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Eliminating Fiduciary Duties in a Closely Held Business

Longstanding Massachusetts law holds that officers, directors, partners, and even equity holders in closely held corporations owe their respective entities and related equity holders a fiduciary duty to act with the utmost...more

Be Careful When Using Liquidated Damages with Your Non-Compete Clause

As I have counseled many clients, a non-compete provision is different than most other contractual terms, because simply having mutual consent and consideration will not automatically render it enforceable for reasons of...more

Protecting Privileged Information From Former Senior Managers Can Be Tricky

As most attorneys know, a privileged communication only can be waived by the client, and when the client is an individual, it is obvious who controls that ability to waive. Things become murkier, however, when the client is a...more

Collecting Information Through Deception Should Not Be Undertaken Lightly

While Rules 4.1(a) and 8.4(c) of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit attorneys from making false statements to third parties and/or engaging in conduct that is dishonest, fraudulent or involves...more

Even a Clear Choice of Law Provision Can Be Vulnerable

When two parties reside and/or conduct business in different states, any agreement between them almost always has a choice of law provision. Typically, such a clause is as simple as: “The Parties agree that this Contract...more

Tips From The Inside: Mark Bowers, Division Counsel and Senior Director, Samsung Pay, Inc.

In this installment of The In-House Advisor, we interview Mark Bowers, Division Counsel and Senior Director at Samsung Pay, Inc., Samsung Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service that enables users to make payments...more

6/13/2017  /  Corporate Counsel , Young Lawyers

Even a Well-Crafted Non-Compete May Not Get You Injunctive Relief

No doubt, having a properly drafted agreement is critical if you wish to prevent a former employee from competing against you or soliciting your customers. But, simply having a clear and straight-forward agreement may not be...more

Confidential Communications With In-House Counsel Are Not Always Privileged

Next to a person’s Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, the attorney-client privilege is probably the most well recognized legal doctrine out there. Nevertheless, there are many nuances surrounding the privilege about...more

Be Sure to Observe Formalities to Protect Business Assets

When entering into a new venture, it is not uncommon for a new legal entity to be formed in order to insulate an existing company from the liabilities associated with the new business. While the law absolutely permits this, a...more

Careful Drafting of Non-Competes and Other Restrictive Covenants Can Save the Day

It generally is a defense to a breach of contract claim if the defendant proves that the plaintiff was the first one to materially breach the parties’ agreement. As a recent case from the Business Litigation Session of the...more

Corporate Individual Creating a Privileged Communication May Not Control Waiving it

While companies, like people, are entitled to protect privileged communications with their counsel, companies only can act through individuals. So what happens when the former CEO wants to disclose a privileged communication...more

Specificity and Detail in Liability Waivers Are Critical

Two years ago, in Concerns About Tort Claim Waivers I wrote about how important it was to be specific in your liability waivers to ensure you have as much protection as possible. A recent decision by the Massachusetts...more

Don’t Let Your Guard Down After Reaching an “Agreement in Principle”

It’s human nature to engage in an emotional exhale after reaching an agreement in principle to settle a long-standing or hard-fought dispute. While doing so is all well and good, it is critical that you don’t let that deter...more

Be Careful Not to Withhold Key Information When Courting a Potential New Hire or Business Partner

So your company is considering getting into a new area of business, and to do so, it will have to hire a variety of talent. While the launch of the new venture is not a certainty, the prospects of it are enticing, and time is...more

The Validity of Oral Modifications and Waivers Is Not Always Intuitive

In an ideal world, any modification of a contract would be in writing, signed by the parties, notarized and witnessed by an independent third party. In the real world, not only are contracts modified, or terms waived, without...more

Beware: Sending A Text Message Can Be Just as Binding as Signing a Document By Hand!

We have all heard stories about the dangers of social media, whether it be an inappropriate tweet, a regrettable Facebook posting or a misdirected “sexting.” The decision issued by the Massachusetts Land Court in St. John’s...more

Even Conduct That Is Not Barred by a Contract Can Lead to Contract Damages

In Exercising Contractual Rights Can Be Risky If It Is for an Ulterior Purpose, I discussed how a business can subject itself to multiple damages and attorneys’ fees under Mass. General Laws, Chapter 93A if it attempts to...more

Consider Liquidated Damages to Deter Employees From Misappropriating Company Information

It is not unusual for employment agreements to mandate that when an employee leaves a company, whether voluntarily or by termination, he or she must return all company information. As the employer in EventMonitor v. Leness...more

Be Careful What You Ask For When Agreeing to Arbitration

In 2014, I posted Carefully Craft Your Arbitration Clause if You Want Some, But not All, Disputes Arbitrated. A decision a few months ago, Trustivo, LLC v. Anthem, Inc. is a reminder that if a contract has a broad...more

How to Ensure that an Agreement to Negotiate in Good Faith is Enforceable

As I discussed in a prior blog post, agreements to negotiate in good faith can be enforceable. Nevertheless, I recently was reminded when re-reading Schwanbeck v. Federal-Mogul Corp., that if you really want an agreement to...more

Choose Words Carefully in Dispute-Related Contract Clauses

A couple of words here or there in a contract can make a huge difference, particularly when those words relate to what happens if there is a breach or some other dispute between the parties. This is something that the parties...more

Be Careful When You Decide to Breach a Contract

M.G.L. c. 93A (i) prohibits deceptive or unfair acts or practices in trade or business, (ii) mandates that a defendant reimburse a prevailing plaintiff for its reasonable attorneys’ fees, and (iii) allows for the recovery of...more

Give Employees a Chance to Explain Before Terminating Them

As regular readers of this blog know, a day that is scheduled to be filled with relatively routine and non-controversial matters can get turned upside and require immediate action without any advance notice. One such...more

Contracts Where Neither or Only One Party Signs Can be Binding

In today’s world where circumstances can change at lightening speed, companies sometime feel compelled to act before their counsel can formalize or finalize a written contract. Similarly, there are instances where only one...more

Don’t Take Needless Chances When it Comes to Personal Jurisdiction, Forum Selection and Choice of Law

Not spelling out in your agreements, even in informal agreements, where disputes can be resolved and what law will govern them can lead to some unhappy results. That is exactly the position that United Excel Corporation and...more

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