The Rambus Spoliation Case

Years ago — years and years ago — I served as an expert for a party involved in one part of the patent suits where Rambus' counsel was accused of deliberately masterminding destroying lots of documents on the eve of filing suit.  (My view was that spoliation had clearly occurred.)

I write for two reasons: One, I remember the opposing expert's view that what had happened was perfectly fine, and thinking: really?  This may sound arrogant, or polly-anna-ish, or something, but to me, when I'm an expert in ethics, I try to be just that, and I would never give an opinion in private that I would never give among my fellow ethicists.  That may have been one of the first cases I was involved in, and I just remember being stunned by the opposing expert's views.

Two, Judge Robinson has, again, held the patents unenforceable as the sanction, back in January, 2013, which I am just seeing now, Micron Tech. Inc. v. Rambus, Inc., 917 F. Supp.2d 300 (D. Del. 2013).

About David

Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law. Formerly Of Counsel, Taylor English Duma, LLP and in 2012-13, judicial clerk to Chief Judge Rader.

4 thoughts on “The Rambus Spoliation Case

  1. 4


    She may be reversed. We’ll see. And even if she is not reversed, the “truth” may be something beyond any result, as any trial lawyer knows.

    I really don’t understand why so many people feel a need to make personal aspersions on blogs. Y’all need to mellow out.


  2. 3

    Judge Whyte (SJ CA district court), considered across the nation to be the preeminent patent expert among federal Judges and a highly knowledgeable and respected Judge (albeit slow as a tranquilized snail…), used the evidence, plain, good old logic and The LAW to determine that Rambus in fact, didn’t spoliate evidence causing prejudice to their plaintiffs (Rambus was the defendant in the Micron Hynix cases!!!) but rather, destroying documents that had no bearing to conducting a legal complaint/defense… (which in itself was careless but far from being considered spoliation with malice intent)

    I consider Judge Whyte’s decision re Rambus alleged spoliation 1000 times more credible then a self professed “Legal Ethics Expert” of the opposing party and the ruling of one of the least respected federal Judges in the nation (judge Robinson has an alarming reversal rate on appeal, one of the worst in the nation!!)

    Rambus was legally lynched by in the courts on the behest of big business.

  3. 2

    Does the fact that we have to have rules (and that we have transgressions against the rules) tell you anything?

    Surely, everyone at some point the ought the legal education process was told to be ‘ethical,’ and yet…

    …here we are.

    Yes, it is Pollyanna to think that ‘people know better.’ But don’t be too disillusioned, that too is human nature.

  4. 1

    Prof Hricik, you’re conflating being an ethics expert with being ethical. Sadly, that is hardly the case in most cases where purported ethics experts submit an opinion to justify their client’s questionable behavior.

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