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Trading Secrets A Law Blog on Trade Secrets, Non-Competes, and Computer Fraud

Tag Archives: Georgia

Georgia’s Restrictive Covenants Act Turns Five Years Old: Assessing the Impact of Georgia’s Law Five Years On

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants

While the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act is garnering a great deal of attention, it’s worthwhile to remember that state law remains critically important in drafting restrictive covenants.  This week, May 11, 2016, marks the fifth anniversary of Georgia’s revised trade secrets act, which fundamentally recast how courts view and enforce restrictive covenants.

Prior to enactment of the new law, … Continue Reading

Leave No E-mail Unturned in Trade Secret and Non-Compete Cases

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

A recent verdict in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia is an excellent reminder of the importance of conducting thorough discovery in unfair competition cases.  Earlier this year, after a four day trial, a Georgia jury awarded telecom company Cost Management Group (“CMG”) $282,001 in damages, $300,000 in attorneys’ fees, and $200,000 in punitive damages, finding that CMG’s former … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Re-Affirms Key Aspects of Georgia Non-Compete Law

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

A recent decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals, Holland Ins. Group, LLC v. Senior Life Ins. Co., 766 S.E.2d 187 (Nov. 20, 2014), includes several excellent reminders regarding the enforceability (and unenforceability) of restrictive covenants in Georgia.

Relevant Facts and Holding

William Holland and Senior Life Insurance Company entered into an agreement (“Agreement”) authorizing Holland to sell Senior Life’s … Continue Reading

When “The End” Is Not “The End”: Asserting Trade Secret Claims After The Execution of a Mutual Release

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

In many cases, the execution of a mutual release is often the last step in resolving a trade secret or non-compete case.  Typically included in the release is an affirmation that all confidential information has been returned and the once former adversaries promise not to sue one another.  Once the release is executed, the fight is usually over.  Usually, but … Continue Reading

Courts Disagree on Meaning of “Interruption of Service” When Determining Loss Under the Computer Fraud And Abuse Act

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

District courts are divided as to whether there is a private right of action under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for persons whose computer service is not interrupted but who nevertheless incur costs (a) responding to a CFAA offense, (b) conducting a damage assessment, or (c) restoring computerized data or programs as they were prior to the offense. … Continue Reading

Georgia Federal Court Disregards Forum Selection Clause In Non-Compete And Non-Solicitation Covenant Dispute

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants

Notwithstanding a forum-selection provision in the parties’ consulting agreement designating the Northern District of Georgia as the place for litigating non-competition and non-solicitation covenants disputes, a Georgia federal judge transferred covenant violation litigation to the Middle District of Florida. Also, the judge explained why he thought that an arbitration clause was unenforceable, but he said that the Florida court should … Continue Reading

Top Five Trends in Georgia Restrictive Covenants Law Three Years After Constitutional Amendment

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants

By Bob Stevens and Dan Hart.

Three years ago last week, Georgia voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that substantially altered Georgia’s public policy on restrictive covenants.

Prior to enactment of the amendment, Georgia’s public policy was actively hostile to restrictive covenants in employment agreements — so much so that a provision of the state constitution enshrined the state’s … Continue Reading

Georgia Court Rules That Non-Compete Does Not Bind Seller’s Agents

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability

Summary.  Marguerite and her two daughters were the members and managers of an LLC.  On behalf of the LLC, Marguerite negotiated and executed a contract to sell its assets to N&N Holdings.  The contract contained a covenant providing that “neither Seller nor its agents” would compete with, or solicit customers or employees of, the buyer during specified periods in a … Continue Reading

Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Legislative Update Webinar On September 20, 2012

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

Please join us for our sixth trade secrets webinar of the year entitled Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Legislative Update.

The webinar will be September 20, 2012 from noon to 1:00 p.m. central.

The past year has seen significant statutory changes to several jurisdictions’ laws regarding trade secrets and restrictive covenants and pending legislation proposed in additional jurisdictions. As trade secrets … Continue Reading

Georgia’s New Restrictive Covenant Act Turns One Year Old

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure

By Daniel Hart and Bob Stevens

Friday, May 11, 2012 marked the one-year anniversary of Georgia’s new Restrictive Covenant Act ("New Act"). As we have written on this blog before (here and here), passage of the New Act marked a dramatic change in Georgia’s public policy regarding restrictive covenants in employment agreements. Prior to passage of the New … Continue Reading

No Cause of Action Under Georgia’s or Utah’s Trade Secrets Statutes for Misappropriation of Confidential and Proprietary Information Not Qualifying as Trade Secret

Posted in Trade Secrets

Thanks to a recent decision of the Georgia Supreme Court, the assignee of confidential and proprietary information has found itself in a Catch 22 dilemma, precluded from suing under the state’s trade secrets statute because the information did not qualify as trade secrets but prohibited by that statute from bringing related common law claims. Robbins v. Supermarket Equipment Sales, LLC, … Continue Reading

