Steve Jobs to appear posthumously as star witness

Former Apple CEO Steve Job's testimony to be ... 03:01

Apple is defending itself in federal court against allegations that it illegally tried to snuff out competition. The antitrust class action suit claims Apple software prevented iPods from playing music that wasn't bought on iTunes during the period between 2006 and 2009.

The trial's star witness? The late Apple founder Steve Jobs. Jobs died three years ago, but will appear posthumously in a recorded deposition.

"We're going to learn about someone who is both charming, he's someone we think is a genius, we admire him, but he was aggressive. He's looked at as a bully by the plaintiffs," CBS News contributor and legal analyst Rikki Klieman said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

The plaintiffs say consumers were forced to buy Apple's brand instead of cheaper rivals.

Klieman called the case "fascinating," saying that if Jobs were alive, the story might be different.

"We know about depositions because we hear of them as a word in the law. You take depositions to get discovery. You want to learn facts about the lawsuit. But with Jobs, what you've got is [an opportunity to] trap the witness, put him in a position where he can't get out of it," Klieman said. "So Steve Jobs allegedly wrote emails and they were pretty damning because in those emails he is really saying, we're going to be the ones to have this instrument and have this music."

However, Klieman said Apple may not necessarily have violated antitrust law if the company had a legitimate business reason for their actions.

"They say their legitimate business purpose in making these iTunes software updates is for better security, a better product, and so they can show a legitimate business reason by what they did," Klieman said. "Ultimately that's probably why the case has not settled. This is an old case -- it was filed 10 years ago."