Steve Riden Supplements Guide to Law of Damages

Steve Riden has written the first supplement to his chapter in the book Damages, Interest, and Attorney Fees in Massachusetts Litigation. The chapter, supplemented in 2017, is titled “General Law of Damages in Massachusetts.”

The book was edited by Tara J. Myslinski, Esq., of O’Connor, Carnathan, and Mack LLC, in Burlington, Massachusetts.

The first chapter provides an overview of the law of damages in Massachusetts. It describes compensatory, nominal, and punitive damages and reviews the different types of injury associated with damages claims. It also describes a series of special rules and doctrines affecting damages, such as mitigation, the collateral source rule, comparative negligence, additur and remittitur, contribution and indemnification, and tax consequences. Included in the chapter is a digest of nearly sixty specific statutory provisions authorizing punitive damages awards.

General Law of Damages in MassachusettsThe book is published by MCLE and is an essential resource for civil litigators seeking to assess the value of their cases and develop effective strategies for litigating damages. The earliest chapters of the book offer a general overview of the law of damages in Massachusetts, guidance on practice and procedure, and a look at settlement options.

The book explores damages issues in major areas of civil litigation in Massachusetts, such as personal injury actions and Chapter 93A cases.

RectangleThe concluding chapters, on interest and attorney fees, provide clear and practical guidance on these important but occasionally overlooked aspects of a plaintiff’s recovery. More information about the book is available here.

Beck Reed Riden LLPis Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

 

Nicole Daly to Chair Panel Presentation on Employee Handbooks

On July 20, 2017Nicole Daly will be chairing a panel of attorneys at a presentation titled “Fortifying & Scrutinizing Employee Handbooks & Policies.” The program is sponsored by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.

According to MCLE’s description, the program will cover practical strategies for drafting, updating, enforcing, and challenging employee handbooks and policies, as follows:

“Bring-your-own-device” policies; paid sick leave; medical marijuana; and the National Labor Relations Board’s crackdown on social media and other policies . . . these are just a few of the myriad issues that employers need to keep abreast of as they draft and update employee handbooks. Veteran employment lawyers from both sides of the bar share practical tips for, and valuable insight into, drafting—and scrutinizing—employee handbooks and policies.

This highly focused program—essential for employment lawyers seeking to update or sharpen their skills, in-house counsel reviewing existing handbooks and policies, business lawyers looking for more detailed insight into employment-law issues, and general practitioners improving issue-spotting skills—provides direct access to counter-balanced experts in a small, conversational setting.

In addition to Nicole Daly, the panel will include the following speakers:

Today’s program starts at 2 p.m. and more information is available here.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Beck Reed Riden LLP in Le Monde

Russell Beck was quoted by Le Monde in a recent article about noncompete agreements. The article is titled “Des clauses de non-concurrence imposées aux employés,” which translates to “Non-competition clauses imposed on employees.”

The story focuses on the proliferation of noncompete agreements for workers across the income spectrum, and analyzes the impact of such covenants on worker mobility. A translated version of the article (which is written in French), describes Russell Beck’s work in this area as follows:

The non-competition clauses added to contracts of employment were formerly reserved for very senior managers to prevent them from revealing the secrets of the company or to leave with the valuable contacts of the big customers. But today, the number of signatories of such clauses has widened. Attorney Russell Beck of Beck, Reed, Riden, spends 70% of his time dealing with this type of matter for employees and employers.

Russell is quoted in the article as follows:

Mr. Beck, who is from time to time on the employer side at the courthouse, understands their point of view. We live in an information economy. These secrets that move so easily from a computer to the phone and the cloud are more difficult to protect,” he explains. The lawyer acknowledged, however, that certain staff should be spared. It would be better, said the lawyer, to propose a simple clause of non-solicitation of former clients, or even non-solicitation of ex-colleagues. “It gives employees a lot more freedom, says Beck.

The article was published on June 26, 2017.

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters

  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases

  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law

  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law

  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law

  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world

  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2016 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is highly praised by peers, who commend his “impeccable credentials,” in the employment arena, and identify him as an “expert in noncompetition and trade secret laws.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck Speaks At Trade Secrets Protection Briefing

On June 14, 2017Russell Beck was a panelist at Charles River Associates‘ briefing on trade secrets protection and litigation. The title of the program was “How to Respond Effectively When A Company Becomes A Victim of Intellectual Property Theft.”

Charles River Associates describes the briefing as follows:

Invitation-only briefing where expert panelists will discuss some of the biggest and most challenging topics in trade secrets protection. The program will feature a variety of presentations designed to help ensure your company is prepared, including: Overview of DTSA and its Interplay with State Trade Secrets Statutes, Investigation and Litigation Issues, and Strategic Considerations and Preventative Strategies for Protection of Trade Secrets.

