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MS gets into trouble with another judge

For some reason, he's been implying to the attorneys that their client is outrageously arrogant...

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It's the week for judges to shout at Microsoft, apparently. The other day Judge Jackson told the company's lawyers off for talking out of class (Earlier Shout), and yesterday another one, in Seattle this time, told another set of lawyers to go and talk their client into behaving reasonably. This one is what you might call the other, other, other, other lawsuit (count them up). Microsoft is being sued by contract workers (Contractors sue MS) over its efforts to withhold employee benefits from them. New contracts introduced in July require contract workers to waive any payments a court might order as a result of legal action in progress on behalf of contractors, many of whom have worked for Microsoft for rather a long time. Yesterday District Judge John Coughenour heard the beginnings of an argument in favour of the new wording by Microsoft attorney James Oswald, but cut him off after the first ten minutes. Microsoft's lawyers should, he said, go away and suggest to their client that it "do the right thing." This doesn't sound optimistic for Microsoft's case. The judge went on, apparently speculating about what he might have heard in court if the lawyers had been sensible, rather than just going through the motions of supporting a suicidal strategy their client was hell-bent on. "I thought I might hear that this was done by somebody without advice of counsel," he said. "I thought I might hear that even if counsel was involved, that upon reflection and with 20-20 hindsight some might perceive this as being outrageously arrogant." The hapless attorneys have until week Tuesday to come back with a more suitable pitch. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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