“On Thanksgiving eve, Apple filed court papers launching a searing attack on the court-ordered monitor who had been appointed barely a month earlier to oversee its compliance with an antitrust decree relating to its sale of ebooks” Roger Parloff reports for Fortune. “Apple accused the monitor, Michael Bromwich, a partner at the law firm of Goodwin Procter, of charging excessive fees, behaving in an ‘unfettered and inappropriate manner,’ relying on ‘secret communications with the court,’ evincing ‘incredibly disruptive’ mission creep, and acting in ways that threatened to turn him into an ‘quasi-inquisitional” offshoot of the federal judge who appointed him in violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers.'”

“The more eye-catching of Apple’s claims were its accusations that Bromwich was already insisting on meeting every member of Apple’s executive team and board, including former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Jr., and the company’s legendary product designer, Sir Jonathan Ive—neither of whom had anything to do with antitrust compliance issues, according to Apple,” Parloff reports. “In addition, the papers noted, Bromwich was demanding that Apple pay a 15% ‘administrative fee’ to his consulting firm on top of his $1,100 hourly rate and the $1,025 hourly fee of antitrust lawyer Bernard Nigro, who was appointed to assist him because of Bromwich’s lack of antitrust experience. (Nigro heads the antitrust group at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where Bromwich was a partner from 1999 to 2010.)”

“But legal fees are clearly not the crux of this dispute,” Parloff reports. “It was, rather, Apple’s last claim—accusing Bromwich of simultaneously playing a quasi-prosecutorial role and yet answering directly to the judge—which may be the most significant. It signals that Apple is taking aim not just at Bromwich, but also at U.S. District Judge Denise Cote herself. The immediate triggering event for Apple’s tirade was an order by Judge Cote issued on November 21, proposing that Bromwich be permitted to hold regular ex parte meetings with herself—that is, meetings where only she and he would be present and where no transcript would be made to preserve a record of what was said… In its Thanksgiving eve submission, Apple demanded to know if such ex parte meetings had already occurred, and suggested that such meetings, if they ever were to occur, would be a grounds for recusing Judge Cote.. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This continuing kerfluffle likely stems from the fact that Denise Cote is a vacuous twit.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Arline M.,” “David O.,” and “JES42” for the heads up.]

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