Freshub sued Amazon in 2019 for patent infringement. Freshub produces smart kitchen appliances. But, in 2021, Freshub lost its trial in Waco federal court. Freshub’s lawyers then filed a motion seeking a new trial. Freshub alleged the evidence did not support the jury’s verdict. As part of its motion, it accused Amazon’s lawyers of engaging in anti-Jewish stereotypes during trial. The Plaintiff claimed Amazon’s lawyers created an “us versus them” mentality during trial.
Motion for New Trial
Judge Albright wrote a detailed decision explaining why there was indeed evidence to support the jury’s verdict. The court then discusses the allegation that Amazon’s lawyers played on “greedy Jewish” stereotypes of an Israeli company. The court noted that Amazon referred to Freshub as an Israeli company during the trial. But, it did so only when necessary. And, it is in fact an Israeli company. Yes, said the court, Defendant’s lawyer, also Jewish herself, did indeed ask about Freshet’s profits in terms of Israeli shekels. But, noted the court, Freshub, did in fact report its profits in terms of shekels.
During trial, Freshub never objected to any alleged stereotyping. During a hearing on Plaintiff’s motion, Freshub’s lawyers could not point to any evidence that Amazon’s lawyers played to Jewish stereotypes. The judge finds the Plaintiff’s lawyers “essentially accuse the Court of turning a blind eye” to Defendant’s prejudicial statements. The court then finds the attacks to impugn the lawyers for Amazon and the integrity of the court. Losing, said the court, is never a proper basis for making allegations of racism and anti-Semitism. The court said it was offended at these baseless allegations. The court finds the lawyers for Freshub have breached their duty to the court. The court notes the same three lawyers were previously found to have committed mis-conduct in another federal court.
Judge Albright then sanctions the three lawyers for Freshub. He orders them to attend 30 hours of Continuing Legal Education in ethics. It is an extraordinary remedy for extraordinary allegations. Sometimes, as advocates, we simply go too far.
See the decision in Freshub v. Amazon.com, No. 21-CV-00511, 2021 WL 598106 (W.D. Tex. 12/17/2021) here.