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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Samsung Claims Apple Lawyer Made Racist Remark, Requests Mistrial




Attorneys for both Samsung and Apple made their closing arguments yesterday in a retrial to determine damages that Samsung owes Apple for infringing on its patents. Following the closing arguments, Samsung urged for a mistrial on the grounds that Apple's lawyer, Harold McElhinny, made a prejudiced remark in his statement to the jury.

McElhinny recalled watching TV on American made televisions, and because manufacturers didn't protect their property rights, those products no longer exist. “We all know what happened,” he said. “We all thought the same thing.”

Samsung's lawyer then asked US District Judge Lucy Koh to invalidate the trial since McElhinny failed to provide evidence that American manufacturers were forced out of business. Samsung's lawyer claimed McElhinny was “appealing to race, and that he thought "we [society] were past that.”

“I did not say a word about race, and I did not say Asian,” Apple's McElhinny reiterated to Judge Koh.

Bill Lee, another lawyer for Apple, defended McElhinny, “Actually, I’m Asian and I didn’t think the same thing,” Lee told Koh. He also noted that he understood McElhinny to be speaking about the importance of protecting intellectual property.

Koh denied the request for mistrial but brought back the jury to re-read an instruction advising that the panel “must not be influenced by any personal likes or dislikes, opinions, prejudices, or sympathy.”

The jurors are currently in the middle of deliberations -- deciding what the ultimate value of damages in the case will be.

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