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

New hybrid storage solutions

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. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.