02x09 - Binding Arbitration

Hey, could we get one more round, please?

It's on a tab... Bighetti.

Sure. Coming up.

Cool. Thanks.

Well, well, look who's the big shot.

Yeah, big shot.

How are you guys?

Uh, everything good over at Nucleus?

Nucleus is dog sh1t. How do you do it, man?

You used to be the most useless guy in the entire Nucleus team, but now you run an entire division.

Did you ever ask yourself why?

No. No, I never have.

Do you have any skill at all other than magically failing your way to the top?

I have a boat.

I guess that's not really a skill.

f*cking Big Head, man.

f*cking Big Head.

Take care.

Oh, hey.

Hey, you forgot your phone.

At least I think this is your...

Holy sh1t.

Holy sh1t.


This is Nucleus?


That is a beta of their entire mobile platform, and it sucks.

Yeah. I mean, the UX is, like, Soviet-era.

When it stores photos, they actually get larger.

They never cracked middle-out.

I actually kind of wish you didn't show me this, because now I know we totally would have beaten them.

As it is now, I mean, we can't get funded.

All of our new coders quit.

I mean, can you even imagine what would happen if, like, a tech blog got their hands on that piece of sh1t?

They'd tear it apart. I mean, it could actually totally destroy Nucleus' release.

I bet Gavin would do, sh1t, anything to prevent that from happening, right?

Yeah, totally.

Jesus, Richard, am I actually ahead of you on this?

Take the phone, man.

It's yours. Take it.

Are... are you serious?

Yeah, dude. Come on, I owe you.

I mean, I was about to quit Hooli and move home.

And then Gavin promoted me just to spite you.

And now he keeps promoting me for some inexplicable reason.

I mean, I haven't done anything, Richard... I mean, less than nothing.

Well, yeah.

But look at me now.

We're sitting on my boat, Richard, and that's because of you.

Soon we can sail it to f*cking Hawaii or Sausalito.

Three more classes, and I get my boat license.

Oh, really? How many classes does it take?

Three. It's three classes.

I heard you can pay somebody to take the test for you, but I just haven't got around to it yet.

(theme music playing)

Gavin: Enough with your coy bullshit, Richard, okay?

I know you have my goddamn phone.

What the f*ck do I have to do to get it back?

Well, I was thinking that in exchange for my help, you...

I'm sorry, hold on.

You can't use the term "in exchange."

It implies causality. That's basically extortion.

Any actions he takes must be un-coerced and of his own volition.


Hello. It's me again.

I was thinking that if you found your phone, you might be so happy that you would be inclined to drop the lawsuit.

Why would I do that?

Because if you found your phone, that would mean that no tech bloggers or journalists did, and they couldn't write a scathing review based on what was on it, as it sucks.

Who knows? It might even cause Hooli stock to crash or certain careers to be ruined.

Richard, are you threatening me?

Uh, am I threatening you?

That's a good question.

Um, no.

If you don't give me my f*cking phone back, I'm gonna find you, bend you over your desk and f*ck you so hard, your front teeth...

Hold on.

You can't threaten him, especially not sexually.

This little sh1t could cause major damage here.

What am I allowed to say?

Richard, it's me again.


Here's my concern.

If my phone ends up in the hands of a journalist, Palo Alto Chief of Police Ed Gaskins, who, apropos of nothing, happens to be a close personal friend of mine, would have to go and ask this person where they got my phone.

Keep in mind, these aren't real journalists, Richard.

They're tech journalists.

Do you think they'd go to prison to protect their source?

I don't either.

And since this phone's OS is a stolen prototype worth $40 to $60 million, you're looking at felony grand theft, Richard.

You can go to jail for 40 years.

Then again, you'd probably be fine in a full-blown hard time penitentiary.

I mean, after they waxed your rectum and knocked out all your front teeth just to make things easier.


You know, Gavin, if you don't want my help, then I guess we'll just see what happens.

All right, Richard.

So what do we do here?

I don't know.

What do we do here?

Paul, are you there?


Hey, buddy.

Sam and Melinda there, too?

They are. They say hi.

Hey, Ron.

Ron: What up, kids?

Let me hit you back in 10 and we'll sidebar this.

Binding arbitration? What's that?

Well, it's like a trial but massively accelerated.

Next week we're gonna go in front of a retired judge and argue our whole lawsuit in just two days, and then we're done.

So this will all be resolved next week?

I've always wanted to go to binding arbitration.

