04:51 AM

3.8.07 Judge: Intel, AMD must determine if lost email relevant, important

The judge in the Intel-AMD lawsuit ordered both sides to work with a mediator to figure out how serious Intel's loss of email is, InfoWeek reports.

Intel admitted recently that it had deleted some of the emails AMD had requested in discovery in the case.

The judge gave Intel 30 days to determine whether any of the lost email was relevant to AMD's suit and how important they are. After that, AMD will have two weeks to respond and Intel will have 10 days to answer AMD's response. All of this to be done under the eye of a mediator, who will report to the judge. Intel could face sanctions for the destruction of the email.

Intel in court filings on Monday acknowledged that for three and a half months after AMD filed its suit on June 27, 2005, a small number of employees whose e-mails were considered potential evidence failed to move all messages to their hard drives, which means they would have been purged automatically from Intel's system. In addition, "a few" employees believed erroneously that Intel's IT group was automatically saving their e-mails.

The judge considers the deletion unintentional but AMD is fuming.

"Given the obvious implications to the administration of justice, it is exactly right that Intel must now prepare a full accounting, fashion an effective remedy, and be accountable for the loss of evidence," Thomas M. McCoy, chief administrative officer and executive VP of legal affairs for AMD, said in an e-mailed statement.

If the judge rules against Intel on this discovery issue, Intel could be fined millions of dollars, or the jury could be told to presume the emails were damaging to Intel.

Intel's already delivered 17 million pages of potential evidence and will deliver 30 million more before the trial resumes in May.