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IBM case administratively closed; will be reopened when stay lifted
Friday, September 21 2007 @ 10:01 AM EDT

There is a notation on PACER in the IBM v. SCO litigation I should probably explain. Here's the PACER notation:
1081 - Filed: 09/20/2007
Entered: 09/21/2007
Order to Administratively Close Case Docket Text: ORDER Administratively Closing this Case. Case may be reopened upon motion of pla(s) or dft(s). Judge Brooke C. Wells no longer assigned to case. Signed by Judge Dale A. Kimball on 9/20/07. (jwt)

This doesn't mean the case is over. It's just a way courts organize their cases. As the order states, it's administratively closed, and that word is in bold, and as soon as the stay is lifted, the motions before the judge will be back on the table. This just lets the world know he isn't about to announce his rulings on them, because Chapter 11 bankruptcy stays all such litigation while the company reorganizes, if SCO is allowed to do that, something not yet determined.

Also, Judge Wells was assigned to pretrial work. That part of the litigation is over, so this is marking that fact. So don't let it throw you. The bankruptcy case in Delaware is now center court, so to speak. The others are stayed, not ended. Not by a long shot. This is, as the order explains, just "removed from the list of active pending cases." In short, bookkeeping.


IBM case administratively closed; will be reopened when stay lifted | 194 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
IBM case administratively closed; will be reopened when stay lifted
Authored by: john82a on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 10:13 AM EDT
Still somewhat disappointing, having followed this story for so long.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here please, if any
Authored by: tiger99 on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 10:17 AM EDT
Not that there are likely to be any in such a short article.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic here please
Authored by: tiger99 on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 10:19 AM EDT
Interesting stuff not related to the main article ought to go here. Please make
clickable links where appropriate, and remember to post in HTML mode when doing

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comments on Newspicks items here please
Authored by: tiger99 on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 10:22 AM EDT
It would be helpful if you could put the title of the newspick as the title of
your post, and make clickable links as appropriate.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM case administratively closed; will be reopened when stay lifted
Authored by: John Hasler on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 10:23 AM EDT
Ten to one that the press will soon be telling us that SCO v IBM has been

IOANAL. Licensed under the GNU General Public License

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Kimball?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 11:04 AM EDT
Is he involved in the IBM case, too??


[ Reply to This | # ]

What about SCI v Novell?
Authored by: dobbo on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 11:28 AM EDT

PJ or any one else with access to the court's filings.

I notices that PJ didn't say that the SCO v Novell case has also been stayed. Why is this? Is it because the paperwork just hasn't been processed by the clerk? Or is it because Kimball expects to see the auto-stay on this case to be lifted shifty by Judge Gross and does think the extra paperwork to be worth it?


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 11:37 AM EDT

Ok, so we have official notice the SCOG vs IBM case is stayed.

Is there any word from the court with regards SCOG vs Novell?

It is possible I missed it being posted in one of the sub-threads, but it'd be nice to see it as an article.


[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM case administratively closed; will be reopened when stay lifted
Authored by: webster on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 11:56 AM EDT
All the cases are stayed and can't be finished, or made final. Therefore there
can be no appeal unless and until SCO survives bankruptcy or the bk stay is
lifted and a trial completed.

The parties will just have to satisfy themselves with Kimball's 102 page order.


2007 Monopoly Corporation. ALL rights reserved. Yours included.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Fortunately we can still get our Groklaw fix
Authored by: hawk on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 11:58 AM EDT

Well, this was expected. However, we still have the new GPL-case, the bankruptcy, and the EU case...

I am sure there will be plenty of material to provide the fix we crave.

Oh, and PJ: how on earth can you say that your idea of relaxing to get well is to read the bankruptcy code?

Please try a bit harder to not burn out. It appears that Groklaw will have a purpose long after SCO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

feinting dead
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 11:58 AM EDT
So, if i understood:
1. SCO is allowed to throw cash out the windows (like paying mr. Tibbits) -
despite the bankruptcy
2. SCO's bankruptcy comittee mainly consists of the people who helped it to get
3. Despite Novell's earlier requests to freeze the accounts, that didn't happen
yet - despite they mentioned possible bankruptcy a year ago
4. The IBM case is frozen - because of the bankruptcy

This is like a bad movie. Reality shouldn't be this unfair.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Judge Wells?
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 12:13 PM EDT
Was Wells really reassigned because pretrial is over?

Since a trial in IBM hasn't been set and since Kimball hasn't ruled on all of
the motions how can that be? I'd expect that if IBM goes forward, there will be
a lot of motions based on Novell and on the Bankruptcy.

Also didn't Kimball recently send something back to her for Novell?

Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Wasted Work?
Authored by: kberrien on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 12:19 PM EDT
All the good work that IBM made during the case, in some ways appears wasted
(assuming SCO finally tanks).

What would be interesting, is to see a review of SCO's balance sheet at the
point of 2003 and see how much the litigation effect the bottom line bringing
things to this point.


