Microsoft has renewed its attacks against Roxanne Conlin in the Iowa consumer class action case. This time Microsoft wants the right to question the named plaintiffs about their connections to Conlin before the lawsuit. Apparently Microsoft believes Conlin recruited these plaintiffs to file the lawsuit. According to the Des Moines Register, Conlin acknowledges she was friends with some of the plaintiffs before the lawsuit began.
Judge Rosenberg had previously ruled that Microsoft could not ask the individual plaintiffs about their connections to Conlin. Microsoft now claims Conlin and her co-counsel opened the door when they told the jury the plaintiffs were "just regular people". A ruling on this issue is expected soon.
Earlier in the case Microsoft attempted to disqualify Conlin alleging she had engaged in misconduct while obtaining certain documents. Judge Rosenberg said there was no misconduct by Conlin and allowed her to stay in the case.
Recruitment by plaintiffs’ counsel would be inappropriate and could raise questions about whether the class is properly certified. On the other hand, there is nothing that prevents a lawyer from representing a friend. Many lawyers represent friends or acquaintances. But rarely do cases involve $300 million in damages. The stakes are high and Microsoft is pulling out all the stops.
UPDATE: Judge Rosenberg ruled in favor of Conlin and the plaintiffs. Microsoft is not allowed to question the named plaintiffs about their connections to Conlin before this lawsuit. That’s strike two in misconduct allegations against Conlin.