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Tech Company Wins Trial, Refuses to Pay Lawyer
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Kaleidescape logoAfter defeating a lawsuit backed by powerful Hollywood studios, Sunnyvale’s Kaleidescape has fired its lead trial lawyer and is refusing to pay $400,000 in fees.

Kaleidescape, which designs home entertainment systems that allow users to copy and store DVDs, won at trial against the DVD Copy Control Association in California Superior Court in 2007. The Hollywood-backed DVD-CCA claimed that its licensing agreement was violated by the copying. The win was heralded as a victory for Internet companies and tech companies at war with copyright owners in Hollywood.

Palo Alto-based IP lawyer Thomas Moore, who tried the case along with San Francisco attorney Richard Wiebe, said that getting fired and not paid isn’t fair because he helped the company win at trial.

  
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“Among all the losses, Pyrrhic victories and mostly settlements, a clear company-saving victory like this is such a rare thing,” Moore said. “I really thought I was going to get paid.”

But the company’s CEO, Michael Malcolm, said that Moore was terminated because of his performance as a lawyer. “We were not comfortable having him represent the company anymore,” Malcolm said. “It was over the performance, not the fee dispute.”

Opposing counsel William Coats, the White & Case lawyer representing DVD-CCA, said he didn’t know the details of the dispute, but was “surprised” to hear about the problems. “I thought [Moore] did a very good and professional job,” he said.

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Moore’s lawsuit claims that Kaleidescape hasn’t paid his two-person Palo Alto law firm, The Moore Law Group, since before the trial in March 2007. Kaleidescape owes $400,000 for the work at trial and on the appeal briefing.

Exactly why Moore was terminated isn’t clear. One factor may be that [Kaleidescape’s] Denise Malcolm insisted on putting opposing counsel Coats on the stand during trial, which Moore thought was ill-advised and refused to do.



“It is part of the lore of trying cases that you don’t do that,” Moore said. “So why would you want to? If you learned your trial practice from watching ‘Law and Order,’ you get odd ideas.”

Moore said the Malcolms were hard to represent because they liked to “micromanage” him, but he credited their performance on the witness stand as helping Kaleidescape to victory.

Via Law.com.



 

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