A weird thing to have always wanted to do.

Everybody who's ever sued me has settled out of court. Pussies.

Now finally I'll be able to take the stand, be a part of the big show.

No show. This is a serious legal proceeding, okay?

And speaking to that, Ron Laflamme has got us a new litigator and we are meeting him in an hour.

Um, how are we gonna pay this person?

Our guy has agreed to wave his entire fee until our case is resolved.

Oh, it's some wet behind the ears noob straight out of law school.

No, he is said to be very experienced, one of the best in the biz.

Then why the f*ck would he take our case on spec?

Was I in possession of cocaine, amphetamines, amyl nitrate, also known as poppers, at the time of my arrest?

In large quantities.

Did I have consensual intercourse with two women under the age of 18?

Repeatedly. I admit this.

Did I violate the Mann Act and transport them across state lines for sexual purposes?

Alleged but not proven.

And, boy, they tried. They tried.

Therefore, I was incarcerated and I was disbarred.

Wait, hold on. You were disbarred?

So you can't practice law?

Not in open court in the State of California.

That's correct. But this is arbitration.

I'm really grateful for the opportunity.

I'm turning my life around.

I've served my time.


I guess I have one at least.

Um, what does amyl nitrate do?

Oh, it dilates the anus.

That is accurate.

Also produces euphoria.

Okay, thank you, Pete and Jared.


a**l dilation aside, what do you think of our case?

You think we're gonna go in there and just dick-slap those Hooli pieces of sh1t?

I have reviewed your case and it is extremely strong.

Thank God.

I do, every day of my life.

It's only by His grace that I was able to survive that plunge into the ravine and 11 months in the state penitentiary.

I'm sorry, were you in an emotional ravine or did you actually go into a ravine?


Now, with your approval, I would like to move forward.

I currently am not in possession of an office and I'm residing in a halfway house, so I would like to give Hooli legal your home address.


They need to send over their discovery documents, all of them.

All of them?

This is craziness.

Couldn't they have just emailed all this?

I mean, it's mostly just printed-out emails anyway.

Yeah, of course they could have.

And it would have been digitally searchable, and that is the point.

It's a classic document dump.

But what they didn't take into account is the power of us.

So grab a box, guys.

Start pulling anything you think is relevant.

And you may have to work pretty hard, but it will free us from this lawsuit.

Are you saying, "work will set you free"?

Yes. They have the manpower.

We have the perseverance. Triumph of the will.

He's the most cheerful person I've ever heard quote Hitler.

So Hooli's entire intellectual property claim boils down to three simple questions.

Did your work on Pied Piper at any time overlap with your scope of work or Hooli business?

Uh, no.

Did you ever do work on Pied Piper on Hooli time?

Uh, no.

And at no time did you ever use Hooli equipment to develop Pied Piper in any way?

No, never.

We're on our way then. You just tell that honestly to the court, and we're home free.


Unless, of course, you've offered a conflicting version of that to anyone...

A friend, your parents, a girlfriend.

No, no, and not possible.

I haven't had a girlfriend in, like, three years.

A boyfriend?

No. I'm not gay, just busy.

We're not litigating your sexuality.

That's good, yeah.

It's a good thing, too, because if we were, we'd all end up in prison. Am I right?

No offense.

Here, I did a first pass. Let me know what you think.

Just a few questions for you to ask me while I'm on the stand.

It's rough clay. We can shape it as we go.

You realize I have no intention of ever putting you on the stand?

What? Why not?

Well, I just don't think you have anything to offer the case.

They're trying to say that Pied Piper was created at Hooli, whereas I'm living proof that it was created here in my incubator.

I nurtured Richard like a little baby.

I was his patron, like the Borgias with Da Vinci.

Actually, the Medici were Da Vinci's patrons.

The Borgias poisoned people.

Say Medici again. Medici.

Shut the f*ck up.

That's how you pronounce it.

Let's be clear, okay? The burden of proof falls on Hooli here. And they have none.

You have a Barrett 50-caliber rifle at your disposal that you can use to shoot Gavin Belson in the goddamn face.

And you're not gonna use it? What kind of f*cking attorney are you?

Well, technically, I can't refer to myself as an attorney until I'm reinstated and make restitution to my victims' families.

I'm a lawyer. And I'm a good one.

And if you know one end of a Barrett 50-cal from the other, I'll eat a bowl of sh1t.

Did you get a taste for that on the inside, hmm?

