Profile picture
Austin McKinley @thebadcode
, 70 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Good morning from the US District Court in SF! I’ll be live blogging today’s evidentiary hearing in the ongoing Waymo v Uber civil suit, which went completely off the rails yesterday and compelled me to put on a nice shirt and wake up early to watch it go down today.
2/ Inside the courtroom now. Getting here at 7 was wildly conservative; no one else here except for two other members of the public. Calendar updated to say proceedings start at 8.
3/ can you eat the second half of a breakfast bagel in court?
4/ The first lawyer-looking people have arrived. Speculating about which side they’re representing would be irresponsible, but they look smug and self-satisfied, so I’m gonna say Uber.
5/ Wait, I was wrong. Some lawyers for the other side just walked in and *they* are the smug-looking ones.
6/ Matching names to faces, I’m pretty sure Angela Padilla, Uber associate general counsel, just walked in
7/ Public seating about 1/2 full? Should be starting any minute
8/ all rise
9/ Judge Alsup has zero chill. Already came out with what he calls a “no whining” rule that will control waymos ability to call witnesses and Uber’s foot dragging. Is also asking for Waymo to conduct their own investigation into the use of ephemeral messaging...
10/ ...and non-attributable devices. Just by tone, appears totally sick of the arguments from both sides.
11/ Angela Padilla getting sworn in as the first witness.
12/ Padilla being asked about the number of hearings/depositions/summaries of same she’s been a part of/seen. Now being asked about the letter Uber received from Jacobs’ lawyer in May. Padilla “skimmed it”.
13/ Jacobs apparently left the company extremely unsatisfied, refused to come back in and discuss the issues, instead asked his lawyer to deliver a letter outlining all his problems with Uber’s conduct.
14/ The letter triggered an internal investigation, and Padilla was then asked to stay out of the issue. Padilla being asked about the actions of Uber’s compliance department following receipt of the letter, and the fact that the letter mentioned Waymo by name.
15/ Padilla basically claiming that many of the Jacobs letter allegations were “fantastical” and required an internal investigation to attempt to validate any of the claims before turning the letter over to Waymo.
16/ We’ve established that I’m not an expert, but Padilla doesn’t look good in this questioning. Stuck between dismissing the letter as standard-issue exaggerations from a disgruntled ex-employee, despite escalating the letter to several board committees and discussing with TK.
17/ “How many times have you been involved in mediations that you felt involved extortion?”
18/ Kinda surprised that I can basically follow the entire questioning. Zero legal jargon.
19/ Zing! “How many extortionate ex-employees has Uber then rehired as consultants?”
20/ “So he’s an extortionist, and his claims were meritless, but you hired him again for a year... to help investigate his own allegations?”
21/ Skirmishing over the redaction of topics on the agenda for a board meeting that Padilla was present for.
22/ Hahahah Judge Alsup wants Uber to provide the unredacted board minutes to him “now, before this witness is off the stand. You have legions of people here; are you telling me you can’t get the original of this document?”
23/ “We’ll do our best, Judge.”
24/ Minor hilarity: confusion on Uber’s side about whether or not two documents with control codes with a different number of leading zeroes are the same. TIL Bates numbering:…
25/ Judge Alsup asking the hard questions: “It sure looks like you covered this up, refused to turn the Jacobs letter over to your in house counsel handling the Waymo case, dismissed the letter here as a bunch of BS, and then hired Mr. Jacobs and paid him $4.5 million.”
26/ “And If the letter wasn’t shared with in house counsel, in your words because of concern that it would taint your internal investigation, why on earth was it shared with Mr Kalanick?”
27/ “Ms Padilla, this is not how we litigate in US District Court. We have had to delay this entire trial because of your decision not to hand over this letter, and it looks a lot like you wanted this trial to start without the plaintiffs seeing this document.”
28/ On break, the Judge giving Waymo another 15 minutes afterwards. Lots of hatchet-faced Uber lawyers and borderline giggly Waymo lawyers.
29/ We’re back, discussing the settlement agreement with (I think) Jacobs.
30/ Yep, for Jacobs. Aaaand wut? The settlement included an additional $3million for Jacobs *lawyer*? “Is it your testimony that Mr Jacobs accrued $3million in legal fees?”
31/ Side note: Judge Alsup has overruled *every* objection from Uber during this questioning.
32/ Subject line of Jacobs resignation letter: “Criminal and Unethical Behavior in Uber Security”
33/ Resignation letter was sent after being busted attempting to exfiltrate Uber documents to his personal email 🤣
34/ “If your allegations are true about Mr Jacobs behavior, that he was stealing these documents, can you explain why he and his lawyer were paid $7.5million?”
35/ omg even the *resignation* letter mentions Waymo by name. Judge Alsup: “whether or not these allegations are true, can you explain why this letter was not turned over during discovery?”
36/ massive back and forth over whether or not the resignation letter would have been a hit under the agreed-upon discovery search terms. Scrambling on Waymo’s side to find a search term that should have hit (because “Waymo” was actually not a search term).
