Computer Liability

Hardware, Software & Data Claims

We have tried complex computer cases involving both hardware and software issues, applications, operating systems and system architecture issues. In one case, we actually analyzed—in house—the source code for a version of the Unix operating system and found key flaws without the help of outside experts. Of course, our clients in that case had an excellent outcome in court. Our experience includes representation of some of the largest computer-related suppliers in the world as well as small businesses working with single-server and stand alone computer platforms. We have litigated every type of claim from chipset architecture disputes to quality assurance process deficiencies to computer fraud.

Computer Litigation: Jury Trial Experience

Few attorneys have actually tried complex technology disputes, such as computer claims, to juries. We have. We have litigated some of the most sophisticated computer cases in Colorado legal history, in state and federal court, including massive data processing platforms using symmetrical multiprocessing, as well as stand-alone computer systems for small business. We have litigated issues involving mail order inquiry fulfillment, customized relational databases, custom hardware and software applications, licensing infringements based upon deep analysis of core algorithms and a host of other complex issues.

We have litigated some of the largest computer-related civil actions in the midwest. We are intimately familiar with computer platforms of all kinds, including Unix, Ubuntu, Windows and various server platforms. (As an example of our familiarity with computers, this entire website was developed in-house, with no IT assistance whatsoever). Our verdicts and settlements in this field of law are impressive.

Our experience in the field of computer liability includes:

  • Complex application software defects
  • Operating system failures
  • On-line transaction processing performance issues
  • Database architecture disputes
  • International licensing disputes
  • Shrink-wrap software disclaimers
  • Consulting errors and omissions
  • Civil racketeering (RICO) claims in the context of worldwide marketing vaporware claims
  • International licensing rights for custom database management applications
  • Electronic errors and omissions coverage disputes
  • Hardware defect claims
  • Business interruption claims related to data processing failures
  • Implementation errors
  • Advertising inuries related to data processing systems
  • Damage to data farms caused by cooling system malfunctions
  • Security issues

Electronic Errors & Omissions

We have litigated insurance coverage issues under electronic E&O policies as well as claims covered by those policies. We are experienced in the the determination of the causes of computer failures and the allocation of fault in such cases. We have extensive experience in working with, and deposing, experts in the fields of computer software and hardware design.

Computer Architecture Compatibility Disputes

We are also familiar with many of the unique insurance coverage issues related to electronic errors and omissions, including treatment of data as physical property, advertising injury coverage of electronically disseminated information, and Digital Millennium issues.

Software Licensing Agreements

Generally the contractual aspect of computer liability claims is centered around the language of licensing agreements. We have litigated standard form agreements for “shrink wrap” software and customized, highly negotiated contracts for the delivery of software services and products as part of a turn-key projects and everything in between. We have litigated software licensing issues in Colorado, California and China. Our international experience in computer systems litigation reaches from the Pacific rim to the Balkans, and in the US from Silicon Valley to the plains of Wyoming and the drilling rigs of the Western Slope of Colorado. We have represented the founders of international, publicly traded software companies and small businesses using custom software solutions.

We have also litigated tort claims, including false representation, negligent representation and fraud claims in the context of nondisclosure during the negotiation of licensing and exculpatory agreements. We have even litigated civil RICO (racketeering) claims related to the worldwide marketing of new operating systems and computer platforms.

Hardware and Software Claims

System failures are often considered to be software related, but we have litigated cases in which neither the software nor hardware had obvious flaws yet the system still failed to meet customer expectations. These cases often involved compatibility issues and problems with the architecture, or compatibility of the system software with new or changing chip architecture. The litigation of such exotic electronic issues requires a specialized understanding of computers, and we understand those issues better than nearly any other firm.

Computer Forensics

A large number of our cases involve the need for computer forensic analysis. Even those claims in which computer malfunctions are not the center of the dispute often involve business damage claims in which computerized forensic analysis is a key to the evidentiary development of the case. We are experienced in these issues, and have worked with a host of experts in the forensic analysis of hard drives, system logs, cloud data platforms and private network solutions.

The key to success in litigation is to be realistic and careful in terms of how a "win" is defined under the circumstances of any given dispute. No two cases are exactly alike. Remember that no attorney or firm can guarantee success according to any arbitrary standard or in terms of a favorable result at trial. Whether or not to try a case or settle a case is a decision a client makes with the advise of an attorney, and no attorney can guarantee anything about the outcome of a civil case. Any case, tried to a jury or a court, might be resolved unfavorably. Trials are inherently unpredictable. Statements contained on this website regarding the ability of the professionals at Godfrey | Johnson, P.C., are based upon good faith perceptions of our abilities demonstrated over years of practice, and are not intended to imply that the attorneys have never lost a case or that we can assure that any particular case will be won at trial or on motions. The best way to evaluate any case is to communicate about it in depth with qualified legal counsel, providing all relevant information to the attorney. It is dangerous to withhold facts from an attorney, and can lead to the delivery of legal advise that is fundamentally flawed. No attorney can prevent this from happening, as attorneys all must rely to some extent upon the information that is provided to them by their clients. The best way to evaluate an attorney is by that attorney's track record, and ours is open for discussion in any specific field. Our abilities as described on this website are based upon experience in actual cases, which have been successful more often than not. ©2015 Godfrey | Johnson, P.C. All rights reserved.