In a federal courtroom in Manhattan, attorneys for Apple in its e-book price-fixing case are offering up lessons in creative legal maneuvering. This week, for example, Apple argued that Judge Denise Cote – who ruled last July that the computer giant had colluded with major publishers — does not have jurisdiction over its damages trial.
“According to Apple, there was never an order consolidating this action for trial–only for pre trial activity,” notes Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. “As pre-trial activity is almost over, the lawyers argue the case should be remanded to the original courts for the class action— that’s Apple’s backyard, Northern California, and west Texas for the state action.”
Whatever your opinion of Apple’s actions in 2010 before the debut of the iPad, says Albanese, it’s clear their lawyers are giving them a first class defense. “This motion is an example of that. It could be denied of course. But that would just generate another appeal,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “If this change of venue is granted, on the other hand, it would mean more time to get the courts up to speed, and it would mean more venues and a harder fight to coordinate for the plaintiffs. And of course, with multiple venues, you can get differing results, which leads us to more appeals. So, if this works, it could buy Apple a lot of time.”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.