Uber Executive Said the Company Would Spend ‘A Million Dolla

Gathered together in one place, for easy access, an agglomeration of writings and images relevant to the Rapeutation phenomenon.

Re: Uber Executive Said the Company Would Spend ‘A Million D

Postby admin » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:20 pm

Revealed in court: 100% cast iron evidence of how Uber lies to secretly investigate and smear its critics
by Paul Bradley Carr
July 15, 2016

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Image

A week or so ago, a judge ordered the release of documents that show beyond all reasonable doubt that Uber hired a CIA-linked private investigation firm to investigate the personal and professional life of Portland attorney Andrew Schmidt and his client, Spencer Meyer. Meyer had recently filed a lawsuit against Uber and Kalanick.

The emails, some of which are embedded below courtesy of the Bangor Daily News, show Uber executives contracting the investigations firm, Ergo, to dig into the backround of Meyer and Schmidt.

Ergotism is the name for sometimes severe pathological syndromes affecting humans or other animals that have ingested plant material containing ergot alkaloid, such as ergot-contaminated grains. The Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony, an order of monks established in 1095, specialized in treating ergotism victims with balms containing tranquilizing and circulation-stimulating plant extracts. The common name for ergotism is "St. Anthony's Fire", in reference to this order of monks and the severe burning sensations in the limbs which was one of the symptoms. These are caused by effects of ergot alkaloids on the vascular system due to vasoconstriction, sometimes leading to gangrene and loss of limbs due to severely restricted blood circulation.

The neurotropic activities of the ergot alkaloids may also cause hallucinations and attendant irrational behaviour, convulsions, and even death. Other symptoms include strong uterine contractions, nausea, seizures, high fever, vomiting, loss of muscle strength and unconsciousness.

-- Ergot, by Wikipedia


The plan begins with Ergo contacting colleagues and friends of Schmidt, and lying about the purpose of their emails and calls, in order to trick them into revealing damaging information which could form the basis of further investigation. Kalanick had previously denied that Uber was aware of any kind of secret investigation against Meyer and Schmidt.

Worse, the emails also show attempts by Uber and Ergo to encrypt the emails to avoid problems "from a discovery perspective." That is, to ensure that they couldn't ever be uncovered by a court or law enforcement.


EXHIBIT E

DECRYPTED EMAILS
12/17/16 TO 1/19/16

FIRST EMAIL RECEIVED REGARDING PROJECT #2
12/17/15 @ 9:04 AM MST
EMAIL FROM MAT HENLEY TO TODD EGELAND AND MATTHEW MONEYHON

Mat Henley mat@uber.com
12/17/15

to me

DECRYPTED TEXT

Hey Todd,

How are things progressing with Pooja/Legal/etc? Anything you need me to follow up on here?

I have a sensitive, very under the radar investigation that I need on an individual here in the U.S. Per usual it’s pretty urgent (getting dead date from Joe now). Is this something you guys are interested in?

Mat

***

12/18/15 @ 9:52PM MST
MAT HENLEY EMAIL TO MATTHEW MONEYHON (TODD EGELAND CC’D)

Mat Henley mat@uber.com
12/18/15
To Matthew, me

DECRYPTED TEXT

Hey Matt,

Sorry, I missed this yesterday. A lawsuit was recently filed against Travis and we’re looking for some discreet research on the individual that’s filed it. Something you guys can work on? It’s here in the U.S.

Hoping to get something back to Salle first of January or so. I don’t have specific tasking on this, other than we have no idea who this dude is.

Would like to keep any communication about it encrypted or over chat to avoid potential discovery issues.

If it’s something you can take on, I’ll shot over the details.

Hope you guys are having a good holiday season.

mat

***

12/21/15 TODD EGELAND NOTE TO MAT HENLEY (MATTHEW MONEYHON CC’D) 10:28 AM MST

Mat Henley mat@uber.com
12/18/15
To Matthew, me

DECRYPTED TEXT

Mat, we are happy to undertake the requested research; we do quite a bit of this work for law firms. Please provide the details when available, and I will get back to you immediately.

Also, our MSA with Pooja and the lawyers is completed. We now have a very easy way to undertake individual projects. Once we have the details on this project, I will complete that form and submit as well.

