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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.