Justice Dept. urges fast-track MS case review

By : |October 4, 2000 0

As expected, the US Justice Department asked the US Court of Appeals to
quickly review the Microsoft antitrust verdict. Unlike Microsoft, which doesn’t
want any action until at least March, the DoJ presented the Appeals Court with a
proposed schedule that could conclude the pre-trial proceeding by the end of
December. Oral arguments would follow later.

Justice Department lawyers said that time is of essence in resolving the case
because of the impact it has on a large segment of the economy. "Because
the District Court stayed implementation of the judgment in its entirety pending
appeal, at Microsoft’s request and over the plaintiff’s objections, it is
essential for effective antitrust law enforcement in a critical sector of the
nation’s economy that the appeal be concluded expeditiously,” the Justice
Department argued.

Microsoft has until next Tuesday to reply, after which the Appeals Court will
set the dates.

According to the DoJ proposal, Microsoft would file a 24,000-word brief by
November 1. The federal government would reply at equal length on December 8. On
the same day, the 19 states involved in the case would be allowed to file a
7,000-word brief. Microsoft would then reply on Dec. 22 with a 7,000-word
rebuttal.

Microsoft has asked for a 5-month pre-trial period with a much longer brief
totaling 56,000 words, and final replies at 28,000 words. That plan has been
heavily criticized by the DoJ. "Microsoft’s schedule is excessive and would
delay resolution of this appeal unnecessarily," the Justice Department said in
its filing. "This is an appeal, not a retrial," the government said.

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