Tech companies ask court to keep Steve Jobs’ personality out of hiring trial

courtroom gavel

Although the patent battle with Samsung is far from over in northern California, Apple’s legal team has to start preparing for another high profile trial coming up next month. The iPad-maker, along with Google and others, is being sued over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley.

This week, those companies in a joint court filing asked that witnesses in the upcoming suit not be allowed to offer evidence that Steve Jobs was “a bully.” Emails regarding the case are fine, but excerpts from the Isaacson bio and other sources should be barred from admission…

Reuters has more on the story:

“Plaintiffs’ only purpose for offering this testimony would be improper – to cast Mr. Jobs in a bad light,” the companies said in the filing, adding that such evidence has no bearing on whether any defendant entered into an illegal conspiracy.“Free-floating character assassination is improper,” they wrote.

For those that missed it, tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems in 2011 for allegedly conspiring to avoid competing for each other’s employees, to evade a salary war. The lawsuit covers 60,000 workers, and damages could exceed $9B.

The case in US District Court, Northern District of California is In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, 11-cv-2509. The trial is expected to begin at the end of May.