Federal Judge Schedules Infosys Visa Fraud Trial for August

Don Tennant

Infosys employee and whistleblower Jay Palmer's quest to see Infosys called to account in open court for its actions took a major step forward on Thursday, when a federal judge in Alabama ordered that the trial date be set for the term of court commencing on Aug. 20, 2012. That means if a settlement isn't reached, the trial will begin sometime during the two-week period beginning on Aug. 20.

 

U.S. District Court Judge Myron H. Thompson, who last month denied Infosys' motion to compel arbitration in the case (see my post, "Judge Denies Infosys' Arbitration Motion in Palmer's Visa Fraud Case"), followed the standard procedure of including in his scheduling order a stipulation that "counsel for all parties shall conduct a face-to-face settlement conference at which counsel shall engage in good faith settlement negotiations." The deadline for that meeting is the second week of May.

 

I spoke last night with Kenny Mendelsohn, Palmer's attorney, and he explained the requirement for the settlement conference and how it would be handled:

It would be in Montgomery, because the lawsuit is filed here. I will invite them to come to my office to do it. If that's a problem, we could meet at a neutral site like the Bar Association, or something like that. What typically happens on this is that sometime close to the deadline for when that's supposed to be, the parties, through their lawyers, will discuss a convenient time, and then will get together and talk about it. Different cases work different ways. Sometimes people are able to resolve their differences and settle the case at that meeting; sometimes they can't but can resolve it later. And other times, they recognize that they can't settle the case. So each case is different. But the courts do order the parties to meet to try to see if they can solve it. Part of the reason is this: As a general rule, most civil cases settle. And the courts want to impose on the parties that if they're going to settle it, to settle it as soon as they can. The federal courts don't like the parties dilly-dallying around, and then the morning of the trial, come in and settle the case. Because by that time they've imposed on jurors to be there, especially when some jurors drive 40 or 50 miles to get to court. So it's a mechanism to encourage the parties to try to resolve the case earlier rather than later, if they can.

Mendelsohn said he is required to make a good-faith effort to reach a settlement, and he will. But he said this is going to be an extraordinarily difficult case to settle.

This is not like a car wreck case where somebody was negligent in running a red light or something. This case is just so much more important in so many regards that it makes it a more difficult case to settle. Here's a guy, all he did is follow the law, and follow Infosys' own internal rules about whistleblowing-he was going to be protected, and they were going to correct the problems. Instead, he's had to suffer everything you've watched over the last 10 months. They should have embraced him-that's what they were required to do. They represent [to shareholders and government agencies] that they have this great whistleblower policy, and nobody's going to be harassed or discriminated against. And that's just not true. Jay followed their own policy, and they cut him out of bonuses, they won't put him on an assignment, they've cut him out of the system, and they continue to retaliate against him every day, only because what he did was want to follow the law. So the case is much, much bigger now than it was a year ago. And that's why I think it will be a more difficult case to settle. I will, of course, obey the judge's order and make a good-faith effort. But some of it is just going to come down to how Infosys views it, and they've not given me any indication that they want to do the right thing.

Mendelsohn said Palmer is elated that the trial date has been set.

This is what he's been waiting for. It's his opportunity to present all of his evidence in public, and he has become even more focused on it since Paul Gottsegen called him a liar.

Mendelsohn was referring to Infosys' chief marketing officer, who in July branded Palmer as a liar in a statement he released in response to the damning testimony Palmer had submitted to a Senate subcommittee hearing on immigration reform. Mendelsohn told me last month that if Infosys wants to settle the case, the first thing it needs to do is apologize to Palmer for calling him a liar (see my post, "As Settlement Question Looms, Attorney Demands Apology from Infosys" ).



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 2, 2011 1:28 AM American Worker American Worker  says: in response to Chamat

And we'll be burdened with your denial and cynicism for 9 more months.

Reply
Dec 2, 2011 3:16 AM chm chm  says: in response to American Worker

oh and after 9 months all American workers' dream will be fulfilled and they will be back to work again because Infosys will be shut down!!

Reply
Dec 2, 2011 6:25 AM Amit Arora Amit Arora  says:

I am not sure if this date is real or not. Issue has been far stretched and will loose wait in mean time.

