(Daily Journal) Joseph Saveri was named and profiled by the Daily Journal as one of “California’s Leading Labor and Employment Lawyers” in the specialty of class actions:
Saveri knew that he was taking a major risk when he initiated an employment antitrust action three years ago against seven giants of the high-tech industry.
The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants violated antitrust laws by conspiring to not recruit each other’s employees and also to suppress the pay of technical, creative, and other salaried employees. In re High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, CV11-2509 (N.D. Cal., filed May 23, 2011)
On May 22, class counsel filed a motion for preliminary approval of $324.5 million settlement with Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., and Intel Corp.
The Court had earlier granted final approval to settlements valued at $20 million with Intuit Inc., Lucasfilm Ltd., and Pixar.
“It was a very challenging case and risky,” said Saveri, who had investigated and launched the case while at his previous firm, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP.
When he left to start his own firm in 2012, Saveri continued his representation of the class as court-appointed lead counsel, while his former firm continued to serve as lead counsel as well.
“Among the challenges was the two-pronged nature of the case,” he said.
“From an antitrust perspective, most cases involve conspiracy among sellers of products and fixing of the prices they charge,” Saveri added. “In this case, it involved buyers of labor, who were agreeing to keep down or reject what they pay for labor or service.”
From the employment perspective, Saveri added, “Employment lawyers rarely face cases this large, or those with the elements of a conspiracy case.”
Looking back, Saveri said, “I think that one of the good things about this case is that is has since shined a light on these practices that probably have been going on without a lot of attention or repercussion.”
He added, “At the end of the day, it’s fundamental that people compete to be hired and are paid what their services are worth. Any agreement that prevents that, I think, is wrong.”
(Reporting by Pat Broderick)