- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 25, 2001

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said yesterday Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly will decide how Microsoft Corp. should be punished for violating federal antitrust laws.

The decision came as Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft shipped the final version of its Windows XP operating system to personal-computer makers.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly, a 58-year old New York native, was nominated by President Clinton in January 1997 and confirmed by the Senate the following March.

She takes over the Microsoft case from U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who ruled last year that Microsoft should be split in two. In a unanimous decision June 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set aside Judge Jackson's order because he "made numerous offensive comments."

Microsoft asked the appeals court to halt the case against it pending Supreme Court review, arguing that Judge Jackson was biased because he harshly criticized the software developer before issuing his verdict. Judge Jackson said Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates "has a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success, with no leavening hard experience, no reverses."

Judge Kollar-Kotelly must decide whether to break up Microsoft for being an illegal monopoly, or impose another penalty. She will also review whether Microrosoft broke the law by bundling its Internet Explorer software with its Windows operating systems.

Trial attorneys who have appeared before her describe Judge Kollar-Kotelly as fair and strict.

"I think you have a contrast there [between the two judges]," said Christopher G. Hoge, a trial lawyer and past president of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Trial lawyers also credited Judge Kollar-Kotelly with having excellent courtroom demeanor.

"When you go before her, you know she's in charge. She doesn't have to raise her voice or get angry. She is considerate of lawyers and the parties," said Gordon Forester, a trial lawyer and president of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly is married to District Attorney John T. Kotelly, who represented John Cockell, the head of former President Bill Clinton's security detail, during the Monica Lewinsky investigation of the president.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly was picked randomly from a list of 10 judges available to take the civil case. Four judges removed themselves from consideration in the case without saying why.

The Justice Department and the states that sued Microsoft applauded the court's decision to reassign the case so it can move forward.

Microsoft spokesman Jim Deslar said there still is a chance the case could be settled.

"The resumption of this case in district court doesn't preclude our efforts to resolve the remaining issues quickly through settlement," he said.

Microsoft held a press conference yesterday at its headquarters to talk about Windows XP, the latest release of the program that runs about 90 percent of the world's personal computers. State attorneys general have said Windows XP is designed to bolster Microsoft's monopoly of personal-computer operating software and have suggested they may seek changes to the program.

Microsoft closed yesterday at $62.05 a share on the Nasdaq Stock Market, up $2.93 a share.

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