Judge proposes January trial in Silicon Valley employee hiring case

A jury trial might be preempted if a new settlement is reached

A federal judge on Thursday proposed a Jan. 12 start date for a jury trial in Silicon Valley's closely watched class-action employee hiring case, in which executives like Steve Jobs and Google's Sergey Brin are accused of conspiring not to hire each other's workers.

Judge Lucy Koh of the federal district court in San Jose, California, set the date in a court filing. A new trial would be preempted if there is a new settlement reached between plaintiffs and the companies. The judge estimated that a trial would last 17 days.

Last month Koh rejected a proposed settlement of US$324.5 million as being too low given the strength of the evidence to support a trial. A court document filed earlier this week said that mediation talks were under way toward a new settlement.

Attorneys have until Monday to file a joint statement with their positions regarding the proposed trial date. Alternatively, Koh also proposed a trial start date of March 9.

A case management hearing has already been scheduled for Sept. 10 in San Jose. During that hearing, attorneys are likely to discuss with Koh the status of the new settlement talks.

The plaintiffs in the case, suing on behalf of 64,000 technology workers, accuse executives at companies including Google and Apple of entering into secret agreements not to hire each other's workers, in an effort to protect their investments. Those agreements, plaintiffs allege, restricted their mobility and drove down their wages.

A major chunk of evidence in the case consists of emails sent between the executives.

"If you hire a single one of these people, that means war," Jobs told Google co-founder Sergey Brin at one point, according to a previous court filing.

Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar already settled with workers last year. Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems comprise the remaining defendants.

If there is a trial, executives like Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin could take the witness stand, possibly revealing an ugly side of how hiring works in Silicon Valley. Google declined to comment. Officials at Apple, Adobe and Intel were not immediately available to comment.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGoogleApplelegalinteladobesearch enginesInternet-based applications and servicesCivil lawsuits

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?