Reading a jury

By Rob Enderle  |  Posted 2004-04-07 Print this article Print

Learning the Dynamics of a Jury. In a jury trial, an experienced litigator, like David Boies—Boies leads SCOs litigation team and is credited with taking down Microsoft in its recent antitrust case—can take a little evidence, capture the jurys heart and overcome most obstacles. That is, until he or she runs into an immovable object—namely, a comparable talent on the other side. With jury trials, often it is as much about courtroom charisma as it is about evidence. Also, in long trials, the jury is made up mostly of seniors, because they have the time for the court. These folks tend to be very conservative, they dont understand technical arguments at all, and their decisions often pivot on values that were put in place in their minds decades ago. This is only a slight disadvantage in some cases but can be deadly when litigating finer points of technology. Think of your grandmother or grandfather. Would they know what open source is? Would they even know what software is? How would you explain something like the GPL to them? For anyone over the age of 50, if you buy something, it is yours. On top of that, many retired people regularly fight off people who are, in their minds, using "legal mumbo-jumbo" to take their hard-earned money or property.
Consider the SCO vs. IBM case. With whom do you think the jury will identify? Before you answer, heres another issue: Those venerable jury members probably dont trust anything big, either.
Next page: SCOs likely argument.

Rob Enderle Rob Enderle Enderle Group 389 Photinia Lane San Jose, CA 95127

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