A federal magistrate cleared the way Friday for Qualcomm’s former outside litigators to publicly explain their roles in the company’s failure to turn over hundreds of thousands of discoverable documents.

And if the lawyers’ explanations don’t adequately get to the truth of what happened, the judge will consider sanctions against Qualcomm itself, according to attorneys involved in the case. San Diego, Calif., federal Magistrate Judge Barbara Major had earlier threatened sanctions against all of Qualcomm’s outside counsel.

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