Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
A ticklish problem has arisen for the judge presiding over the perjury and obstruction of justice case against a former Silicon Valley technology executive who allegedly lied and fabricated evidence in his patent litigation. Amr Mohsen, founder of a technology firm, found himself facing additional charges of attempting to threaten five witnesses in the case, soliciting arson and trying to hire a hit man to get rid of the trial judge in the patent case. Now the defense argues that if jurors hear about threats against witnesses or alleged plots against a judge, they will assume them to be proof that he must be guilty of the perjury and obstruction. Adding to the complications, the jailhouse informant who tipped the FBI to the plot against U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco was being paid $50 an hour by Mohsen to do legal research on his behalf. U.S. v. Mohsen, No. CR03-0095WBS. BIFURCATION SUGGESTED U.S. District Judge William Shubb, who is presiding over the case, suggested bifurcating the trial with one jury that would hear the obstruction case first and deliberate before moving on to the witness tampering and murder solicitation charges. However, Shubb recognized that this might cause problems in trying to qualify a jury without tainting them. Defense lawyers clamored that Mohsen’s fair-trial rights would be denied, along with the right to counsel. In the first part of the trial, the defense will certainly argue, among other things, that the informant is a liar with a long criminal history, and that there is no evidence to corroborate his testimony. But once jurors reach a verdict on those charges, they will hear the secret tape-recorded conversations with the informant “that do tend to corroborate the informant’s testimony from the first part of the trial,” wrote John Balazs, Mohsen’s Sacramento, Calif., attorney. “This would destroy the credibility of Dr. Mohsen’s attorneys and make them look like they were playing games with the jury, or worse, lying.” Balazs wants two separate trials so the issues are not mingled. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Harris said that one trial is doable with special instructions to the jury that evidence concerning the witness tampering and murder-for-hire allegations could not be considered “consciousness of guilt.” Besides, Harris said there would be no significant voir dire problem because she plans to call Alsup as a witness on the perjury and obstruction counts. Mohsen, founder of Aptix Corp. of San Jose, Calif., patented software that allowed engineers to emulate the effects of circuit boards. He lost his patent battle in 2000. Mohsen asserted his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to testify in his own patent suit. Alsup threw out the case and invalidated Mohsen’s patent. The government later charged Mohsen on several counts, including solicitation for murder. Shubb hears arguments this week on how to handle next year’s trial.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.