Blog

Recent Blog Posts

  • We’d like to share an article we wrote recently in Law360: “Illinois Noncompete Reform Balances Employee and Biz Interests.” Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full version in PDF format): Over Memorial Day weekend, the Illinois Legislature accomplished something truly remarkable: a comprehensive reform of noncompete and nonsolicit law that was passed unanimously by the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives. The reform bill is not a complete ban, as some competing bills and employee advocates originally sought. And the... More
  • We’re pleased to present the 2021 update to “Hiring from a Competitor: Practical Tips to Minimize Litigation Risk,” published by Thomson Reuters Practical Law. Following is an excerpt – see below to download the full version: A Practice Note describing the steps an employer can take to minimize litigation risk when hiring from a competitor. This Note discusses potential statutory and common law claims when hiring from a competitor, the need to identify any existing contractual restrictions a potential new hire may have,... More
  • Thomson Reuters Practical Law has released the 2021 update to “Preparing for Non-Compete Litigation,” a Practice Note I co-authored with Zachary Jackson. See below to download the full Note – following is an excerpt: Non-compete litigation is typically fast-paced and expensive. An employer must act quickly when it suspects that an employee or former employee is violating a noncompete agreement (also referred to as a non-competition agreement or non-compete). It is critical to confirm that there is sufficient factual and legal support... More
  • The 2020 update to our Practice Note, “Garden Leave Provisions in Employment Agreements,” is now available from Thomson Reuters Practical Law.  We discuss garden leave provisions in employment agreements as an alternative or a companion to traditional employee non-compete agreements. Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full article in PDF format): In recent years, traditional non-compete agreements have faced increasing judicial scrutiny, with courts focusing on issues such as the adequacy of consideration, the propriety of non-competes for lower level... More
  • We’re pleased to present the 2020 update to “Hiring from a Competitor: Practical Tips to Minimize Litigation Risk,” published by Thomson Reuters Practical Law. Following is an excerpt – see below to download the full version: In most industries, competition is not limited to battles over customers and clients, but also includes efforts to recruit, employ, and retain the most productive and talented workforce. In fact, many employers consider their employees to be their most valuable assets and vigorously work to prevent... More
  • Thomson Reuters Practical Law has released the 2019 update to “Preparing for Non-Compete Litigation,” a Practice Note I co-authored with Zachary Jackson. See below to download the full Note – following is an excerpt: Non-compete litigation is typically fast-paced and expensive. An employer must act quickly when it suspects that an employee or former employee is violating a non-compete agreement (also referred to as a non-competition agreement or non-compete). It is critical to confirm that there is sufficient factual and legal support... More
  • A federal judge in Chicago recently held that an individual can be convicted of attempting to steal a trade secret, even if the information at issue did not actually constitute a trade secret, so long as the individual believed that the information was a trade secret. In United States of America v. Robert O’Rourke Opinion, Judge Andrea R. Wood denied a post-conviction motion for a new trial in a case involving attempted and actual trade secret theft.  The decision involved a... More
  • I’m pleased to present the 2019 update to our “Trade Secrets Litigation” Practice Note, published by Thomson Reuters Practical Law. My co-author Zachary Jackson and I discuss litigation for employers whose employees have misappropriated trade secrets. See below to download it in PDF format—following is an excerpt: Trade secrets are often an employer’s most valuable assets. When an employee or former employee misappropriates an employer’s trade secrets, the employer frequently initiates litigation with several goals in mind, including: Preventing further unauthorized use or... More
  • Employers sometimes ask whether it matters if they are inconsistent in their enforcement of non-competes.  Typically, the issue is analyzed in terms of whether inconsistent enforcement undercuts the legitimate business interest justifying the restriction.  However, in a pending lawsuit, Miller v. Canadian National Railway Co., the issue is being raised in a different context: whether alleged inconsistent enforcement was racially motivated.  Specifically, the plaintiff in that case alleges that “[b]y enforcing the non-compete against Miller and not against similarly situated... More
  • A federal judge in Chicago recently taught a painful lesson to an Illinois employer: even if information is sufficiently sensitive and valuable that it could qualify as a “trade secret,” it won’t unless the owner of the information took adequate steps to protect its secrecy. In a thorough opinion issued in the case, Abrasic 90 Inc., d/b/a CGW Camel Grinding Wheels, USA v. Weldcote Metals, Inc., Joseph O’Mera and Colleen Cervencik, U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp, Jr. of the Northern... More