Merry Christmas to you and your growing family!

Todd and Matt

***

12/24/15 @ 6:36 AM MST
MAT HENLEY NOTE TO TODD EGELAND AND MATTHEW MONEYHON

To Matthew, me

12/24/15

TRANSLATED TEXT

Hey Todd,

Attached is the complaint with him and his lawyer named. In your SOW, can you make sure to keep it general enough so that the research remains discreet from a discovery perspective?

Let me know when you think you have a due date in mind so I can relay it up.

Thanks,

Mat

***

12/28/15 @ 8:47 AM MST
TODD EGELAND NOTE TO MAT HENLEY (MATTHEW MONEYHON CC’D)

Todd Egeland tegeland@ergo.net
to Mat, Matthew
12/28/15

DECRYPTED TEXT

Mat, thanks for the information. After a quick secondary review of both the lawyer and the plaintiff, I suggest that you may also wish for some details on the plaintiff’s relationship with the lawyer as they outwardly appear to be at least college, if not life-long, friends.

Spencer Meyer (plaintiff) received his Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in 2002 and his MS (2004) and PhD (2014) from the University of Maine in forest resources. He is currently at Yale and lives in New Haven, CT.

Andrew Schmidt (lawyer) also received his Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in 2002 and law degree from UVa in 2006. In 2010 he founded “Towards Justice” a nonprofit that fights wage theft among low-income, mostly immigrant workers in Colorado. He moved from Colorado to Maine in 2013, the same time that Spencer Meyer was there. He focuses on labor law.

On the “maineworkerjustice.com” website, one testimonial said that, “Andy devised a nationwide plaintiffs’ class action suit that no other lawyer had likely ever conceived, and in moving it forward, Andy quickly transformed the working conditions of thousands.”

My recommendation on moving forward is to undertake a medium “Level-2” assessment of Spencer Meyer. This would include:

• An extensive public records search, including legal checks and court documents, government records (tax and mortgage, etc.), and affiliations/memberships.
• Social media assessment (including interactions with or about Andrew Schmidt and anything related to Uber)
• An initial “light-touch” reputational due diligence, engaging in 7 primary source interviews that that should highlight any issues for further digging, such as participating in any past lawsuits (particularly with Andrew Schmidt), and his relationship with Andrew Schmidt.
As part of this effort on Meyer, we will also look to determine the likelihood that the attorney, Mr. Schmidt, is actually the driving force behind the complaint.

We can complete this task in 10 business days at a cost of $19,500. We will provide intel as soon as we have anything substantial, followed by a written report that highlights all derogatories and areas requiring additional investigation.

Let me know if you wish for any adjustments to this plan. I will then complete the paper work with Pooja.

Best, Todd

***

1/4/16 MAT HENLEY EMAIL TO TODD EGELAND AND MATTHEW MONEYHON 2:38 PM MST. MAT HENLEY ASKED TO RESEND INFORMATION

Mat Henley mat@uber.com
to me, Matthew

Jan 4

DECRYPTED TEXT

On Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 2:38 PM, Mat Henley mat@uber.com wrote:

Very sorry for missing that, and I can’t find it now. Would you mind resending?

***

1/4/16 @3:36 PM MST
TODD EGELAND EMAIL TO MATT HENLEY (MATTHEW MONEYHON CC’D) RESENDING PRIOR INFORMATION

Todd Egeland tegeland@ergo.net
to Mat, Matthew
Jan 4

Mat, thanks for the information. After a quick secondary review of both the lawyer and the plaintiff, I suggest that you may also wish for some details on the plaintiff’s relationship with the lawyer as they outwardly appear to be at least college, if not life-long, friends.

Spencer Meyer (plaintiff) received his Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in 2002 and his MS (2004) and PhD (2014) from the University of Maine in forest resources. He is currently at Yale and lives in New Haven, CT.

Andrew Schmidt (lawyer) also received his Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in 2002 and law degree from UVa in 2006. In 2010 he founded “Towards Justice” a nonprofit that fights wage theft among low-income, mostly immigrant workers in Colorado. He moved from Colorado to Maine in 2013, the same time that Spencer Meyer was there. He focuses on labor law.

