Week 2, Day 10 of SCO v. Novell - Chris Stone, O'Gara, Maciaszek, Nagle - Updated 2Xs


March 20 2010

Mr. Jacobs came into the courtroom, and greeted Mr. Singer and Mr. Hatch. In response to the obligatory "How are you", it turns out that Mr. Singer is coming down with a cold, and Mr. Hatch feels like he's got the flu.

While commiserating, Mr. Jacobs related having recently read a transcript from a case in Boston where, in the transcript, counsel keeps saying "Your Honor, I'm feeling nauseous..."

They all had a good laugh over that.

We got started with the usual pow-wow before the jury came in.

First issue up was the clock. Both sides are tracking; the numbers are close enough that the parties aren't worried that it will be an issue. The numbers at the start of the day, by Novell's reckoning: 14hrs40min Novell, 15hrs04min SCO. SCO's tracking comes out to 14hrs37min Novell, 15hrs38min SCO. (As I look at that, I'm thinking "That can't be right"; but that's what my notes say.) Anyway, the sides aren't so far apart on tracking or usage that they are concerned.

Then there was some exhibit items concerning the Maureen O'Gara material. Some disagreement over the email chain containing the "war pay" comment. Since it was being used to show a relationship between O'Gara and Stowell, and that relationship was already demonstrated elsewhere, this exhibit was ruled out. Then the "send a jab PJ's way" items - somehow were missed. They are ruled in, over SCO's objections.

Update: This is discussing the hard-copy exhibits that will go to the jury. These portions were not removed from the video deposition, and so the jury got to see/hear the discussion about "war pay", but they won't have the hard copy.

There seems to have been a number of "forgotten" items in the past few days. Some are minor; some appear to be big. Yesterday, there was a "missed" item that Novell wanted to bring into evidence, and they weren't able to: ALL of SCO's 8-K reports.

Chris Stone was today's first witness, called as an adverse witness by SCO. His testimony didn't take very long, really. Stuart Singer made a valiant effort to present this as dramatic revelations, but Mr. Stone was very straightforward and not in the least embarrassed about the answers he gave to the questions.

Mr. Stone was questioned about his speech at the Open Source Business Conference; about the press releases, and about his relationship with Maureen O'Gara.

Q: "Isn't it true you gave Ms. O'Gara your cell phone number?"

A: "Unfortunately, a lot of people have my cell phone number."

Q: "Isn't it true you gave her your home phone number?"

A: "No."

Q: "Isn't it true you spoke extensively with her on the evening of May 27, the day before the press release?"

A: "I would prefer to say I 'listened'."

(This drew laughter from the jury, and I think it became very important later on.)

Mr. Stone testified that he hadn't told Maureen that Novell was going to be issuing a press release, but that she already knew. He indicated that she had a lot of information, and that was a concern, since it wasn't clear where she was getting it from.

Anyway, almost no surprises from Chris Stone. He was forthright and upfront with all of his answers. The jury seemed to be somewhat confused, as Singer appeared to be repeatedly trying to draw out something dramatic, and Stone gave simple, direct answers. No traction.

Almost no surprises. In the cross examination, the final item was about what he's been doing since leaving Novell. It seems he's now an investor and venture capitalist. And apparently, he has recently been contacted by someone who is trying to create a startup firm here in the Salt Lake City area - none other than Darl McBride, who also reassured Mr. Stone that "he wouldn't have to worry about that O'Gara business."

He said he was surprised. If I could put his emphasis on that word, it would burn into your monitor's screen in about 5 seconds.

Next up was the O'Gara video deposition. It was, if I may say, uninspiring. There were long pauses after almost every question. Not defiant, nor deep-in-thought - I kept expecting the questioner (who I think was Mr. Jacobs) to wake her up and repeat the question. Some of her responses actually drew giggles from the jury. I think the characterizations of her that Mr. Stone expressed were only reinforced by her conduct on the video deposition.

It's getting very late; I'll cut this off here. Tomorrow (later) I'll try to put together something covering the testimony of John Maciaszek and Andrew Nagle. After their testimony (actually, during the latter part of Nagle's) Chris came in so you'll have a better look at things.

09:30 AM EDT

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