When trying to persuade a magistrate not to sanction your side, probably best not to annoy him.
That's the lesson for the Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan team representing Samsung in the tablet and iPhone war with Apple. In fending off sanctions motions sought by Apple's Morrison & Foerster team for allegedly withholding financial data, Quinn lawyers filed an unexpected set of papers over Easter weekend in advance of a Monday morning hearing.
"This case is challenging enough as it is" without getting papers at the last minute and filed improperly, like papers lodged with chambers for in camera review, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal said at the discovery hearing. When Quinn lawyers explained they'd filed as soon as they could and called the papers "icing on the cake," Grewal was nonplussed. "Our local rules don't permit for 'icing on the cake' submitted Friday before a hearing," he told the lawyers, led by Victoria Maroulis.
Grewal isn't known for growling at lawyers. "Maybe it's a Midwestern thing," he once said for himself in response to attorneys describing his courteous demeanor. But this didn't sit well with him.
"Samsung filed this administrative request on Saturday, April 7, 2012," he wrote in an order Tuesday night, "less than two days before the Monday morning hearing set for the underlying motion and on a weekend when many of the Jewish and Christian faiths celebrate the Passover and Easter holidays. Samsung filed its request without explanation for its delay, citing only Apple¹s 'mischaracterizations and distortions' of certain Samsung witness deposition testimony and Apple¹s unfounded accusations against Samsung, made in its reply brief," the order said, before rejecting the weekend filings.
The rejected papers claimed that Apple had made the "serious -- and baseless -- accusation that Samsung is somehow manipulating its financial data to obscure its profits, notwithstanding case law holding that the profits of a non-party foreign subsidiary are not recoverable and therefore irrelevant," Maroulis had written. "Unless the Court grants Samsung leave to file its supplemental response, Samsung will not have the opportunity to brief the Court on the issues raised for the first time in Apple's."
An order on the sanctions motion is forthcoming.