IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
Here's the high point of our case. We were granted, on March 4, 2010, to discover evidence that may have lead to the favorable outcome in the case.
The Google Scholar version:
So, Google's attorney, David Kramer, has used Rule 11 "Sanction Motions" to thwart a number of cases at Google. It's not a required motion: it is a choice, and it is a choice that has a pattern of use at Google. We think Mr. Kramer has "optimized" his legal rhetoric to 1 strategy. This is probably an indicator that he is using it because it threatens lawyers with huge fines that may or may not be recouped during a trial, by bringing up the cost of the suit during its course. Later in the same case they are permitted to request fees and such, but this is always pre-emptive - and in my case, it happened outside the normal rules of procedure. This means that they don't want to play ball (discuss settlements). By risking a minor court infraction (lying) they can sway the judge and exit the case. Look at his other cases to see what kind of stuff he is claiming Google does or doesn't do - then ask yourself, are they lying? Maybe you won't agree with the other side, but read and carefully dissect the Google arguments. Then, think about news reports you've heard about Google's actual behavior (censorship, removing unwanted materials from search results, the Italian Google Executives case, the Google click-fraud stuff).
Here's a copy of his brief, where he outlines my "fantastic claims" to having invented xyz. Yes, I wrote some of the things he quotes. Yes, I did the things I said. Though I feel time travel is possible, I have never done it myself except in the forward direction. Sadly, I aged while I did it.
We receive our responses to the written questions. This is our first pass to see what information we can pick from Chad and Steve about the foundation myth. The questions deal primarily with their personal cellphone and office numbers, so we can proceed with subpoenas once we enter the phase where they can be issued. We never got a chance to enter that phase because of the Rule 11 threat from Google's attorney.
Attorney Monts, my lead counsel, imagined David Kramer telling them each to answer like 1 question each (the minimum requirement), and then objecting systematically to every single question after that. Read the documents yourself by clicking the links at the bottom of this post.
What did my legal team take away from this?
1) Steve Chen admits there is a valid range for discovery regarding telephone conversations.
2) Chad says he wasn't at PayPal after "early 2003", so he couldn't possibly have been there in 2004 when I allegedly called with the YouTube idea. Later, as the case is dismissed without prejudice, Chad asserts in a sworn declaration that he had no contact with the company in any form after the sale to eBay in early 2003. Anyone who has read about YouTube's founding knows that this could not be true. See the NPC post titled "Chad Hurley's Perjury" for more specifics.
What we sent them:
We sent almost the exact same questions to Chad.
What they sent us:
Cases that head toward settlement quickly need not in the U.S.: simply invoke Rule 11 motions to dispel any legal team. Sure, there is an off-chance that the motion would be denied, but for Google's attorney it seems to work magic on any unheard voice. Anything about a case that is questionable or controversial can involve hefty sanctions against Plaintiff's teams. Under the moniker "controversial" falls anything that requires extensive expertise, involves complex argument or statements categorized as "unbelievable" by attorneys who are merely projecting a jury outcome based on their own prior experience. The nuts-and-bolts of it is basically that juries do not necessarily make logical decisions and are not apt to believe testimony that has been legally coached or involves omissions. In fact, modifying testimony is technically illegal, but happens all the time and Rule 11 was designed to specifically counteract that.