Class representative in Apple 'anti-poaching' suit wants bigger cut of $415M payout

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2015
The class representative in a California anti-trust lawsuit regarding alleged anti-poaching measures employed by Apple, Google and other Silicon Valley tech companies, is seeking a larger-than-normal chunk of a proposed $415 million payout for his work in securing more lucrative settlement terms.

Anti-poaching suit Class Representative Michael Devine. | Source: The New York Times


Michael Devine, a former Adobe Systems engineer, is requesting U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh modify terms of a proposed $415 million settlement reached yesterday by Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel, claiming he played a pivotal role in securing a larger reward for fellow plaintiffs.

Stipulated in a joinder filed in court on Friday, Devine is asking for up to $160,000 for his role in the settlement. The sum is, as noted by The Wall Street Journal, twice the amount being sought by the suit's four other named plaintiffs. The class' approximately 64,000 employees will receive about $5,000 each.

"I'm glad that I stood up for the class and that I was able to have such a substantial impact on the outcome," Devine said. "I took my responsibilities seriously and I showed that class representatives can make a real difference."

Devine was the lone voice of dissent in a prior $324.5 million settlement bid reached last April, and called the offer "grossly inadequate" in a letter of objection filed with the court. The class representative made sure his remonstration attained maximum public exposure by posting the document online before it was made available through proper court channels and participating in an interview with The New York Times.

Judge Koh agreed with Devine and rejected the initial offer, saying Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe should "pay their fare share" as compared to codefendants that settled earlier on in the lawsuit. In 2013, Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm settled out of court for $20 million.

Citing the successful opposition that resulted in an approximately 28-percent premium over the original settlement terms -- and a heightened risk of not finding future employment because of it -- Devine requests a larger reward commensurate of his service.

The lawsuit alleges Apple and other Silicon Valley heavyweights employed anti-poaching tactics between 2005 and 2009, effectively suppressing wages by limiting job mobility.

Judge Koh has yet to approve the $415 million settlement, $81 million of which is earmarked for attorneys' fees.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    And now, they will turn on each other. LOL
  • Reply 2 of 23

    Show me the money!

  • Reply 3 of 23
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,584member
    81 million for attorneys???? Crooks!!! The laws need to change to cap attorneys' fees in these cases! Why in the world should such a large share of the settlement go into their fat greasy hands?
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Had it been Samsung, judge Koh would've slashed that number by ten, Samsung would then appeal and she would slash it again. In the end everyone of those employees would be set to receive ten cents and Samsung would refuse to pay a single penny.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    The writer Mikey Campbell needs to go back to school for a few semesters of English. The last sentence was grammatically atrocious. If you use "IF," then "THEN," "WILL" and/or "BE" must follow. In this case, "of which is" must be deleted. Lawyers taking 81 million? Child's play compared to this crime. =P
  • Reply 6 of 23
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    long dong wrote: »
    The writer Mikey Campbell needs to go back to school for a few semesters of English. The last sentence was grammatically atrocious. If you use "IF," then "THEN," "WILL" and/or "BE" must follow. In this case, "of which is" must be deleted. Lawyers taking 81 million? Child's play compared to this crime. =P

    I'm not sure his mistake was as bad as using "child's play" when you should have used "a drop in the ocean".
  • Reply 7 of 23

    So, this goof wants another $160,000 on top of the $81 MILLION in "attorney fees"? Um, sure... that sounds fair... :eyeroll:

  • Reply 8 of 23
    So, this goof wants another $160,000 on top of the $81 MILLION in "attorney fees"? Um, sure... that sounds fair... :eyeroll:

    I think you need to reread the article. He is not an attorney.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,862member

    I think the guy should get more than the other 59,999 "victims" since he was the only one from the huge herd who took the initiative to stand up and challenge the original settlement. Curious about how he came up with the $160,000 number however.

     

    I have absolutely no doubt that the practice in question is happening throughout all industries who are competing for talent from a common pool. These companies were simply too brazen and left too many tracks that uncovered their "gentleman's agreements" that more typically get established verbally at friendly golf outings and executive seminars. If the practice truly suppressed wages the compound effect over the career of those affected makes the $5000 per victim seem like a very small compensation.

     

    ... and then there's the lawyers walking away with $81 million bucks. 

  • Reply 10 of 23
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    Everyone must pay their fare. :/
  • Reply 11 of 23
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    freerange wrote: »
    81 million for attorneys???? Crooks!!! The laws need to change to cap attorneys' fees in these cases! Why in the world should such a large share of the settlement go into their fat greasy hands?

    I don't see why it should change. If those people wanted to hire less expensive lawyers or simply represented themselves. It's less than 20%, according to the given values. Getting 80% of $415 million is better than than 100% of zero.


    edit: Scratch part of my comment. This guy is a representative, not a plaintiff. If he wants more he needs to get it from the pre-agreed upon attorneys' fees.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    I don't see why it should change. If those people wanted to hired less expensive lawyers or simply represented themselves. It's less than 20%, according to the given values. Getting 80% of $415 million is better than than 100% of zero.


    edit: Scratch part of my comment. This guy is a representative, not a plaintiff. If he wants more he needs to get it from the pre-agreed upon attorneys' fees.

