Sie sind auf Seite 1von 9

1QCV352866

Santa Clara — Civil

R. Nguye

JOSHUA H. LERNER, SBN 220755 Electronically Filed


jlerner@gibsondunn.com
ALEXANDER N. HARRIS, SBN 278482 by Superior Court of CA,
aharris@gibsondunn.com County of Santa Clara,
AMRUTA S. GODBOLE, SBN 296131 on 11/14/2019 3:29 PM
agodbole@gibsondunn.com Reviewed By: R. Nguyen
GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP Case #1 9CV352866
555 Mission Street, Suite 3000 Envelope: 3652078
San Francisco, CA 94105-0921
Telephone: 415.393.8200
Facsimile: 415.393.8306

ILISSA S. SAMPLIN, SBN 3 1401 8


isamplin@gibsondunn.com
GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP
333 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 9007 1 -3 197
Telephone: 2 1 3 229.7000
10 Facsimile: 2 1 3 229.7520

11 Attorneys for Plaintiff APPLE INC.

12 SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

13 FOR THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA


14 APPLE INC.,
CASE NO. 19-CV-352866
15 Plaintiff,
PLAINTIFF APPLE INC.’S OPPOSITION
16 V. TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO
DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX
17 GERARD WILLIAMS HI,
Date: December 6, 2019
18 Defendant.
Time: 9:00 am.
19

20 Action Filed: August 7, 2019


Judge: Hon. Thomas E. Kuhnle
21
Department: 5
22

23

24

25

26

27

28

Gibson, Dunn &


Crutcher LLP

APPLE’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX / CASE NO. 19-CV-352866
1 TABLE OF CONTENTS
2 flgfi
3 I. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................... 2

4 II. BACKGROUND ...................................................................................................................... 2

5 III. ARGUMENT ............................................................................................................................ 3

6 A. This Is A Straightforward One-Plaintiff, One-Defendant Employment Case .............. 3

7 B. Williams’s Arguments Are Speculative And Wrong .................................................... 5

8 IV. CONCLUSION ......................................................................................................................... 6

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

Gibson, Dunn & .

Crutcher LLP
1

APPLE’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX / CASE NO. 19-CV-352866
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
Pageg s)

Cases

Coleman v. First American Home Buyers Protection Corp,


2011 WL 9368953 (LA Super., N0. BC420436, May 3, 201 1) ........................................................ 6

Epicor Software Corp. v. Alternative Technology Solutions, Inc.


(CD. Cal., Sept. 24, 2014, N0. 13-00448) 2014 12586729 WL ...................................................... 5

Fillmore & W. Railroad, Inc. v. Com ’rs offhe Ventura Cty. Transp Com ’n,
2014 WL 5789795 (Ventura Super., N0. 56201400450239, Sept. 26, 2014) ............................... 4, 5

Hofi’man v. Uncle Prods. LLC,


2006 WL 6659386 (LA Super., N0. BC343749, Dec. 12, 2016) ..................................................... 3

10 Sunrise Fm, LLC v. Superior Court (2019)


32 Cal.App.5th 114, 118, 121 ........................................................................................................... 4
11
Teresa Bustamante v. Teamone Employment Specialists,
12 2009 WL 8263453 (LA Super., N0. BC383266, Sept. 4, 2009) ....................................................... 3

13 Statutes

14 Cal. Penal Code § 632 ............................................................................................................................. 6

15 Code 0f Civil Procedure § 2019.210 ....................................................................................................... 5

16 Rules

17 Cal. R. Ct. 3.400 .............................................................................................................................. 3, 4, 6

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

Gibson, Dunn &


Crutcher LLP
i

APPLE’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX / CASE NO. 19-CV-352866
I. INTRODUCTION
This is a straightforward case. A single plaintiff, Apple, sued a single defendant, Williams, for
breaching his employment contract and his duty 0f loyalty during his employment with Apple. It is

not a class action, mass tort, multi-party, 0r antitrust case—the prototypical complex cases. Nor is it a

case that requires exceptional judicial management. Rather, it is the prototypical non-complex and

non-exceptional case, involving only two parties, n0 related actions, and n0 unusual 0r substantial

postjudgment judicial supervision, discovery, 0r legal issues. The reasons for keeping the case non-

complex are concrete, current, and reasonable.

