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IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 02:55 AM EDT

IBM has filed a Motion to Dismiss [PDF] Daniel Wallace's complaint. It's humorous enough I thought it was worth typing up a text version for you. IBM says Wallace has pled himself plum out of court. Not only that, they say he can't fix it by any amendment. It's a problem he can't cure, they say. He lacks standing and there is no antitrust injury, and neither of these facts can be changed, as they are "inherent in who the plaintiff is."

Oh.

The Memorandum in Support [PDF] explains a bit more, referencing a case that held that documents attached to a complaint that are central to a claim are considered part of the pleadings. If the attachment -- in this case, the GPL attached to the complaint -- contradicts allegations in the complaint, the attachment trumps the allegations. If your allegations can't, by any measure, add up to an antitrust injury, you are so out-a-there. "A plaintiff may therefore 'plead himself out of court' by attaching documents to the complaint that indicate he or she is not entitled to judgment." In this case, IBM concludes, the plaintiff is who he is, and "leave to amend cannot cure such a characteristic."

Indeed, if only some plaintiffs could be so readily cured, eh? But I digress.

IBM takes the precaution of asking, in the alternative, that the plaintiff be made to explain what in the world he is complaining about with more precision, but what they really want and ask for is a dismissal with prejudice. Wallace then filed a summary judgment motion[PDF] with exhibits galore (he didn't learn his lesson evidently), but I got no further than the second paragraph of his memorandum in support [PDF], before my brain started to rebel. I find it hard to read something that isn't legalese and isn't English either. I don't know what it is. My opinion is that unless there are some seriously crooked or unbelievably stupid judges in Indiana, in a conspiracy to destroy the GPL to boot and willing to accept the ridicule of the world or worse, which I don't believe to be the case, Mr. Wallace is doomed. But in truth, I had trouble concentrating, so I suppose it's conceivable I missed something wonderful hidden in there. Hidden very, very well.

Like I have always told you, don't ever go into a courtroom without a lawyer to represent you if you can help it. It's like doing surgery on yourself, only worse, because the other side will have lawyers, and they will know how to tear you to shreds, and you won't even understand the why of it or even what they said. They'll speak a language you don't know. It sounds like English, so you'll think you are keeping up, but it's full of code and legal terms of art that you don't know, and you won't know all the tricky procedural stuff either, and so sooner or later, probably sooner, you'll lose. Then you'll blame the "US legal system" instead of yourself, which is where the blame will belong.

I don't think the case is worth following closely, but I have had enough requests for the documents that I'm making the new ones available, and you'll find them after the Motion to Dismiss text. Red Hat and Novell are sharing the same lawyer. That's what you might do if you expect a case to be dismissed.

I can't help but hope that there is some discovery in this case, though. I so want to know who put Wallace up to this, if anyone did. Of course, it's a perverse wish, because a quick dismissal is always best. It's such a waste of money and effort to do discovery on a lost cause. For that matter, it's pointless to file one. It's actually dangerous too. So far, IBM is being nice and all they are asking for is a clean dismissal. If Wallace persists and becomes a lot more annoying, though, I think he'll be fortunate to get out court with anything left in his wallet.

******************************************************************

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
INDIANAPOLIS DIVISION

DANIEL WALLACE,

Plaintiff,

vs.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
MACHINES CORPORATION;
RED HAT INC.;
NOVELL, INC.,

Defendants.

Civil Complaint No.: 1:05-cv-0678-SEB-VSS

DEFENDANT INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION'S
MOTION TO DISMISS


Pursuant Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), Defendant International Business Machines Corporation ("IBM") moves to dismiss plaintiff's attempted claims under the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, et seq. Plaintiff's two-page complaint fails to meet even the most liberal pleading requirements in an antitrust case. These minimal allegations, coupled with the language of the GNU General Public License attached to the complaint, demonstrate that plaintiff has pled himself out of court by alleging facts that show he has neither antitrust standing nor recoverable antitrust injury, facts that are inherent in who the plaintiff is and therefore cannot be cured by amendment. Plaintiff also fails to allege any facts whatsoever concerning any combination or conspiracy under Section 1. Further, under the rule of reason, plaintiff fails to allege any unreasonable restraint of trade, anticompetitive effects, or market power in the relevant market.

