decoration decoration
Stories

GROKLAW
When you want to know more...
decoration
For layout only
Home
Archives
Site Map
Search
About Groklaw
Awards
Legal Research
Timelines
ApplevSamsung
ApplevSamsung p.2
ArchiveExplorer
Autozone
Bilski
Cases
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Contracts/Documents
Courts
DRM
Gordon v MS
GPL
Grokdoc
HTML How To
IPI v RH
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
Lodsys
MS Litigations
MSvB&N
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
ODF/OOXML
OOXML Appeals
OraclevGoogle
Patents
ProjectMonterey
Psystar
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v IBM
SCO v Novell
SCO:Soup2Nuts
SCOsource
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Transcripts
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Contact PJ

Click here to email PJ. You won't find me on Facebook Donate Paypal


User Functions

Username:

Password:

Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.


What's New

STORIES
No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


Sponsors

Hosting:
hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

Webmaster
one of the premises is wrong here | 217 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Ouch - but ...
Authored by: celtic_hackr on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 09:23 AM EST
Since PJ didn't answer you question about whether judges can rule on facts, I
will.

No and Yes. Meaning no they can't and yes they can. In that order.

Explanation:
No Judges don't, normally, get to rule on the facts, that is a jury's job,
unless both sides in a lawsuit agree to have the judge rule on the facts.

Both sides can choose to allow a judge to rule on the facts by either explicitly
stating so, or by not asking for a jury. So if you file a lawsuit against
someone and neglect to request a jury trial you may have implicitly agreed to
have a judge rule on the facts in the case. American law is really screwed up.
You can lose your right, at least on a case by case basis, to do something by
not objecting or not enforcing said right in a timely manner.

IANAL, so I may have screwed up that part, or the whole, of the answer, so don't
rely on my understanding, if it matters to you. Get a lawyer.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

  • Ouch - but ... - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 09:27 AM EST
    • Ouch - but ... - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 02:27 PM EST
  • Ouch - but ... - Authored by: PJ on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 05:38 PM EST
Ouch - but ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 11:24 AM EST
More correctly, judges are not expected to rule on facts,
period. Even if the facts might seem wrong or
counterintuitive (absent a bench trial). When a judge does
rule on the facts (as in a bench trial), it is often between
two contested versions of the facts, although in limited
circumstances the judge is allowed to take judicial notice
of certain facts, or to appoint a court expert witness.
Judicial notice is for extremely cabinned, and wouldn't be
applied to programming knowledge.

Most law schools teach an old case, colloquially referred to
as Wagon Mound II, on proximate cause. The case is
interesting for a lot of reasons (it involves a fire on a
ship), but there's this bizarre bit of reasoning in it. Why?
Because no one could know that oil on water was flammable.
Huh? Guess what- it was a stipulated fact introduced by
testimony via expert witness in the case.

For various litigation reasons, sometimes a strange or
arguable wrong "fact" is introduced, and if the parties both
agree to it, then it becomes a fact in the case.

Now, all of that being said, you don't piss on a judge's leg
and tell him it's raining.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

one of the premises is wrong here
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 02:16 PM EST
Yes it is true that a juror is not supposed to make a conclusion of fact based
on experience outside the walls of the court room. However, one of the
principle duties of a juror is to evaluate the credibility of the witnesses and
testimony from both sides. It is here that outside experience is not only
permitted, but required.

If there is testimony from one side that it had been raining for an hour and the
pavement was wet, while the other says that even though it was raining for an
hour, the pavement was still dry, a juror is is expected to use common sense to
find that the second witness' testimony is less credible than the first's.

Here the judge is stating that is is not credible to assign a great deal of
value to a piece of computer code that could be duplicated easily in a short
period of time by any elementary programmer.

the judgement on this point is not whether or not the code was copied, but
whether it was credible to believe that that piesce of code constituted anything
more than a de minimus amount of value to the product as a whole.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )