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Microsoft challenge to testimony rebuffed

Attempt to rule out hearsay fails for the second time

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The Microsoft trial dealt exclusively with procedural issues on Monday morning, with the two sides wrangling over what could and could not be heard. Microsoft had slipped in another Motion on Friday evening, very similar to the one it used in an attempt to challenge the inclusion of Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale's testimony. The motion challenged the inclusion of some of Avie Tevanian's testimony as "hearsay". The Microsoft legal team is engaging in gamesmanship by filing the day before the testimony is to be given. It is clear that its purpose is to put the DoJ under pressure, since Microsoft has had the documents for several weeks and could have acted earlier. Microsoft is rather reticent about posting these motions on its Web site. The DoJ is now asking Judge Jackson in its response to order that Microsoft file any further objections to written testimony by Friday. Microsoft asked for large sections of Avie Tevanian's testimony to be disallowed on three grounds: hearsay evidence; the need for expert witnesses to present certain testimony; and testimony not based on Tevanian's personal knowledge. The DoJ's Response contained an important observation: that since each side is limited to 12 main witnesses, those who testify should be given some latitude to report information obtained from other people in their companies, since the witness is offering sworn testimony. Judge Jackson agreed, and decided to admit the whole of Tevanian's testimony. The videotape was released to the media about an hour after it had been seen in the court, but the quality was poor. Network congestion made it impossible to watch on many Web sites shortly soon after it was released. TV network ABC decided to stop trying to show the video and switch to voice, which was much better. ® Complete Register trial coverage Click for more stories Click for story index

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