In addition to Russell Beck, the panel included the following speakers:

  • John J. Butts, Partner, Litigation/Controversy and Securities Departments, WilmerHale, Boston
  • Jennifer Camacho, Chief Legal Officer, Torque Therapeutics, Cambridge, MA
  • Stephen Y. Chow, Partner, Burns & Levinson LLP, Boston
  • Paul T. Dacier, General Counsel, Indigo Agriculture; Formerly Executive Vice President and General Counsel, EMC Corporation, Boston
  • Michael K. Fee, Partner and Member, White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice, Latham & Watkins LLP, Boston
  • Andy Obuchowski, Vice President, Forensic Services, Charles River Associates, Boston

The event also featured the following speakers:

  • Adam Bookbinder, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief, Cybercrime Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Boston
  • Hon. Robert Collings, Recalled Magistrate Judge, District of Massachusetts, U.S. District Court, Boston

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning trade secrets and noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment lawand business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters

  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases

  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law

  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law

  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law

  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world

  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2016 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is highly praised by peers, who commend his “impeccable credentials,” in the employment arena, and identify him as an “expert in noncompetition and trade secret laws.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Lauren Corbett Selected for Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program

Lauren Corbett has been selected to join the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program class of 2017-2018. Lauren was chosen based on her demonstrated dedication to public service. She now joins a small group of her professional peers, representing a variety of practice areas, to engage in the 14-month intensive program.

Now in its 14th year, the Public Interest Leadership Program engages selected attorneys to advance their roles in public service and leadership in the legal community. During the 14-month program, PILP members will have the opportunity to, among other things, connect with leaders at meetings and events, and to work together to grow a philanthropic program from inception to fruition. The 2017-2018 class members join notable PILP alumni in their mission to provide leadership and service.

auren is a first-year associate at Beck Reed Riden LLP, specializing in complex business litigation, trade secret and noncompete matters, and employment law. Lauren is an active member of the Boston Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association. She is a member of the Practical Skills Committee of the New Lawyers section of the Boston Bar Association.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Hannah Joseph Quoted in The Boston Globe

Hannah Joseph was quoted by the The Boston Globe in a recent story about the President’s ability to trademark his infamous neologism: “covfefe.” The story is titled “Can you trademark ‘covfefe’? These people and companies are trying.”

The article discusses various attempts to trademark the word covfefe after the President coined the word on Twitter.

In the article, Hannah analyzes whether a single word can be trademarked as follows:

So who really has the right to call “covfefe” his or her own?

“The question really that is interesting is who is going to get the right to it first, and whether Trump has any trademark rights at all,” said Hannah T. Joseph, an attorney who practices intellectual property law.

“If Trump or his campaign was using ‘covfefe’ in conjunction with any products or services, they’d arguably have some rights to the word,” Joseph said. “But assuming that’s not the case, it’s open season for everybody else.”

The article was written by Boston Globe correspondent, Claire Parker.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck Quoted in The New York Times

New York TimesFor the second time in a month, Russell Beck was quoted by The New York Times. Russell recently appeared in an article about Uber’s termination of one of its engineers who stands accused of stealing trade secrets from Google. The story is titled “Uber Fires Former Google Engineer at Heart of Self-Driving Dispute.” The article, which appeared in the print edition on May 31, 2017, was written by technology reporters Mike Isaac and Daisuke Wakabayashi.

The story focuses on Uber’s decision to fire one the engineers it hired to lead the company’s self-driving automotive initiative. According to the article, a lawsuit by Waymo alleges that the engineer, Anthony Levandowski, misappropriated trade secrets from Google and that Uber was, in turn, using the trade secrets. The engineer was fired after the court ordered him to provide certain evidence and testimony, and the engineer asserted his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. In the article, Russell Beck describes the rationale for terminating the engineer:

Firing Mr. Levandowski provides Uber “a way to cut off liabilities potentially and highlights that they were not acting willfully,” said Russell Beck, an intellectual property lawyer and founding partner at the Boston law firm Beck Reed Riden.

But firing Mr. Levandowski could mean that he becomes a witness against Uber if he were to claim, for example, that Uber executives looked the other way while he used proprietary information from Waymo to advance Uber’s self-driving car efforts. Uber has repeatedly said that it has developed its autonomous car technology on its own.

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters

  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases

  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law

  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law

  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law

  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world

  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2016 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is highly praised by peers, who commend his “impeccable credentials,” in the employment arena, and identify him as an “expert in noncompetition and trade secret laws.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Matal v. Tam: SCOTUS Brings a New Slant to Disparaging Trademarks

On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam struck down the Lanham Act’s disparagement clause, which prohibits the registration of disparaging trademarks, finding that the provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. 582 U.S. __, No. 15-1293, 2017 WL 2621315 (U.S. June 19, 2017).

