In a wild turn of events, the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has accused California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in violations of ethics following the Californian agencies request to intervene between the EEOC and Activision-Blizzards $18 million settlement. To catch you up, Activision-Blizzard has been sued by numerous government agencies and groups for their rampant sexual abuse, union busting efforts, and unfair labor practices, but they aren’t the ones in hot water today.
Last week, the DFEH filed a motion to intervene between the EEOC and Activision-Blizzard because of a clause within the settlement that they claimed would allow the company to destroy evidence that was critical to their case. The EEOC was quick to rebuke the DFEH with a counter, a very fatal one. The EEOC claims that two of the attorneys spearheading the DFEH’s lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard are former leads who helped the EEOC on their own work against the company.
According to the California Rule of Professional Content, which the EEOC pointed out, this is a violation. After the DFEH was told of this, they quickly brought in two new attorneys to take up where the last two left off, but this serious accusation won’t end just because the previous attorneys left. The specific rule the EEOC is invoking (Rule 1.11) bars the attorneys from representing the DFEH going further, but as the leads for the lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard, the EEOC recommend disbarring the DFEH’s entire legal team.
This mistake puts into jeopardy the original lawsuit filed by the DFEH, either by throwing away the entire case or giving Activision-Blizzard some metaphorical ammunition against other lawsuits. Whatever the case, the DFEH is in hot water and their case is just as uncertain to stay afloat.