The game studio has requested additional time in order to investigate potential ethics violations.
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Activision Blizzard has just requested for additional time in their legal battle against the California Department of Fair and Equal Housing. The studio says that they need time in order to investigate and possibly disqualify the lawsuit that was brought on by the DFEH back in July 2021. This request stems from a potential ethics violation that sprung up from its other legal battle that was recently settled with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in mid-October 2021.

The short of it is that the DFEH tried to intervene in the settlement between Activision Blizzard and the EEOC. However, because of this intervention, the EEOC was able to issue a response that claimed there were multiple ethics violations within the DFEH investigation. Specifically, the violations focused on two former EEOC lawyers who are now working with the DFEH.

Activision Blizzard is now using these claims to call for additional time in their own case with the DFEH. Activision Blizzard also requests that if the claims are true, that the DFEH should be disqualified from its own trial. The evidence and arguments supplied by Activision Blizzard very closely resembles the same points that the EEOC brought up against the DFEH. This includes the claim that the entire multi-year investigation by the DFEH could be tainted due to the potential ethics violations. Activision Blizzard reportedly filed this "ex parte," which means that it could possibly skip the usual legal process due to its urgency.

Activision Blizzard also claims that the DFEH lawsuit should be disqualified on account of its communications with Activision Blizzard employees regarding their rights to external counsel. Activision Blizzard claims that the DFEH warned employees not to seek their own lawyers and pushed them to instead work with the DFEH's investigation.

This is probably the absolute worst case scenario for the DFEH lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. There is a very real possibility that the entire multi-year investigation and the lawsuit, and thus actual justice being served, will not happen as a result of these ethics violations.

Also, the irony of Activision Blizzard suddenly giving a damn about ethics is absolutely not lost on me.