At least for now, bestselling author Walter Isaacson has eluded an “informal discovery conference” for materials from his biography of Steve Jobs, requested by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, attorney for the class action plaintiffs in the Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation case filed late last year. In a hand-scrawled note on a letter of opposition from Isaacson’s attorney, Elizabeth A. McNamara, Judge Denise Cote wrote, “the plaintiff may renew its application when it can show that it meets the test for disclosure of nonconfidential material.”

Hagens Berman served a subpoena on Isaacson on May 23 for documents and communications with Jobs regarding Apple’s entry into the e-book market, most-favored-nation clauses, sales of e-books, and pricing strategies. In a letter to the judge regarding the request, attorney Steve Berman stated, that Jobs’ statements are highly relevant to central issues in this case since their "operative complaint alleges Apple, under Jobs’ direction, played a key role in successfully coordinating the conspiracy, and Apple knew its coordinated efforts with the Publisher Defendants would, as Jobs put it (according to Isaacson’s published material), force consumers to ‘pay[] a little more’ for eBooks.”

Isaacson, according to McNamara’s letter, is prepared to authenticate Jobs’s published quotes concerning e-books that appear in the biography. However, she wrote, “he strenuously objects to producing any unpublished newsgathering materials,” and noted that requesting information from journalists should be a last resort. McNamara also maintains, “Plaintiffs’ theory that Mr. Isaacson is the only one who might possess such information is flawed. Evidence regarding Mr. Jobs ‘knowledge, strategy or role’ regarding e-books can only be relevant to the case if such knowledge or strategy was actually communicated to Apple employees or the alleged co-conspirators and thus would be readily available from that universe of people.”