Alison Grant had a lengthy article Sunday in the Plain Dealer on the Eaton v. Frisby case. Here is the article. Jackson attorney Cliff Johnson is extensively quoted in the article:

Johnson said anything the engineers took out of the Eaton plant was material they had permission to remove, such as data they occasionally consulted on their home computers. None of it was classified, he said. None of it was a trade secret.

"The fact that it went into an F-35 does not change the fundamental fact that it was basic, well-known technology," Johnson said.

Parts and processes that the government said were unique — a type of bronze plating, crimping and electroplating techniques — were in the public domain and known throughout the industry, Johnson said.

"How the cup-holder goes into a cockpit or how the landing wheels are pushed open by an actuator may not be matters of national security," he said.

"The motor business was fleshed out in the 40s, 50s and 60s. This isn’t nanotechnology or smart bombs. I could go on eBay and buy an Eaton pump."

That’s an awesome quote and a good example of why Frisby is winning the battle of public opinion in this case.

Eaton’s whistle-blower, on the other hand, says Eaton blew it:

"It’s just hard to believe that these guys could have blown this," Georgeff said in a recent phone call from his home in California. "It was an open and shut case."

The article includes a copy of Eaton’s 60-page brief to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Eaton has some interesting arguments, including that Frisby’s lawyers knew Ed Peters was working for Eaton on the case.

But then Eaton goes over-board. On page 32 of the brief Eaton states: "Eaton wanted Reuben Anderson and Ed Peters to try the case."

I’m calling b.s. on that one. I can accept that Anderson would have had a significant role at trial. But Peters’ job was going to be to sit at counsel table and smile at DeLaughter.

And there’s no way that Anderson and Peters were going to try the case alone, which is what Eaton suggests here. Eaton would have had 6 or more lawyers trying that case with an absolute minimum of 3 having significant roles in front of the jury.  

I’m not picking on Eaton here. Frisby probably would have had a lawyer sitting at their table to smile at DeLaughter and offset Peters. It happens in high-stakes litigation.

But Eaton was never going to let someone with virtually no civil trial experience first-chair this case. Suggesting otherwise is just not plausible.   

  • willie

    It looks like from the certificate of interested parties that Wise Carter represents Eaton and Allred. Different attorneys, but same firm. That seems peculiar.

  • Randy

    Excellent brief that minimizes every action of Eaton. However, if Eaton walks away unsanctioned in this, it sends a message to every future defendant that the rules are meaningless. Pay a witness, fail to disclose it and hire someone that influences a judge. It just doesn’t matter.

  • Bayrat

    It seems that only money matters. Meanwhile, Eaton Corp. is moving to Ireland where the tax rates for corporations lower. Does the US have an extradition treaty with Ireland?