Holdout juror describes 'wonderful, difficult' experience in Novell-Microsoft trial

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  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    This juror, according to KSL is willing to help both sides sharpen up their presentations. My question, is he hunting for money to compensate for his decision? It would not be Novell as this juror with an associate degree in law and justice and computer background has used his extreme knowledge to influence the other jurors. He sounds as if he is the complete expert and the others were all novices in this 2 month case and 3 day deliberation, all in his 21 year experience. He was 2 years old when the Windows 95 process was going on and WordPerfect was the King of word processing programs. Microsoft Word was a basic tool.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    @Alternate: You got that right. Novell is indeed the victim, but the guys at WordPerfect are the winners here, not Microsoft. They managed to sell their company to Novell for far more than what it was worth, then laughed all the way to the bank when Novell was stuck with an inferior product that wouldn't work on the latest OS.

    To succeed in business not only do you have to know when to get in, you also have to know when to get out and how to take the most with you.

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    Seems to me that one has lost their moral compass when you can be a little bit wrong, but not enough to be judged wrong.
    Can you just cheat a little bit and it's OK? Lie a little bit and that's OK? Would you really like to go into an operating room and have a doctor who had cheated and lied a little bit through college operate on you?

  • alternate Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 8:30 p.m.

    Some points.

    This trial would have never happened if Novell had not made bad business decisions and needed money to survive. This trial like grew out of brain storming ways to keep in business with bad products. Novell let many years go by before they even decided to sue.

    As far as suing for profit goes, Novell is now 1-1. They defeated SCO and lost to Microsoft.

    WordPerfect was a great DOS based product. Even with the the missing ingredient, no one can say that it would have been as good in the "Windows" world. Frankly it needed a huge overall to be a good product in "Windows" not the patchwork band-aid approach it received.

    I feel bad about the juror attacks. If there was a bias it was against Microsoft.

    Maybe Novell should be suing the guys who sold them WP for billions when it was somewhat worthless when Novell made the purchase.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 18, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    It is sometimes the case with juries that peer pressure leads to a decision more than anything else. There could have been other jurors who may have wanted to come to a different conclusion but didn't have to because the one dissenter held his ground. Good for him.

  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    Coyote, 1:52, the difference is, in Twelve Angry Men, the accused was innocent. Microsoft has never been innocent since Bill Gates dropped out of college to build it. It had to succeed at all costs or he was out of luck. I don't hate the rich, or big corporations, but I do hate the attitude that anyone is above the law! This kid from Magna is irresponsible in his lust for fame.

  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    I agree with thunderbolt at 5 am. Wordperfect was far superior to Word. Only because I was forced to switch at my job, did I switch.

  • staypuffinpc Provo, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    I think a lot of folks are missing the point on what, exactly, the lone juror held out on. He mentioned that he didn't believe in the "what if" scenario of whether WP would have been successful had MS been cooperative. To me, that should be beside the point. As the juror noted, no one is in a position to say which product would've won out. What should've been the defining issue was whether or not Microsoft took anti-competitive action to disadvantage a competitor. They should've been judged based on the evidence of what they did, not whether or not WP would've been successful or not. That, quite frankly, is actually beside the point n determine guil. Now, in determining payout is another thing. At least five other jurors said they would've convicted MS, but rewarded no damages to Novell. It sounds to me as if this juror confused guilt/innocence with compensation.

    It's too bad there is no real test of what constitutes a "peer" in our judicial system other than a fellow citizen.

  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    Dec. 18, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    I am Not a big fan of the Would a Could a World. So I tend to agree with the Juror.

    In a Should a Could a World, Ma Bell would never have been broken up. Roe v Wade would never have gone 5-4 in favor of Genoside.

    A lot of things Could a- Should a happened.

    Gates has the right to stand alone if No one can stand with him. I use his stuff because it works and works well.

    I do not believe that they should have been paid a dime. I am glad that some people can hold out if its the right thing to do.

    No one died in this, No one was Aborted, MIllions where wasted in legal costs and the waste of time.

    If only is Fiction, make believe in a Real World.

    I hope the young man is able to move byound his dead end job and live a nice normal life.

  • Coyoteghost Saint George, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    "Just sayin. More times than not, when one person out of 12 sees something differently than the other 11, that one person is wrong."

