Robert Milligan authored an article in the Daily Journal, “Remote Workforces Increase Pressure On Keeping Trade Secrets Protected.”

The Seyfarth partner said that with more workers accessing, disclosing, using, and creating company information from their homes, prudent company leaders must ensure that they have appropriate procedures, training, and safeguards in place to protect company trade secrets. The article addresses five key considerations: 1) assessment of existing policies and agreements and making necessary updates; 2) employee training and education; 3) assessment of high-risk business segments and scenarios; 4) onboarding and departures; and 5) return to work.

 

Los Angeles partner Robert Milligan and counsel Darren Dummit will present an online CLE webinar for Strafford on October 15, 2020 at 10 a.m. pacific for business counsel to provide guidance regarding legal concerns in negotiating termination and suspension provisions contained in commercial contracts drafted in a pre-pandemic world, as well as the considerations for such provisions in the post-pandemic economic environment. Other considerations and means of limiting liability and damages will also be discussed.

The global pandemic has destabilized all areas of commercial contracting and the supply chain. Counsel must examine default and termination provisions of ongoing and future agreements and how to calculate damages for those contracts. Force majeure provisions in commercial contracts are now under the microscope, although the clauses were most likely given little thought at the time of drafting. The expert panel will provide practical strategies for drafting and negotiating termination provisions of future commercial agreements to ensure clarity in issues of force majeure, the impossibility of performance, and damages to mitigate risks.

The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

What triggering events and provisions should an attorney consider when drafting a commercial agreement?
How can counsel tailor force majeure provisions in agreements during COVID-19?
When does impossibility or frustration of purpose arise in the performance of a commercial agreement?
How can damages be assessed in termination provisions to include the added costs of performance due to delays?
When and how should parties seek equitable relief in commercial agreements?

 

On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Houston partner Jesse Coleman and Boston Partner Erik Weibust presented a webinar entitled “Recovering Damages for Breach of Restrictive Covenants” for Strafford. The webinar can be downloaded and viewed on demand at Strafford’s website. CLE credits are available. Below is a description of the program and an outline of the topics covered.

Description

When a current or former employee breaches restrictive covenants in an employment agreement, such as a noncompetition, non-solicitation, or nondisclosure agreement, the employer may often, depending on the jurisdiction, pursue damages against the employee as well as injunctive relief. Quantifying the damages to the business resulting from the breach of covenant can be challenging. Continue Reading Jesse Coleman and Erik Weibust Present Webinar on “Recovering Damages for Breach of Restrictive Covenants” for Strafford

Seyfarth Partner Marcus L. Mintz was recently named as a co-chair of the Restrictive Covenants/Tortious Interference Subcommittee of the American Bar Association Litigation Section.

The Restrictive Covenants/Tortious Interference Subcommittee is part of the Business Torts & Unfair Competition Committee. The Committee and Subcommittee focus on keeping business litigators fully informed on issues and trends regarding fiduciary duties, fraud, unfair trade practices, tortious interference, trademarks, and trade secrets, remedies, evidence, and emerging technology.

Learn more about the ABA Committee and Subcommittee on the ABA’s website.

On Tuesday September 22 at 2-3 p.m. Eastern, Dawn Mertineit will participate in a roundtable on “Forensic Analysis of Electronic Devices for Litigation” for the ABA’s Litigation Section. This program will discuss the importance of forensic analysis of electronic devices, both pre-litigation and during litigation. Topics covered will include scenarios in which forensic analysis will be necessary or helpful, types of evidence you can uncover using forensic analysis, how the analysis will be conducted, and best practices for choosing an examiner and formulating a plan for the scope of the analysis.

Find more information and register for this free program here.

On Wednesday, October 21 at 12 to 1 p.m. Pacific, Robert Milligan is presenting “Trade Secrets in Cannabis” for the California Lawyer’s Association. The program aims to help cannabusinesses and their counsel identify the potential trade secrets in this industry and learn how to protect them, including in these COVID-19 times. The speakers will also discuss some of the more recent and significant trade secrets cases involving the cannabis industry to illustrate key takeaways.

Find more information and register for the webinar here.

In a decision of first impression issued last week, the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee held, in Gus’s Franchisor, LLC v. Terrapin Restaurant Partners, LLC, that the COVID-19 pandemic did not excuse a terminated franchisee of Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken (“Gus’s”) from complying with a temporary restraining order (TRO) and permanent injunction prohibiting it from using Gus’s trademarks, trade secrets and proprietary business information. Continue Reading Don’t Play Chicken With Court Orders: COVID-19 Is No Excuse for a Terminated Franchisee to Continue Using the Franchisor’s Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets

Real estate startup HouseCanary made headlines when it secured a $700 million judgment against Title Source, Inc., now known as Amrock, in a trade secrets misappropriation case. In short, HouseCanary claimed that Amrock misappropriated its trade secrets to develop an app to compete with the very product Amrock hired HouseCanary to create—a product HouseCanary never delivered. Continue Reading HouseCanary Weighs a Bird in Hand… Collect on a $201,000,000 Judgment or Retry the Entire Case

Decision overview

On August 7, 2020, the Fifth Circuit addressed an issue presently undecided by the Texas Supreme Court; namely, whether reformation of an overbroad non-compete restriction is appropriate, and perhaps even required, at the preliminary injunction stage or must occur as a remedy after trial upon the merits.

In reversing and remanding the contrary lower court decision that declined to reform an overboard non-compete due to an inadequate record, the Fifth Circuit held that reformation of an overly broad covenant not to compete agreement was warranted at the preliminary injunction stage. Calhoun v. Jack Doheny Companies, Inc., No. 20-20068, — F.3d —, 2020 WL 4557641 (5th Cir. Aug. 7, 2020). Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Holds that Reformation of Texas Non-Competes Is Authorized, and Perhaps Required, at Preliminary Injunction Stage

In a strengthening of company contractual rights, the Louisiana Legislature recently expanded its state non-compete statute by permitting a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company to enter into agreements with their shareholders, partners, or members, respectively, that prevent them from becoming employees of a competing company under certain circumstances. Continue Reading Louisiana Expands its Non-Compete Statute in Favor of Companies