August 12, 2014

Steve Hirschfeld Provides Perspective on Judge’s Rejection of Proposed Settlement in Silicon Valley “No-Poaching” Case in San Jose Mercury News


Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP Co-Managing Partner Stephen J. Hirschfeld is quoted in the San Jose Mercury News article “Apple, Google, Intel face setback after judge tosses settlement in tech ‘no-poaching’ case.” The piece details the decision by U.S. Distict Judge Lucy Koh to reject a proposed $324.5 million settlement in a matter accusing the high-profile tech companies of colluding to not recruit employees from each other. Workers who brought the suit had initially asked for $3 billion as compensation as this agreement made it more difficult to negotiate raises and change jobs. The proposed settlement was agreed upon in April.

Hirschfeld commented, “This (denial of settlement terms) does give the plaintiffs’ lawyers more leverage. When something like this happens, it is going to put additional pressure on the defendants to come up with more money.”

Hirschfeld also noted the rejection of settlements by judges – while rare – is on the rise. “It used to be up to the parties to work out a settlement and judges would pretty much rubber-stamp them. But there’s been a lot of criticism of class-action settlements — that plaintiffs are not recovering as much as they can, or the plaintiffs’ lawyers are getting too much, and the defendants are getting off cheap. So there’s more pressure on the judges to make sure that settlements are reasonable and fair.”

To read the article, click here.