Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I've been served!

Wow ... that was wild. I'm sitting here working on some code and projects (~9:43pm) and there was a knock on my door. Some guy standing there looking a little shady ... like one of these guys chasing bail jumpers. He asked me "Scott Lemon?" as he pulled out some papers ... oh I know what's going on: I'm being served with a subpoena!

I actually figured this might happen ... the IBM lawyers have been calling me since before my vacation last week. For the many people who didn't know ... I used to work for SCO. Yes ... Santa Cruz Operation ... the ones in the big lawsuits with IBM and Novell. Now before you start to dis' me let me provide some background. I was working for a very innovative startup called Vultus. I joined a team of guys at Vultus who were working on this amazing technology that used Javascript, XML, and HTTP to create active 'applications' that ran within a browser. Yes ... today that is called AJAX ... but we were doing it years before that term came about. (Shipping product in 2002!)

So anyhow ... Vultus was purchased by SCO just prior to the whole lawsuit issue blew up. In fact, I have to admit that I was floored. When we were negotiating with SCO about the acquisition, I was looking forward to the opportunity to working for a Linux company! Just as they purchased us, we were told one day there was going to be a huge "Linux announcement". Yeah ... and when I heard it I couldn't believe it!

So anyhow, I quickly became the SCOX Architect working on some web services integration projects, and then architected and collaborated on a patent with Bruce Grant for a OS independent application substrate. About that time I became the Chief Technologist and spent considerable time researching the differences between kernels and numerous Open Source projects. I have to admit that I really was given the opportunity to learn a lot about UNIX, BSD, Darwin, and Linux ... along with the vast amount of Open Source that is out there running on all of these. My real interest was researching the new substrates ... the new layers of software that are emerging as the next generation platforms above the operating system. I left SCO almost two years ago as they were consolidating and letting a lot of folks go.

Well ... it appears that somehow IBM got my name, and with their discovery deadline coming up fast they must be grasping for straws all over the place. They called me just before I left on vacation and asked if I would be able to sit down with them and chat, and then sign a legal declaration. My question was "How much do I get paid for my time?" Yeah ... right. I told them that if I had the time I would get back to them after my vacation. It was funny when the IBM attorney asked where I was going - Hawaii - and then he actually asked me if I would meet with their attorney's while on vacation in Hawaii! I'm guessing that sending attorneys to Hawaii for a interview would just be a IBM expense paid for by the shareholders?

They called me this last Monday and when I said I really wasn't interested they followed up with the following e-mail:
Thanks for your quick reply. We would like to meet with you as soon as possible. Our discovery period is quickly coming to an end, and we would like to assure ourselves that we will be able to get your testimony in a manner that we can use. Our preference would be to do so through more informal means in a signed declaration. An attorney would meet with you to put together the facts, then draft a declaration after the meeting. The attorney would then review the declaration with you, and obtain your signature at a later meeting. The other way to get your testimony would be more formal. We could serve you with a subpoena requiring you to attend a deposition at which lawyers from both sides could question you under oath. If you would prefer that to the more informal declaration option, we could arrange that. Also, if you are unsure if you would be willing to do a declaration, we could serve you a subpoena now, and then withdraw it later if you decide to do a declaration. Let me know if that option appeals to you. One of our lawyers from either NY or SLC can meet with you virtually any time, any day, and any place that would be convenient for you. I understand that our deadlines are not your problem, and that we asking you for help, so I would like to make this as easy as possible on you. Please let me know how you would like to move forward. Please give me a call or reply to this email. Thanks Scott.

Greg T. Lembrich
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Worldwide Plaza
825 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 474-1462
fax: (212)474-3700

Uh ... ok. So let me get this straight. Either meet with us because you are a nice guy and you just want to give us a bunch of free, uncompensated time ... or ... we'll use legal means to force you to sit down with us. Hmmm ... let's see ... in both cases I get nothing in return for my time. I replied letting him know that they could feel free to subpoena me. And they did.

Looks like I'll be visiting the offices of Snell & Wilmer here in Salt Lake City on the 16th of March. I'll make sure to blog about the experience.


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