Federal judge harshly criticized Uber and its lawyers

In Google’s lawsuit against Uber as to alleged theft of self-driving car technology,  federal judge William Alsup offered a stern critique of Uber. In particular, Alsup criticized Uber’s Competitive Intelligence group and the company’s intentional concealment of its practices. Beginning with the fact that Uber “withheld evidence,” Alsup continued:

I can no longer trust the words of the lawyers for Uber in this case. If even half of what is in that letter is true, it would be an injustice for Waymo to go to trial.

Alsup specifically criticized Uber’s use of a system that deleted correspondence automatically, saying this was contrary to court instructions for producing relevant documents:

The server [that Uber searched] turns out to be for dummies, that’s where the stuff that doesn’t matter shows up. The stuff that does matter is going to be in the Wickr evaporate file.

Alsup expressed shock at Uber’s practices:

You don’t get taught how to deal with this problem in law school. In 25 years of practice and 18 years in this job I have never seen such a problem.

He continued after a second day of hearings:

I’ve never seen a case where there were so many bad things that—like Uber has done in this case. So many

Alsup said he plans to tell the jury about the new findings, including Uber’s concealment of its practices and intentional destruction of staff discussions:

That is going to hurt your case because any company that would set up that kind of system is as suspicious as can be. I don’t know how you are going to get around that.