On the “maineworkerjustice.com” website, one testimonial said that, “Andy devised a nationwide plaintiffs’ class action suit that no other lawyer had likely ever conceived, and in moving it forward, Andy quickly transformed the working conditions of thousands.”

My recommendation on moving forward is to undertake a medium “Level-2” assessment of Spencer Meyer. This would include:

• An extensive public records search, including legal checks and court documents, government records (tax and mortgage, etc.), and affiliations/memberships.
• Social media assessment (including interactions with or about Andrew Schmidt and anything related to Uber)
• An initial “light-touch” reputational due diligence, engaging in 7 primary source interviews that that should highlight any issues for further digging, such as participating in any past lawsuits (particularly with Andrew Schmidt), and his relationship with Andrew Schmidt.

As part of this effort on Meyer, we will also look to determine the likelihood that the attorney, Mr. Schmidt, is actually the driving force behind the complaint.

We can complete this task in 10 business days at a cost of $19,500. We will provide intel as soon as we have anything substantial, followed by a written report that highlights all derogatories and areas requiring additional investigation.

Let me know if you wish for any adjustments to this plan. I will then complete the paper work with Pooja.

Best, Todd

***

1/4/16 MAT HENLEY NOTE TO TODD EGELAND AND MATTHEW MONEYHON
4:05 PM MST

Mat Henley mat@uber.com
to me, Matthew
Jan 4

MM, I THINK MAT’S RESPONSE IS AT THE TOP OF THIS MESSAGE BUT IT ISN’T SHOWING UP ON MY DECRYPTION. DO YOU HAVE? I THINK IT SAYS: All looks good guys, thanks. Level-2 sounds good.

I CAN’T DECRYPT-MM

DECRYPTED TEXT (its missing the top part of the message)

Todd Egeland wrote:

Mat, thanks for the information. After a quick secondary review of both the lawyer and plaintiff, I suggest that you may also wish for some details on the plaintiff’s relationship with the lawyer as they outwardly appear to be at least college, if not life-long friends.

Spencer Meyer (plaintiff) received his Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in 2002 and his MS (2004) and PhD (2014) from the University of Maine in forest resources. He is currently at Yale and lives in New Haven, CT.

Andrew Schmidt (lawyer) also received his Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in 2002 and law degree from UVa in 2006. In 2010 he founded “Towards Justice” a nonprofit that fights wage theft among low-income, mostly immigrant workers in Colorado. He moved from Colorado to Maine in 2013, the same time that Spencer Meyer was there. He focuses on labor law.

On the “maineworkerjustice.com” website, one testimonial said that, “Andy devised a nationwide plaintiffs’ class action suit that no other lawyer had likely ever conceived, and in moving it forward, Andy quickly transformed the working conditions of thousands.”

My recommendation on moving forward is to undertake a medium “Level-2” assessment of Spencer Meyer. This would include:

• An extensive public records search, including legal checks and court documents, government records (tax and mortgage, etc.), and affiliations/memberships.
• Social media assessment (including interactions with or about Andrew Schmidt and anything related to Uber)
• An initial “light-touch” reputational due diligence, engaging in 7 primary source interviews that that should highlight any issues for further digging, such as participating in any past lawsuits (particularly with Andrew Schmidt), and his relationship with Andrew Schmidt.

As part of this effort on Meyer, we will also look to determine the likelihood that the attorney, Mr. Schmidt, is actually the driving force behind the complaint.

We can complete this task in 10 business days at a cost of $19,500. We will provide intel as soon as we have anything substantial, followed by a written report that highlights all derogatories and areas requiring additional investigation.

Let me know if you wish for any adjustments to this plan. I will then complete the paper work with Pooja.

Best, Todd

_______________
Todd Egeland
Managing Partner
tel +1 703 332 1911

Ergo
122 East 55th St.
New York, NY 10022
tel +1 212 421 4035
http://www.ergo.net

***

1/4/16 @4:33 PM MST
MAT HENLEY EMAILED TODD EGELAND AND MATTHEW MONEYHON

Mat Henley mat@uber.net
to me, Matthew
Jan 4

DECRYPTED TEXT

REDACTED

Todd Egeland wrote:

Yes, I got it! We can use Wickr if you prefer

_______________
Todd Egeland
Managing Partner
tel +1 703 332 1911

Ergo
122 East 55th St.
New York, NY 10022
tel +1 212 421 4035
http://www.ergo.net

On Mon Jan 4, 2016 at 4:08 PM, Mat Henley mat@uber.com wrote:

Let me know if you got that last one ok. I deleted your old key and added a new.

