Lawyering for Dummies?
Our Graham reckons the MS attorney qualified via a correspondence course
Legally, the interesting thing last week was Microsoft associate general counsel Tom Burt's inability to crack James Gosling. The adage with do-it-yourself (in-house) lawyering - having a fool for a client - certainly applied. Burt acted like a competitive salesman from Microsoft who had followed a correspondence course in lawyering. He was unable to shake his intellectually superior opponent, so his attempts to "refresh" Gosling's memory (insinuating it was faulty, or contravened something said earlier) were met by Gosling with responses such as there was nothing to refresh, because he had never seen the document before. As Burt's cross-examination proceeded it seemed increasingly clear that Burt was using the occasion as a practice run for Sun versus Microsoft in San Jose, sometime next year. Many of the exhibits he introduced had been stamped for that case. Burt put his questions to Gosling in a particularly transparent and boring way, adding "correct?" at the end of each question. It may be that Lawyering for Dummies suggests this is an easy way to extract a confirmatory reply, but it happened 515 times during Gosling's interrogation by Burt. Gosling was not thrown by it at all: Burt: You entered into a licensing agreement with Microsoft and then gave them the illusion of working with them; correct? Gosling: I don't think that's at all the case. Correct? ® Complete Register trial coverage