In a letter filed yesterday, Apple attorneys asked Judge Denise Cote to fire her recently appointed external monitor, Michael Bromwich. Apple is claiming Bromwich's position has been compromised after he filed a declaration in which he detailed Apple’s resistance to his work.
Apple attorneys wrote that the court should "disqualify Mr. Bromwich from serving as the [external compliance monitor] because by filing a lengthy declaration testifying about disputed evidentiary facts in support of plaintiffs' opposition to Apple's motion for a stay [Bromwich] has made it clear that his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The filing continued: "He has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, [and] personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding.”
The request is somewhat extraordinary: Bromwich gave his declaration in defense of his actions only after Apple loudly and publicly criticized him. In his declaration, Bromwich disputed Apple’s accusations, and noted that over his 20 years of oversight work he has “never before had the entity over which I was exercising oversight unilaterally dictate who could be interviewed, even in those instances in which I have dealt with very sensitive matters.”
In its letter, Apple attorneys reiterated their complaints about Bromwich, and said the issues have not been resolved after taking them up with DoJ attorneys, as ordered by the court.
“[Bromwich’s] wholly inappropriate declaration in an adversarial proceeding is compounded by his conduct and the circumstances surrounding his appointment and activities,” Apple attornets write, including “his active collaboration with plaintiffs…his financial demands, and his adversarial, inquisitorial, and prosecutorial communications and activities toward Apple since his appointment.
Judge Cote is set to hear a Apple’s motion to stay the compliance monitor provision of her final order next week.