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You just CANNOT make this stuff up: “Convicted and accused mass murderers seek to intervene in the Apple/Google anti-poaching case”

July 31st, 2014 |  Published in Google and the World




31 July 2014 – As most of you know, there was a raging class-action lawsuit alleging that a quartet of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies … Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe … colluded not to recruit each other’s employees. The case settled this past April. The settlement papers are now under review by the Federal court.

The case began in May 2011, when a former Lucasfilm software engineer filed suit against the four tech companies as well as Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit. Other employees filed their own complaints, and the case was granted class-action status in 2013 — with a class of more than 64,000 software engineers.

The lawsuit alleged that the companies violated antitrust laws by suppressing tech workers’ pay through methods including an agreement not to actively pursue, or “poach,” one another’s staffers.

The suit alleged that the late Apple founder Steve Jobs was the mastermind of the scheme, emailing executives from Google with poaching complaints as early as 2005. The plaintiffs said they lost a collective $3 billion in lost wages as a result of that alleged collusion.

The Department of Justice launched its own investigation into all of the firms besides Lucasfilm and settled with the companies in 2010, in which they agreed not to engage in anti-competitive practices.

For the class-action suit, the non-tech portion of the defendants — Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit — rolled over in 2013 and settled the case for a total of $20 million. But the four tech companies continued the fight, filing court documents including requests for summary judgment to end the case.

And then it REALLY got fun …

After the settlement was announced and the court began to review the terms, there were multiple interventions seeking to upend the settlement, the best being earlier this month when U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh … who is overseeing the massive antitrust class action … rejected a motion for recusal that was apparently filed using the name and bar number of an unsuspecting California attorney. The official-looking filings alleged, among other things, that Judge Koh was unlawfully affiliated with President Barack Obama and that Obama was improperly tied to tech companies involved in the matter. The motions use the name and California State Bar number of Cathy Jones, a sole practitioner and support attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but reference a nonexistent law firm called “Briggs Jones Law.”

Well, that was the best one until this one surfaced ….

Yesterday an even more bizarre twist when the court entered a brief — apparently filed by Pennsylvania prison inmate Christopher Donnelly on behalf of Jodi Ann Arias, who was convicted in 2013 for murdering her boyfriend, Jared Lee Loughner, who pled guilty to 19 charges of murder and attempted murder for a shooting near Tucson, and five others — says the plaintiffs have newly discovered evidence. Christopher Wirth, found guilty in 2013 of killing his girlfriend while driving under the influence, and James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, were also listed as potential intervenors.

“Intervenors will provide questions of laws and facts that are common in this action,” the brief, hand-written motion says. “Intervenors will pray for relief.”

According to the court the motion … filed last week but entered into the court’s system on Wednesday …. is the most recent in a string of suspicious briefs seeking intervention in California lawsuits involving high-tech companies. And this is not Mr Donnelly’s first intervention. Oh, no. In late June he filed a motion on behalf of Arias, Wirth, Holmes and others looking for a role in the patent battle between Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. That motion claimed that the intervenors had a vested interest in the case and “new evidence in support of Apple.”

This latest motion for intervention contained supposed signatures from each of the potential intervenors, which also included Terry Lynn Nichols, one of three men convicted in the Oklahoma City bombing. But contact information for the supposed intervenors wasn’t immediately available. Although it was ascertained that Mr Donnelly is representing himself.

Next up? I am waiting for an intervention to reopen the Google book scanning settlement based on “new evidence in support of a pact between Eric Schmidt and the Devil.”

Eric De Grasse, Chief Technology Officer

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"The mind that lies fallow but a single day sprouts up follies that are only to be killed by a constant and assiduous culture."
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