Russell Beck has over twenty years of experience as a complex business and intellectual property litigator, representing corporate and individual clients throughout the country in federal and state trial and appellate courts, arbitrations, and mediations.
Russell is a leading authority on the law of trade secrets and noncompetes. In addition to his many years of experience advising on and litigating trade secrets and noncompete matters, he authored the book, Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010) (covering Massachusetts noncompete law); authored the chapters Trade Secret Misappropriation and Noncompetition Agreements for Intellectual Property Practice (MCLE, Inc. 2004-2011) (covering trade secrets law nationally and Massachusetts noncompete law); drafted the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to modify Massachusetts noncompete law; founded and chaired Foley & Lardner LLP’s Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice; and created and teaches Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law. (Boston University’s Intellectual Property program, of which Russell’s course is a part, has been ranked in the top 10 in the country by U.S. News and World Reports.)
Russell is also frequently called upon to advise clients concerning the prevention and minimization of litigation risks in Massachusetts, as well as nationally. Such services include the preparation of noncompetition agreements, nondisclosure agreements, no-raid agreements, nonsolicitation agreements, and other restrictive covenants; the performance of trade secret audits and establishment of comprehensive trade secret protection programs; trade secrets training; preparation of alternative dispute resolution agreements; and advice concerning the on-boarding and off-boarding of employees subject to restrictive covenants, joining a client from a competitor, or leaving a client to join a competitor.
In addition to his national trade secrets and noncompete litigation practice, Russell’s practice concentrates on complex business litigation, including high-tech matters, copyright infringement matters, trademark disputes, unfair competition claims, business-to-business matters, breach of contract claims, land use cases, and health care payor/provider disputes.
Russell’s experience includes:
- Lead counsel for corporate, high-tech, and individual clients in complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal court trials, arbitrations, mediations, and binding mediations, from pre-litigation through trial and appeal.
- Lead counsel for a broad range of clients on diverse matters, including enforcement and defense of noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, protection of trade secrets, employee mobility issues, contract disputes, copyright and trademark matters, false designation of origin claims, unfair competition claims, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) claims, fraud and business torts, post-acquisition breach of contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, commercial lease disputes, and domestic and international jurisdiction and choice-of-law disputes.
- Lead counsel for lawyers and law firms in professional liability, partner withdrawals, and fiduciary duty matters.
- Lead counsel for healthcare clients in payor/provider disputes, member claims, contracting issues, responses to civil investigative demands, and alternative dispute resolution matters.
- Lead counsel for municipalities, individuals, and corporate clients in land use and development matters.
- Mediator and advocate in commercial disputes and intellectual property matters.
Immediately prior to founding Beck Reed Riden LLP, Russell was a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and chair of the firm’s Trade Secret/Noncompete Practice. He previously was a partner at Epstein Becker & Green, PC, and an associate at Reynolds Rappaport & Kaplan and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Russell was also an instructor in the Boston University Law School’s First Year Writing Program.
Community and Service:
Russell is vice-chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secrets Litigation Subcommittee (of the Trade Secrets Committee), co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section, co-chair of the Boston Patent Law Association’s Trade Secret Committee, and a Fellow in the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows. Russell also serves as a volunteer alumni interviewer for the Tufts University admissions program.
Previously, Russell served an alternate member of the Town of Marblehead Planning Board, was the chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Legislation Subcommittee (of the Trade Secrets Committee), was co-chair of the Boston Bar Association Annual Meeting Committee, has been a member of the Boston Bar Foundation John & Abigail Adams Benefit steering committee, served as Secretary of the Committee on Legal Assistance at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, sat on the ethics committee of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, and served as chair and co-chair of Foley & Lardner’s Boston office pro bono committee and a member of the national pro bono committee.
