out.
Isn't this the same John Danforth that suffered from mental illness and wanted to kill Rambutt Fever because he thought it was contagious?
" Thus,I'm also not a paid shill, not a thief of other company's IP and innovations"
For such a smart person, why are you keep on claiming MU stole RMBS IP? This case has nothing to do with IP. MU has never infringed on any RMBS IP
As a longtime RMBS supporter and former lawyer, I respect Mr Danforth's expression of his views and only wish that everything he states in this latest post turns out to be correct.
However, in an effort to be objective, I should note that much of what he says here involves a fair amount of wish-fulfillment.
The fact is that no one, none of us, really has any idea of what is actually going on in the jury room, or what the juror's may believe.
Further, one could equally conclude that apart from a seemingly casual attitude, if not lazy approach to their work, the jurors are delaying because of disagreements.
A big concern in my view is the approach of Judge McBride, not only in making legal errors such as excluding the Samsung plea in an misguided effort to bend over backward to be fair to these defendants.
One could argue that he has effectively lost control of the process in his courtroom, through his acquiesence if not outright indifference to the jury having effectively taken over control.
No matter how complicated the issues or his instructions, it simply should not take any jury already more than seven full weeks with no apparent end in sight.
Rambus' IP was stolen, it's business was grievously harmed, and no amount of bashing by paid shills screaming "shredding", without any understanding of just how irrelevant that is here, nor Judge Robinson's baseless in fact and law decision reversed by the CAFC (her record of 39% reversals of decisions is w/o doubt the single worst in all the federal judiciary), alters the reality of what actually transpired over the years.
But given the RMBS' history, the bias against it,and the fact the no modern jury is ever really sequestered or shielded from being subject to outside influence, anything can still happen here.
The company's enemies remain legion.
Nice discussion and I agree that there was a lot of wish fulfillment in that statement. But whether or not RMBS IP was stolen is not at issue here. So it is irrelevant to the discussion.
Also, spoliation is never irrelevant and as a lawyer you should know that. The destruction of potential evidence is damning on the destroyer and harmful to the other party's ability to defend itself. That sir, is relevant to any court proceeding.
Further, it was only Judge Robinson's remedy that was remanded. Her decision on spoliation was upheld. And, her remedy can still be shown to be correct with appropriate support.
With all due respect; post the document and section of the document that shows the reversal of Judge Robinison"s ruling of spoliation. I have read the CAFC ruling and they remanded for explanation of her decision only. As I read the ruling, the issue of spoliation was held intact.
"(Rambus' IP was stolen, it's business was grievously harmed, and no amount of bashing by paid shills screaming "shredding", without any understanding of just how irrelevant that is here, nor Judge Robinson's baseless in fact and
******law decision reversed by the CAFC*******
(her record of 39% reversals of decisions is w/o doubt the single worst in all the federal judiciary), alters the reality of what actually transpired over the years.)"