A POEM

This poem was written by General Counsel of a client which I successfully defended in a patent infringement suit before a federal jury. The General Counsel attended each day of the trial from opening statements through the verdict. The poem represents his impressions.

George H. Gerstman


My second experience, at a full-blown trial,
I fondly hope, the last for awhile;

Held in Oklahoma, lasting more than a week,
To resolve disagreement, and justice to seek;

Filed in 1978, tried twice in seven years,
The case was enough, to cause frustration and tears;

Initially including theft, of secrets of trade,
With a directed verdict, that claim began to fade;

Also involving a patent, its claims 1 and 6,
A charge of infringement, and associated tricks;

Directed verdict, on that issue too,
The plaintiff appealed, seeking trial anew;

Affirmed on the trade secrets, but reversed in part,
Returning the patent issue, for a brand new start;

That is the background, leading to a second trial,
Which proved unique, of that there's no denial;

Preliminary matters, occupied the first day,
A jury was selected, in a rather calm way,

With the opening statement, the fur began to fly,
Objections and accusations, started whizzing by;

Also on the first day, the plaintiff's case began,
And a series of firsts, for any trial fan;

For its first witness, not exactly a friend,
Defendant's engineer, and the rules began to bend;

Plaintiff tried but failed, to get the witness to say,
Something favorable, even helpful in any way;

For its second witness, a suspicious young man,
And in the audience, most of his clan;

President and stockholder, also the whole firm,
He testified bravely, but also did squirm;

For it was evident, and to most very clear,
That he exaggerated and lied, to impress all those near;

His demeanor changed, between direct and cross,
When faced with facts, he seemed at a loss;

With two depositions, the plaintiff then closed,
A motion for directed verdict, the defendant again posed;

Having once been reversed, the judge was most wise,
This time he denied, with a glint in his eyes;

So the case went on, starting with day three,
The defendant's turn, to help the jury to see;

To understand patents and circuits, multiplexers as well,
To compare two systems, how the differences to tell;

The defendant used charts, with colors so bold,
To simplify the facts, and a story to mold;

The story involved four witnesses, almost three days,
Their testimony was sound, clearing away any haze;

Day five included rebuttal, and motions too,
And jury instructions, more than a few;

Most of day six, was behind the scene,
In judge's chambers, while the jury got mean;

By 3:00 that day, the end was in sight,
The jury would take over, that very night;

In closing arguments, a typical ploy,
The plaintiff was presented, as a good old boy;

Using both counsel, they did try,
Their local boy wonder, to fortify;

Defendant argued clearly, with precision and care,
To convince the jury, to be reasonable and fair;

The defendant's battle, from the beginning uphill,
Was hard and well-fought, but professional still;

Day seven arrived, and at 9:00 that morn,
The jury was instructed, a marshall was sworn;

By 10:15, their deliberations had started,
The courtroom emptied, all observers departed;

Awaiting the verdict, allowed time to reflect,
To review the trial, and fears to deflect;

The judge was grandfatherly, both quiet and kind,
Among the very best, of judges you'll find;

The case was complicated, and what's more,
The jury was faced, with an unenviable chore;

To rule for the defendant, while just and right,
Would put the plaintiff, in an unfavorable light;

For six neighbors, that would be hard,
A local boy's image, would certainly by marred;

So the defendant was leery, actually queasy,
Lest the jury follow, the path most easy;

But that afternoon, the jury did its duty,
An invalidity holding, a bit of startling beauty;

Expensive indeed, but justice was done,
The system's not perfect, but the right side won!


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