As you know, this case fascinates me. Aside from the fact that I am invested in Vringo, I am interested in seeing how the attorneys work, what kinds of motions they file, and how the presiding Judge, Hon. Raymond Jackson, responds to them.
I am extremely impressed by Judge Jackson, so I looked him up. Here's what I found:
Judge Jackson is courageous and does the right thing. In one famous case, he departed from mandatory federal sentencing guidelines in sentencing a defendant on a drug case, where the mandatory sentencing just did not seem fair or appropriate. The appellate court appealed him, and the case was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reinstated Judge Jackson's sentencing, in a very important ruling that restored a measure of judicial discretion in sentencing that Congress had tried to take away. This shows me two things. First, Judge Jackson has a lot of moral courage, since it is unusual for a Judge to depart from mandatory guidelines, since they are of course mandatory. Second, he did not just do so on a "moral protest", but it turns out that he was correct, in a case that wound up making new and important law.
Judge Jackson sticks his neck out to protect rights. In another case, he vacated a death sentence that had been imposed, under circumstances where the primary witness against the defendant later recanted, and Judge Jackson concluded that the prosecution had withheld exculpatory evidence.
In this Vringo/Google case, Judge Jackson has made clear, concise, and decisive rulings, both in the pretrial phase, and also during the trial. He keeps the witnesses and attorneys focused, and it is clear he is watching and listening to the evidence like a hawk. When you are invested in a case like I am (like most of us are), you always have to be careful of confirmatory bias. That means you have to account for your natural tendency to see things in the light you want to see them. However, trying to set this aside, I see a Judge who has been extremely diligent in creating a level playing field and keeping the parties' feet to the fire, who is in no way "in awe" of Google or "dismissive" of Vringo.
If Google wins fair and square, then so be it. But if Vringo wins, then I think Judge Jackson is the type of Judge who will give them an appropriate spanking when he sets future royalties and considers an award of attorney's fees and interest on past amounts owed.
Disclosure: I am long VRNG.