1

These arguments are set out in IBM's brief in support of this motion, which is incorporated as if fully stated herein. For all of these reasons, as well as the arguments set out in detail in the brief, plaintiff fails to state a Sherman Act claim as a matter of law. Therefore, IBM requests that the Court dismiss his complaint with prejudice under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Respectfully submitted,

s/ Michael Gottschlich
Michael Gottschlich (#22668-49)
Kendall Millard (#25430-49)
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
[address, phone, fax]

Attorneys for Defendant, International
Business Machines Corporation

2

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

The undersigned hereby certifies that on the 30th day of June, 2005, a copy of the foregoing document was filed electronically. Notice of this filing will be sent to the following by operation of the Court's electronic filing system:

Curtis W. McCauley [email]
Philip A. Whistler [email]

The above filing will also be served by U.S. mail on the following, and all attorneys that the Court's notice of delivery indicates will be delivered by other means:

Daniel Wallace
[address]

s/ Kendall Millard
Kendall Millard

2


Wallace v. IBM et al Documents:

16 - Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to July 6, 2005, to file response to Complaint, by RED HAT INC.
16-1Proposed Order
17 - MOTION to Dismiss by IBM
18 - BRIEF/MEMORANDUM in Support re 17 MOTION to Dismiss by IBM
19 - MOTION for Summary Judgment by DANIEL WALLACE
20 - Memorandum in Support of Summary Judgment Motion, by Daniel Wallace 21 Wallace Exhibits -

21 -1
21 -2
21 -3
21 -4
21 -5
21 -6
21 -7
21 -8
21 -9
21 -10
21 -11
21 -12

22 - RESPONSE in Opposition re 17 IBM's MOTION to Dismiss, filed by DANIEL WALLACE


  


IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court | 208 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections
Authored by: darkonc on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 03:04 AM EDT
If any.. Please place them here.

---
Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

[ Reply to This | # ]

OFF Topic and Such.
Authored by: darkonc on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 03:07 AM EDT
Remember to make links clickable (instructions in th posting page) and change the Post Mode from "Plain Old Text" to "HTML Formatted"

---
Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

[ Reply to This | # ]

Wallace on Copyright misuse
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 03:10 AM EDT
This is slightly off-topic, I posted it deep insider the last story... but it's relevant to Wallace's entire line of copyright misuse argument....


According to Wallace, the GPL's limited permission allowing others to prepare and distribute derivative works, is somehow "copyright misuse"

but... what he doesn't seem to understand is he otherwise has no right to prepare or distribute derivative works without permission of the copyright holder.

The law here:

Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission. In Wallace's summary judgement motions, he cites the Lasercomb case, without realising that it is not about his issue at all (it's about copyright misuse as a defense to infringement claims) and secondly what it does say undermines his position entirely:

For example, it recognizes that "copyright misuse" is not inherently the same as a violation of anti-trust law
So while it is true that the attempted use of a copyright to violate antitrust law probably would give rise to a misuse of copyright defense, the converse is not necessarily true – a misuse need not be a violation of antitrust law in order to comprise an equitable defense to an infringement action. The question is not whether the copyright is being used in a manner violative of antitrust law (such as whether the licensing agreement is “reasonable”), but whether the copyright is being used in a manner violative of the public policy embodied in the grant of a copyright.
And secondly the "copyright misuse" in Lasercomb wasn't AT ALL about copying the original work, or derivative works, but extending copyright's limited monopoly to entirely new works (this is summarised best in the section I have bold underlined at the end):
Lasercomb undoubtedly has the right to protect against copying of the Interact code. Its standard licensing agreement, however, goes much further and essentially attempts to suppress any attempt by the licensee to independently implement the idea which Interact expresses.19 The agreement forbids the licensee to develop or assist in developing any kind of computer-assisted die-making software. If the licensee is a business, it is to prevent all its directors, officers and employees from assisting in any manner to develop computer-assisted die-making software. Although one or another licensee might succeed in negotiating out the noncompete provisions, this does not negate the fact that Lasercomb is attempting to use its copyright in a manner adverse to the public policy embodied in copyright law, and that it has succeeded in doing so with at least one licensee. See supra note 8 and accompanying text. Cf. Berlenbach v. Anderson & Thompson Ski Co., 329 F.2d 782, 784-85 [141 USPQ 84] (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 379 U.S. 830 [143 USPQ 464] (1964).