Jack will take money and settle. Not good.

Reply
Dec 2, 2011 12:23 PM Pro Pro  says:

Well it looks like the power and money can triumph any day! Will anyone be brought to justice...companies continue to advertise for B1 holders

http://jobs.monsterindia.com/details/10350754.html?sig=js-1-906312c577086f2b7adbf474b29519a2-1&from=

http://jobs.monsterindia.com/details/10561187.html?sig=js-1-906312c577086f2b7adbf474b29519a2-1&from=

Reply
Dec 2, 2011 12:58 PM Chamat Chamat  says:

So we will continue to get spicy updates on this  issue for 9 more months.

Reply
Dec 3, 2011 2:57 AM IAmNumber813 IAmNumber813  says:

"I will invite them to come to my office to do it. If that's a problem, we could meet at a neutral site like the Bar Association, or something like that. What typically happens on this is that sometime close to the deadline for when that's supposed to be, the parties, through their lawyers, will discuss a convenient time, and then will get together and talk about it."

I read this over a couple times and I'm not a lawyer but it appears the people having ultimate settlement authority for both sides should attend the settlement conference, as opposed to "through their lawyers". Also, it appears the settlement conference for this case should be mediated by a federal magistrate judge in his/her chambers.

"But some of it is just going to come down to how Infosys views it, and they've not given me any indication that they want to do the right thing."

Simple. Nobody, including the Infosys executives, wants to appear for a videotaped deposition in a civil trial with potential criminal charges pending by the feds. People will do the "right thing" with that kind of pressure hanging over their heads.

To get the ball rolling, all that's needed is a "Dear Jay, I'm sorry." letter from Infosys Chief Marketing Officer Paul Gottsegen and then Gottsegen can be fired.

Reply
Dec 3, 2011 5:46 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to IAmNumber813

The case settles which avoids a trial.

Reply
Dec 3, 2011 7:41 AM H1b4Eva H1b4Eva  says: in response to IAmNumber813

This is what need to happen, in order

1-Joe Palmer apologize to Infosys for suing noble and most powerful company in world

2-Palmer drop case

3-Obama politician then pardon Infosys and give them stimulus check.

4-Palmer get 2 year jail sentence for causing trouble

Reply
Dec 3, 2011 10:30 AM Indian_tatti Indian_tatti  says: in response to H1b4Eva

Nice Joke but I didn't liked it.

Infosys is done. Infosys is not filing for H1B extension of their Employees and they are sending Employees to Canada on Canada visa and work in US time.

See the Pardon given. Infosys caught PANTS down.

Reply
Dec 3, 2011 12:00 PM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says: in response to Chamat

I'm hopeful that this escalates beyond a civil case.  The DOJ needs to prosecute Infosys and for Chamat's sake (who won't be convinced until this happens - and then still maybe not) we need a perp walk while some Infosys executive begins his sentence at a federal corrections facility near you.

It is important that the government cracks down here.  If Infosys gets away with this, the message is crystal clear: "If you witness a crime at Infosys, keep your mouth shut.  If you speak up, your career is over and you have no chance of beating us in court.  We are above the law".

Our government has imposed minor penalties on companies who violate whistle-blower protection laws, and does little to protect those who do the right thing.  It's time that this practice which can be described only as encouraging people to aid their corporations in the violation of laws - must come to an end.

I would go so far in saying that the government is giving people tacit approval to cover up corporate crimes if they do nothing.  We need strong criminal enforcement, and stiff civil penalties.

Reply
Dec 4, 2011 5:54 AM IAmNumber813 IAmNumber813  says:

For those that are not aware, the IRS has a free whistle blower program where you can pick up some free cash ($$$) for turning in tax evaders and tax cheats.

If anyone has first-hand knowledge of any wrongdoings and tax evasion by Indian outsourcing companies such as Infosys, search for the 1-page whistle blower form (Form 3949-A) on www.irs.gov, fill it out and mail it to the IRS address (in the form) as soon as possible.

Also, send a letter and a copy of the IRS whistle-blower form to your state's attorney general office for criminal investigation of tax evasion.

Reply
Dec 5, 2011 6:33 AM Avish Avish  says: in response to H1b4Eva

hey dumb ass.. who is joe..

Reply

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