Court ends long-running Cisco lawsuit

Kathy Woods Feb. 26, 2010, 5:53am

U.S. Supreme Court building

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-The U. S. Supreme Court this week ended the long-running lawsuit between the co-founders of Cisco Systems Inc., Leonard Bosack and his ex-wife Sandra Lerner.

The nation's highest court ended the lawsuit by refusing to review the $20 million punitive damage award against them by former business partner David Soward.

After years of claims and counterclaims, an arbitration panel awarded Soward $25.9 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees.

The Supreme Court confirmed the punitive damage part of the award.

Fighting between the business partners began when the couple sued Soward, alleging he improperly documented loans and other misdeeds.

As punishment, the couple took for themselves Soward's financial share of a partnership worth millions. Cisco, an electronics company, is based in San Jose, Calif.

In its ruling the arbitration panel said Bosack and Lerner had acted with "malice and oppression." A federal court upheld the arbiters' ruling as did the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Although Soward must wait for the money to be released he had this to say, according to the San Francisco Chronicle: "It's a relief, I can tell you that. I can move on with my life. Now I can think about what I can do going forward that is good and useful, and fun."

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