The language employed in the Lasercomb agreement is extremely broad. Each time Lasercomb sells its Interact program to a company and obtains that company’s agreement to the noncompete language, the company is required to forego utilization of the creative abilities of all its officers, directors and employees in the area of CAD/CAM die-making software. Of yet greater concern, these creative abilities are withdrawn from the public.20 The period for which this anticompetitive restraint exists is ninety-nine years, which could be longer than the life of the copyright itself.21<15 USPQ2d 1854>

...

We think the anticompetitive language in Lasercomb’s licensing agreement is at least as egregious as that which led us to bar the infringement action in Compton, and therefore amounts to misuse of its copyright. Again, the analysis necessary to a finding of misuse is similar to but separate from the analysis necessary to a finding of antitrust violation. The misuse arises from Lasercomb’s attempt to use its copyright in a particular expression, the Interact software, to control competition in an area outside the copyright, i.e., the idea of computer-assisted die manufacture, regardless of whether such conduct amounts to an antitrust violation.
Quatermass
IANAL IMHO etc.

[ Reply to This | # ]

One more shot at Wallace's arguments
Authored by: darkonc on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 03:26 AM EDT
I said this in the other article, where it was offtopic, but:
I think that IBM has missed another nice torpedo in their arguments (nth that there's much left of his boat to aim a torpeeo at!)
From page 15 of IBM's memorandum (document 18)
... the plaintif needs to show that the defendant has market power. A company has market power if it can raise prices above a competitive level without losing its business.
Wallace contends that the basis of his complaint is that the GPL requires software to be licensed for free. (although IBM has pointed out that you can charge for delivery of the product).
How can the price of a product which is mandated to be licensed for free (as in cheap) be raised above a competitive level -- with or without losing business?

---
Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Authored by: billposer on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 04:05 AM EDT

Not that I have any sympathy for Wallace's suit, but it seems to me that IBM's argument is wrong in one respect. They make the point that Wallace is claiming injury in the market for programming services whereas the GPL affects the market for programs as products. This is true of his complaint, but it seems to me that it is a curable defect. A programmer who produces original programs (as opposed, let's say, to someone who does maintenance) can write works for hire, in which case he is providing a service, or he can set up shop for himself and market a product. From what little we know of Wallace's plans, it sounds like he in fact intends to do the latter. So, in fact, there is an ambiguity as to whether Wallace's alleged injury is in the programming services market or the program product market. He has indeed made an error in the wording of his complaint, but the defect could be cured by amending the complaint. It is not inherent in who Wallace is that he is in the services market not the product market.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Truncated PDF (20)
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 04:48 AM EDT
The PDF file (20) as downloaded is 32,768 bytes. Examination of the raw data
would show it starting object 44 but not finishing it. Not does it have the
bumph at the end that the other PDFs have. It just looks a little truncated
somehow.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 05:34 AM EDT
I'm running Acrobat Reader 7.0.2 on Windows XP Pro. Whether I try to view the
file in situ, or whether I download it to my desktop, the outcome is exactly the
same.

A 'File damaged or incomplete' error message.

Hope this helps.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Authored by: blacklight on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 05:43 AM EDT
"Like I have always told you, don't ever go into a courtroom without a
lawyer to represent you if you can help it. It's like doing surgery on yourself,
only worse, because the other side will have lawyers, and they will know how to
tear you to shreds, and you won't even understand the why of it or even what
they said. They'll speak a language you don't know." PJ

In other words, you'll be dying in ways you never thought of. And pain will be
only the beginning of your suffering.