Hey, guys, it's been almost two weeks since the mother condor has been to the nest.

Do you think something may be wrong with the egg?

Something is. It's on our website.

No, really. I mean, I think maybe I should call the museum, see if this is normal.

Jared, you want that egg to be alive, right?

Of course.

Well, right now, because you don't know whether it is or not, it exists in both states, like Schrodinger's cat.

Like what?

It's a quantum mechanics thought experiment that an Austrian physicist came up with to help understand quantum states.

So he imagined putting a cat into a box with poisoned food.

There's a 50/50 chance the cat eats it.

That does sound rather Austrian.

So, according to Schrodinger, if you open the box and confirm that the cat is dead, then in a sense, you've killed the cat.

Or if you call the museum and get the information, then you've killed the egg.

No, that's silly.

Is it?


I'm just gonna think about it for a minute.



We have a problem.

What's up?

You and I are going into arbitration tomorrow.

I need you to look me right in the eye and tell me why you've been lying to me.

I haven't been lying to you.

You told me you haven't had a girlfriend for three years.

I have found at least 15 emails to Nelson Bighetti in the last year where you reference a girlfriend.

"Spent the day in bed with my girlfriend."

"A homeless guy in the coffee shop almost stole my girlfriend."

It's a joke. Big Head and I...

We call my laptop my girlfriend because it's the only warm thing that's touched my crotch in a little while.

So when you said, quote, "My girlfriend sh1t the bed last night," that was your laptop?

Laptop, yeah.

Well, that's good to hear.

Oh, wait a minute.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

Now listen to this.

April 10th, 11:14 P.M.

"Taking my girlfriend to the Apple store."

April 12th, 3:42 P.M.

"Picking my girlfriend up at the mall."

Yeah, so?

So your laptop was in the shop for three days, right?

The 10th through the 12th, right?

Yeah, and?

April 11th, 2:48 P.M.

"Ran a test of the perceptual modeler during lunch, made a few tweaks and, wow, it's working on a whole new level."

Yeah, that just means that it's going great, that it's working really well.

Richard, Richard, you didn't have your laptop with you at Hooli.

What computer did you use to run that test that day?

Oh, sh1t.

Richard, you didn't use a Hooli computer?

Tell me that you didn't use a Hooli f*cking computer.

I... I don't know. Yeah, yeah, okay.

Yes, I... I think I did.

f*ck, I mean, I just used it once though, right?

I mean, that's not... That's not a big deal.

It's a huge deal. We're done. That's it.

What's it?

God damn it.

Well, under the law, Hooli can lay claim to the underlying intellectual property that makes up Pied Piper.

So we're f*cked now, is that it? We're totally f*cked?

Well, I mean, it all depends on whether or not the attorneys at Hooli figure out that your girlfriend is your laptop.

Are you telling us this entire case hinges on people believing that Richard had a girlfriend?

We are f*cked.

All right, this is gonna be a long two days, so let's try to keep things brief.

Your Honor, I think I can help speed things along.

We are willing to concede to all the numerous counts brought by Mr. Belson, except the ones regarding the ownership of intellectual property.

Is that right?

On the non-solicit violation, my client is willing to concede that Donald Dunn was improperly hired.

And on the unjust enrichment charge, Richard will agree to repay Hooli 39 dollars and 99 cents for the phone charger that he took home, and so on.

Thank you, Mr. Monahan, for accelerating the process.

Okay, let's start this. Plaintiff?

Okay, Richard, here it goes.

They call you first, we're toast.

I think I'm gonna puke.

Your Honor, we'd like to call our first witness.

We would like to call Nelson Bighetti, a.k.a. Big Head.

Wait, are you sure? 'Cause it says "no admittan..."


Yeah, you were right. It's this one.

Is that me?

(whispers) I'm sorry, Richard.

Firstly, sir, let me say it is a privilege to be speaking to someone as accomplished as you.


You were one of the earliest members of the Pied Piper team, were you not?


And since your departure, your rise has been meteoric.

Haven't you received three Hooli promotions in a month?

Uh, yeah. Yeah, I guess that is right.

It seems like everything you touch is made dramatically better, Mr. Bighetti.

You make a meaningful and crucial contribution to everything you do, do you not?

Wa... wait.

I'm... I'm sorry. Do I not?

Are you asking if I do do that or if I don't do that?

This is amazing. They have nothing.

It's a desperate play.

They're trying to build him up, make it seem like he was a crucial part of Pied Piper.

