DID MICROSOFT-HATING Federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson go too far in courting media attention?
Yes, says San Francisco Chronicle writer Reynolds Holding, whose recent article on the case cites harsh words from the U.S. Court of Appeals in pulling the case from Jackson's court. The appeals judges opined that Jackson was "posturing for posterity," making colorful statements in hopes of getting his name in the papers. And it worked: During the trial, Judge Jackson likened Microsoft executives to drug traffickers and gangsters, and accused CEO Bill Gates of having a "Napoleonic" complex about both himself and his company.
Defenders of the plain-spoken judge argue that he was infuriated by the company's evasive, and sometimes misleading, behavior throughout the trial. But legal scholars agree the judge was unwise in participating in media interviews and should have kept his opinions in the courtroom—or to himself.