Speaking about self-treatment and pain: I suddenly experienced a pain in both my
feet a couple of months ago. Like the tough Asian American I thought I was, I
chose to ignore the pain and decided to keep walking until it went away.
Unfortunately, the pain not only did not go away but my body sent nothing but
more and more vehement pain messages to my incredibly thick head. I finally
broke down under the torture and went to see the foot specialist. The foot
specialist, a female Asian American doctor, told me that I was neither the first
nor the last of her Asian American male patients to try to self-treat
unsuccessfully - "And by the way, the arches on both your feet are
collapsed". She also suggested sweetly to me that she wanted to introduce
me to her medical audiences as "an inspirational example to us all as to
what happens to Asian American professional men who self-treat", and
"observe how he makes it to the podium". My attitude is: beware of
intelligent, beautiful young women who use the word "inspiration" when
they really mean "object lesson" - Asian American women: not only do
they outsmart us in school and in life but they also have to ridicule our
foibles and macho and in large percentages marry non-Asians, to boot. Life is
cruel.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Courtroom Without a Lawyer
Authored by: Morosoph on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 05:46 AM EDT
Like I have always told you, don't ever go into a courtroom without a lawyer to represent you if you can help it. It's like doing surgery on yourself, only worse, because the other side will have lawyers, and they will know how to tear you to shreds, and you won't even understand the why of it or even what they said. They'll speak a language you don't know. It sounds like English, so you'll think you are keeping up, but it's full of code and legal terms of art that you don't know, and you won't know all the tricky procedural stuff either, and so sooner or later, probably sooner, you'll lose. Then you'll blame the "US legal system" instead of yourself, which is where the blame will belong.
There's an excellent example of that at taubmansucks.com. Hank Mishkoff tried to represent himself in a domain name dispute, and got in no end of trouble.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 05:50 AM EDT
Is there no limits to how stupid a case can be without being rejected by the
American courts? I mean, in most civilized countries I know, one would never be
allowed to start a case like this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Timing
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 06:01 AM EDT
Wallace filed his evidence at 8:46 AM June 30th according to
the time stamp. I believe Wallace's Motion and evidence was
on the record about seven hours *before* IBM filed their
Motion to Dismiss. I think that's what he is complaining about in document 22 in
his Preliminary Statement. He's implying that IBM didn't consider all the
evidence before filing their Motion.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Timing - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 08:49 AM EDT
IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Authored by: MadScientist on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 08:13 AM EDT
There has been to date very littel commentary about the IBM memo. Possibly
because its a PDF. This is a shame because like almost all the IBM filings it
*is* worth reading.

IMHO its a lovely piece of work. It must be a text book demolition of a
pointless anti trust claim. There are remraks about the market (geopgraphic,
service/product identification), pricing power, conspiracy and others.

For the teachers of law who read this site, this would IMHO make an excellent
addition to your required reading lists.

As ever my thanks to IBM for such excellent work making it a pleasure to read.


[ Reply to This | # ]

A fool for a client
Authored by: Griffin3 on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 08:51 AM EDT

The old advice is good advice in the real world.

... don't ever go into a courtroom without a lawyer to represent you if you can help it. It's like doing surgery on yourself, only worse, ... and you won't even understand the why of it or even what they said. They'll speak a language you don't know. It sounds like English, so you'll think you are keeping up

But that doesn't make it right. I would imagine it rarely happens that a legitimate "pro se" case gets thrown out on minor procedural grounds; otherwise the problem is indeed with the US legal system. If the lawyers have made the legal system into a "private club" where a non-lawyer is automatically a fool to enter, that's no longer like performing surgery on yourself. That's like not being able to apply a tourniquet to your severed arm, because the package has been printed in obscure code to discourage competition.

</rant>More towards open source law, please ...

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Authored by: kenryan on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 08:57 AM EDT
> I don't think the case is worth following closely, but
> I have had enough requests for the documents that [...]

At least in my case, the IBM-SCO case has been dragging so
long and slowly that I'm eager to see a nice clean blowout!

(Yes I know the pace of IBM-SCO is nothing unusual for that
sort of case...)

