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Ethical Quandary For Trial Judge

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July 7, 2022

The U.S. Court of Appeals For the Federal Circuit has thrown out a $2.75 billion award for patent infringement against Cisco Systems Inc. The plaintiff, Centripetal Networks Inc., vowed to continue the fight. The case was decided by trial judge Henry Morgan in 2020. Morgan rendered his decision after learning that his wife held shares in Cisco worth $4,688. The appeals court said it didn’t matter that his decision had presumably cut the value of those shares, and ordered the case reassigned. “It is seriously inimical 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 those rulings to stand,” Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk wrote.

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