    In this case the subject was money. In other cases it can mean a persons life.
    If you have never seen it I would recommend an old black and white movie with the title of TWELVE ANGRY MEN. In the movie the 12th man (played by Henry Fonda) is not convinced by the evidence presented. He holds out and holds out until every questionable point has been established. His position ultimately changes the opinions of the other eleven jurors, breaking through their personal biases and desire for a quick verdict to get on with their lives. The result was an innocent young man was not sentenced to death.

    If such was the motivation of this "hold-out" then we will thank God (especially if we are the wrongfully accused)for such principled fellow citizens.

  • Straitpath PROVO, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    I am certainly glad I wasn't on that jury. Intelligent, engaged posters on this site can't agree on this issue, but I enjoy reading the different views. I don't think the holdout should be in the spotlight as a hero, if he is truly after justice. He won, but should soldier on quietly.

  • 8plex Alpine, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    Wow - all I can say is Wow. It is so obvious that an egomaniac has stopped justice from being served. It is obvious that MS did in fact change windows to stop Wordperfect from being able to continue on. There are a few comments on here that are so out of touch with reality - like Word being better than WP at the time. Bill Gates was obsessed with the competition and how to squash them - he even gave out Word free for a long time to stop WP. If Bill Gates and others read this then know that you will not escape justice in the long run. No amount of charity work will stop you or anyone from having adversely effected the lives of thousands who worked for WP and Novell. One egomaniac will not stop true justice in the long run and all the marginalizing of these events in your mind will not change the truth - MS engaged in pernicious practices to stop WP and Novell from cornering the majority of the word processing industry.

  • Don't Feed the Trolls Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 1:00 p.m.

    Someone's desire for the spotlight to show off his associates degree cost Novell stockholders $86.7 million per minute-of-fame.

    Dec. 18, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    Just sayin. More times than not, when one person out of 12 sees something differently than the other 11, that one person is wrong.

    I just hope this dude isn't thumping his chest that he put his name on Bill Gate's map by being stubborn.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 18, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    Re: Still Blue after all these years
    "preventing the other 11 from their decision"

    That's an illogical argument. In what way did this juror prevent the other 11 jurors from their decision? Are you suggesting that his opinion was not valid, or are you suggesting that he should have abandoned his integrity and gone alone with the herd instinct?

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    I think the kid got enthralled with Bill Gates. And I believe he really enjoyed being the lone dissenter and preventing the other 11 from their decision.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 18, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    When eleven people can see that Microsoft used its power to destroy a competing program, then the "facts" clearly show that Microsoft needs to pay. I'm sure that Microsoft counted on the "Perry Mason" syndrome where at least one juror would not find them guilty unless they broke down and confessed - on the stand.

    No matter how old a juror is, no matter what his job is, no matter where he lives, he is still responsible to look at the evidence and reach a conclusion based on the facts presented, not on his loyalty to Bill Gates, to Donald Duck, or to Santa.

    If the facts presented showed that Microsoft had violated the law, then the jury is duty bound to vote "guilty".

    There will be another trial. There will be another jury. Now that the lawyers know why one juror held out, they will be better prepared to ask questions of the witnesses to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Microsoft violated the law.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 6:22 a.m.

    Dissapointing. My sympathies are with Novell.

  • thunderbolt7 DUTCH JOHN, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 5:01 a.m.

    WordPerfect is a far superior program, compared to MS Word. This is what is sad.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 4:38 a.m.

    Can't figure out how they convinced the other 11 jurors to favor Novell. Every thing about the case reported by the news media indicated Novell was trying to scam Microsoft to steal MS propriety intellectual property.

    Many time what is not said in a trial is just as important as what is said. Evidence is not always documented on a form and many times withheld from the court and a jury.

    We should thank this juror for being true to their-self and their sense of right and wrong and intent of both corporations which lawyers tend to muddle with irrelevant dribble.

    I agree with how it all turned out and finally ending this battle of CEO's and corporations vs. citizens rights of proprietary intellect. And that is what this was all about, corporate america vs american citizen. This was a victory for the individuals in business with independent and private companies.

  • beetdiggingcougar Vancouver, WA
    Dec. 17, 2011 11:18 p.m.

