Biography

When startups to Fortune 50 companies seek to protect themselves from trade secret theft and executives violating non-compete restrictions, they turn to Brian Spang. A proven litigator, strategic thinker, and excellent writer, Brian looks for the shortest path to the best result for each client. He has helped clients win and defeat trade secret and restrictive covenant cases, and defeat a wide array of complex and high-exposure matters, including wage and hour class and collective actions, and wrongful termination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination lawsuits. In addition, Brian helps employers avoid litigation in the first place by calling upon his 20-plus years of experience to counsel them on a variety of employment law and litigation issues.

Brian represents a broad range of clients, including large insurance companies, banks, staffing and recruiting companies, as well as digital technology and software engineering development and consulting companies.

A tough advocate, Brian has litigated cases from coast to coast, in forums ranging from state trial courts to the Supreme Court of the United States, and before arbitration panels and administrative agencies. Brian’s clients also appreciate his collaborative team approach to litigation management.

Outside the courtroom, Brian counsels employers on drafting and implementing restrictive covenants, compensation incentive and commission plans, employment contracts, and related policies.

Following law school, Brian clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey (retired) in the Northern District of Indiana.

Experience

  • Represented a national and international professional information and software solutions firm in its lawsuit against a “bad leaver”—a former employee who lied about retiring when he actually joined a competitor in violation of his non-compete restriction. After taking discovery from the new employer, including deposing the new employer's CEO, Brian was able to settle the case on very favorable terms.
  • Defended and defeated a federal lawsuit filed against a national facility maintenance and managed services company and its new employee. After filing a motion for emergency injunctive relief, a competitor asserted non-compete, trade secrets, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and tortious interference claims against the company and its new employee. Brian and his team won summary judgment on all claims and recovered costs.
  • Defended an international manufacturing company against a Family and Medical Leave Act termination claim. After Brian’s oral argument, the federal court in Illinois granted the company’s motion for summary judgment and awarded costs against the plaintiff.
  • Represented a global talent acquisition and advisory firm in its lawsuit against former employees who solicited clients in violation of their agreements, and who likely misappropriated client information. Demonstrating the aggressive posture the company requested, Brian defeated a motion to dismiss, negotiated a very favorable settlement, and recovered all costs.
  • Defended a national bank in a putative class action alleging that the bank violated New York State law by refusing to hire applicants based on their criminal history. Brian argued and won an early motion to dismiss, before a class could be certified. He demonstrated that Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act authorized the bank’s actions and preempted New York State law.
  • Defended a federal lawsuit against a new employee and the new employer, a health care industry e-learning company, filed by a former employer alleging the employee stole trade secrets by downloading information onto a USB. Brian defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction after a multi-day hearing, which led to a favorable settlement.
  • Represented a Fortune 100 financial services company alleging trade secret misappropriation, breach of a non-compete, and employee raiding claims against a competitor. After four weeks of hearing testimony, a FINRA arbitration panel found for the company and awarded $20 million in combined damages and punitive damages.
  • Defended a national staffing services company against Title VII race discrimination and Fair Labor Standards Act retaliation claims. Brian convinced the federal court in Texas to grant the company's motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff appealed, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment.
Education
  • University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1997)
    • Administrative Editor, The Elder Law Journal
  • College of William and Mary (A.B., with honors, 1994)
Bar Admissions
  • Illinois
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
Recognition
  • The Legal 500 United States, Workplace and Employment Counseling and Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense (2018, 2019)