How much for legal work
how much business lost (some likely due to litigation)

Granted SCO was on a downward slope before the litigation, but how much of what
was left (and given to SCO by others) was burned up responding to IBM's, RedHat
and other's legal defenses.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and Novell in very different legal positions vs SCO
Authored by: Guil Rarey on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 01:15 PM EDT
SCO's case against both has been reduced to odorous vapor, both are poised to
deal crush blows against SCO for their various counterclaims in their respective

Nevertheless, IBM and Novell are in very very different positions, with Novell
much the stronger.

Novell has a finding in hand that SCO breached their fiduciary duty to Novell
and converted (stole, in nuanced business crime terminology) Novell's money.
The only open issue is to figure out how much of Novell's money SCO has stolen.

A claim for "return of stolen goods" does not make Novell a creditor -
it puts them higher up the queue than that, I have to believe.

IBM on the other hand, has counterclaims for Lanham Act violations and other
misbehavior by SCO for which, assuming as is most likey, they prevail in their
lawsuit, SCO will owe them damages. That puts them in the pig pile with all the
other creditors -- admittedly their claim for damages might make them the
biggest hog in the pen, but there will be only so many scraps to go around.

Because it is Novell's money. Plain and simple.

IBM can get satisfaction from some public declarations by Darl & Co. along
the lines of "Yes, we are a bunch of morons. We made it all up.
Really." Alternatively, they may allow Darl to keep whatever shreds of
public dignity he thinks he retains in return for some rather more interesting
disclosure in private, which we won't hear about until the papers are filed.
With the SEC. The anti-trust judge. And whereever IBM decides to go in
piercing the corporate veil to go after the other players.

I don't know which one the Nazgul will pursue. I don't know how vindictive IBM
wishes to be with the other big boys. But all things considered, Big Blue has a
long memory, and the answer might be "very."

If the only way you can value something is with money, you have no idea what
it's worth. If you try to make money by making money, you won't. You might con

[ Reply to This | # ]

I am now begining to realize...
Authored by: Alan(UK) on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 01:18 PM EDT little I understand about Chapter 11.

In the UK, in such a situation, the bank would put in an 'administrator and
receiver'. If the business is still functioning, he might allow existing orders
to be completed and shipped. He might even allow a certain amount of expenditure
to acheive this. Ideally, he would try to find a buyer of the business as a
going concern. In reality, he would start sacking staff fairly quickly and sell
off any assets that have a ready buyer. Then he would have the electricity
disconnected, put anything left up for auction, and sack the remaining staff.
Basically, his only interest is to get back as much of the creditors money as
possible without taking any risks.

Obviously, I am talking about the sort of company that has let its assets
depreciate, has not spent money on R&D, has spent its money on new cars for
the management, has embarked on hare-brained schemes, and has traded on its own
credit rating.

In the case of SCO, they are not technically insolvent, but are they legally
allowed to continue trading if they know that they, due to circumstances beyond
their control, will inevitably be insolvent?

Chapter 11 is supposed to give a company time to reorganise. I would suppose
that such a concession would only be granted to a company that is in a
predicament that can be resolved by reorganisation.

How is a company in Chapter 11 financed? Surely no bank or supplier would give
them credit without it being underwritten by an unimpeachable source. Or are
creditors prepared to throw good money after bad in the hope of getting
something back?

The whole of SCO's little problems stem from their lawsuits. What is the point
of staying the suits? Surely they need to know the outcome of these trials in
order to know what steps to take in reorganising. Surely the Bankruptcy Court
needs to know in order to decide if Chapter 11 is justified.

If SCO come out of the Novell case badly, Novell would have taken every asset of
SCO's before the creditors even get a look in. There would then be no need for a
bankruptcy hearing at all. The creditor's only hope will be to go after the
former officers of the company.

Microsoft is nailing up its own coffin from the inside.

[ Reply to This | # ]

It's Time Groklaw Started To Issue Daily Media Releases
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 01:49 PM EDT
In order to speed up the "Tipping Point", Groklaw needs to issue
daily Media Releases to all of the "major" news outlets. (I'll be one
volunteer , I spent 20 years writing Press Releases which ended up on National
Media Outlets)


Because most major Media Outlets use Media Releases to "produce" their
news items. More often than not, the Media Outlets will actually just use the
first page of a Media Release. Cuts labour costs by 95%.

Even TV news is being turned over directly to Video Media Releases - where the
Media release is in fact a pre-produced 3 or 4 minute "professionally"
produced video taped news item. The Republican Party is famous for churning out
100's of Video Media Releases each month; many Church groups do the non stop
Video Media Releases as well.

Again the TV stations and cable systems love these video Media Releases - cut
news production costs by 95%.

