This blog post is the author’s opinion and is for educational and informational purposes only. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law, but does not provide specific legal advice. Please feel free to reach out to a Seyfarth Trade Secrets attorney if you’d like to discuss your particular situation.

I recently wrapped up a series of hard-fought cases centering around restrictive covenant violations and trade secret misappropriation. In the draw-down that follows, I always find it helpful to take some time to reflect on lessons learned—both for my client and for improving my approach in subsequent cases.

In future cases, I’m going to take a harder look at whether to ask for a jury trial in a standard employee departure case when I represent the plaintiff. When you represent the plaintiff, the natural tendency is to want a jury. The standard misappropriation story can be gripping and morally intuitive; the normal citizen has a general sense that a person should adhere to agreements they made and should not steal property or propriety information. Doubly so when the departing employee has taken steps to mislead the employer about their future activities.
Continue Reading Do You Want a Jury Trial in a Trade Secrets or Non-Compete Case?

Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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In this fifth installment of our 2021 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, our experienced team will cover trade secret/confidentiality, non-compete and restrictive covenant issues that typically arise in M&A transactions. From
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar! Anatomy of an M&A Transaction: How to Issue Spot for Non-Compete, Trade Secrets/Confidential Information, and Intellectual Capital Concerns

Suffice it to say, it’s never a good idea to deliberately violate a trial court’s order, much less do so repeatedly. That, however, is precisely what Khosrow Daneshgari did in Patriot Towing Services, LLC v. Daneshgari, et al. Notwithstanding Daneshgari’s willful contempt, the Georgia Court of Appeals recently ruled that the trial court nevertheless overstepped its authority by extending the expiration date of the parties’ non-compete agreement. See Daneshgari, et al. v. Patriot Towing Services, LLC, Georgia Court of Appeals, Case No. A21A0887, Oct. 21, 2021.
Continue Reading Georgia Court of Appeals Reiterates that Trial Courts Cannot Rely on Equity to Extend a Non-Compete’s Expiration Date

As in real estate, as in law. A recent ruling in the USDC for the District of Colorado demonstrates that procedural considerations of where to file may often have substantive consequences. Plaintiff LS3, Inc. (“LS3”) sued Cherokee Federal Solutions, LLC (“CFS”) and various former employees of LS3 in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The gist of the action was that CFS, a competitor of LS3, solicited away former employees of LS3 to work for CFS in violation of employee non-compete agreements. Claims were asserted against the individual employees for breach of the restrictive covenant agreements and against CFS for tortious interference with those same agreements. Critically, the agreements at issue all contained Maryland choice-of-law provisions but apparently no venue or forum provisions.
Continue Reading Location, Location, Location

On Thursday, October 7, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. EST Boston partner Erik Weibust will present a webinar for Thomson Reuters’ West LegalEdCenter entitled “The Future of Noncompetes and What it Means for the Protection of Your Workforce and Trade Secrets: Part 1.”

This is the first installment of a three part series, and will focus on recent developments in federal
Continue Reading Erik Weibust to Present “The Future of Noncompetes and What it Means for the Protection of Your Workforce and Trade Secrets: Part 1” for Thomson Reuters

Please join Seyfarth at the 2021 AIPLA Trade Secret Summit, which is being held November 8-9, 2021 at the headquarters of SolarWinds in Austin, Texas.

Boston Partner Erik Weibust is Chair of the AIPLA Trade Secret Committee and he will be offering welcoming remarks and moderating a panel entitled “Expert Advice: Practical tips for working with experts in a trade
Continue Reading Join Seyfarth at the 2021 Trade Secret Summit in Austin, Texas

A recent Ninth Circuit ruling in a dispute between two health care staffing agencies clarifies that non-solicitation provisions in business-to-business collaboration agreements are not per se violations of the Sherman Act. Aya Healthcare Services, Inc. v. AMN Healthcare, Inc. No. 20-55679, 2021 WL 3671384 (9th Cir. Aug. 19, 2021).

Background and District Court Proceedings

When hospitals and other health care facilities have nursing shortages, travel nurses provide a temporary solution. Health care facilities often turn to staffing agencies to recruit nurses for these assignments.
Continue Reading Collaborate Away: Ninth Circuit Rules that Non-Solicitation Provisions in Collaboration Agreements Are Not Per Se Violations of Federal Antitrust Law

On August 13, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed into law Public Act 102-0358, which amends the Illinois Freedom to Work Act and sets forth specific requirements for the enforceability of restrictive covenant agreements in Illinois for agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2022.

Income Thresholds
To be enforceable, as of the law’s effective date, non-compete agreements may only be
Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know Regarding Illinois’ New Restrictive Covenant Law

Earlier this month, Plaintiff Bright Side, LLC dba Herbal Edibles, a manufacturer of cannabis edibles, filed a lawsuit in New Mexico state court to enforce a 3-year non-compete and enjoin the misappropriation of its trade secret cannabis recipes by one its former bakers, Christina Johnson.

Based on the complaint, Ms. Johnson had been employed by Herbal Edibles as a baker for less than one year when she was terminated. Ms. Johnson allegedly started her own competing business, selling cannabis edibles such as “psychedelic sugar cookies” through Instagram and an open air market.
Continue Reading Cannabis Baker’s Plans of Own Business Potentially Put On Backburner

Since we last wrote about DC’s sweeping ban on non-competes (the “Act”), there have been many questions and concerns, not surprisingly. And now those have spilled over into deliberations before the DC Council, leading to Councilmember Elissa Silverman’s introduction of the Non-Compete Conflict of Interest Clarification Amendment Act of 2021 on May 21, 2021. Councilmember Silverman and others hope to limit the new non-compete law before it gets funded with an effective date of March 16, 2021. While helpful, the Silverman proposals are extremely limited in scope, and so others have chimed in, leading to a potential delay of the Act’s implementation.
Continue Reading District of Columbia Councilmembers Seek Clarification on Non-Compete Ban