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Re: They Own the Courthouse
It wouldn't matter either way. If Judge Jackson should act
first--finding Microsoft guilty of contempt, fining it $1 billion per day,
and clapping Bill Gates in irons--his lawyers will just go across the hall
and get a 'stay' of that Jackson order, pending the disposition of the case
by his superiors on the appellate court. Nor does the civil/criminal
distinction matter: Same judges/courts handle both here. Bottom line:
Case dismissed, all Jackson orders set aside, Microsoft walks. Bill's legal
team gets a bonus check with lots of zeroes on the end, plus the John D.
Rockefeller award--Robber Baron Protector of the Year citation and the
'Monopoly Is Good' gold cup.
At 08:08 PM 12/19/97 -0500, you wrote:
>> A likely scenario, then, goes something like this: Even if Jackson
>>is incensed enough at the flouting of his recent injunction to hold
>>Microsoft in contempt, he won't get a chance to do it or make it stick.
>>The appeals court is almost certainly going to find the firm innocent of all
>>charges, probably before the lower court has ruled on the contempt
>>charge--which means those appellate judges will then set aside the
>>underlying injunction. No injunction, no contempt. Case closed.
> OK, but suppose the lower court does get the contempt charge through
>first. Is contempt not a criminal charge? Would the contempt charge then
>go to criminal court and therefore be under a different set of judges than
>the civil court anti-trust charges? Or are civil court contempt charges
>themselves tried in civil court?