Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 14:42 UTC
Legal Fantastic work by The Verge. "Although Apple and Samsung did their best to present high-level narratives about copying and product development throughout the trial, the jury's work is far more complicated than simply asking if Samsung copied Apple. Instead, the 20-page verdict form presents around 700 extremely specific questions, divided into 33 groups. These questions exhaustively cover everything at issue in the trial, down to exact dollar amounts Samsung might owe for each of 28 devices accused of copying Apple intellectual property." I don't know just how much power a US jury has, but if I were them, I'd buy a tl;dr stamp and use it on every page of the verdict form. Samsung and Apple ought to be ashamed of themselves.
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Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Personally I hope Apple win this case but they might not. I am glad a jury is deciding it because I think jury trials are a very good thing.

As I mentioned in another thread I served on two juries, in the UK's top court, in cases involving serious sexual offences, one case involved a child and the allegations concerned events that had happened 25 years previously. In both cases there was no evidence in the traditional sense, no witnesses, no forensics. Both cases boiled down to one person's word against another, with different character witnesses speaking for each. In one of the cases we were acutely aware that some evidence was being withheld (redacted parts of police interview transcripts etc) and were very curious about that but we could not ask any questions, only listen.

It was a hellishly difficult thing to have to decide on a verdict and everybody on the jury took their responsibilities very seriously as we were all aware that we had to decide who went to prison, who did not, whether a victim got justice or not. It was bloody hard work.

The juries were a real cross section of the population, some were well educated, others not, some cosmopolitan in experience, others not, all ages, ethnic groups, income levels seem to be represented. A real mixed bunch.

On the child abuse case were spilt for two days and had to sleep in a hotel, when you do that you are actually in custody and are guarded and watched at all times. Not pleasant. The arguments in the jury room were intense and passionate and very detailed. In the end we decided on a guilty verdict in both cases (in the child abuse case it was a majority verdict, two people held out for acquittal) and in both cases we discovered after the verdict was read that there was evidence we had not seen that would have vastly increased the chance of us bringing in a guilty verdict. One of the people who had held out for an acquittal in the child abuse case, a very large professional soldier, burst into tears when he realised he had voted to acquit a guilty man.

What I learned from this experience (and from chatting at length to members of other juries during the course of our time in the court complex) was that on the whole juries take their responsibilities very seriously. In both our cases it was a huge relief to be able to talk about all the evidence we had heard whilst sitting so passively for weeks.

The most important thing I learned was this. The special thing that the jury brought to case, the thing that all the judges and lawyers and other legal professional could not bring, was common sense. The twelve members of the jury brought a blend of twelve versions of common sense to bear on the case. Most of the time that will result in the right verdict.

Frankly I cannot see a better way to decide these sorts of matters.

Reply Score: 0

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

As I mentioned in another thread I served on two juries, in the UK's top court, in cases involving serious sexual offences, one case involved a child and the allegations concerned events that had happened 25 years previously.


There's a difference though; people can relate to what happened in those cases and they care about the outcome while this trial is pretty much "did one bunch of douchebags copy some other douchebags and how much did the already rich douchebags lose".
Might be difficult to muster up much passion and interest for that. Not much the average juror can relate to.

Reply Parent Score: 6

saso Member since:
2007-04-18

I seriously hope you're just trolling, because the post is so full of fallacious arguments it almost makes my head explode.

one case involved a child

First big warning sign, people get super-emotional when children are involved, just the opposite of what we need in a courtroom where we try to disentagle truth from lie.

and the allegations concerned events that had happened 25 years previously. In both cases there was no evidence in the traditional sense, no witnesses, no forensics. Both cases boiled down to one person's word against another, with different character witnesses speaking for each.

So in essence it came down to baseless accusations and emotional pleas?

In one of the cases we were acutely aware that some evidence was being withheld (redacted parts of police interview transcripts etc) and were very curious about that but we could not ask any questions, only listen.

How can the police withhold such information legally? Also, this shows an obvious flaw in the jury-trial system. When a matter is being decided by a judge, if the judge needs more information on a particular topic, they will ask for it. By barring the jury from asking questions, the system is essentially set up with a built-in information leak from the get-go.

It was a hellishly difficult thing to have to decide on a verdict and everybody on the jury took their responsibilities very seriously as we were all aware that we had to decide who went to prison, who did not, whether a victim got justice or not. It was bloody hard work.

No doubt, especially considering how poor the basis for the entire case was.

The juries were a real cross section of the population, some were well educated, others not, some cosmopolitan in experience, others not, all ages, ethnic groups, income levels seem to be represented. A real mixed bunch.

Jury composition has no effect on reality. At this point, it seems like you were about to dispense mob justice...