By contrast, Williams’s arguments for designating the case complex are speculative and

10 baseless. It appears Williams is previewing arguments that have n0 grounding whatsoever in California

11 law in hopes 0f securing an early ruling that lends credence t0 those faulty arguments. Williams

12 principally argues—here and in his demurrer—that the Court should ignore the causes 0f action Apple

13 actually brings, and pretend that this is a trade secret case between Apple, a competing company, and

14 numerous former employees. It is not. There is n0 trade secret claim here. This case is between Apple

15 and Williams, and it is about Williams’s breach 0f loyalty and breach 0f contract as an Apple employee.

16 That is not a novel 0r complex issue, and it does not require management 0f a large number 0f separately

17 represented parties.

18 At a minimum, Williams’s motion is premature. In the event the case in the future involves

19 additional parties, causes 0f action, related actions, and/or difficult 0r novel legal issues, the Court can

20 consider re-designating it then. The case is not complex now, and re-designating it as such would defy

21 the purpose 0f Rule 3.400 0f the California Rules 0f Court, burden the complex division with a case

22 not meant for its adjudication, and set an improper precedent for employment cases between a single

23 plaintiff and a single defendant. The Court should deny Williams’s motion.

24 II. BACKGROUND
25 While Williams was employed as a senior platform architect at Apple, he secretly used Apple’s

26 resources t0 start a competing venture 0n Apple’s dime. (Compl. W 1—4.) His intent was t0 leverage

27 his extensive knowledge 0f Apple’s development 0f server chips t0 start a company that would make

28 servers t0 sell back t0 Apple, for “billions” 0f dollars. (Id. W 23—30, 34.) T0 that end, he shifted his

Gibson, Dunn &


Crutcher LLP
2
APPLE’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX / CASE NO. 19-CV-352866
focus from working for Apple t0 working 0n his competing venture. (Id. w 4, 27—31, 35—37.) By
these actions, among others, Williams violated his employment contract with Apple and his duty 0f

loyalty t0 Apple. (Id. W 17—22, 42—57.) Williams knew that his actions were wrongful, and that Apple

could monitor its employees’ use 0f company property, so he went t0 great lengths t0 try t0 route

around Apple’s monitoring. (Id. W 5, 26, 3 1, 40.) But Williams waited until his valuable stock grants

had vested t0 announce his departure; his last day was February 1, 2019. (Id. W 32—33.)
Apple filed suit 0n August 7, bringing one claim for breach 0f contract and one claim for breach

0f the duty 0f loyalty. (See Compl.) Williams filed a demurrer 0n November 4, noticing it for hearing

0n January 21, 2020 before Judge Pierce. (See Demurrer.) On November 8, Williams filed the instant

10 motion t0 designate the case complex. (See Mot.) Both the demurrer and the motion argue that,

11 although the case is 0n its face one for breach 0f contract and breach 0f loyalty, the Court should treat

12 it as involving entirely different issues not raised in this lawsuit—such as trade secrets and employee

13 privacy.

14 III. ARGUMENT
15 A. This Is A Straightforward One-Plaintiff, One-Defendant Employment Case
16 As Williams admits, this case “involves only a single plaintiff and a single defendant”—an

17 employer and its former employee. (Mot. 1.) This is a standard type 0f case for major employment

18 centers like Silicon Valley. (Cf. Cal. R. Ct. 3.400(d) [“an action is not provisionally complex if the

19 court has significant experience in resolving like claims involving similar facts and the management 0f

20 those claims has become r0utine”].) Accordingly, courts have recognized that individual employment

21 actions, like this one, are not complex. (See, e.g., Hofi’man v. Uncle Prods. LLC, 2006 WL 6659386
22 (LA Super., N0. BC343749, Dec. 12, 2016) [“non-complex” case where two plaintiffs “filed a

23 complaint against their employer,” a company and an individual, for Labor Code Violations]; Teresa

24 Bustamante v. Teamone Employment Specialists, 2009 WL 8263453 (LA Super., N0. BC383266, Sept.
25 4, 2009) [“non-complex” case where two plaintiffs sued two defendants for five employment—related

26 causes 0f action].)

