Friday, March 11, 2005

we win

We won class certification on the Best Buy case this morning. I worked on this case for about five weeks, reading all their material, preparing summaries, studying the arguments, and eventually putting it all together for filing -- so I had some personal stake. The real winners, of course, are the 900 Best Buy assistant managers in California who'll now get their day in court.

We had a dumptruck full of legal arguments as to why assistant managers were improperly classified as exempt workers (and thus required to work overtime without compensation), and my job was to take those arguments and match them with the evidence gathered during discovery to produce a credible, substantiated claim. I know that sounds dry, but it makes a lot of difference.

In fact, if I'm being honest, I don't think the evidence was unequivocally on our side. The opposition's argument, that 900 people in dozens of different stores could not possibly perform the exact same tasks in the same proportion, had a lot of merit. Now I'm all for slapping Best Buy with a class action lawsuit and kicking them around a little, especially if it builds precedent for future class-actions against big-box retail, but I'm not entirely sure that class certification makes sense for this case. Bear in mind, I don't have much experience on this topic, so I'll defer to the judge, but I'm just saying that it seems to me like it could have easily gone the other way. This ruling wasn't a sure thing. The truth is we probably won in large part because we put the best case together, and the other side did some stupid stuff that hurt them throughout.

Which, incidentally, makes me all the more proud, because I know that the force of our arguments carried through despite evidentiary inconsistencies, and my research was feeding into that directly.

Poking some holes in a big retail chain felt good.
Yup. I'll have some more of that.


Josh Eidelson said...

Yasher koach!

zach said...

Aut, cum dicemus in Latina, Felicitationes