Last month, the Illinois Bar Journal published a feature article I wrote called "Non-Traditional Non-Competes: Designing Non-Competition Agreements to Hold Up in Court."...more
One of the defining characteristics of a state's non-compete law is its application of the blue-pencil rule. Although several variations of the rule exist, states generally fall into one of two camps: those that readily...more
Although the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act frequently has been described as extremely broad in reach, it's also important to recognize its limitations.
One of the most substantive, sweeping limitations involves...more
Score one for the underdog. In Sergey Aleynikov's latest legal battle against Goldman Sachs, he emerged victorious. Earlier this month, Aleynikov prevailed on summary judgment and obtained an advancement (that is, prepayment)...more
Ever since the Seventh Circuit decided PepsiCo v. Redmond in 1995, there has been an almost insatiable desire for plaintiff's attorneys to apply the "inevitable disclosure" doctrine to claims of trade secret theft.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get when advising clients is deceptively complex:
What does it mean to solicit a client?...more
When the Appellate Court of Illinois ruled in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc. that an employer needed to provide consideration beyond mere employment itself to validate a non-compete, most business (read:...more
When the Georgia General Assembly passed the Restrictive Covenant Act in 2009, it substantially changed the playing field between employers and employees. Under the common law, it was exceedingly difficult for employers to...more
As readers of this blog may know, the "inevitable disclosure" doctrine is a theory of trade secrets misappropriation.
A plaintiff need not show either actual or threatened misappropriation if it can prove that it's...more
There's a perception that anything written in a settlement letter is privileged.
This perception is decidedly wrong....more
For die-hard fans of the greatest TV show of all time, these next six weeks are absolute gold.
Which led me to think: Do the plot lines over these final eight episodes qualify as "trade secrets"? ...more
When construction staffing industry titan Tradesmen International lost its appeal in the Seventh Circuit, it suffered more than just a defeat in a particular lawsuit that (in my opinion) it had no expectation of winning....more
This is a case I know a little something about.
When Tradesmen International sued my clients in May of 2010 , the outcome was already clear. The claims were garden-variety; the facts weren't. ...more
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is organized about as logically as David Foster Wallace's sprawling masterpiece, Infinite Jest.
For literary fiction, that might be fine. For federal statutes, it's a disaster....more
Several weeks ago, John Marsh, Russell Beck, and I discussed on the Fairly Competing podcast the special problems that arise when companies pursue so-called "whistleblowers" for trade secrets misappropriation....more
For the most part, I am deferring extended discussion of the proposed new trade secrets law to my (friendly) competitors, John Marsh of Hahn Loeser and Robert Milligan/Josh Salinas of Seyfarth Shaw. Their posts are excellent...more
Many thanks to all the readers who've e-mailed me or posted links to my "dissenting opinion" in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services. I'd like all of you to know I'm in the process of recovering. Your words of support and...more
Although many commentators are discussing the Appellate Court of Illinois' opinion in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc., you may not realize that I sat in on that case as the fourth justice. Unfortunately, my...more
One exceedingly difficult message to convey to clients is this: A judge may not view your case as importantly as you do....more
By the time you read this blog post, it's like to be outdated. Such is the fast-paced world of professional sports, and the insane coaching carousel we see every year (but particularly this year in the National Basketball...more
Hat-tip to Josh Salinas at Seyfarth Shaw for his fine analysis of new Oklahoma legislation that chips away at some prohibitions on restrictive covenants.
Oklahoma is one of three red-flag states that generally prohibit...more
Last month, a group of bipartisan senators introduced the Deter Cyber Theft Act (S. 884, a copy of which is embedded below)....more
I am taking a little bit of a different approach with this post, with a focus on representing employee clients in competition litigation.
When I first talk to a new client who has a legal problem involving a...more
I was reading Eric Ostroff's fine post discussing customer lists as trade secrets, in the context of a recent case involving Farmers Insurance Exchange and several of its former agents, Farmers Ins. Exch. v. Steele Ins....more
So far, 2013 has been active for proposed non-compete legislation.
At the beginning of any calendar year, it's not surprising to see a number of bills introduced in state assemblies or legislatures - many of which have...more