On the child abuse case were spilt for two days and had to sleep in a hotel, when you do that you are actually in custody and are guarded and watched at all times. Not pleasant.

Because pressure always produces more accurate results!

The arguments in the jury room were intense and passionate and very detailed.

So just to recap, you had no evidence and no witnesses and so you were essentially arguing without data about a hypothetical. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me...

In the end we decided on a guilty verdict in both cases (in the child abuse case it was a majority verdict, two people held out for acquittal)

Because playing it safe is so keeping with the spirit of "beyond a reasonable doubt" (maybe the UK has a different legal standard here, though).

and in both cases we discovered after the verdict was read that there was evidence we had not seen that would have vastly increased the chance of us bringing in a guilty verdict.

Why have you not been given all the evidence? This sounds like a total and utter failure of the criminal justice system. Also, from where I'm standing, it sounds like you're just rationalizing your choice to condemn a person. Had the evidence been clear you would have said that you were sure you've made the right choice, but you said that all you got was something that might have made you lean somewhat more in the direction you did anyway. So in other words, no good evidence, no confession, perhaps only some more anecdotes or emotional pleas.

One of the people who had held out for an acquittal in the child abuse case, a very large professional soldier, burst into tears when he realised he had voted to acquit a guilty man.

Clearly demonstrates that (some?) jurors didn't render a verdict based on a cool-headed rational consideration of all data points, but instead on emotional whims.

In both our cases it was a huge relief to be able to talk about all the evidence we had heard whilst sitting so passively for weeks.

You already said you had *no* evidence in at least one of the cases, so chances are, rather than a discussion, you most likely had a group-think moment.

The most important thing I learned was this. The special thing that the jury brought to case, the thing that all the judges and lawyers and other legal professional could not bring, was common sense.

Read: emotion, not rationality.

The twelve members of the jury brought a blend of twelve versions of common sense to bear on the case. Most of the time that will result in the right verdict.

*facepalm* The truth isn't up for popular vote and it doesn't come in multiple varieties. You would have learned this in philosophy class, something most legal experts are required to take.

Frankly I cannot see a better way to decide these sorts of matters.

How about honest investigation based on actual, factual evidence? Withholding judgement until more evidence is available? Without an overwhelming preponderance of evidence or a confession (and somethings even with them!) there is still a significant chance that you've condemned somebody innocent. See for instance the case of Joseph Abbitt - he was convicted of rape based on incorrect eyewitness testimony. Investigation of this rape took up immediately after the acts, they had witnesses, they had evidence, the accused had an alibi and they *still* managed to render the incorrect verdict. Now contrast that with your case: 25 years after it occured, no witnesses, no evidence and all based on mere accusations.

It's possible you had more reasons, I've only got your comment to go from, though I'm still puzzled why you would say you had "no evidence in the traditional sense" - you either have evidence or you don't.

edit: typos

Edited 2012-08-24 15:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I will treat your points with respect even though you come across and an arrogant, ignorant and opinionated twerp.

Bear in mind that in the UK it is a criminal offence to discuss the details of what is discussed in a jury room so I am operating inside legal restraints. Hence no web links.

One general point. Real court rooms are nothing like the fictionalised ones you see on TV, in real life everything is more murky and more complex.


First big warning sign, people get super-emotional when children are involved, just the opposite of what we need in a courtroom where we try to disentagle truth from lie.


But our job was to not judge the case on emotions and we didn't. If in a case as gut wrenching as this a jury could properly discharge it's duties I fail to see why they cannot in a patent case.


How can the police withhold such information legally? Also, this shows an obvious flaw in the jury-trial system. When a matter is being decided by a judge, if the judge needs more information on a particular topic, they will ask for it. By barring the jury from asking questions, the system is essentially set up with a built-in information leak from the get-go.


Evidence in the child abuse case was withheld because it involved allegations of similar abuse by another child in the family which the judge ruled, after a defence motion, that because that case went back over thirty years it should not be put to the jury because of the passage of time. The other child, now an adult, had been a heroin addict for a large part of her life, which she said was the result of the abuse she had suffered. When she was denied the right to testify she committed suicide. The judge allowed the jury to remain after we returned a guilty verdict to hear these details because he wanted us to know we had reached the correct verdict.

In the second case I was foreman of the jury. In that case a middle aged white woman who worked as a cleaner in an old people's home had accused her asian employer of attempting to rape her. It was his word against hers. He said she was motivated by racism. We decided to believe her, she was very convincing, he was not. Again after we had returned the guilty verdict the judge allowed us to remain in court to hear a discussion about several other allegations of sexual misconduct against the same man by other women who worked for him. It turned out his lawyers had succeeded in getting all the allegations separated in separate trials so that it was always his word against one woman and not against several. If several unconnected women had given evidence against him the case would d have been much more clear cut. His lawyers did their job, we did ours.