Naturally M$ has a wharehouse full of staff churning out Media Releases in
addition to hundreds of "Pay For Say" bloggers spinning on blogs

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why was SCO never despirate enough to tell the truth?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:03 PM EDT
There is something about the Novell case that has always puzzled me: Why as the Novell case progressively got worse and worse for SCO, why did SCO never get desperate enough to tell the truth? Why did they never say: "These Microsoft license were never really licenses; Microsoft never really wanted to run Unix; the so-called licenses were just a covert way for Microsoft to fund our lawsuits, which Microsoft thought would help its bussines."

Mark Twain has often commented that some situtations are desperate enough that one tries the truth.

This truth is the only reason I don't feel too bad about Novell never getting its money in the bankruptcy; the money was not really for SRVX licenses that SCO stole from Novell;it was really just a lie that allowed MS to fund SCO's lawsuits. I guess it was too late to tell the truth.

It is ironic that one of SCO's many lies should finally cost SCO its company in this way!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just what I was afraid of
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:08 PM EDT
So the FUD will never be dispelled. Lyings, Didiots, and Mogsters will still
claim "oh, if poor SCO didn't run out of money, they would have won!"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why no rulings?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:08 PM EDT
Ok, so I get the picture: the Chapter 11 filing puts all other legal proceedings
in carbonite.

That makes perfect sense in Novell, but why wouldn't Judge Kimball go ahead and
issue the summary judgement rulings pending in IBM? They're fully briefed and
the major dependent issue from Novell has been decided--nothing in IBM needs to
wait for the Novell trial. It wouldn't require any effort from SCO's legal team,
so why not?

Sure, I understand there's a good chance the whole case will go in the hopper
and Judge Kimball probably isn't looking for extra stuff to keep him busy, but
still. If the case is to have any lasting value at all, those rulings would be a
huge part of it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 02:09 PM EDT
OK, so if you've ever worked for a federal district judge you probably recognize
this as an apparent CJRA maneuver -- 9/28 being the last day of the reporting
period for 3 year cases and 6 month motions. But why unassign the judge?

[ Reply to This | # ]

A few questions
Authored by: basher20 on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 03:30 PM EDT
First of all, all of my legal knowlege comes from a business law class 20 years
ago and watching Law and Order regularly. However I have a few questions I hope
to get answers to.

1. As I remember it, the rules in bankruptcy proceedings are somewhat stacked
in favor of keeping cash in the hands of the petitioner so that the debtors can
be paid. SCO has a piece of paper sying that there is no final order of
judgement in any elements of the Novell case. Can SCO now say that since there
has been no final judgement, the conclusions of law reached in Utah can't be
used by Novell to evidence a claim against the bankruptcy estate in Delaware?
This would require the parties to effectively retry the case in a bankruptcy
hearing in front of a new judge with the burden of proof now entirely on
Novell's shoulders.

2. Can the raises and bonuses paid out at the eleventh hour be considered
voidable preferences in favor of the recipients and be recinded by the court? I
seem to remember that in the case of a bankruptcy, all payments made in the
previous six months to a year can be reviewed to determine if they favor one
particular debtor over others unfairly.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Could SCO's creditors argue the true nature of the Microsoft SRVX licenses?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 04:07 PM EDT
When I asked why SCO did not argue the true nature of the MS SRVX licenses, saying that the money was really a covert way to fund the SCO lawsuits, I got two answers:
  1. SCO executives could be exposed Lanham Act charges.
  2. A contract is what the contract says it is.
It occurs to me that perhaps these arguments should not apply to SCO's innocent creditors. Suppose I am one of SCO's programmers seeking back wages, or the power company seeking my power bill money, of even one of SCO's non management witnesses. Why can I not use the above argument to challenge Novell's privileged status? Why can I not go to the bankruptcy judge and say: "The Money MS paid Novell was not for SRVX licenses, it was really just a way for MS to covertly to fund SCO's lawsuits. The contract between MS and SCO is a lie. I was not a party to that contract and so should not be penalized for that lie. As for Kimball's decision in the MS Novell case, I was not a party and was not allowed to participate. Neither party had an incentive to tell the truth about the true nature of the so-called SRVX licenses, not Novell because Novell wanted the money, not SCO because it wanted to avoid Lanham Act charges. The money MS paid SCO was a covert payment not a conversion therefore Novell should not get ahead of me in line for the remaining money." If this argument were to convice the judge, would it cause the Justice department to take a closer look at SCO's management with respect to criminal matters?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Yossarian on Friday, September 21 2007 @ 06:04 PM EDT
>The bankruptcy case in Delaware is now center court

IMO we have a three ring (Delaware, Novell, IBM) circus with
Delaware as the most active ring.

[ Reply to This | # ]

But what about IBM in Delaware?
Authored by: elderlycynic on Monday, September 24 2007 @ 07:58 AM EDT
As I understand it, IBM aren't fighting for money, so much as
to get a clear legal ruling on the state of Linux and to make it
clear that extortion against IBM doesn't pay.

That being so, they will have an interest in this, but have they
done anything yet?

[ Reply to This | # ]

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