I assume the attorney would only make that statement if they had supportable documentation.
Given that Guillory appears to be a "needs a paycheck" guy that's an awful lot of money to walk away from without a damn good case.
"Altman, also said he was authorized to negotiate on
Cruise’s behalf and offered Guillory triple the amount of Vogt’s previous offer, but only if Guillory would agree to sign a formal settlement agreement that same day. Cruise’s attorneys then sent Guillory a lengthy settlement demand and Altman told him he could have only two hours to propose any changes. When Guillory told Altman he would not be able to meet that deadline because he needed to review the proposed terms of the agreement with legal counsel, Altman told Guillory he should fire his lawyer if he had already retained one, and offered to send him a list of lawyers to consult. Guillory could not comply with Cruise’s unreasonable deadline, and as a result, it passed on Friday, April 8, 2016."
He knows exploding offers suck and he knows they are used to exert time pressure on people rather than letting them make informed decisions.
I know he said in his Cruise post they had no choice because they were under time pressure themselves from the merger, but to not give him sufficient time to consult his own lawyer and to suggest instead to choose one from a list he provided, doesn't really seem like someone acting in good faith.
Whatever time pressure they are under due to the merger is only going to be intensified due to this matter and I can't help but wonder if it's made things worse.
sama really wants this deal to go through and he is pulling out all the stops to try to make it happen, including pressuring Jeremy in a way that he's already stated is unfair (though it's unclear how sincerely-held this belief is and how much is just an attempt to court more founders; sama's employment of this technique seems to imply he doesn't really think it's that bad) and then publicly shaming Jeremy to try to get control of the story's narrative and make it "lazy nerd tries to defraud noble investors who push the boundaries of tech" instead of "mega-rich investors won't let a founder get his share of a massive buyout".
Every action is a tradeoff. If I'm being honest, I would probably do a similar thing if I were in sama's shoes, and do everything I could to spin the situation in my favor, since I had already convinced myself that my position was fundamentally correct and that this guy really was trying to rip everyone off. I think most of us would, even if we're not willing to admit it on HN.
I still hold however that if true it would lower my opinion of sama - not because he used an exploding offer, but because it would mean he set a bar he is only willing to meet when there's no disadvantage to him (everyone wants to apply to y-combinator) rather than because the bar is a worthwhile thing to aim for.
P.R. or not, he's on record as saying these types of offers are a poor way of treating people, ergo, if he used one, then by his own definition he is engaging in 'terrible behaviour'.
$4.5 million seems to me to be a very generous offer based on actual work performed, but I don't know how many people would consider 2 hours (as alleged in the complaint) to be sufficient time to assess an offer worth $4.5 million (and potentially much more).
Even characterizing them as "terrible behavior"
> Given the time pressure because of the pending merger, we had to set a Friday at 5 pm deadline for Kyle’s offer, which Jeremy let expire.
"Given the time pressure because of other deals we're looking at"
Employer exploding offer:
"Given the time pressure because of other candidates"
Everybody has a way of dressing up an exploding offer. And FTR, I still don't believe that this is exactly what happen.
the application that Vogt himself submitted to Y Combinator described repeatedly that Guillory was a founder of Cruise Automation and states unequivocally in response to a question asking “who are the shareholders and what percent does each own?” that “Cruise Automation is a Delaware C Corporation created in September 2013. 50/50 split between Kyle and Jeremy."
If true, that could be worth hundreds of millions, which is an even larger amount of money to walk away from.
That could very well be the nuisance value of the suit for them in their situation. Trying to judge a case from just the initial complaint is far too incomplete a picture to go on. I'd withhold judgement until there are more facts established that both sides have had a chance to argue over.
Almost everything you read in the media is ill-informed analysis of non-lawyers. Haven't had much good coverage since Groklaw.
He claimed to own 80% of Facebook after reaching a written agreement with Mark Zuckerberg and filed a lawsuit. He managed to retain some very high profile law firms to pursuit the case on his behalf.
It was only discovered later, by his own representatives, that he had forged the evidence (he had hired Zuckerberg to do some work, but not on Facebook) and the case was dismissed.
Facebook went on to sue the lawfirms, Ceglia was charged with fraud and last anybody heard from him he escaped house detention awaiting sentencing and is now a fugitive.
The entire case is fascinating
So I'm going to stick with no opinion either way and wait for the hard evidence, rather than trying to read the behavior of people I don't know, who may or may not conform to my ideas of rational behavior, which is something we've yet to establish.
This is very important given that flat-out crazy parties (see also: SCO) have tied up the courts for, well, decades based on stuff and nonsense (and mostly the latter). As I can't prove whether plaintiff or defendant are rational until I see evidence, we're stuck with "stay neutral until you get the facts."
I've read plenty of cases and I've yet to see a case where prejudging the parties was a good idea. Contrarily, I've seen plenty of people get excited about nonsense that was laughed out of court later.
So no, there just isn't a good reason to rush to judgement on this or any other case. Whether the plaintiff or defendant is right is something we should wait to decide later, once we have a more complete set of facts.
This is California. Frivolous lawsuits make up a meaningful portion of our GDP.
It's always better to wait for all the facts first. We have no reason to rush to judgement, nor is it a good idea. It simply makes one easier to manipulate, as the truth is most often the last thing to be heard. It's always easier to toss out a few quick lies than to painstakingly document the truth, especially in court.