27 Not only is this a typical sort 0f case; the claims here are also concededly run-of—the-mill.

28 Williams admits that Apple pleads just two “ordinary causes 0f action,” for Williams’s breach 0f

Gibson, Dunn &


Crutcher LLP
3
APPLE’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX / CASE NO. 19-CV-352866
contract and breach 0f his duty 0f loyalty. (Mot. 1.) The case thus involves only straightforward and

well-trod principles 0f employment law: contract interpretation and the scope 0f the duty 0f loyalty.

That is nothing a law-and-motion judge cannot adjudicate under the Court’s usual case management

procedures. (See Sunrise Fin., LLC v. Superior Court (2019) 32 Cal.App.5th 114, 118, 121 [noting

trial court designed a case noncomplex where plaintiffs “alleg[ed] defendants fraudulently induced

Overland t0 assign security interests in various properties t0 certain defendants”].)

By contrast, this case is unlike the examples 0f complex cases listed in the Rules (Cal. R. Ct.

3.400(0))—and Williams does not argue otherwise. These examples demonstrate that two-party

“breach 0f contract action[s]” like this one are not complex: “The list 0f cases that get a provisional

10 designation 0f complex include antitrust 0r trade regulation claims, multiparty 0r multi-structure

11 construction defect, securities 0r investment losses involving many parties, environmental 0r toxic tort

12 claims involving many parties, mass torts 0r class actions and insurance coverage regarding any 0f

13 these types 0f claims. Cal R. Ct. 3.400(0), (d). It’s obvious that such cases involve either very

14 complicated issues 0r a large number 0f parties, attorneys and witnesses, none 0f which is present

15 here.” (Fillmore & W. Railroad, Inc. v. Com ’rs offhe Ventura Cly. Transp Com ’n, 2014 WL 5789795,

16 at *2 (Ventura Super., N0. 56201400450239, Sept. 26, 2014).)

17 In short, the complaint makes clear, 0n its face, that this case does not “require[] exceptional

18 judicial management.” (Cal. R. Ct. 3.400(a).) Each 0f the factors t0 consider when deciding how t0

19 designate the case favors keeping it non-complex:

20 (1) Because the case does not involve class-action 0r other complicated procedures, it is likely

21 t0 involve only the usual “pretrial motions” concerning dismissal, summary adjudication,

22 and discovery—not “[n]umerous pretrial motions raising difficult 0r novel legal issues that

23 will be time-consuming t0 resolve.” (Id. 3.400(b)(1).)

24 (2) Although discovery will certainly be necessary, this case against a single individual

25 defendant is not likely t0 demand an unusually “large number 0f witnesses 0r a substantial

26 amount 0f documentary evidence.” (Id. 3.400(b)(2).)

27 (3) The case does not involve “a large number 0f separately represented parties”—only one

28 party 0n each side. (Id. 3.400(b)(3).)

Gibson, Dunn &


Crutcher LLP
4
APPLE’S OPPOSITION T0 PLAINTIFF’S MOTION T0 DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX / CASE NO. 19-CV-352866
(4) There are n0 “related actions pending” in any court. (Id. 3.400(b)(4).)

(5) And there is n0 indication the case should require “[s]ubstantial postjudgment judicial

supervision.” (Id. 3.400(b)(5).)

This case is not exceptional, and there is n0 reason t0 make an exception t0 the normal case

management procedures for it.

B. Williams’s Arguments Are Speculative And Wrong


Williams’s arguments t0 the contrary ask the Court t0 ignore the face 0f the complaint and the

nature 0f the case.

Most 0f Williams’s arguments rest 0n the erroneous premise that this is a trade secrets case.

10 (Mot. 5—8.) It is not. Apple brings two causes 0f action, for Williams’s breaches 0f contract and ofhis

11 duty of loyalty during his employment, not for misappropriation 0f trade secrets 0r use 0f trade secrets

12 at his new company.

13 Code 0f Civil Procedure § 2019.210 is inapplicable for this reason alone: It applies only “[i]n

14 any action alleging the misappropriation 0f a trade secret under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.”

15 (Code CiV. Proc. § 2019.210 [emphasis added].) Because Apple “does not allege a claim for
,9 ‘6
16 misappropriation 0f trade secrets under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the section by its plain terms”

17 does not apply here. (Epicor Software Corp. v. Alternative Technology Solutions, Inc. (CD. Cal., Sept.

