Uber engineer who left Waymo with AV documents not to get relief under fifth amendment
26 April 2017
Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski who faced allegations of illegally downloading thousands of documents during his tenure at Google, would not be able to stop Uber from handing over documents by pleading the Fifth Amendment, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled.
Levandowski appealed to get an earlier decision by US district judge William Alsup overturned through an emergency motion. Judege Aslup had told Levandowski he would need to hand over an unredacted privilege log.
The appeals judges wrote in a four-page order, "Mr Levandowski argues that he is entitled to relief under the Fifth Amendment because production of the unredacted privilege log could potentially incriminate him. "We are not persuaded that the district court erred in its ruling requiring defendants to produce an unredacted privilege log.
Levandowski's lawyers argued that it was not just that their client would not hand over certain documents - his lawyers argued that Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car division, should not be entitled to see the names on documents they were withholding, which was what was contained in the privilege log.
According to Levandowski's lawyers, disclosure of the name of a third-party firm that created a report about his startup company, which was later purchased by Uber for $680 million - would create a path, which would be followed, in the event of criminal prosecution.
According to commentators, the judge would next week consider a motion for a preliminary injunction, which might result in an order forcing Levandowski to stop helping out with Uber's self-driving cars.
According to commentators, judge Alsup had implied, in open court, that, unless something changed he was not likely to rule in Levandowski's favour.