Legal Ethics

Qualcomm Laptop Becomes Focus in Sanctions Case

The focus is turning to a Qualcomm’s engineer’s laptop in court papers filed in advance of a Friday hearing on whether to sanction the company’s outside lawyers for discovery mistakes.

During pretrial discovery, lawyers at Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder failed to search the laptop to learn whether engineer Viji Raveendran interacted with a standards-setting group, the Recorder reports. If the engineer interacted with the group before 2003, Qualcomm could lose its patent claim against Broadcom.

Broadcom lawyers pointed out in two pretrial depositions that Raveendran’s e-mail address was on a list associated with the standards-setting group at a crucial time, Broadcom argued in its court papers. Yet the laptop was not searched until the patent trial was under way.

A lawyer for one of Day Casebeer’s partners told the Recorder the standards issue was one of many on the table, and Broadcom did not ask the court to compel Qualcomm to produce the evidence.

Qualcomm argued against sanctions in a document filed yesterday. “The discovery shortcomings in this case were not the product of bad faith, but the result of miscommunications, oversights and misjudgments,” the company argued.

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