updated 02:44 pm EDT, Sat July 12, 2014
Attorney name, fake firm files motion to force Judge Lucy Koh to recuse herself
Silicon Valley's "no poach" lawsuit involving Apple, Adobe, Google, and Intel may be slowly grinding to a conclusion, but not without some peculiar behavior. An investigation has been launched by the US District Court for the Northern District of California and the California State Bar after a court filing was made under an attorney's name without her knowledge, and with a fake lawfirm's name. The incident, and a similar filing made shortly after motion dismissal, is being investigated as a possible identity theft.
Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe have made a settlement offer to conclude the antitrust investigation against the companies. The four tech companies were accused of conspiring to not poach each others' vital employees to prevent escalating salaries and employee demands, but protested the limiting advancement opportunities and salaries was not its intention. The settlement, still yet to be approved in the face of opposition from group representatives and the judge herself, is worth $324 million.
A motion to intervene was filed on Monday, alleging that US District Judge Lucy Koh should be removed from the case, alleging collusion with President Barack Obama, and other claims. While the attorney, Cathy Jones, is a practicing attorney, the filing listed Briggs Jones Law -- a firm that doesnt exist. The filing was made electronically, using Jones' court account and California bar number.
"This is quite embarrassing and humiliating for me," said Jones. "I just have no idea what happened or why someone would do this." She added that "Somebody just hijacked my name and bar number. I'm really mad about this."
Media liaison for the court claimed that the court was "looking into the circumstances of this alleged misuse of a registered attorney's account, and will take appropriate action as indicated by the results of our investigation."
The Judge denied the motion on the basis of the lawyer's denial of entering the filing into the record. Following denial, a similar document re-appeared on the court docket. The court has not commented on the second document.