One of the people who had held out for an acquittal in the child abuse case, a very large professional soldier, burst into tears when he realised he had voted to acquit a guilty man.

Again it is clear that you lack either life experience or empathy. Doing something like jury service is immensely hard and demanding, you see and hear shocking and awful things, you see people in the witness box and in the dock who are in a terrible state and who are suffering intensely. You can do nothing about that but watch, that's your job, it's not easy. The guy who burst into tears had rationally and strongly argued for acquittal, when he realised he had been backing a guilty man and had almost come close to winning his acquittal he was very distraught - is that hard for you to understand? If so why?



Because pressure always produces more accurate results!

Being on a jury is pressure enough. Actually the judges instructions before sending us to the hotel was to forget about the case and to relax. The court officials in whose custody and care we were, and who dealt with this type of situation often, told us the best thing was to get a good meal (which we had to eat together in seclusion) and then to get a little drunk and have some fun together. Which we did and which helped us unwind a great deal.


Why have you not been given all the evidence? This sounds like a total and utter failure of the criminal justice system. Also, from where I'm standing, it sounds like you're just rationalizing your choice to condemn a person. Had the evidence been clear you would have said that you were sure you've made the right choice, but you said that all you got was something that might have made you lean somewhat more in the direction you did anyway. So in other words, no good evidence, no confession, perhaps only some more anecdotes or emotional pleas.


You sound like a naive child. What sort of sheltered life have you led? How old are you? How do think the criminal justice systems works? I suggest you go and sit in any criminal court of justice and watch a few real cases, to repeat - it's nothing like TV.

If you can come up with something better than jury trial do please explain what is and why it will work much better.


You already said you had *no* evidence in at least one of the cases, so chances are, rather than a discussion, you most likely had a group-think moment.


There was evidence it was just not the cut and dried smoking gun type evidence that you get on TV, in real life it rarely is. Thats why building a workable and fair criminal justice system is so hard and maintaining it requires such vigilance. That's why putting the citizen at the heart of it in juries is so important.


Read: emotion, not rationality.


If you think common sense is emotions (bad) as opposed rationality (good) then clearly you don't have any. All complex problems look straight forward the further you are away from them. The lessons one learns in life are all about how things are more complicated and more complex and more nuanced than one believed before one had actually encountered much of life.

How about honest investigation based on actual, factual evidence? Withholding judgement until more evidence is available? Without an overwhelming preponderance of evidence or a confession (and somethings even with them!) there is still a significant chance that you've condemned somebody innocent.


In an ideal world all criminals would leave clues and all court cases would be clear cut. They don't and they not.


It's possible you had more reasons, I've only got your comment to go from, though I'm still puzzled why you would say you had "no evidence in the traditional sense" - you either have evidence or you don't.


We didn't have confessions, fingerprints, witnesses. It's easier when you do but often, particularly in sexual cases, what you really have are a lots of bits of circumstantial evidence none of which on it's own can decide the case and then the evidence of the testimony of the accused and the victim. That's it. Lots of trials depend on the quality of testimony. Either we have a system that makes a go of that or we tell victims there is nothing that can be done.

What is so offensive about your tawdry comments is the suggestion they we did not do our job. I can assure we worked very, very hard to do our job (which was the point of my comment) and we reached the correct verdict.

The jury in the Samsung-Apple case may reach a verdict that pleases or displeases you and I, which we may feel is right or wrong. My point is that having such a thing decided by a jury is the least worst way that has been found to decide such things and that there is voluminous evidence (which matched my personal experience) that juries do a pretty good job most of the time.

Reply Parent Score: -1

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Personally I hope Apple win this case but they might not.

What positive outcome could come from that? You would get less innovation and more expensive phones. Only Apple's pockets would get a good result.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Personally I hope Apple win this case but they might not.

What positive outcome could come from that? You would get less innovation and more expensive phones. Only Apple's pockets would get a good result.
"


I disagree, neither of those things would happen. I fail to see how making company like Samsung come with original designs would be restricting innovation - quite the contrary. I also fail to see how a judgment against Samsung would effect the price of phones, by what mechanism would that happen? In reality what would happen is that Samsung and the other Android OEMs) would continue to make phones in the same price ranges as now but they would look less like Apple's phones, similarly Apple will continue to make phones in the same price as they do now. Actually the price range of Android and Apple phones are the same, they start free on contract and go up in steps.

As for Apple making more money - so what? Objectively that's neither a good or bad thing. Personally I would be pleased but that's because I am a big fan of Apple, I want them to be successful - again - so what? Does the amount of money that Apple does or does not make bother you and if so why?

Reply Parent Score: 1