. . . After Ford roughly quadrupled its engine electronics, the Trouble-Not-Identiﬁed rate for cruise control malfunctions and sudden acceleration reports simultaneously increased rapidly. The more I pondered this, the pieces of a gigantic and perplexing jigsaw puzzle started to fall into place . . . .
. . . Despite this splurge of mea culpas, the comments of Ford’s decision makers read like a gathering of heavy smokers commiserating with each other, but with no clear idea how to kick the habit; and since the entire industry had backed itself into the same corner, carmakers faced a stark choice: confess their sins publicly and correct them, or continue subjecting people to a secret game of automobile roulette . . . .
. . . After Koeppel left the witness stand, Fred Weisman asked, with wide-eyed disbelief, “Did I miss something, or did this guy admit that Ford committed a felony by assigning a one-year retention period to safety reports so they could be trashed?”
“So it would seem,” I replied . . . .
. . . When we arrived for oral arguments we learned that the presiding judge would be Sonia Sotomayor, later to become a Justice of the United States Supreme Court . . . . During her Senate conﬁrmation hearings, Sotomayor repeatedly emphasized that the core of her judicial philosophy was to apply the law to the speciﬁc facts of the case before the court. Her conduct in Jarvis is a good example of this approach. I had barely begun my presentation when then Judge Sotomayor began asking questions showing she had mastered the trial record. Because it takes many hours of hard work to prepare an appeal, there is nothing more discouraging than arguing to a panel that hasn’t done its homework. While I have argued many cases in state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, I have never had the pleasure of responding to questions from a judge so thoroughly familiar with the case . . . .