The Iowa consumer class action case against Microsoft begins tomorrow, November 13, 2006.  It is anticipated it may take weeks to pick the jury and the trial itself could take several months.  The jurors will be expected to complete a 31-page survey before the questions even begin.  Surveys are often used by Plaintiffs’ attorney, Roxanne Conlin, as a part of her jury selection process.  Having the survey though will help both sides.  The lawyers are able to learn a great deal more about prospective jurors and ultimately their biases.   

The jury pool for this case is substantially larger than your ordinary case.  You generally have about 24 prospective jurors in the jury pool of a typical civil case in Polk County, Iowa.  In this case, approximately 450 people will be a part of the jury pool.

The case involves involves allegations that Microsoft used anti-competitive practices to drive up the cost of its Windows operating system, as well as its Microsoft Office, Word and Excel programs.  Potential members of the class include any person, business or organization that bought those programs.  About $450 million is at stake. 

The plaintiffs were already dealt a significant blow in pre-trial motions when Judge Scott Rosenberg ruled the plaintiffs could not proceed with a "loss of innovation" theory for damages.

If you are interested in learning more about the issues in the case you may want to check out Des Moines patent lawyer Brett Trout’s podcast interview with David Lawrence.

Stay in touch for more as the trial proceeds.