Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: Darcy Rumbold <darcyrumbold -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 15:59:32 -0700

Darcy Rumbold wrote:
> Found a new article online regarding this case:
>
> http://www.technet.org/news/article/?postId=9323
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


Two innocuous points from the article seem to support a strategic
objective that I've heard called "plausible deniability", though it may
not be a legal term:

1. "It is standard practice to classify technical writers - who work
with developers and engineers in creating manuals and other
documentation - as exempt, say attorneys on both sides..."

2. "[Sun Microsystems] just got blindsided, and unfortunately are the
first ones," says employment attorney David Faustman, managing partner
of Fox Rothschild LLP in San Francisco. "Sun Microsystems is a quality
company. This is not a scofflaw, fly-by-night operation."


They seem to be preparing to plead ignorance of the law.

And then Sun's lawyer flexes some muscle:

"He says if the plaintiffs were to win this case, and any subsequent
appeal, he would advise his high-tech clients to move their technical
writers out of the state."

At this point, I'm thinking the lawyer is playing much too aggressively
for any deliberative legal process. They're already looking beyond due
process.

Personally, I think Sun's lawyer has implied that the real question is
whether the law can afford to come down on Sun and the software
companies. At stake will not be legal questions, but whether California
can afford to lose the taxes and jobs of Sun's technical writers? Can
Californnia afford to keep those jobs in-state by giving Sun subsidies
or whatever to make up losses awarded in court?

These are backroom issues for the vested interests, not the issues that
will be heard in the trial. It sounds to me like the slightest twitch
will bring big software down around our ears. Maybe we should just
demolish it now, because it so unstable and unsafe, and because is
poised to become a greater liability for the taxpayers who will be asked
to subsidize it, in order to keep it, or bring it, into our state. I
think the spreadsheet that can capture the issues suggested by the
dufense lawyer is going to be very big indeed.


Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Darcy Rumbold

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