Presentations, Publications & News:
In addition to administering the award-winning Fair Competition Law blog and co-hosting the Fairly Competing podcast, Russell writes and lectures frequently on various intellectual property and other legal issues, including enforcement and defense of noncompete agreements, protection of trade secrets, trademark disputes, copyright issues, arbitration, mediation, and binding mediation. Recent representative presentations and publications include:
- “Should Employee Non-Competes Be Banned?,” Business Forum on Proposed Limits to Non-Competes in Massachusetts, SBANE (Smaller Business Association of New England), March 6, 2014, Speaker and Panelist
- “Irreparable Harm: Enforcing and Escaping Employee Non-Competition Agreements,” Massachusetts Bar Association, February 20, 2014, Panelist
- “Lacking Qualified Applicants, ‘Passive Candidates’ Offer Hope,” The Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2014, Quoted
- “Navigating the New Mysteries in Noncompetition and Trade Secret Theft Cases,” 13 Annual Business Litigation Conference, MCLE, January 29, 2014, Speaker
- “Intellectual Property Year in Review,” Boston Bar Association, January 9, 2014, Panelist (on Trade Secrets)
- “Report: Firms should target global companies’ business,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, November 2013, Quoted; New England In-House, January 2014, Quoted
- “LinkedIn Post Likely Didn’t Violate Non-Compete Clause,” The National Law Journal, November 4, 2013, Quoted
- “Intellectual Property: MCLE BasicsPlus!,” MCLE, October 30, 2012, Chair and Speaker (on Trade Secrets)
- “Terra Terror and Traveling Tricks – Developments in Cybersecurity, US and International Trade Secret Law,” American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Annual Meeting (Washington, D.C.), October 25, 2013, Speaker (on Discovery in Trade Secrets Cases)
- “2013 Trade Secret Law Summit,” American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Annual Meeting (Washington, D.C.), October 22, 2013, Speaker
- “Insider Threats,” Trade Secret Management & Monetization Symposium, Ocean Tomo, September 10, 2013, Speaker
- “When a New Job Leads to a Lawsuit: Litigation Over Noncompete Clauses Is Rising; Does Entrepreneurship Suffer?,” The Wall Street Journal (print edition, Marketplace section, front page), August 15, 2013, Quoted
- “Companies Loosen the Handcuffs on Non-Competes,” The Wall Street Journal (on-line edition), August 12, 2013, Quoted
- “5th Annual Symposium on Employee Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secrets and Job Creation,” Boston Bar Association, July 23, 2013, Panelist
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, June 2013, Quoted
- “Noncompetes & Other Restrictive Covenants,” MCLE, February 6, 2013, Chair and Speaker
- “Intellectual Property Year in Review,” Boston Bar Association, January 17, 2013, Panelist (on Trade Secrets)
- “Intellectual Property: MCLE BasicsPlus!,” MCLE, November 7, 2012, Chair and Speaker (on Trade Secrets)
- “2012 Trade Secret Law Summit,” American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Annual Meeting (Washington, D.C.), October 23, 2012, Speaker
- “Mastering Copyright, Trademark, & Intellectual Property,” The Rossdale Group, October 10, 2012 (webcast and podcast), Speaker
- “Ex-employees’ work for competitor OK – Inevitable disclosure doctrine inapplicable,” New England In-House, July 29, 2012, Quoted
- “Employee Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secrets and Job Creation: The Status of Law Reform,” Boston Bar Association, July 24, 2012, Panelist
- “29th Annual Carl A. Warns, Jr. Labor & Employment Law Institute,” University of Louisville’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, June 21, 2012, Speaker.
- “Protecting trade secrets, biz goodwill across state lines,” New England In-House, February 2012
- “Getting the Most Out Of Non-Competition Agreements: Enforcement Experiences From the Bench, In-House and Around the Country,” 2012 Pacific Coast Labor & Employment Law Conference (Seattle, Washington), May 3, 2012, Speaker
- “Are New England’s in-house counsel free to join competitors?,” New England In-House, February 2012
- “Advanced Software Licensing,” MCLE, February 1, 2012, Speaker
- “Ehrlich targets restrictive clauses,” The Swampscott Reporter, December 23, 2011, Quoted
- “Don’t Blame China for Trade Secret Theft,” Corporate Counsel/Law.com, December 22, 2011, Quoted
- “Despite verdict, judge can find co. liable under 93A,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, December 1, 2011, Quoted
- “Protecting Scientific and High Tech Trade Secrets,” Strafford Publishing, November 10, 2011 (webcast), Speaker
