Judge Rules Expert Witnesses Will Take the Stand

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled against motions from the DOJ and Oracle to block expert witness testimony.

Continuing with his stance of inflexibility when it comes to seemingly unwarranted requests, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled against motions from the U.S. Department of Justice and Oracle Corp. to block expert witness testimony, according to news reports.

Both the Justice department and Oracle proposed certain expert witnesses be blocked from testifying in the ongoing trial that has the Justice Department seeking a federal injunction to block Oracles $7.7 billion hostile takeover of PeopleSoft Inc.

The Justice Department requested the removal of Dale Kutnick, co-founder of research company Meta Group Inc., on grounds that he did not have the relevant expertise to testify.

Judge Walker disagreed and ruled last Friday during a conference call that Kutnick will testify on Oracles behalf. A call was scheduled in lieu of a hearing, as the courts were officially closed on Friday in remembrance of former president Ronald Reagan.

During the same call Judge Walker also ruled that three Justice Department witnesses would likewise take the stand.

Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., sought to have Marco Iansiti, a professor at the Harvard Business School, Kenneth Elzinga of the University of Virginia and Preston McAfee of the California Institute of Technology stricken from the record on grounds that they were not qualified expert witnesses.

/zimages/4/28571.gifWhy should you still pay attention to the DOJ-Oracle trial? Click here to find out.

Judge Walker, who presides over the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in San Francisco, displayed little patience for special requests during the first week of trial. He pushed both sides last week to open up more trial documentation, alleviating the seeming nuisance of keeping documents marked confidential under wraps.

Judge Walker said he has yet to see any documents, from the thousands presented, that actually reveal sensitive competitive information, according to news reports.

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