We can also communicate via Wickr if that’s preferable. Nothings worse than the 30 years of attempted PGP mail client integrations

mat

***

1/4/16 @ 6:29 PM MST
TODD EGELAND EMAIL TO MAT HENLEY (MATTHEW MONEYHON CC’D)

Todd Egeland tegeland@ergo.net
to Mat, Matthew

Jan 4

DECRYPTED TEXT

I THINK THIS IS THE DECRYPTED TEXT (BUT ONLY MY NAME COMES UP IN DECRYPTION)

Mat, perhaps Wickr for back and forth messages and PGP for attachments and notes for the record? I will send you a Wickr invitation.

Todd

Todd Egeland Note to Matthew Moneyhon: NOTHING COMES UP WHEN I DECRYPT

Moneyhon response: REDACTED

***

1/7/16 @ 10:49 AM MST
MAT HENLEY TO TODD EGELAND

Mat Henley mat@uber.com
to me
Jan 7

DECRYPTED TEXT

This is a sample header that we use on work product, copying Craig (craig.clark@uber.com) on anything sensitive. I am not a lawyer – just following example 

Mr. Craig Clark
Legal Counsel
Uber Technologies
1455 Market St
4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

REDACTED
REDACTED This report contains Confidential and/or Privileged information and is protected under Attorney-Client Work Product Privilege.

***

1/19/16 TODD EGELAND EMAIL TO MAT HENLEY (MATTHEW MONEYHON CC’D) 10:29 PM MST DELIVERING OUR REPORT ON THE PROJECT

Todd Egeland tegeland@ergo.net
to Mat, Matthew
Jan 19

DECRYPTED TEXT

Mat, attached is the report on Spencer Meyer who filed the Complaint against Travis. Of course, let me know if anyone has any further questions, comments, or issues.

Best, Todd


Unfortunately for Uber and Ergo, the judge ordered that the unencrypted versions of the messages be handed over and made public. An Ergo executive also admitted in court that the company, working on behalf of Uber, had deliberately lied to find dirt on Meyer and Schmidt.

The story has received a fair amount of attention in the media, with some commentators expressing shock that Uber would plot to secretly smear its critics. Ho ho ho. Those with longer memories are shocked for a different reason: Finally we have cast iron proof of something we've known for a very long time, but that the company has always flatly denied. That Uber was, and is, willing to hire private investigators to secretly investigate and smear its critics.

Two years ago, Buzzfeed reported that an Uber executive had boasted of a secret plan to "go after" critical journalists including Pando's Sarah Lacy. At the time, Uber's friends and investors like Jason Calacanis insisted that the plan was simply a hypothetical, and that Uber would never, ever do anything so sleezy as to hire private investiagtors to secretly go after critics. CEO Travis Kalanick apologised for his executive's behavior and insisted that such a smear campaign -- which totally hadn't happened, remember -- did not represent the company's values. He promised Uber would learn from the experience.

Some close to Uber went even further, trying to spin the suggestion that Sarah was just attention seeking and had possibly made the whole thing up.

And yet.

This month's court filings prove that Uber would, and did, attempt to secretly investigate critics by hiring a CIA-linked investigations firm to lie and cheat in order to find dirt for a smear campaign. More alarmingly, the Meyer and Schmidt investigation a full year after Uber denied an opposition research campagin against Sarah and Pando and promised to learn from its behavior. We now know all it learned was to encrypt emails and use even more sleazy private detectives.

The obvious question is how many others has the company gone after that we don't yet know about?


