Updated Aug. 10, 2011
A computer forensics expert testified Wednesday that the code used to develop computer systems at money manager DoubleLine Capital was “substantially similar” to that on which the systems of rival money manager TCW was based.
But under cross-examination by DoubleLine attorney Gregory Weingart, the expert, Christian Hicks, said only 200 of the 300,000 lines of code he had examined was actually part of the DoubleLine system.
Mr. Hicks also admitted that some of that code could be considered generic and could be found in the computer systems of other financial institutions.
Mr. Hicks' testimony came in the trial in California Superior Court in Los Angeles pitting TCW against Jeffrey Gundlach, its former chief investment officer who went on to start DoubleLine Capital.
Mr. Hicks, a witness for TCW, testified that while it had taken TCW around 18 months to develop the computer code behind its systems, DoubleLine officials were able to create their systems in a matter of weeks. That was unusually fast, he said.
He said documents and data that would equal 9 million printed pages were taken from TCW computers by key employees who later left to join DoubleLine.
Mr. Hicks under cross-examination said that none of the downloaded material was on the DoubleLine system when he examined it in early 2010 following a remediation effort by DoubleLine. But earlier in testimony, Mr. Hicks said some DoubleLine employees had deleted thousands of files before turning them over to a remediation expert.
TCW claims Mr. Gundlach and key associates stole trade secrets in forming DoubleLine days after they were fired in December 2009. In a countersuit, Mr. Gundlach is seeking more than $500 million in compensation he said is owed to him.
Mr. Gundlach is expected to testify Thursday.