    Have you heard of the "CSI effect" on juries? Looks like we can call this the "Stevens-Heneger College of Criminal Justice effect" in this case for our good friend from Magna.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    "endless effort to sue everyone in the software industry"? Not a chance. Other than the SCO case, in which SCO was the instigator, this is pretty much Novell's only major litigation ever. Get your facts straight.

    During 1993-1998, Microsoft engaged in all kinds of shady behavior to illegally use its operating system monopoly to take down competitors in a score of other markets; if our government were doing a halfway decent job of enforcing its antitrust laws they definitely would have been broken up by 1998.

    That we don't know how consumers would have acted if the world had been different has zero relevance to the case here. Nothing about counterfactual hypotheses can ever be totally proven, and contrary to Mr. Alvey's claims, Novell had no obligation to produce such an impossible proof.

    Novell had a solid case here, and the one holdout juror's stubbornness and refusal to adhere to the standards of evidence in civil cases have led to a perversion of justice. Hopefully the case will get a reasonable jury when it's appealed.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 17, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    Re: JKR | 8:12 p.m. Dec. 17, 2011
    "It is simply unbelievable that one guy, a 21 y/o no less, was able to thwart justice here"

    In what way did this juror "thwart justice"? Did you expect him to abandon his beliefs and bow to the will of the majority?

    I wouldn't put 21-year olds down. They are old enough to die for their country.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    Really? The "Utah Legislature needs to take a stand and forbid Windows"? Don't give them any ideas!
    I think this jurors age isn't an issue. He is of legal voting age. His opinion matters as much as anyone on the jury.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    I would be a bit less willing to do an interview if I was the single person standing in the way of the Novell litigation engine in their endless effort to sue everyone in the software industry. Did Novell fail to support their tort or were the other jurors loyal to the home team?

    @ JKR: Apple's suit against Microsoft over 'look and feel', which many industry people believe they would have won, was settled out of court. Microsoft agreed to buy Apple stock, which helped Apple to survive several bad business decisions they had recently made. Microsoft benefited by being allowed to continue their course of development for Windows and by retaining a small but lucrative market for their Macintosh compatible products.

    @ rhappahannock: Hating Microsoft is like hating gravity. If tomorrow there were no Microsoft software the world would face a global economic crisis beyond comprehension.

  • JKR Holladay, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 8:12 p.m.

    It is simply unbelievable that one guy, a 21 y/o no less, was able to thwart justice here. It seems highly likely that the other jurors tried to persuade this guy until they were blue in the face, then they finally gave up. This one guy prevented more than $1B in reparations from changing hands, forcing another prolonged expensive trial. Novell was clearly wronged and Microsoft has gotten away with plenty before. Does anyone remember the big showdown of the 90s where Apply tried to sue about Microsoft's use of pulldown menus -- clearly an Apple innovation -- and lost?

  • Utahcitizen Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 17, 2011 8:10 p.m.

    The desnews did a terrific job reporting this story. The photos were good too. I sort of agree with the hold out juror. Just because he was in the minority does not make him a "contrarian". He had a valid point. As a reluctant user of WordPerfect at the time, I was surprised Novell paid such an outrageous price for Wordperfect. It was not a good product and who is to say that Novell would have billions?

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Dec. 17, 2011 7:58 p.m.


    You are confusing criminal and civil law. The hold out appeared to be saying that Novell had failed to prove a couple of essential elements. He was right.

  • rhappahannock Washington, DC
    Dec. 17, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    It seems to me the dissenting juror seems to be saying that Microsoft was guilty, but simply differed on whether there should be a significant penalty. He should have saved that for the penalty phase of the trial - not whether Microsoft was guilty or not. It seems to me that the juror was just trying to be a publicity seeking contrarian, and not just decide the matter at hand.

    Microsoft has clearly abused it's monopoly, and it has caused a great deal of harm to the development of computer systems. Without Microsoft, innovations such as the netbook, iPad, and Tivo would have happened years earlier.

    The Utah State legislature needs to take a stand, and forbid the use of Windows unless absolutely necessary. There are other options out there that will work just as well or better, and it would take a law like this to force IT to actually consider a better option.

    Finally, here a great money-saving tip. When you purchase a computer, reject the windows license, and install Linux instead. Then, return your Windows certificates to the manufacturer, and get your "Windows Refund." By contract, they will have to refund your money.