18 24, 2014, No. 13-00448) 2014 WL 12586729, at *1.) Nor does Williams identify any “discovery

19 relating t0 [any] trade secret” that Apple seeks. (Code CiV. Proc. § 2019.210.)

20 Williams also does not show that discovery will be substantially more abundant, time

21 consuming, 0r contentious than in any normal, non-complex case—like in any other contract 0r

22 employment case. His assertion that this case against a single defendant will require numerous

23 witnesses (Mot. 8—9) is pure speculation. (Fillmore & W. Railroad, 2014 WL 5789795, *2 [“Plaintiff’s
24 claim t0 33 witnesses is not contained in an evidentiary declaration; it’s not even clear whether these

25 33 witnesses will be reasonable given that this is a breach 0f contract action. And even if this case does

26 involve a large number 0f witnesses 0r a substantial amount 0f documents, there is n0 indication that

27 this will require exceptional judicial management.”] [quotation marks omitted].)

28 Nor is there any cross-complaint. (Contra Mot. 9—10.) And Williams identifies n0 basis for

Gibson, Dunn &


Crutcher LLP
5
APPLE’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX / CASE NO. 19-CV-352866
any potential cross-complaint that he has not already raised as a ground in his demurrer, which will be

heard by Judge Pierce 0n the Law and Motion calendar. In fact, Williams affirmatively admits that his

contemplated request for a declaratory judgment that his employment contract is invalid is already

“described in greater detail in Williams’ Demurrer and Motion t0 Strike.” (Id. at pp. 4—5, 10.) This is

a standard—indeed, Virtually universal—argument in employment cases. Williams’s employee

privacy argument (id. at pp. 6, 10) is likewise already presented in his demurrer. (Demurrer 18—19.)

And it does not implicate any “difficult 0r novel legal issues.” (Cal. R. Ct. 3.400(b)(1); see Coleman

v. FirstAmerican Home Buyers Protection Corp, 2011 WL 9368953 (LA Super., N0. BC420436, May
3, 2011) [case asserting Violation 0f Cal. Penal Code § 632 is “non-complex”].) There is thus n0

10 additional “complexity” that a cross-complaint would raise—merely meritless arguments that Williams

11 already is pursuing in his demurrer.

12 Finally, there are n0 other parties in the case besides Apple and Williams. (Contra Mot. 8—9.)

W
13 Again, Williams’ assertion that Apple might add parties later is pure speculation.

14 If the case ultimately becomes compleX—which is unlikely—the Court can designate it then.

15 But it is not complex right now.

16 IV-

17 The Court should deny Williams’s motion t0 designate the case complex.

18

19
DATED: November 14, 2019 GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP
20

21

22 Joshua H. Lerner

23
Attorneys for Plaintiff APPLE INC.
24

25

26

27

28

Gibson, Dunn &


Crutcher LLP
6
APPLE’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX / CASE NO. 19-CV—352866
1 PROOF OF SERVICE

2 I, Nicole Farrales, declare as follows:

3 Iam employed in the County of San Francisco, State of California, Iam over the age of
eighteen years and am not a party to this action; my business address is 555 Mission Street, Suite
4 3000, San Francisco, CA 94105-0921, in said County and State. On the date set forth below, Iserved
the following document(s):
5
PLAINTIFF APPLE INC.'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
6 DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX

7 on the parties stated below, by the following means of service:

8 Claude M. Stern Tel: 650-801-5002


Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP claudestern@quinnemanuel.com
9 555 Twin Dolphin Drive
5th Floor Attorneys for Defendant Gerard Williams, III
10 Redwood Shores, California 94065

11
o BY OVERNIGHT DELIVERY: On the above-mentioned date, I enclosed the documents in
12 an envelope or package provided by an overnight delivery carrier and addressed to the
person(s) at the addressees) shown above. Iplaced the envelope or package for collection and
13 overnight delivery at an office or a regularly utilized drop box of the overnight delivery carrier
with delivery fees paid or provided for.
14
o (STATE) Ideclare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that
15 the foregoing is true and correct.

16
Executed on November 14,2019.
17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27
28

Gibson. Dunn &


Crutcher LLP
7
APPLE'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO DESIGNATE CASE COMPLEX / CASE NO. 19-CV-352866