Microsoft took another hit on the legal front Monday when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to let the software behemoth appeal a ruling by the judge in the so-called "Vista Capable" lawsuit that had granted the plaintiffs class action status.
In a brief, one-paragraph order, the appeals court denied Microsoft's request to appeal Judge Marsha Pechman's February 2008 ruling expanding the case into a class action.
The denial effectively lifts a stay that Judge Pechman granted to Microsoft in early April while the request for appeal was still pending. Judge Pechman's stay halted discovery in the case, a welcome respite for Microsoft, which had been roundly embarrassed when Pechman unsealed 158 pages of previously sealed evidence, mostly executives' e-mails, in late February.
Whether the denial of Microsoft's request to appeal and the lifting of the stay will put the case back on schedule isn't clear. The case was originally scheduled for October, however, the discovery process – halted by the stay – will now likely restart.