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Microsoft Slinks In - MSLI Appears in SCO Bankruptcy
Thursday, November 15 2007 @ 10:22 PM EST

Now it's getting interesting. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' father's law firm, known as the firm that represents Microsoft, has just filed a Notice of Entry of Appearance and Demand for Notices and Papers [PDF] in the SCO bankruptcy on behalf of MSLI, Inc., otherwise known as Microsoft Licensing, one of the creditors on SCO's list. In fact, one of the 20 top creditors [PDF], owed $125,000 or so. That would give them a seat at the creditors committee table, presumably, should they so desire, if a committee is formed later.

I guess filing as MSLI instead of Microsoft Licensing is like putting on sunglasses, hoping no one will notice you.

But we do notice! One thing I noticed is that it isn't just a request or demand for notices. It's also an appearance, meaning they can speak. Here's Oracle's Request for Special Notice [PDF] to show you the difference. Or for even more contrast, here's American Express's [PDF]. They want to see all the goings on as far as paperwork is concerned. Microsoft does too, but it is also appearing, in addition to asking for filings.

Now, we'll have to wait to see to what degree they mean that, as it's possible that they are simply using a form that covers all the bases. Sometimes law firms do that. I can attest to that. But it's something that leaps off the page.

Sun appeared [PDF] as well as filing a request for notices. So that would be the closest comparable filing. Then again, both Sun and Microsoft might well wish to speak at some point if the topic turns to those agreements they signed with SCO back in 2003, let alone the money they are owed. If you are attending tomorrow's hearing, please keep an eye out for a new lawyer or lawyers.

Microsoft lists a number of sections in both the Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. To save you time, in case you are curious, here they are. Sun lists only the first two:

  • § 1109. Right to be heard:
    (b)
    an equity security holders’ committee, a creditor, an equity security holder, or any indenture trustee, may raise and may appear and be heard on any issue in a case under this chapter.

  • Rule 9010. Representation and Appearances; Powers of Attorney

    (a) Authority to act personally or by attorney.

    A debtor, creditor, equity security holder, indenture trustee, committee or other party may (1) appear in a case under the Code and act either in the entity's own behalf or by an attorney authorized to practice in the court, and (2) perform any act not constituting the practice of law, by an authorized agent, attorney in fact, or proxy.

    (b) Notice of appearance.

    An attorney appearing for a party in a case under the Code shall file a notice of appearance with the attorney's name, office address and telephone number, unless the attorney's appearance is otherwise noted in the record.

  • Rule 2002

  • Rule 3017

  • Bankruptcy Code § 342. Notice
So, any of you who are attending the hearing Friday, keep your eyes peeled for a new lawyer. He'll be the one with the sunglasses. Joke. Joke.

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