It's a Hail Mary. They have nothing.

Because if I don't not do that, isn't that the same as...

Let's move on.


Is it not true that Wired...

I'll rephrase.

Did Wired Magazine run a cover story on you?

Yes or no?

Oh, yes.

That did happen, yes.

Jared: I think I just made a mistake.

That was the museum.

I decided to call and check on the condor, and they said that it's very unlikely that the condor egg is still alive.

But my phone call itself drew their attention to their low viewing numbers and they've decided to take down the cameras today.

So by making the phone call, you've most likely killed the condor egg.

Oh, come on, I mean, that Schrodinger stuff's all just theoretical.

It doesn't apply here.

Doesn't it?

I mean, look at Richard.

He didn't know that he had tested on a Hooli computer until Monahan opened that box of emails, right?

So Richard was both innocent and guilty, but as soon as Monahan opened that box, it made Richard guilty.

But, I mean, by that logic, anyone who goes to an open-casket funeral is a murderer.

You are one dark m*therf*cker, Jared.

So, Mr. Bighetti, you have stated that you didn't have anything to do with Pied Piper.


I suppose you'd also say that you had nothing to do with Hooli XYZ either.

No, not really.

And what about the Hooli AIDS and Cancer Societies of which you were president? Did you have anything to do with those?

Honestly, not really. I actually remember when they told me I got the AIDS thing, for just a second I thought they were telling me that I had AIDS.

But then I realized, no, I was just the president of the AIDS thingy.

But for a second it was pretty scary there.

You see, Your Honor, Nelson Bighetti is pathologically modest.

While he humbly denies credit, the record shows that he had everything to do with all of these achievements.

It may be possible that Nelson actually believes he didn't have that much to do with the founding of Pied Piper either.


But it is painfully obvious that he had a huge hand in it.

No further questions, Your Honor.

May I say, Mr. Bighetti, how refreshing it is to finally encounter someone in the tech community who is so free of pretension and ego?

Well, that was troubling.

Yeah, what was that?

It's just that he scored big points with the judge in there.

So what's our plan? Do we go in there and cross the sh1t out of him?

Tear him a new hole in his butt?

Let's just remind ourselves here that he gave me the phone and made this whole thing possible.

So let's take it easy on him.

Yeah, I don't think shredding him is the right way to go either.

Thank you. It could backfire, turn the judge against us.

I have something else in mind.

Mr. Bachmann, are you still prepared to testify?

f*ck yes, I am.

Mr. Bachmann.

Yes, sir?

You are the owner and sole proprietor of the Palo Alto-based hacker hostel in which Mr. Hendricks and Mr. Bighetti both resided. Is that correct?

Yes, sir. That is, in fact, correct.

It has been called the Garden of Tech Eden.

Is it also fair to say that every instinct you have as a businessman has been completely and totally wrong?

Sorry, what?

You hard of hearing, Mr. Bachmann?

No, I've heard everything...

Aren't you considered a joke in this town?

I don't quite know where you're going with this.

Nor do I. Can you tell us where you're headed here, Mr. Monahan?

Your Honor, if you are to accept Hooli's reverence for Mr. Bighetti as proof that he's a genius, then you must also accept Mr. Bachmann's reverence for Mr. Bighetti as proof that he's a moron.

I'm simply establishing this type of logic, Your Honor, cuts both ways.

I see. I'll allow it.

Really? Because I don't...

Mr. Bachmann, you have incubated a seemingly endless string of patently unsuccessful apps, haven't you?

No. No, that is not correct.

I incubated Pied Piper. I saw the value in that.

Oh, did you? Isn't it true that you were about to evict Mr. Hendricks until he became the subject of a bidding war?

You disliked Pied Piper...

The one app in your hostel that showed promise.

Well, I think that's a bit harsh. I mean, ev...

In fact, you tried to encourage Mr. Hendricks to change his app to be more like Mr. Bighetti's horrendous app called Nip Alert. Isn't that true?

Well, yes, I thought Nip Alert showed great promise.

It did not show great promise.

What it showed was the location of nearby women possessing erect nipples.

And as such, Mr. Bighetti's grotesque creation was passed over by every investor in this town except you, because it was perverted.

Well, I'll admit that... I'll concede that the cultural moment may have passed, but at the time...

No, at the time, it was as misogynistic as it is now, wasn't it, Mr. Bachmann?

It... yes, it had some major problems...

