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Cisco wins cancellation of damages because the judge’s wife owned shares



(Reuters) – A US appellate court on Thursday threw a price of more than $ 2.75 billion against Cisco Systems Inc., saying the judge should have disqualified himself after learning that his wife owned Cisco shares.

The 3-0 decision by the US Federal Court of Appeals was also a defeat for Centripetal Networks Inc., a Virginia company that had sued Cisco for damages and royalties for copying five cyber security patents.

The trial judge, U.S. District Judge Henry Morgan of Norfolk, Virginia, found Cisco liable for patent infringement in October 2020, two months after learning that his wife owned 100 Cisco shares worth $ 4,688.

Judge Morgan later put the shares in a blind trust and told the parties that the shares “did not and could not have affected”

; his handling of the case.

But the appellate court said that a blind trust was not the same as selling the shares, and that it did not matter that Cisco in San Jose, California, had lost.

The court ordered that the case be transferred to another judge.

“It is seriously detrimental to the credibility of the judiciary for a judge to preside over a case in which he has a known financial interest in one of the parties and for courts to allow the judges to prevail,” wrote District Judge Timothy Dyk.

Centripetal’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Cisco and one of its attorneys declined to comment.

Judge Morgan had ruled for Herndon, Virginia-based Centripetal, after a non-jury trial in May and June 2020.


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