ON JANUARY 14, 2002, SIXTY-SEVEN PROSPECTIVE JURORS WERE herded into the fourteen-row gallery section of Department F on the fifteenth floor of the U.S. District Court Building in San Francisco. The two teams of attorneys, consisting of three lawyers each, were seated with their clients at two large rectangular counsel tables aligned parallel to the empty jury box and perpendicular to the judge’s bench. Dozens of cardboard file boxes filled with records, documents, reports, pleadings, interrogatory answers, responses to admissions requests, and other filings lay neatly stacked and labeled on a long bench that ran the width of the room between the attorneys and the gallery.

Weeks before, final discovery had ...

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