Recent Blog Posts
- EBG Attorney Addresses Catch-22 of Litigating Trade Secret Cases Jim Flynn, an attorney in Epstein Becker & Green’s Newark, New Jersey office, recently addressed in separate forums the delicate balance that trade secret owners and their counsel must strike when litigating over trade secrets and confidential information. First, Mr. Flynn moderated a panel discussion among trade secret litigators (including one from Beijing) at the American Intellectual Property Law Association (“AIPLA”) Spring Meeting in Seattle, Washington. His May 16th AIPLA session was entitled “A Litigator’s Guide to Protecting Trade Secrets... More
- New Jersey Seeks to Limit Use of Non-Competes On May 10, 2018, the New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee advanced Assembly Bill A1769, a bill that seeks to provide stricter requirements for the enforcement of restrictive covenants.
If enacted, the legislation would permit employers to enter into non-competes with employees as a condition of employment or within a severance agreement, but such non-competes would only be enforceable if they meet all of the requirements set forth in the legislation. Thus, if enacted, employers will have to comply with the following... More
- Non-Competes Continue to Face Political Headwinds Legislative efforts to limit or ban the use of non-compete provisions in employment agreements have proliferated in the early months of 2018.
Perhaps most eye-catching was legislation (titled the “Workforce Mobility Act”) introduced in the U.S. Senate in late April 2018 that would prohibit employers from enforcing or threatening to enforce non-compete agreements with employees and require employers to post prominently a notice that such agreements are illegal. Co-sponsored by Democratic Senators Chris Murphy (CT), Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Ron Wyden... More
- Arkansas Appellate Decision Bolsters Enforceability of Non-Competes A recent decision from an Arkansas appellate court raises two important issues of enforceability of non-competition agreements: (1) the enforceability of a non-compete after expiration of the contractual non-compete period and (2) the applicable standard for determining whether a valid protectable interest exists.
In Bud Anderson Heating & Cooling, Inc. v. Neil, the plaintiff Bud Anderson Heating and Cooling, Inc. (“BAHC”), a HVAC vendor and service provider, appealed a lower court’s denial of BAHC’s petition for a one-year prospective injunction seeking... More
- South Dakota Supreme Court Limits Enforceability of Non-Solicitation Clause in Non-Compete Agreement Whenever possible, restrictive covenants should be carefully worded to track the language of applicable law in the jurisdiction where they will be enforced. The South Dakota Supreme Court’s recent decision in Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. v. Dolly provides a strong reminder of this lesson. The case concerned an action by Farm Bureau to enforce a restrictive covenant against Ryan Dolly who had worked for Farm Bureau as a captive life insurance agent. Dolly’s contract with Farm Bureau contained a... More
- “Janitor Problem” Sinks Illinois Non-Compete We non-compete lawyers often rely on an old rule of thumb when analyzing the enforceability of a non-compete: if the restriction is so broad that it would even prohibit an employee from working as a janitor for a competitor, then it is very unlikely to be enforced by a judge. And so when a federal judge expressly endorses such a rule of thumb, the urge to blog about it is simply irresistible.
In Medix Staffing Solutions Inc. v. Daniel Dumrauf, Judge... More
- You Told a Lawyer Something, or Copied Them on an Email … Privileged or Not? Following the FBI’s recent raid of the office and home of Michael Cohen the bounds of the attorney-client privilege have become a topic of debate and discussion. During the raid, the FBI seized business records, documents, recordings, and emails. Earlier this week, Judge Kimba Wood for the Southern District of New York ruled that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York could review the documents seized with a special team in place to review for privilege... More
- Utah and Idaho Continue Trend of State Legislatures’ Focusing on Non-Competes Two western states, Utah and Idaho, have recently passed or amended their statutes dealing with post-employment restrictions on competition. This continues a national trend in which new state law in this area is increasingly the product of legislative action rather than judicial interpretation. Thus, even if an employer has no current presence in these states, it is worth one’s time to understand these changes because they could soon be coming your way.
In Utah, the legislature amended the two-year old Post-Employment... More
- DOJ Antitrust Division Follows Through on Warnings Regarding Antitrust Scrutiny of Employer Non-Solicitation Agreements On April 3, 2018, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) announced that it had entered into a settlement with two of the world’s largest railroad equipment manufacturers resolving a lawsuit alleging the defendant employers had entered into unlawful “no-poach” agreements. The DOJ’s Complaint, captioned U.S. v. Knorr-Bremse AG and Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp., 18-cv-00747 (D. D.C.) alleges that three employers referred to as Knorr, Wabtec and Faively, unlawfully promised one another “not to solicit, recruit, hire without approval,... More
- Colorado Places New Limitation on Physician Restrictive Covenants Earlier this month, Colorado amended its law governing physician non-compete agreements (C.R.S. § 8-2-113(3)). Since its enactment in 1982, that statute generally has prohibited agreements restricting the rights of physicians to practice medicine, but has allowed contractual provisions requiring a physician to pay damages arising from his or her competition if the damages are reasonably related to the injury suffered by the employer or other contracting party. Under the amended statute, “a physician may disclose his or her continuing practice of... More