---
ken
(speaking only for myself, IANAL)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sad Sad Sad
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 10:24 AM EDT
Since I can not afford a lawyer, in "legitamit" business the
lawyers and those who can afford them can and do steal from me at every turn.
(It has happened repeatedly for four and five figure amounts, maybe six.) I'd
rather deal with the mafia. They'll only kill you if you break your word, and
they usually keep theirs.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Great to see a blog evangelist put in his place
Authored by: gvc on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 10:40 AM EDT
The internet is a great equalizer. Every whacko theorist gets an equal say.
Some people are unable to discriminate between reasonable argument and fantastic
proclamation.

The problem with this situation is that anti-intellectual disinformation gets a
boost.

At least one fantastic proclaimer is being put to the test. Perhaps when he's
put in his place, one iota more sense will prevail in the wild west we know as
the internet.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Choice quotes
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 11:30 AM EDT

From Wallace's reply to IBM's motion to dismiss on page 5 of the PDF, ironically
under his response to IBM's vagueness arguement:

"Due to the general construction of the license agreement that the
Defendant IBM uses, it is nearly impossible to decipher what the GPL actually is
or means ..."

I'm thinking that this is a bad time for Wallace to inform the court that he has
trouble deciphering the GPL.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Contracts binding on third parties
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 12:08 PM EDT
I very quickly thought of a specific case of contracts binding on third parties:
Various modifications of deeds to real estate. (IANAL so please forgive me for
randomly bad terminology) For example, you can sell the mineral rights to your
property, and any future buyer of that property has to abide by your contract
with whomever you sold them to. Or you can put a conservation clause in the deed
when you sell your farm, saying that the property can never be developed or used
for non-farm purposes, and that it can only be sold under those same terms, so
that is binding infinitely down the line. The contract is renewed with each
sale.

The actual act being controlled is the act of selling (or in the case of the
GPL, distributing) the item in question. The person performing that act is not
some vague third party, but the second party to the contract. And, likewise,
when that second party sells the item, the buyer is bound by their contract with
that person, independent of the original seller.

To dispense with the pronouns a bit: Able makes a contract with Baker to sell
Able's widget to Baker, with the condition that it can only be used in months
with an 'R' in them, and that if the widget is resold, it must be resold on the
same terms. So when Baker sells the widget to Charlie, he is required by the
terms of his contract with Able to write into the sales contract that the widget
can only be used in months with an 'R' in them and that it can only be resold on
the same terms. Charlie's behavior is constrained, not by any contract he has
with Able, (he has none) but by the contract he has with Baker. The fact that
Baker wrote the contract that way because Baker's contract with Able required
him to write it that way doesn't matter to Charlie. The contract is between
Baker and Charlie, and Charlie can either accept all of Baker's terms or go buy
a widget somewhere else. And likewise, if Charlie resells that rather battered
widget to Delta, Charlie's contract with Baker dictates the terms that Charlie
has to put into the new sale contract. So Delta is agreeing to the same terms.
The Able/Baker contract dictated Baker's actions, then the Baker/Charlie
contract dictated Charlie's actions, and the action in question was for Charlie
to write the Charlie/Delta contract to include the same proviso.

That's how the GPL works. If I write a program, slap the GPL on it, and give it
to you, the license is, as a contract, binding between me and you. But one of
the terms of that contract is that you must do certain things in order to
distribute that program further. Specifically, you must only give it to others
on the exact same terms (i.e., the GPL) that I gave it to you on, and your
contract with them must bind them to those terms. I'm not controlling what they
do, I'm controlling what you do -- including requiring you to control what they
do.

There are cases in which this has been ruled invalid -- for instance, deed
covenants which prohibit selling property to someone of a specific racial or
ethnic group. I believe these routinely get thrown out on the basis of it not
being legal to require the other party in a contract to engage in otherwise
prohibited activity, such as racial discrimination. But since giving away
software whose copyright owner expressly permits you to do so is not illegal,
that would not seem to apply here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 12:24 PM EDT
PJ, thanks for putting this up. Not only is the Nazgul's memorandum another
piece of fine work (and educational as well!), but Wallace's filings provided a
laugh to me this morning.

