Frustrated judge asks Apple lawyers if they are “smoking crack” [Apple vs Samsung]

Before we get to the punch line of this article, let’s have a little background. In the ongoing Apple vs Samsung battle, Judge Lucy Koh allotted Apple and Samsung 25 hours each of trial time. In other words, each side could present its case and pick apart the others case for a total of 25 hours. Each minute spent presenting a witness or evidence, or cross-examining the others witness, would be deducted from this 25 hours. As it turns out trial time for Samsung and Apple was cut by Judge Koh for other reasons, too, such as court room antics, but that is not particularly relevant to this article.

Now let’s get to the story at hand.

Apple vs Samsung is coming to a close, with Samsung recently resting its defense because it only has 43 minutes left out of its 25 hours. Apple has a few hours left of its time. Apple filed a 75-page brief with the court asking to call 22 rebuttal witnesses. At this request Judge Koh, who is clearly frustrated by both Apple and Samsung at this point, flipped out and told Apple’s attorneys “unless you’re smoking crack, you know that these witnesses are not going to be called”:

You want me to do an order on 75 pages tonight? When, unless you’re smoking crack, you know that these witnesses are not going to be called? Who is going to call all these witnesses when you have less than four hours left?

In response, Apple’s lawyer William Lee said, “Your honor, first of all, I’m not smoking crack. I can promise you that. We have timed it out.” Then other Apple attorney Michael Jacobs stepped forward, assured the judge Apple had conducted a time test and they could get through 20 witnesses today and tomorrow, and claimed, “We didn’t mean to burden the court.”

Judge Koh, who likely had steam coming out of her ears now, threatened Apple with an actionable fine if the brief turns out to be a charade:

You filed 75 pages of objections! What do you mean you didn’t mean to burden the court? If it turns out I will have gone through 75 pages of objections for people who are not realistically expected to be called, then I’m going to think up a proper tax for that.

I am trying to shed a tear for the lawyers but for some reason I am cannot find one to spare.

[via ArsTechnica, The Verge]

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3 comments

  1. Mags

    I chuckled at the title alone. I can understand the Judge’s frustration.

    A 75 page brief with objections, less than 4 hrs of time and 22 witnesses? I think Apple was trying to pull a fast one (probably hoping the judge would give them more time) and failed.

    I have no sympathy for corporate lawyers!