In an 8-0 ruling, the Court held that trademarks are private speech, not government speech or the subject of government subsidies or programs which may be withheld by the government. The Court further held that, even if trademarks are commercial speech, the disparagement clause cannot withstand relaxed scrutiny because it was not narrowly tailored to prevent discriminatory and demeaning trademarks. Consequently, the Court found the disparagement clause to be facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

Under Tam, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may no longer deny trademark registrations on the basis that the marks may be disparaging. Accordingly, Tam will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences in the business community (and, not to mention, finally resolve the Washington Redskins case).

The Lanham Act’s Disparagement Clause

The Lanham Act’s disparagement clause prohibits the registration of trademarks “which may disparage . . . persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute . . . .” 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a).

Under the disparagement clause, the USPTO will find a prima facie case of disparagement where (1) the trademark refers to “identifiable persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols,” and (2) a substantial percentage of the referenced group, “in the context of contemporary attitudes,” would consider the mark to be disparaging. Once a prima facie case is made, the burden shifts to the applicant of the mark to prove that the mark is not disparaging. The USPTO has clarified that the fact that the applicant is a member of the referenced group or has good intentions in using the mark does not change the analysis.

The Case

Simon Tam is the lead singer of “The Slants,” an Asian-American rock band. He chose the name “The Slants,” a variant of an ethnic slur, in order to reclaim stereotypes about people of Asian ethnicity.

In 2010, he applied to register the band name with the USPTO’s principal register. The USPTO rejected the application, finding that “there is . . . a substantial composite of persons who find the term in the applied-for mark offensive.” Tam contested the decision before the examiner and the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), but was denied.

Tam took the case to court, and the Federal Circuit ultimately held that the disparagement clause is facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. The court held that the clause engages in viewpoint-based discrimination, regulating the expressive component of trademarks which cannot be treated as commercial speech, and that the clause cannot survive strict scrutiny.

The government filed a petition for certiorari, which the U.S. Supreme Court granted on the issue of whether the disparagement clause is facially invalid under the First Amendment.

Supreme Court Rules that the Disparagement Clause is Unconstitutional

As a threshold matter, the Court addressed Tam’s argument that the disparagement clause does not apply to marks that disparage racial or ethnic groups. The thrust of Tam’s argument was that the clause prohibits the registration of marks that disparage “natural persons,” not groups. The Court dismissed Tam’s definitional interpretation as “meritless” and refuted by the “plain terms” of the clause (noting that “every person is a member of a ‘non-juristic’ group, e.g., right-handers, left-handers, women, men, people born on odd-numbered days, people born on even-numbered days”). The Court also found that the clause applied broadly to encompass not only marks that disparage natural persons, but also marks that disparage “institutions” and “beliefs.”

Next, the Court addressed the government’s arguments that trademarks are government speech, that they are a form of government subsidy, and that the disparagement clause should be tested under the “government-program” doctrine.

First, the Court held that trademarks are private, not government speech, and are therefore entitled to free speech protections. In other words, because the government does not create, edit, or have the authority to arbitrarily reject marks, trademarks are not government speech and federal registration does not constitute approval of a mark. The Court also stated: “it is far-fetched to suggest that the content of a registered mark is government speech. If the federal registration of a trademark makes the mark government speech, the Federal Government is babbling prodigiously and incoherently . . . For example, if trademarks represent government speech, what does the Government have in mind when it advises Americans to . . . ‘Just do it’ . . . ?”

Second, the Court held that trademarks are not government-subsidized speech and, accordingly, the government could not justify the disparagement clause on the rationale that it is not required to subsidize activities that it does not wish to promote. Among other things, the Court noted that the USPTO does not pay applicants seeking to register a mark – rather, applicants pay the USPTO filing and other fees.

Finally, the Court held that “government-program” cases involving the collection of union dues by public employers were inapplicable to the registration of trademarks.

Given that the disparagement clause could not be analyzed as a type of government speech, subsidy, or program, the Court next addressed the parties’ arguments regarding whether trademarks are commercial speech, which is subject to relaxed scrutiny. The Court declined to resolve the issue, instead finding that the disparagement clause could not even withstand a relaxed scrutiny analysis. Specifically, the Court held that the disparagement clause was not sufficiently “narrowly drawn” to weed out trademarks that support invidious discrimination. Because the clause applies to trademarks that disparage any person, group, or institution, and would therefore apply to trademarks like “Down with racists,” “[i]t is not an anti-discrimination clause; it is a happy-talk clause.” “In this way, it goes much further than is necessary to serve the interest asserted.”

