A novel submission in the long running anti-trust case of U.S. v. Apple Inc. provided insight and possibly comic relief to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote and the DOJ plaintiffs. Attorney, Bob Kohn, an individual consumer of e-books , filed his additional amicus brief in the Apple e-book pricing case, as a comic book style document.
In a previous 29 page brief. Mr. Kohn had argued that “…how the DOJ failed to consider the countervailing pro-competitive virtues of Defendants’ conduct…” , further “…challenges the government’s factual foundation for its decision that Amazon did not engage in predatory pricing.” , and alleges that “The DOJ Response invented (citing no authority) a bizarre standard for predatory pricing that is entirely inconsistent with that followed by the Second Circuit.”
In his subsequent request for an additional brief, the Court limited his filing to 5 pages. He responded by filing it in the form of a five page comic strip with three additional pages of citations. As a creative way to deal with and question this page limitation, Mr. Kohn”.. called his daughter, a PhD student at Harvard, for help. She connected him with Julia Alekseyeva, a fellow student in the film department. Kohn wrote the text for the brief, while Alekseyeva did the artwork. Kohn and Judge Kote are both characters.”
The graphic brief apparently did not amuse nor further enlighten the Court or the plaintiff Dept. of Justice. Mr. Kohn says that “…In its terse response, the Justice Department betrayed exactly the kind of simplistic legal thinking that I had only hoped to portray of them in my graphic-novel brief,"
Regardless of its actual impact on the decision in the case, Mr. Kohn’s graphic five-page brief stands out as a creative, unique and gutsy submission to a court that was less than tolerant in allowing his third party views to continue to be provided to the court. It may be remembered longer than much of the abundance of verbiage in the case.
Excerpted panels from Mr. Kohn's graphic amicus brief :