Thomas R. Cross v. Automated Systems and Programming, Inc. et al.
The case of Thomas R. Cross v. Automated Systems and Programming, Inc., et al. was a breach of contract case first tried in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, in October 1998.Following a week-long trial, a jury found for the plaintiff.
Defendants moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (jnov).The trial judge, the Honorable D. Warren Donohue, though noting that he had never previously granted a jnov in his six years on the bench, granted it in this case, entering judgment for the defendants.As a precautionary measure, defendants then moved for a conditional new trial to address the possibility that an appellate court might overrule the jnov.Judge Donohue granted the conditional new trial.
Plaintiff appealed both rulings.The Maryland Court of Special Appeals overturned the jnov ruling but upheld the grant of a conditional new trial.The case was remanded to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County where it was tried before a new judge.After slightly shorter trial, a new jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff.Defendants sought to overturn this verdict or secure a new trial on several grounds.But the second trial judge let the verdict stand and entered judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $1,541,029.
While with the firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, I represented the defendants in the case.The defendants consented to my retaining the record in order that I might write about the case one day.
The case raises some interesting issues about a jury’s ability to understand complex matters and certain other things.Whether or not I ever write at any length about the case, as with several other cases to which pages of this site are devoted, I hope eventually to describe some of the issues and events as well as post pertinent documents from the case that will speak for themselves on a number of matters.
Presently, the only document posted is the brief of defendants-appellees in the first appeal, which may be accessed by the link below.It provides a good description of the facts and issues.