AllianceBernstein L.P. v. Atha, — N.Y.S.2d —, 2012 WL 5519060 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept., November 15, 2012)
Plaintiff sued its former employee for breach of contract alleging he took client contact information on his iPhone when he left the job. The trial court ordered defendant to turn the iPhone over to plaintiff’s counsel so plaintiff could obtain the allegedly retained information.
Defendant sought review of the discovery order. On appeal, the court reversed and remanded.
The appellate court found that the lower court’s order that defendant turn over his iPhone was beyond the scope of plaintiff’s request and was too broad for the needs of the case. Ordering production of defendant’s iPhone (which, the court observed, has built-in applications and internet access) “was tantamount to ordering the production of his computer.” The iPhone would disclose irrelevant information that might include privileged communications or confidential information.
So the court ordered that the phone and a record of the device’s contents be delivered to the court for an in camera review to determine what, if any information contained on the phone was responsive to plaintiff’s discovery request.
Miller v. State, 2009 WL 3517627 (Ind. App. October 30, 2009)
Appellant Miller and his dad robbed Wedge’s Liquor Store in Logansport, Indiana back in November 2007. During the robbery Miller pulled out a shotgun and pointed it at the clerk’s face.
During closing argument at trial, the prosecutor showed the jury a video from YouTube to illustrate “how easy it was to conceal a weapon inside clothing.” The video was not admitted as evidence but was used merely as a demonstrative aid. The jury convicted Miller and the court sentenced him to 18 years in prison.
Miller appealed his conviction, arguing that the trial court made a mistake in letting the jury see the YouTube video. The court agreed with Miller and reversed.
The court noted that experiments and demonstrations may be permitted during trial if they will aid the court and jury. But in this case the court of appeals found that the YouTube video showing how weapons could be concealed could not possibly provide such aid. The state conceded in its appeallate brief that Miller’s defense theory was mistaken identity. So “the whole issue about the ability to hide weapons under clothing was ultimately unimportant.”
Moreover, before showing the video to the jury, the prosecutor said that the video “[had] nothing to do with this case.” The court of appeals agreed with Miller’s argument that the video “[brought] alive the passions of the jury . . . and suggested Miller was not only the robber but that he also . . . intended to . . . cause injury or death.” The video “was irrelevant, prejudical, and confused issues. . . .”
YouTube evidence picture courtesy Flickr user PIAZZA del POPOLO under this Creative Commons license.
Windy City Marketing, Inc. v. Places Advertising, Inc., No. 07-6401 (N.D. Ill., filed November 12, 2007) [Download the complaint]
Windy City Marketing, a Chicago company, has filed a federal lawsuit against a startup competitor, Places Advertising, Inc. The suit alleges infringement of copyright allegedly owned by Windy City Marketing in certain bound marketing pieces called “inside chicago”. Windy City Marketing claims that Places Advertising has wrongfully copied the marketing materials and is distributing those to Windy City Marketing’s customers.
The big problem with the complaint is that there is no allegation that Windy City Marketing owns a registration in the works at issue. A quick read of Section 411 of the Copyright Act will reveal what’s wrong with this picture. You gotta have a registration before you can file a lawsuit for copyright infringement. For the plaintiff’s sake, thank goodness for Fed. R. Civ. P. 15.