Case Got Your Tongue? Geek vs. Geek, Hyper-Activity & ‘You’d Better be Dying!’

I'm sure 'yule' (pardon the pun) welcome this opportunity to suspend Xmas shopping for a moment so you can read my last summary of interesting cases for the year.  Folks, I can only say the latest crop borders on the bizarre.  I have two civil and one criminal case for you.

United States Gypsum Co. v. Lafarge North America Inc., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99773 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 27, 2009)

"Plaintiff's computer forensics expert was allowed to testify regarding
steps taken by plaintiff to protect its electronically stored trade
secrets, and defendant's computer forensics expert was allowed to
provide his opinion concerning "intrinsic weaknesses" he perceived in
the reports of plaintiff's expert. However, both experts were barred
from offering opinions as to intent of the parties in handling
electronic information."

So, here's what happened.  Both Plaintiff and Defendant attempted to bar the others' expert from testifying.  Instead, the court allowed both experts to testify.  Whoops!  By the way, for the non-lawyers out there, it's entirely normal and customary – in certain instances – for experts to testify but not be allowed to express an opinion (conclusion).  Depending upon the circumstances, the court will leave that to the jury.

Wixon v. Wyndham Resort Development Corp., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86337 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 21, 2009).

Score one for good-faith.  What attorney among us hasn't dealt with an adversary who attempts to use every technicality in the book to delay, deny, obfuscate, etc.?  Of course, if you are one of those adversaries, shame on you, but in this case, the court saw right through it and enforced the 'spirit' of the agreement made between the parties.

Zawada v. United States, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101368 (N.D. Ind. Oct. 29, 2009).

"A request for court appointment of a computer forensics expert in a
motion by a defendant seeking review of his sentence was denied because
the defendant was not seeking to set aside a death sentence."

Like I said…bizarre…

Everyone, I wish you all the best!  Please, take care out there this holiday season.  Your continued support and feedback is what motivates me to keep on blogging!