Feeds

Silicon Valley bod in no-hire pact lawsuit urges court to REJECT his OWN lawyers' settlement

$300m is just not enough in techies v tech giants pay storm

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

One of the plaintiffs in the no-hire pact lawsuit against Silicon Valley tech firms has asked the court to reject a $324m settlement deal negotiated by his own lawyers because he says it’s “grossly inadequate”.

Lawyers in the case reached a settlement with Apple, Google and other giants accused of conspiring to keep IT workers' wages down by agreeing not to poach each other’s staff.

The settlement, which was announced late last month, was called “an excellent resolution” by one of the leading lawyers for the plaintiffs. But one of those plaintiffs, Michael Devine, clearly doesn’t agree.

Devine, one of only four named plaintiffs in the class-action suit covering thousands of tech workers in the valley, urged the court to reject the offer in a letter made public by The New York Times.

“[The $324m settlement] is grossly inadequate and fails to achieve justice for the class,” he wrote. “Therefore, I respectfully ask that the court reject it as unfair and unjust. The class wants a chance at real justice. We want our day in court.”

Devine claimed that when Facebook rejected Google’s attempts to draw it into the alleged conspiracy, the firm felt compelled to raise its annual compensation by ten per cent just to stop its workers from decamping for the social network.

“This settlement, in contrast, will amount to less than one per cent of compensation for each class member over the duration of the illegal agreements. That’s one tenth of the experts’ estimates of damages and is lacking in any penalty. There’s no justice for the class in that, nor is there any real deterrent to future wrongdoing,” he said.

Devine also asserted that he wasn’t told about the most recent round of mediation until the day after the lawyers had reached their tentative settlement. He said that even after being left out, he told his lawyers in writing that he found the agreed deal inadequate and he opposed it.

“Despite this, plaintiffs’ counsel proceeded with informing the court that a settlement agreement had been reached and thus litigation was halted. Is the role of class representative a mere formality absent substance?” he demanded.

“The tentative settlement, if it stands, amounts to big profits for plaintiffs’ counsel, insulation from real liability for the defendants and locks in a significant net loss for the class,” he complained.

Tech workers filed the suit against Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit and Pixar in 2011 after the firms reached a settlement with the Department of Justice, which was investigating their hiring practices. The workers were hoping for $3bn in damages if they won the case in court, which could have tripled to $9bn under certain antitrust law requirements.

The trial is currently in progress, having already outed a series of unflattering emails between top level figures at the firms, including Google’s Eric Schmidt and Apple’s Steve Jobs. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.