Restrictive Covenant Litigation
Goldberg Kohn’s Labor & Employment Group has vast experience with all aspects of restrictive covenant and trade secret counseling and litigation. Many companies’ most valuable assets involve the protection of client relationships and proprietary information. Therefore, the firm is regularly called upon to counsel its clients on the most practical and effective means of protecting its assets through the negotiation of key employment agreements containing restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements, the establishment and enforcement of confidentiality and ethics policies, and the creation of mechanisms to keep truly trade secret information a secret. Often, the protection of these valuable assets involves the enforcement of such agreements and policies through emergency litigation and other court battles that occur throughout the country.
Where Goldberg Kohn can achieve its client’s goal through strategic negotiation rather than litigation, the firm has considerable experience in negotiating the terms that are necessary to protect its client’s rights. The firm's attorneys are also called upon when their clients hire new employees and are faced with a competitor’s threatened or actual emergency litigation. With Goldberg Kohn's counseling and litigation experience protecting its clients’ assets, the firm is well-positioned to counsel its clients on whether their competitor’s claim is meritorious and on the best means of defending against aggressive litigation.
- Represented a public company national bank in an NASD arbitration against a public company and a former investment advisor. Goldberg Kohn obtained a preliminary injunction enforcing its client's restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreement against the former employee and the new employer. The parties agreed to pursue a meditation in an effort to resolve the matter prior a damages hearing. After preparation of an expert witness damages report and mediation statement, Goldberg Kohn led the client through a successful mediation obtaining a meaningful six-figure settlement.
- Represented a Chicago-based client whose California affiliate was sued in Michigan by a Michigan competitor based on claims that the California entity had hired four key sales and executives from the competitor and that they had stolen the competitor’s client relationships. After the Michigan court entered a temporary restraining order against the client and its employees ex parte (before they even appeared in the case), Goldberg Kohn attorneys successfully argued to the Michigan federal court that California was the proper venue and jurisdiction for the dispute, that California law should govern, that California law would not protect the Michigan company, that the facts as presented by the Michigan company were not complete or truthful, that the temporary restraining order should be dissolved and that the case should be transferred to California law. After the Michigan federal court transferred the case to California, Goldberg Kohn served the plaintiff with a motion to dismiss the complaint under California law. The plaintiff subsequently dismissed the case outright.
- Represented a large financial services and insurance brokerage firm, and enforced non-compete and non-solicitation agreements against a former senior corporate officer and two former key employees. After conducting an intensive investigation, delivering an eight-count complaint to the former employees and their new employer, and holding a series of high-level negotiations with the threat of litigation on the table, Goldberg Kohn was able to negotiate a multi-million dollar settlement for its client without having to incur the costs of litigation.
- Represented a public company seeking to enforce a covenant-not-to-solicit customers or employees against a former corporate officer and his new employer. Goldberg Kohn retained a forensic expert to analyze the former officer's laptop computer, and determined that he had been working for his new employer while still employed by the client, that he had prepared a résumé for another existing employee listing him as a principal of the competitor, and that he had solicited a major customer of the client. After initiating litigation and arbitration against the former officer and his new company, Goldberg Kohn successfully negotiated a six-figure settlement for the client as well as an extension of the restrictive covenants.