On March 7, 2019, a group of six United States senators from both sides of the aisle submitted a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting a federal investigation into the use of non-compete agreements on the basis that their widening use in recent years raises concerns about their negative impact on both workers and the national economy.  Specifically, the letter asks the GAO to assess the following three questions:

  1. What is known about the prevalence of non-compete agreements in particular fields, including low-wage occupations?
  2. What is known about the effects of non-compete agreements on the workforce and the economy, including employment, wages and benefits, innovation, and entrepreneurship?
  3. What steps have selected states taken to limit the use of these agreements, and what is known about the effect these actions have had on employees and employers?


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Continuing our annual tradition, we present the top developments/headlines for 2017/2018 in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law.

1. Notable Defend Trade Secrets Act Developments

Just two years after its enactment, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) continues to be one of the most significant and closely followed developments in trade secret law. The statute provides for a federal civil cause of action for trade secret theft, protections for whistleblowers, and new remedies (e.g., ex parte seizure of property), that were not previously available under state trade secret laws.
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shutterstock_272870042By Adam Vergne and Chuck Walters

Following a national trend, Montana and Virginia have become the nineteenth and twentieth states to enact laws restricting employer access to the social media accounts of applicants and employees.[1]

Virginia’s law, which takes effect on July 1, 2015, prohibits requesting (or requiring) the disclosure of usernames and/or passwords

Excited about the prospect of a talented new hire and think that her non-compete doesn’t affect you? Think again. Under Virginia law, a future employer, who is aware of a prospective employee’s non-compete agreement, risks legal liability for tortious interference of contract and, through that, business conspiracy.

In DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc. v. Jones

A recent Supreme Court of Virginia decision will make it more difficult to challenge non-compete restrictions through early pleading challenges.

In Assurance Data, Inc. v. Malyevac, the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, which sustained a demurrer, and, in doing so, determined the enforceability of certain restraints on

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia recently denied a motion to dismiss a counterclaim for violation of Virginia’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“VUTSA”), holding that the counterclaim sufficiently alleged trade secret misappropriation based on improper acquisition of a trade secret, even in the absence of allegations of use or

On May 30, 2013, a federal judge in Virginia dismissed a tax consultant’s trade secrets misappropriation claim against its telecomm customers, ruling that the consultant’s alleged relationships with tax authorities, tax-law ‘accounting system,’ and its ability to negotiate property tax discounts do not constitute statutory trade secrets.  Cablecom Tax Services, Inc. v. Shenandoah Telecomms. Co.

By Michael Baniak

A Virginia federal court district court recently issued a significant decision awarding lost profits to an aggrieved employer for breach of fiduciary duty by a former employee. The Court found that the ex-employee was not able to deduct his services for the company as an expense against the damages award. Further, the

We previously blogged in our 2011 year end review about a noteworthy trade secret misappropriation case where DuPont Co. successfully obtained a jury verdict of approximately $920 million in damages against rival Kolon Industries Inc. DuPont sued Kolon for the alleged theft of trade secrets regarding a proprietary fiber used to make “bulletproof” police and

The Virginia Supreme Court has complicated the valuation of lost goodwill damages in trade secrets matters in its June 7, 2012 decision in 21st Century Systems, Inc. v. Perot Systems Government Services, Inc., No. 110114. 

The matter arose from the departure of several employees from Perot Systems Government Services, Inc. (“Perot”), who subsequently joined