Q. Do you recognize the name Onwuama Charles?
A. Yes. Is he one of your guys? Did you hire him to send him to me? I -- I've always been wondering that since he came in on the -- "Oh, I just -- you know, I'm interested in the Metamorphoses -- the Golden Ass, you know, hey, you know, I want to be your library assistant," the day after I posted the link.
Q. Okay.
A. Was he your guy? I mean, are you answering? Did you send him? Because he was a fraud. He gave me all kinds of passport information and -- and vehicle registration that
Page 38, lines 1-25
was false.
Q. Okay. He was interested in the Golden Ass?
A. He was the -- he -- he said -- he was one of those people that I had been talking about, which is why I want this video to be secret, because he is one of your guys on the Internet who -- who -- who is, you know, doing your dirty business for you.
Q. So your understanding is that --
A. He wasn't -- he said -- you know, who -- you can't believe what these people say. You know, they're -- they're -- they're basically just harassing me for you.
Q. So your --
A. So that you can have your one e-mail that says, "Hey, I was interested in the Golden Ass." So you got it.
Q. So it's your judgment that he was not a journalist or a writer?
A. It's my judgment he was a Nigerian scammer.
Q. And not a -- not a journalist or a writer?
A. No, because I looked -- I -- I did research of him afterwards and I found that he had set up -- like a CIA agent or something -- he had set up accounts all over the internet that were completely empty except for pictures of asses, donkey asses.
You think this is funny?
Image

Q. Ma'am, if the telephone -- excuse me, if the
Page 39, lines 1-25
camera were on me, I -- I would not be showing amusement. I think everyone here could testify separately.
My question to you is, Mr. Charles said that he found you by searching for the Golden Ass. Do you recall that?
A. Yes.
Q. And --
A. I -- I mean, I don't remember what he said. He said something about the Golden Ass.
Could I take a break? I -- I'm all out of water and I need to go to the restroom.
Q. Yes, let's take a break. In the interest of time, could we keep it strictly to five?
Thank you very much.
THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Going off the record at 3:46.
(Recess)
Page 67, lines 1-25
MR. BOSWORTH: All right. Thank you.
BY MR. BOSWORTH:
Q. Ms. Carreon, I jumped right into any number of matters because of the circumstances of the time that we began this, 3:04, and the time that we have, so I need to go backwards on a few things.
I want to make sure that I've said to you that, if you don't understand my question, ask me to repeat it or rephrase it.
A. (Indicating).
Q. You're nodding your head that that's -- you're in agreement with that; correct?
I'm sorry. The reporter needs you to say yes or no.
A. Yes.
Q. Thank you.
A. I guess.
Q. Tell me what concerns you have.
A. I have the concern that you hired Onwuama Charles to hassle me and I would like to know on the record whether you did that or not.
Q. Do you have any --
A. Are you going to answer it? Can't you just say --
Hey, you know what, under federal rules of civil
Page 68, lines 1-25
procedure, you know, you not denying it is an admission, so I will take that as an admission that you hired Onwuama Charles to harass me on the Internet.

-- Ethics Complaint to State Bar of Oregon Re Duane Bosworth and Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLP, by Tara Carreon


Strangely, the same investors who were so quick to defend Kalanick and Uber back then have fallen silent now. Perhaps they too have been distracted by the BamBrogan story -- another story that involves claims of scumminess by Uber investors and pals of Travis Kalanick.

What's the word? Oh right, cesspool.

Image
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Excreta — I had never spent much time thinking about it until I started digging into Matt Inman’s website, and realized that he, a very smart guy indeed (in a bad way), is really into it! It’s everywhere, and in great variety. This explains the uniformity of the mental content of people who are big Inman fans. I examined the outpourings of Paul Levy of Public Citizen Litigation Group, Ken White of Popehat, Ann Bransom, a Popehat acolyte, Nate Anderson of Ars Technica, Joe Donatelli, flamous all by himself, Corynne McSherry of EFF, and Christopher Recouvreur.

There’s no difference among them, because Matt is pumping pure 100% shit through every one of them. In fact, if you can face the awful truth, you can just back up a truck to his place, and haul it away by the dumpster load. But shit-eaters have their brand loyalties. Most people like to eat shit that comes out of a nice, familiar face, so that’s why you can pay a lot, a little, or just eat free at Matt’s Shit Fo’ Brains! You might as well just eat Recouvreur’s free logs, because the nutritional content is no different than Levy’s Poop Platter. It’s all a matter of preparation and texture. While Corynne McSherry’s Fart Tart is indeed as light as air, it will stay with you for a long time. And even though Nate Anderson’s Crap Bisque at first seems pedestrian and devoid of all true coprophiliac panache, eventually you realize that this is true of all the food at Matt’s Shit Fo’ Brains. It’s just crap, any way you slice it.
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Re: Uber Executive Said the Company Would Spend ‘A Million D

Postby admin » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:37 pm

Judge Slams Uber for Digging Up Litigant’s Dirt
by Adam Klasfeld
July 25, 2016

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


MANHATTAN (CN) — Uber’s team of unlicensed private eyes engaged in “blatantly fraudulent and arguably criminal conduct” to dig up dirt on a Connecticut man behind a class-action lawsuit opposing surge pricing, a federal judge said on Monday.

