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Samsung lead lawyer explains decision to share rejected evidence, anger judge

August 1, 2012
samsung leaked evidence

Earlier today we showed you a few images that came directly from the U.S. Apple vs Samsung trial. Only they’re not allowed in court as evidence for Samsung, and since Samsung’s counsel can’t use them to defend against Apple claims, it decided to leak them to the media.

The decision angered Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the case and who wanted to know exactly how this happened. And when a judge asks, you can only answer, which is what John Quinn, Samsung’s lead counsel did.

The attorney filled a personal declaration today in which he explained that he is the one that authorized the release of the Samsung evidence. Here are relevant fragments of his declaration – the entire document is available at the Source link at the end of this post.

On July 31, 2012, I approved and authorized the release of a brief statement—it was not a general press release—and proposed trial demonstrative exhibits. This followed multiple requests from members of the media seeking further explanation—including requesting the demonstrative exhibits at issue—as to the basis for Samsung’s claims, made in open court and in its public trial brief, that it had the right to present evidence that the iPhone was inspired by “Sony style” and that Samsung had independently created the design for the F700 phone—that was alleged in Apple’s opening statement to be an iPhone copy—in 2006, well before the announcement of the iPhone.
A true and correct copy of a sample of the press inquiries seeking precisely the information that was provided—including requesting the trial demonstrative exhibits at issue—is attached as Exhibit A.
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.
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.
Samsung’s brief statement and transmission of public materials in response to media inquiries was lawful, ethical, and fully consistent with the relevant California Rules of Professional Responsibility (incorporated by N.D. Cal. Civil Local Rule 11-4) and legal authorities regarding attorneys’ communications with the press. California Rule of Professional Responsibility 5-120(B)(2) specifically permits attorneys involved in litigation to disclose “information in a public record.” As shown above, all of the information disclosed was contained in public records.

As you can see, Quinn firmly believes that he was not wrong to share with the media evidence that’s not allowed in court but that already is part of the public record. The lawyer argues that Judge Koh decided that this trial would be open to the public and therefore the public needs to know what each party has to say. Furthermore, Quinn says the object of his actions was not to influence the jurors.

Now we’ll have to wait for Judge Koh to rule on the matter, and it will be interesting to see which party she will side with.