John J. Thomason

INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE is a work of fiction inspired by an actual controversy between a German airframe manufacturer and an American defense contractor arising out of their efforts to win a US government contract to build a remotely controlled drone aircraft. As a result of the dispute, the German company brought suit in the United States District Court in Texas alleging breach of contract, breach of a duty of good faith, interference with a prospective business opportunity and fraud. In 1997 the Texas jury found that the American company had been guilty of fraud and returned a verdict in favor of the German plaintiff, awarding punitive damages in the amount of forty-five million dollars and compensatory damages in the amount of one dollar. The trial judge, in vacating the punitive damage award, found that there was sufficient evidence to sustain the verdict of fraud, but that the compensatory damage award would not support the punitive damage verdict, and entered judgment for one dollar in favor of the German plaintiff. Both parties appealed and in 2001 the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court in all respects. Although this story was inspired by the federal court case and some of the locations described are real, none of the facts in the novel are true, no one was killed, there was no “smoking gun” e-mail, and no romance. All the events described in the novel are fictitious and all of the characters described in this story, their deeds and misdeeds are the product of the author’s imagination.