37/ Uber’s turn. First question immediately derailed by the Judge to focus on the insanity of the US Attorney’s office dropping a dime on Uber for not turning over the Jacobs letter. Judge repeating how this has never happened in the course of his 25 year career.
38/ Uber trying to claim that the missing documents were the responsibility of Waymo to pick up during discovery, and a failure to voluntarily disclose them certainly wasn’t deliberate/selective/sinister.
39/ Discussing the massive settlement: the allegations were so salacious and involved so many different countries, that a large-scale international whistleblower lawsuit would have cost infinite money and would put Uber drivers and employees at risk around the world.
40/ “Did you intend to hide this document from Waymo and this court?” “No.” And even if the plaintiffs had it, would it let them *win*!?” <widespread laughter>
41/ Hahahaha I was worried I was taking up valuable court space because there are obviously google lawyers and witnesses up in the front row where I sat, but the Judge literally just called out both parties and reminded them that these seats are for the public. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
42/ Ms Padilla dismissed; Matthew Henley being sworn in.
44/ Just a reminder that I’m not a stenographer. I’m gisting most of these quotes.
45/ “I terminated Rich Jacobs for performance issues.” “What kind of performance issues?” “The lack of.” <mild chuckles>
46/ Henley looks like he hasn’t slept since he saw the Jacobs letter last night at 10pm. He’s going over the org structure of Uber’s Global Threats team: multiple teams for technical and non-technical intel collection
47/ Henley dropped the word “surveillance” and Waymos attorney is going after it like a rabid dog. Henley says they surveil the public routes of self-driving cars, but not competitor’s drivers or anything else.
48/ Henley is basically saying they formed a large secretive team to... follow Waymo cars around in public and do “web scraping” on the public internet. Mhm.
49/ Moving on to Uber’s use of ephemeral messaging, which Henley oversaw.
50/ “analysts” and “researchers” within the Strategic Services Group are the users of non-attributable devices that Henley is aware of.
51/ Henley directly disputing allegations in the Jacobs letter that he used non-attributable devices (hereinafter NADs) for the purpose of dodging legal discovery
52/ Waymo attorney confuses zoom, the video conf company, for an internal code name for the Otto acquisition. He apologizes; explains he’s trying to get through these exhibits as quickly as possible. Judge Alsup: “that’s all right; let’s zoom right along” 🤣
53/ Another quick break. Judge Alsup has another hearing at noon, so we’re almost done here.
53/ We’re back. 10 mins cross with Henley.
54/ NADs are “research laptops” in Henley’s phrasing. Use of non-persistent VMs on these laptops is for researching violent criminals who have attacked Uber drivers abroad, and prevent same criminals from learning the ID of these researchers.
55/ I’m not... sure I buy that? I’m envisioning Somali pirates or whatever tracing Uber employees via their online footprint.
56/ “is it not true that *google themselves* have built an ephemeral messaging product?!” Judge Alsup isn’t buying it: “that’s just a consumer product, there’s no evidence that google uses it internally to conduct business”
57/ last question: “and mr henley where do you live?” “Uhhh, San Jose, CA” “thank you. And this next witness, that the plaintiff requested and apparently doesn’t have time to question today flew in from Kansas City” <mic drop>
58/ Nicholas Gicinto (I think that’s right), lead for Strategic Services Group being sworn in. Waymo called him to the stand after Judge Alsup shamed them a little for flying him in from Kansas City
59/ Denies ever recording private conversations during SSG surveillance operations. Admits having a vendor which required a conversation “in a public place” between two employees of rival ride share competitors. 🤔
60/ Gicinto testifies that Jacobs never raised any of the concerns in his letter to Gicinto, a close coworker. Was appalled by the contents of the letter itself, which he saw for the first time last night, and appalled by Uber’s $7mil settlement
61/ Gicinto dismisses, Judge Alsup wrapping up...
62/ lots to say, but first, Judge Alsup is blown away by $3mil to Jacobs lawyer. “Waymo, you get to take a subpoena to that law firm and find out many hours they billed, because a 3 million payoff for writing a single letter is unconscionable.”
63/ Waymo gets more discovery time, must be wrapped up by dec 22. Judge Alsup admonished Uber for muddying the waters by using Wickr, and he’ll let the jury hear about it during the trial. “Uber, I don’t have any sympathy for you, you did this to yourselves”.
64/ Waymo likely won’t get to produce the Jacobs letter during the jury trial. Judge Alsup also wants to see Jacobs’s personnel file to see if he has the history of negative performance reviews that Uber claims
65/ “Uber has caused two continuances in this case. I have never seen a case with as much bad conduct as Uber may have committed during discovery.”
66/ “And these depositions are not going to run into January. If I have to haul ‘Mr Big’ down here and wreck their holiday too, I’ll do it.”
67/ TIL what a “special master” is:… I wondered who that guy in the jury box was
68/ and we are done! Thanks for following along everyone. I have too much work to come back for the next hearing on Monday; anyone want to pick up the torch? 😉
69/69 *gets in a Lyft*
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Austin McKinley
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!