Special master taken off Microsoft case

Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (reagle@rpcp.mit.edu)
Thu, 05 Feb 1998 19:00:56 -0500

Special master taken off Microsoft case

Angus Kidman

Microsoft has scored its first legal victory in its ongoing battle with the
US Department of Justice (DOJ), with the US Court of Appeals granting its
request to have court-appointed special master Lawrence Lessig suspended
from investigating the case.

The court yesterday granted a request by Microsoft to stay all proceedings
before Lessig. A hearing has been scheduled for April 21, which will
determine whether Lessig's status will be permanently revoked. Microsoft and
the DOJ will have until April 7 to file briefs as a basis for the decision.
Lessig was appointed by Judge Thomas Jackson in December last year to
investigate issues related to the ongoing stoush over the licensing of
Internet Explorer, and was scheduled to report back to the court by the end
of May this year. Microsoft issued an appeal against his appointment earlier
this month, arguing that it was incompatible with the principles of US
jurisprudence. Jackson had earlier rejected a request by Microsoft to remove
Lessig's designation as a special master.

Microsoft officials welcomed the decision. "We are gratified that the Court
of Appeals acted quickly," said William Neukom, Microsoft senior
vice-president for law and corporate affairs, in a statement. However,
Microsoft's broader appeals, seeking the removal of an preliminary
injunction against the enforced distribution of Internet Explorer with
Windows 95 and an overturning of the original DOJ case against the company
for allegedly violating a 1995 consent decree, have yet to be heard, and
investigation into those cases is likely to continue through to April.



Related articles: Microsoft versus Justice: The hearing continues Get all the background on Microsoft's ongoing battles with the DOJ in apcmag.com's blow-by-blow reports.

_______________________ Regards, http://web.mit.edu/reagle/www/home.html Joseph Reagle E0 D5 B2 05 B6 12 DA 65 BE 4D E3 C1 6A 66 25 4E reagle@mit.edu independent research account