Epic and Apple agreed to use bench trials instead of relying on a jury. In a joint motion, both companies are asking for a judge to take care of their dispute.
Earlier this week, Epic and Apple went to an injunction, where California Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers upheld the Fortnite ban. She also suggested that both companies should go to a jury trial instead.
In a filing done Tuesday, both tech giants agreed not to get a jury to decide. This motion is a weird common ground between both companies, which makes sense.
Apple and Epic agree on joint motion
According to the filing, the judge noted that they don’t want to try two cases simultaneously. Judge Rogers refers to the two lawsuits both companies filed against each other. Epic filed against Apple for “monopolistic practices,” while Apple gave a countersuit for “breach of contract.”
“During the September 28, 2020, hearing on Epic’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, the Court indicated that it ‘[did not] want to try two cases’ and was ‘inclined to try both cases at once,’ and asked the parties to inform the Court by 5:00 PM PT on September 29, 2020, whether either party demands a jury trial,” said the filing.
“Epic and Apple have met and conferred, and the parties agree that Epic’s claims and Apple’s counterclaims should be tried by the Court, and not by a jury.
Therefore, with Epic’s consent, Apple hereby withdraws its demand for a jury trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 38(d). The parties respectfully request that the case (including any claims and counterclaims) proceed to a bench trial on a schedule determined by the Court.”
Bench trials more common than people think
Epic and Apple opting for a bench trial is not as uncommon as some people think. Many corporate cases opt for bench trials instead of going for the jury. This move usually happens if the case is too complicated.
In events where the case details are too complicated for the public, bench trials make more sense. Jurisprudence, especially in corporate litigation, is not something a jury should participate. In matters where expertise is crucial, a judge needs to handle it.
According to the American Bar Association, civil cases are more likely to go as bench trials. The last thing both companies want is to use laypeople to decide their fates either.
Epic and Apple will continue their court drama soon. There’s no trial date as of yet, but it likely won’t happen until July 2021, which is nine months from now.
Featured image courtesy of Fortnite/Youtube Screenshot