David Moran is a trial lawyer from the Texas law firm Jackson Walker. A federal judge has named him as a special master to help settle disagreements over evidence in the antitrust case between Texas and Google.
Google was against the selection because they said there wasn’t a need for a special master right away. Lawyers for Texas agreed with Judge Sean Jordan’s idea, saying it would help the case move along quickly.
Jordan and Moran used to be partners at Jackson Walker and worked on cases together while they were there. There are partners at Jackson Walker who charge between $800 and $1,075 an hour, which means Moran may have big fees.
When a court names a special master, Google has worked with them before. The last time Moran worked on something related to Google was in a New York trade case.
In the well-known Texas case, it is said that Google stifles competition by being the leader in digital ads. Google says it hasn’t broken any antitrust rules.
Some people are surprised by the personal link between Jordan and Moran. Before he was appointed to the bench in 2019, Jordan made about $390,000 a year from Jackson Walker.
Defendants often say that judges and special masters who are close to each other are not fair. On the other hand, Jordan suggested Moran for the job, and everyone agreed to split Moran’s normal fees.
The antitrust lawsuit in Texas brings together cases from a number of different states and authorities. There won’t be a hearing between the two sides until March 2025.
In the meantime, Moran will act as a judge and settle disagreements about proof and other issues that come up before the trial. His decisions could have a big effect on what’s going on.
The claim from Texas is one of many that are challenging Google’s huge online ad business. There are trillions of dollars going through the system every day.
Some people say that Google takes advantage of its deep connections in the digital ad market to keep real competitors from entering. This is what they say: advertisers and writers don’t have enough options.
Google’s senior executives strongly dispute accusations of monopoly power and antitrust breaches.
Sundar Pichai and other leaders maintain the ad tech ecosystem remains vibrant and competitive. They call complaints “specious” and say consumers continue benefitting.
The company invests heavily in next-gen ad solutions, even as it fights multiplying lawsuits in court.
All attention now turns to Moran as he oversees pre-trial processes. How he rules on evidence fights and other disputes could impact the landmark trial down the road.
Appeals over specific issues are likely at some point. The losing side at trial will also inevitably appeal the final verdict, no matter which way Judge Jordan rules.
Moran’s key role as special master makes him a major player in the Texas v. Google drama. How things ultimately shake out remains anyone’s guess.