    It's a 'damn if you do, damn if you don't' situation. A less expensive lawyer might have lost the case.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    It's a 'damn if you do, damn if you don't' situation. A less expensive lawyer might have lost the case.

    That's always the rub. Cost v. perceived benefit. I'm enjoying Adam Carolla's new series To Catch A Contractor as I'm learning a lot of the scams, as well as invaluable best practices. There is something to be said by hiring a more expensive person to work for you. I certainly wouldn't get LASIK from those places that advertise $1500 per eye in the free city newspapers or tattoo artists that are having a buy-one-get-one free deal.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    That's always the rub. Cost v. perceived benefit. I'm enjoying Adam Carolla's new series To Catch A Contractor as I'm learning a lot of the scams, as well as invaluable best practices. There is something to be said by hiring a more expensive person to work for you. I certainly wouldn't get LASIK from those places that advertise $1500 per eye in the free city newspapers or tattoo artists that are having a buy-one-get-one free deal.
    The best contractor is one you know or one that comes recommended - and importantly one that charges by the hour. If the work is good and the hourly rate is agreeable all should work out well if you can maintain a civilized dialogue. Hammering out a ridiculously cheap deal for the job almost always ends in misery, Beaides, most contractors will assume complications ahead and add at least 25% contingency. I speaketh from experience :|
  • Reply 15 of 23
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

     
    The best contractor is one you know or one that comes recommended - and importantly one that charges by the hour. If the work is good and the hourly rate is agreeable all should work out well if you can maintain a civilized dialogue. Hammering out a ridiculously cheap deal for the job almost always ends in misery, Beaides, most contractors will assume complications ahead and add at least 25% contingency. I speaketh from experience :|


    I'd have to say that is not the construction process I would recommend.

     

    I would use the same method that large projects use.

     

    Hire a reputable architect and put the job up for bid with three proven reliable construction companies. The most important factor in having the project go smoothly, is hiring an experienced, independent project manager. Usually the architect has someone in that capacity. The project manager is responsible for coordinating all the trades and making sure that the contractor and subcontractors don't cut any corners, show up on time, use only qualified workers and have the appropriate licenses, insurance and financial resources. They also act as an intermediary between the builder and the home owner so that payments do not get out of sync with construction progress. In addition they ensure that the owner's design decisions and materials choices are finalized in a timely manner. Another important person is a dependable general laborer to keep the job site clean. Skilled trades people always bring their A game when they see the job site is clean and well organized. 

     

     I have built a number of homes in the past and I have used this method on all of the previous projects, and they have worked out very well. 

  • Reply 16 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DewMe View Post

     

    I think the guy should get more than the other 59,999 "victims" since he was the only one from the huge herd who took the initiative to stand up and challenge the original settlement. Curious about how he came up with the $160,000 number however.

     

    I have absolutely no doubt that the practice in question is happening throughout all industries who are competing for talent from a common pool. These companies were simply too brazen and left too many tracks that uncovered their "gentleman's agreements" that more typically get established verbally at friendly golf outings and executive seminars. If the practice truly suppressed wages the compound effect over the career of those affected makes the $5000 per victim seem like a very small compensation.

     

    ... and then there's the lawyers walking away with $81 million bucks. 




    There were no victims. The whole thing is based on outdated legal concepts.

  • Reply 17 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post



    And now, they will turn on each other. LOL



    And then the second round of lawsuits are filed...

  • Reply 18 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member

    This guy will never work in Silicon Valley again

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DewMe View Post

     

    I think the guy should get more than the other 59,999 "victims" since he was the only one from the huge herd who took the initiative to stand up and challenge the original settlement. Curious about how he came up with the $160,000 number however.

     

    I have absolutely no doubt that the practice in question is happening throughout all industries who are competing for talent from a common pool. These companies were simply too brazen and left too many tracks that uncovered their "gentleman's agreements" that more typically get established verbally at friendly golf outings and executive seminars. If the practice truly suppressed wages the compound effect over the career of those affected makes the $5000 per victim seem like a very small compensation.

     

    ... and then there's the lawyers walking away with $81 million bucks. 


     

    "Citing the successful opposition that resulted in an approximately 28-percent premium over the original settlement terms -- and a heightened risk of not finding future employment because of it -- Devine requests a larger reward commensurate of his service.

    And he will never work in Silicon Valley again. You can take that to the bank”

     

    He will never work in silicon valley again and you can take that to the bank. He is toast in the tech industry.

  • Reply 19 of 23
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    paxman wrote: »
    Everyone must pay their fare. :/

    All aboard the Litigi-Bus!
  • Reply 20 of 23
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,884member
    Charging so much is how they craft the image of the perceived benefits of their so called labor. Perception is managed by cost in many markets but you don't always get better value for more expense. Especially now that quality is an undesirable thing to capitalists, standing in the way of maximizing their profits.

    Most of the legal work is probably done by the law office paralegals (who don't get paid crap) and the plaintiffs (who have to provide all the source documents and take the initiative) and any required representatives and experts. The lawyers provide the ... uh... law school titles and schmoozing. Ok, and occasional experience in similar court cases they've dealt with, read about, etc (and I promise most of the research there is done for them by their paralegals diving through books, court filings, and journals).
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