P. Anthony Tony Sammi of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Courtesy photo
P. Anthony (Tony) Sammi of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Courtesy photo

Tell us about your biggest trial win from January 2016 to July 2017 and how you achieved the result for your client.

In February 2017, as lead trial counsel, I scored a $500 million jury verdict for plaintiffs ZeniMax Media and subsidiary id Software against Facebook’s subsidiary Oculus VR and its executives in a hotly-contested copyright infringement lawsuit challenging Oculus’ claim to developing “virtual reality.”

The trial, which resulted in one of the largest jury awards in the U.S. in 2017, per Bloomberg, included the first-ever open court cross-examination of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

I successfully persuaded the jury that Oculus copied ZeniMax’s copyrighted source code, violated the parties’ nondisclosure agreement, and committed trademark infringement and false designation.

The jury also found Oculus chief technology officer (and former ZeniMax employee) John Carmack liable for conversion of ZeniMax’s proprietary information.

Share two trial tips that have been key to your success.

1) Tell a story. Whether your audience is a judge or jury, human beings respond to a cogent, meaningful story.

2) Beware of overusing visual aids. Eye-to-eye contact and a clear connection to your jury are invaluable. — P. Anthony Sammi