Concluding its opinion, the Court noted:

There is also a deeper problem with the argument that commercial speech may be cleansed of any expression likely to cause offense. The commercial market is well stocked with merchandise that disparages prominent figures and groups, and the line between commercial and non-commercial speech is not always clear, as this case illustrates. If affixing the commercial label permits the suppression of any speech that may lead to political or social “volatility,” free speech would be endangered.

Import of the Decision

With the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act struck down, the USPTO may no longer reject trademark registration applications because the trademarks are disparaging or offensive to a specific group, institution, belief, or symbol. This will undoubtedly result in the registration of myriad words, phrases, and marks that are considered by many to be derogatory. This also leaves the door open for the government to draft a more narrowly-tailored disparagement clause if it chooses to do so. The Tam case also signals a new chapter that calls into doubt other aspects of well-established trademark law. See 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) (addressing immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter). The full import of this case and its effect on the future of trademark law is uncertain.

***

Hannah T. Joseph, the author of this case summary, is an associate with the firm, whose work in intellectual property has been recognized by, among others, the Boston Globe (Can you trademark ‘covfefe’? These people and companies are trying) and at the Boston Bar (where she serves as Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Committee).

eck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our hand-picked team of lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment, and are recognized as a leading authority in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck Speaks at Noncompete and Trade Secrets Symposium

On June 13, 2017, Russell Beck was a panelist at the 9th Annual Symposium on Non-Compete Agreements and Trade Secrets in Boston, Massachusetts.

BBARussell BeckThe Boston Bar Association sponsored the Symposium.

The Symposium featured discussion and debate about the legal landscape of noncompete agreements and the protection of trade secrets.

The Boston Bar Association describes the event as follows:

Since 2009 BBA has hosted this symposium bringing together drafters, sponsors, supporters and critics of state bills to reform the use of employee non-compete agreements (ENCAs) and, separately, alternatively or complementarily, to enact the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA).

In the second session of the 189th General Court, its two chambers passed differing bills for ENCA reform, each including a version of UTSA, but did not quite get over the finish line. Current bills S.840, S.988, S.1017, S.1020, H.854, H.2366, and H.2371 revisit ENCA reform and propose a version of UTSA enhanced by the BBA over the years.

***

The federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) among other things embraced “employee mobility” as a federal policy.  DTSA injunctions may not “prevent a person from entering into an employment relationship . . . or otherwise conflict with an applicable State [such as California] law prohibiting restraints on the practice of a lawful profession, trade, or business.”  While DTSA expressly does not preempt state trade secret law, it is silent about contract law, which arguably may be affected by these prohibitions.

In addition to Russell Beck, the panel included the following speakers:

  • State Senator William N. Brownsberger
  • State Senator Eileen M. Donoghue
  • State Senator Jason M. Lewis
  • State Representative Lori Ehrlich
  • State Representative Paul A. Brodeur
  • Katherine E. Perrelli, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Stephen Y. Chow, Burns & Levinson LLP

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters

  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases

  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law

  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law

  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law

  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world

  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2016 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is highly praised by peers, who commend his “impeccable credentials,” in the employment arena, and identify him as an “expert in noncompetition and trade secret laws.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

 

On Point Features Russell Beck

A recent episode of On Point featured Russell Beck, who was invited to appear as a guest on the nationwide radio program. The episode, titled “Sign Here, And Stay Here,” focused on the proliferation of noncompete agreements across various industries.

The summary of the program, prepared by On Point’s guest host Jessica Yellin, introduced the day’s topic as follows:

Even fast-food workers are signing noncompete clauses and confidentiality agreements. But at what cost?

Low-wage workers, from fast-food to construction, are being asked to sign binding noncompete agreements.

If you’re a high paid executive in a corner suite, you probably signed a contract with a noncompete clause. You might be shocked to know noncompetes are now required of millions of Americans doing low wage work. From sandwich makers. Yoga instructors. Camp counselors. Tying workers to current jobs. Locking them out of raises. This hour On Point, signing away your leverage, even your livelihood.

Russell appeared live in the studio at WBUR in Boston, and was joined by fellow guests Conor Dougherty, a technology correspondent at the New York Times who recently authored a story titled “How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In,” and Alan Krueger, a professor of economics at Princeton University, who is the former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and a member of his cabinet from 2011-2013.

The program originally aired on May 25, 2017, and can be heard in full here.

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters

  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases

  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law

  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law

  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law

  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world

  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2016 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is highly praised by peers, who commend his “impeccable credentials,” in the employment arena, and identify him as an “expert in noncompetition and trade secret laws.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

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