- “Practical steps to protect your clients’ intellectual property,” MCLE, November 2, 2011, Chair and Speaker
- “Prevent runaway legal fees with proper planning,” New England In-House, September 2011
- “Questions Raised After DOE Hides Costs Of Energy Projects,” Dow Jones’ VentureWire, August 29, 2011, Quoted
- “Confidentiality clause found to be overbroad,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, July 6, 2011, Quoted
- “Noncompete agreement could be enforced,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, June 16, 2011
- “Trends in Non-Compete Agreements and Trade Secrets,” NELA, May 14, 2011, Panelist
- “Planning for possible changes to non-compete law,” New England In-House, April 8, 2011
- “Intellectual Property Litigation,” MCLE, March 31, 2011, Chair and Speaker
- “Social Networking and trade secret protection,” New England In-House, February 9, 2011
- “Intellectual Property Year in Review,” Boston Bar Association, January 19, 2011, Panelist
- “Future of non-compete legislation up in the air,” New England In-House, December 28, 2010, Quoted
- “Keynote Panel: Non-Compete Litigation – Learn form the Experts,” MCLE, December 10, 2010 (webcast), Panelist
- “Non-Compete Q and A: Discussing the Proposal to Endorse House Bill 4607,” Boston Bar Association, December 2, 2010, Panelist
- “What you need to know about protecting trade secrets,” New England In-House, November 2010
- “Protecting Proprietary Information,” MCLE, October 7, 2010, Chair and Speaker
- “Confidentiality Agreements: New England In-House Counsel Briefing,” MCLE, September 29, 2010, Chair and Speaker
- “Employee Non-Compete Agreements and Job Creation: The Status of Law Reform a Year Later,” Boston Bar Association, July 20, 2010, Speaker
- “Protecting Your Brand, Reputation, and Secrets in the Age of Social Media,” Boston, MA, April 7, 2010, Moderator and Speaker
- “Fit the Bill: Managing the Cost of Litigation While Maintaining Work Quality” Boston, MA, February 24, 2010, Speaker
- “Non-Competition Agreements,” Massachusetts Bar Association, February 9, 2010, Panelist
- “Intellectual Property Update,” New England Corporate Counsel Association, February 3, 2010, Speaker (“Are Your Trade Secrets Really Secret”)
- “Enforcing and Litigating Across Borders, Including Through ADR,” Webinar, January 21, 2010, Speaker
- “Non-Compete Agreements: Likely Unfair, More Likely Enforceable,” IT Business Edge, January 13, 2010, Quoted
- “Trade Secrets and Noncompetes Year in Review,” Boston Bar Association Intellectual Property Year in Review, January 2010, Speaker
- “IT Security: A Practical Approach to Protecting Trade Secrets,” CIO, Computerworld, and Macworld, November 11, 2009, Co-author
- “No-poach agreements: A new generation of restrictions,” CIO and Computerworld, October 30, 2009
- “Mass. non-compete culture to change?,” NECN, October 9, 2009, Television Interview
- “Marblehead rep co-sponsors overhaul of non-compete agreements,” Marblehead Reporter, October 9, 2009, Quoted
- “Tips to make noncompetes work — and work fairly,” Mass High Tech, October 7, 2009, Contributing Author
- “Decision focusing on 93A significant for different reason,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, September 3, 2009
- “Symposium on Non-Competes,” Boston Bar Association, July 22, 2009, Panelist
- “Court backs employers on noncompete agreements, mostly,” Mass High Tech, June 19, 2009
- “Noncompetes & Other Restrictive Covenants,” MCLE, June 9, 2009, Chair and Speaker
- “Ex-EMC exec can work for competitor, but with limitations,” The Docket (Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly), June 4, 2009, Quoted
- “Beyond the noncompete,” Computerworld, June 2, 2009
- “Ask the Attorneys: Noncompetes and Restrictive Covenants,” Boston, MA, June 2009, Speaker
- “Negotiating, Drafting and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements & Related Restrictive Covenants,” MCLE, (3rd ed.) June 2009 (4th ed. 2010)
- “Weighing Lawyer Employment Agreements In Mass.,” Law360, March 19, 2009
- “Economy likely to force changes to noncompete pacts,” Boston Business Journal, March 6, 2009, Quoted
- “Binding mediation: a nearly perfect imperfect solution,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, February 2, 2009
- “Non-compete agreements,” The Corporate Counselor, February 2009
- “Legal briefs: Partners leaving firms must consider financial fallout,” Boston Business Journal, December 19, 2009, Quoted
- “Alternative Dispute Resolution: When, Why, and How to Use Arbitration, Mediation, and Binding Mediation,” Boston, MA, May 2009, Speaker
- “Minimizing the Costs and Consequences of Payor-Provider Disputes,” Healthcare Review, July 13, 2007