Eskimo Joe writes: A federal judge surprised observers in the Captiol v Thomas file-sharing trial today by barring RIAA president Cary Sherman from testifying. 'After a brief recess this afternoon, plaintiffs' counsel Richard Gabriel and defendant's counsel David Toder made their cases before the judge as to the relevance of Sherman's testimony. Toder argued that Sherman's testimony was not relevant to the question at hand, the fact of whether Thomas was liable for copyright infringement. Gabriel said that Sherman would be able to tell the jury why this case was significant, and more importantly, describe the harm the RIAA believes piracy has caused to the music industry. "I don't want to turn this case into a soap box for the recording industry," Toder argued in response.' Testimony wrapped up today with closing arguments expected Thursday morning.