Some major problems? Mr. Bachmann, a few moments ago you said that it showed great promise.

You said that. I can have the court reporter read it back to you, Mr. Bachmann.

I don't need her to read it back to me. I can remember...

Nip Alert was poorly conceived and riddled with bugs, wasn't it?

Well, all apps in the beginning...

Mr. Bachmann, answer the question.

You liked Nip Alert, and it was terrible.

No, I... I...

Didn't you?

Liking it...

Mr. Bachmann, you liked it, didn't you?

Okay, yes, yes! Fine! Yes, I liked it, even though it was a terrible app and it had no market potential.

I was high when he pitched it and I like nipples...

Thank you, Mr. Bachmann.

It was a buggy, rapey piece of sh1t designed by an idiot.

Mr. Bachmann, thank you very much.

It was so bad that the first time that Richard tried to boot it up on his system, it crashed his laptop. It was in the shop for three days.

'Cause it was a piece of sh1t!

(clears throat)


I mean, among other things that weren't that were reasons why it was bad.

No more questions, Your Honor.

What the f*ck is going on here?

I don't know what happened. He got in my head.

It's a very uncharacteristic error.

They're calling you next, Richard.

They want you on the stand in 10 minutes.

Great. So they figured it out.

We're f*cked, aren't we?

It looks that way.

Damn it, they're gonna ask me if I ran a test of Pied Piper on a Hooli computer, and I'm gonna have to say yes.

What if you said no?

What are you talking about?

Are you saying I should lie on the stand or something?

Gentlemen, the less I know about this, the better.

Well, then it appears we're in good hands, because you don't seem to know sh1t.

You're a mean and terrible attorney.

I'm not an attorney.

Richard, all they know is that you didn't have your laptop when you ran that test, so just tell them that you borrowed my laptop or you came home for lunch and used my computer.

Whatever you say, I'll get back on the stand and then back you up.

That would be committing perjury.

That would be lying under oath.

If you don't lie, Richard, you lose.

We lose everything...

The company, 90% of what could potentially be a billion dollars...

I mean, you know, because I have 10%.

I know. God damn it, I know.

Richard, do the right thing here.

Lie on the stand.

Mr. Hendricks, you are heterosexual, yes?

Uh, yes.

How long has it been since you were in a relationship with a woman, Mr. Hendricks?

Two years? Three?

Uh, yeah, that sounds about right, I guess.

You're under oath.

Um, longer.

So you've definitely had no girlfriend in the past three years?

This seems needlessly cruel. We all get it.

Mr. Hendricks, when you refer to a girlfriend in these emails to Mr. Bighetti, to what are you referring?

My laptop computer.

The same laptop that Mr. Bachmann just told us was in a shop for three days from April 10th to the 12th of last year?

Yes. Can we get to the point, please?

Mr. Hendricks, did you at any time use a Hooli computer to test and/or alter your Pied Piper algorithm?

You're under oath.

I just...

I just wanted to be different.

I wanted Pied Piper to be different.

But if this company is built on lies, then we're really not much different than Hooli.

The law says that I lose everything...

My whole company, everything that I worked for...

Because I used one Hooli computer to test and modify one block.

Is that right?

I mean, is that... Is that fair?

To me, if the system says that's fair, then I guess I'm probably not meant to be a part of it.

Mr. Hendricks, please answer the question.

Did you at any time use a Hooli computer...

Yes. Yeah, I did.

I made a mistake and I did.

I used a Hooli computer to work on my algorithm one time.

And so here you go.

It's okay, Richard. You don't have to protect me anymore.

I'm his girlfriend.

Sit down, Mr. Bachmann.

Judge, objection! I was the one that was in the shop for those three days 'cause he had hit it so hard, I needed a doctor.

Judge: Sit down, Mr. Bachmann.

Dinesh: Hey, has anyone heard from Richard?

Should I text him to see how the arbitration's going?

Uh, you can.

But right now it's going both well and poorly.

And if you get definitive information back and it's bad, I could argue that you have effectively caused us to lose the arbitration.

Oh, he's taking it down.

All right, I am unclipped.

If you're watching, I'm sorry.

I'm gonna go ahead and leave this egg here.

This camera does need to come down.

That's good. He's leaving the egg.

The bolts are all rusted out here.


You should have never called that museum, Jared.

They're on there pretty good.


Holy sh1t.

Jared, you just killed that guy.

(phone beeps)

I just got a text from Richard.

I'm not gonna read it.