Houck may return to MS prosecution

After resigning earlier this week, one of the lead lawyers in the Microsoft antitrust case may be called back to make a cameo performance.New York attorney Steve Houck quit the prosecution only weeks before the presiding judge is expected to issue his finding of facts.

After resigning earlier this week, one of the lead lawyers in the Microsoft antitrust case may be called back to make a cameo performance.

New York attorney Steve Houck quit the prosecution only weeks before the presiding judge is expected to issue his finding of facts. The departure of Houck, a Republican, had been expected after a Democrat won the state attorney general's race.

Houck, who took part in the celebrated videotape deposition of Bill Gates, played a secondary role to lead government lawyer David Boies. The only one of the 26 witnesses questioned by Houck was IBM executive John Soyring.


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However, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is coordinating the states' role in the trial, said the states may want to retain Houck if Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson wants to hear further oral presentations.

"We'd need to talk among ourselves as to the next step but one possibility is for Steve to do that in some capacity," Miller said in an interview.

Before the antitrust case got filed, the two states contributing the most to the investigation were New York and Texas. After Texas decided not to participate in the prosecution, Miller said Houck became the consensus candidate to represent the states.

Contribution was 'immense'
Houck did not return phone calls to his home and office. But Miller said his contribution to the case was "immense."

"He worked night and day before and after the case was filed," Miller said. "Steve and David were a great team and he made all the states proud."

The object of Houck's tender attentions was more circumspect in summing up his legacy.

"We have no comment," said a Microsoft spokesman. "It's not appropriate for us to comment."

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