The day Spencer Meyer sued Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick on Dec. 16, the company’s general counsel Salle Yoo floated a question to the company’s general security officer.

“Could we find out a little more about this plaintiff?” Yoo reportedly asked in an email.

The message eventually got forwarded to Mat Henley, Uber’s director of investigations, who retained Manhattan-based firm Global Precision Research to snoop on Meyer and his lawyer Andrew Schmidt.


In a 31-page ruling published Monday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff skewered the course the San Francisco-based company took.

“It is a sad day when, in response to the filing of a commercial lawsuit, a corporate defendant feels compelled to hire unlicensed private investigators to conduct secret personal background investigations of both the plaintiff and his counsel,” Rakoff wrote.“It is sadder yet when these investigators flagrantly lie to friends and acquaintances of the plaintiff and his counsel in an (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to obtain derogatory information about them.”

Doing business under the name Ergo, the Uber-retained company describes itself as a business intelligence and advisory firm, and its website boasts of taking on 800 projects in nearly 120 countries.

The CIA’s former chief strategy officer Todd Egeland and ex-Department of State employee Matthew Moneyhon serve as its managing partners, and they received Uber’s inquiry about opposition on the lawsuit.

Boasting that they “do quite a bit of this work for law firms,” the men assigned the case in January to Ergo’s investigator Miguel Santos-Neves, who used false pretenses to pester 28 of his targets’ acquaintances and colleagues, according to the ruling.

The judge said that, in one instance, Santos-Neves posed as a researcher upon learning that Meyer had been a Yale University-affiliated conservationist.

Santos-Neves also illicitly recorded phone conversations without consent in Connecticut and New Hampshire, states with two-party consent laws, according to the ruling.

Following a roughly two-week investigation, Ergo reported to Uber: “Meyer may be particularly sensitive to any publicity that tarnishes his professional reputation.

Ergo’s cover got blown after a co-counsel on Meyer’s team, Brian Feldman, got suspicious and followed up on who had been calling the acquaintances of the firm and its client.

Though Uber and Ergo sought to protect their communications under work-product privilege, Judge Rakoff found that the crime-fraud exception undermined that claim.

“Here, the court finds that Ergo, in investigating plaintiff, was engaged in fraudulent and arguably criminal conduct, and that many of the documents over which Ergo claimed work-product protection were intended to facilitate this fraudulent and arguably criminal activity,” the opinion states.


Uber and Ergo did not immediately reply to emailed requests for comment Monday.

In a phone interview, Meyer’s attorney Feldman emphasized that Ergo’s investigation failed because of his client’s “sterling professional reputation.”

“We’re certainly pleased with the court’s opinion,” he said, declining to say much more to protect his client’s privacy.

The judge, however, had much more to say about Uber and Ergo’s conduct.

“Even beyond the rules of professional conduct, moreover, litigation is a truth-seeking exercise in which counsel, although acting as zealous advocates for their clients, are required to play by the rules,” Rakoff wrote. “It would plainly contravene this truth-seeking function if non-lawyers working for counsel, such as Ergo, could make fraudulent representations in order to surreptitiously gain information about litigation adversaries through intrusive inquiries of their personal acquaintances and business associates.”

Rakoff ordered Uber not to use the information that it gleaned on Meyer and Schmidt or try to investigate their backgrounds any further.

“Specifically, the court hereby enjoins both defendants and Ergo from undertaking any further personal background investigations of individuals involved in this litigation through the use of false pretenses, unlicensed investigators, illegal secret recordings, or other unlawful, fraudulent, or unethical means,” the opinion states.

Uber avoided monetary sanctions by reaching an undisclosed settlement for the plaintiff team’s legal fees.
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