In a way, I feel for the guy... he's a "specialist" who has exceeded
his competency boundaries, apparently, and hasn't the objectivity to recognize
that. At times (from his writings) he strikes me as the kind of guy who is
watching something happen and saying "that can't happen, it's
impossible!" ... well, Mr. Wallace, if it happens, it MUST be possible.

I believe it was in one of the Clint Eastwood "Dirty Harry" movies,
where Eastwood (as Dirty Harry) proclaimed "A man's got to know his
limitations." Unfortunately, I somehow doubt that even a slap-down of this
suit will help Mr. Wallace recognize his competency boundaries.

To PJ and all the others who offer their time and efforts here, I extend a
heartfelt THANK YOU. The educational value has been incredible.

...D

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Authored by: kutulu on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 01:19 PM EDT
Sicne a PDF file is just a souped-up version of PostScript, you can open them in
any text editor and check them out. Doing so with this one reveals that it *is*
rather incomplete, though I suspect whatever's missing is non-critical (so some
readers happily ignore it).

If you scroll to the end of the PDF you'll note the last item is a
"44". This should be the START of a PDF object, but clearly there's
nothing after it.

This means it's missing at a bare minimum: The content of object #44 (up to and
including the 'endobj' tag); the xref table, the PDF trailer, and the %%EOF
marker itself.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Antitrust with IBM = Land war in Asia
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 02:38 PM EDT
Remember, the Nazgul were so christened by the U.S. Department of Justice in their (untimately unsuccessful) 14-year (1969–1983) antitrust siege. I don't think IBM has completely forgotten how to defend antitrust since then.

I happen to think that the DoJ's suit was clearly justified, but that just goes to show how good IBM's lawyers were to be able to defend such a weak position.

Even if he were 100% right, launching a suit like this as anything but a diversionary tactic would be a massive strategic error. As it is... "Junior, don't wave your pop-gun at the sheriff. He might make a mistake and hurt you."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Something amiss
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 04 2005 @ 04:02 AM EDT
Like I have always told you, don't ever go into a courtroom without a lawyer to represent you if you can help it. It's like doing surgery on yourself, only worse, because the other side will have lawyers, and they will know how to tear you to shreds, and you won't even understand the why of it or even what they said. They'll speak a language you don't know. It sounds like English, so you'll think you are keeping up, but it's full of code and legal terms of art that you don't know, and you won't know all the tricky procedural stuff either, and so sooner or later, probably sooner, you'll lose.

This is what is wrong with the US legal system, IMO. The law should be for the people. I realize this person brought this upon themselves, but the basic point is that you must hire an expert and pay them thousands of dollars (at least) if action is brought against you (even spurious action).

I know one could point out other legal systems that are even worse. And I'm afraid I don't know quite what to suggest as a remedy. I just don't think it's right.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What the fsck are you talking about?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 04 2005 @ 06:07 AM EDT
If I go into Harlem and get mugged, the root cause of the problem is that I
didn't bring a bodyguard?

Just because you've made your living from scraps from the table of our ruling
class of lawyers* doesn't make it _right_.

* 50% of both House and Senate are members of the American Bar Association.
Think there's a connection with the fact that they draft laws so that Joe
Sixpack can't understand them?

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IBM: Wallace Has Pled Himself Out of Court
Authored by: Stephan Schulz on Monday, July 04 2005 @ 01:56 PM EDT
Pamela wrote:
They'll speak a language you don't know. It sounds like English, so you'll think you are keeping up, but it's full of code and legal terms of art that you don't know, and you won't know all the tricky procedural stuff either, and so sooner or later, probably sooner, you'll lose. Then you'll blame the "US legal system" instead of yourself, which is where the blame will belong.
I deeply disagree (not with the advice to take a lawyer, but with assigning the blame). Most legal questions are not deeply complicated, but rather simple - hey, they let 12 ordinary people decide on the death penalty in the US. A legal system where you can loose due to unnecessary procedural rules and complications is broken. Since everybody is expected to live by the law, it must be so simple that everybody can understand at least the parts that directly touch their lives. Again if it is not, it is broken.

That you often are stuck with legal expenses even if you win is another problem...

Yes, I recognise that most legal system in existance today are more or less broken.

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