Georgia Court Blue Pencils / Rewrites Overbroad Restrictive Covenant

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

By Bob Stevensand Daniel Hart

As we have discussed on this blog before, on May 11, 2011, Georgia reissued its new Restrictive Covenant Act (the “New Act”). The New Act reflected a fundamental change in Georgia’s law regarding restrictive covenants because it permitted Georgia courts to “blue pencil” (i.e., partially enforce) restrictive covenants that otherwise would be overbroad and, … Continue Reading

Federal Court Reverses Prior Decision on Retroactive Impact of New Georgia Restrictive Covenant Act

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

By Dan Hart

As we have written on this blog before, on May 11, 2011 Georgia reissued its new Restrictive Covenant Act (“New Act”) in order to resolve concerns about the constitutionality and effectiveness of a nearly identical statute that the state’s legislature had previously enacted in 2009. The 2009 version of the statute was contingent on voters’ approval … Continue Reading

What Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act Means – and Doesn’t Mean – for Employers

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

By Dan Hart, Atlanta

Following Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s signing of House Bill 30 (“H.B. 30”) on May 11, Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act is now law, effective immediately. The Governor’s signing of the bill caps months of debate and speculation about the effective date of a nearly identical bill that the Legislature enacted in 2009. That legislation, H.B. 173, … Continue Reading

Georgia Governor Signs New Restrictive Covenant Act

Posted in Practice & Procedure

Aimed at eliminating a potential issue regarding the effective date of the earlier statute and to fix certain drafting anomalies identified after previous passage, Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act  (version 2011), is now law, as the Governor signed the bill as passed by the House and Senate late this afternoon (May 11, 2011). 

The legislature made clear that the impetus … Continue Reading

Georgia Legislature to Consider Re-enacting Restrictive Covenant Act

Posted in Restrictive Covenants


As we have noted in an earlier blog posting, many have raised questions about the effective date of Georgia’s new Restrictive Covenant Act.  The questions derive from inconsistencies in the effective dates between the amendment that gave life to the statute and the statute itself.  To cure this potential issue, Rep. Wendell Willard, Vice Chairman of the … Continue Reading

Now or Later? Debate Emerges Regarding Effective Date of Recent Georgia Constitutional Amendment

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

The question has been raised:  What is the effective date of Georgia’s new non-compete statute, O.C.G.A. § 13-8-50 et seq.?

The statute provides that it goes into effect on the day after the passage of an enabling Constitutional amendment. 

This Act shall become effective on the day following the ratification at the time of the 2010 general election of an amendment to … Continue Reading

New Day in Georgia for Restrictive Covenants

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

On November 2, Georgians voted overwhelmingly in favor of updating Georgia’s restrictive covenant law. The new law is codified at O.C.G.A. 13-8-50 et seq. 

The law is not retroactive, so it does not affect existing contracts.  However, for many businesses who have learned that their agreements are not enforceable under Georgia law as it existed previously, now is … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Finds 43-City Non-Compete Enforceable Under Georgia Law

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability


On August 19, 2010, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s denial of a motion for injunctive relief regarding enforcement of an employer’s non-compete and non-solicitation provisions. Mohr v. Bank of New York Mellon Corp., No. 10-11890, 2010 WL 3273059 (11th Cir. Aug. 19, 2010). Applying Georgia law, the Court found the non-compete agreement … Continue Reading

Update on Georgia Restrictive Covenant Cases

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

The Georgia Court of Appeals issued two decisions in July addressing restrictive covenants in Georgia. In both instances, the Court of Appeals upheld trial court findings that the covenants were unenforceable under existing Georgia law.

In Peachtree Fayette Women’s Specialists, LLC, v. Turner, the Court of Appeals agreed with Superior Court Judge Tommy Hankinson of the Griffin Judicial Circuit that … Continue Reading

And now on to the Senate . . . Georgia’s Constitutional Amendment Moves Forward

Posted in Practice & Procedure

Georgia moved one step closer this week to amending its Constitution to allow the General Assembly to enact legislation regarding commercially applicable (non-real estate) restrictive covenants.  HR 178  passed out of the House (158 yeas – 12 nays) on Monday, March 22, 2010 and is headed to the Senate.  Word is that it is expected to pass without problem.  The House … Continue Reading

A Classic Fight Over Venue

Posted in Practice & Procedure

Because the laws of various states regarding non-compete clauses differ significantly, cases involving these provisions often entail fights at the outset as to the proper venue. The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently faced just such an issue in CertainTeed Corp. v. Nichiha USA, Inc., Civil Case No. 09-CV-3932-LS, 2009 WL 3540796 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 29, 2009). In that matter, CertainTeed contested … Continue Reading

Choose your Restricted Territory Carefully

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

A recent trial court decision from Superior Court Judge Tommy Hankinson of the Griffin Judicial Circuit illustrates one of the many difficulties of enforcing a non-compete provision in Georgia. Specifically, the case – Turner v. Peachtree Fayette Women’s Specialists, LLC, Civil Action File No. 2009V-0746, slip op. (2009) – illustrates that when an employer drafts the geographic scope of a … Continue Reading