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Non-Competes, Trade Secrets, Departing Employees and Raiding: Key Tips for In-House Counsel to Protect Your Company's Interests, 6/27/2018 12:00:00 AM PDT, On Demand More info »
Non-Competes, Trade Secrets, Departing Employees and Raiding:  Key Tip
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Non-Competes, Trade Secrets, Departing Employees and Raiding: Key Tips for In-House Counsel to Protect Your Company's Interests

Practice Areas:
Employment & Labor Law |  Intellectual Property Law |  Litigation
Terry J. Smith |  Linda Stevens |  Robert Duda
Course Levels:
1 hour

Course Description

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Course Description

This course is designed to assist in-house legal counsel in responding to the ever-growing concern of key employees departing to join a competitor and addressing the risks of such employees taking valuable confidential information and long-standing customer relationships with them.

The course will highlight the key steps employers should take upon learning of the departure of such employees and best practices for conducting an internal investigation to determine whether there is any misconduct by the departing employee or departing group.   

The course will provide an overview of the various applicable laws and claims under which employers can protect their interests from departing employees who seek to unlawfully compete. 

Employers will learn about what constitutes a trade secret and various avenues and options for protecting a company’s trade secrets and the course will explore contractual options for protecting confidential information as well as key customer and employee relationships and discuss key trends employers are facing in the enforcement of non-compete agreements, confidentiality agreements or NDA’s, non-solicitation of customer restrictions, and non-solicitation of employee provisions.

Lastly, the course will explore other common law claims and strategies for addressing situations where departing employees have breached their fiduciary duty to the employer or where the employer finds that they are being targeted by a competitor and their workforce is being raided. 

Course Learning Objectives:

At the end of this session/webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Respond to the departure of an employee who joins a competitor
  • Conduct a proper investigation following an employee departure and identify relevant conduct that may indicate improper competition by the employee
  • Identify what internal company information may be protectable as a trade secret
  • Have a better understanding of the various laws and options of employers who find themselves dealing with a departing employee who has taken the employer’s valuable information or property to a competitor
  • Better understand the objectives and available strategies in pursuing litigation against a departing employee or competitor
  • Consider the pros and cons of using contractual restrictions with its workforce such as non-compete agreements, confidentiality agreements or NDA’s, non-solicitation of customer restrictions, and non-solicitation of employee provisions
  • Spot warning signs of departing employees engaging in misconduct prior to departure in breach of their duty of loyalty owed to the employer
  • Respond to possible raiding and systematic pirating attempts by competitors 

Topics and Agenda

Topic 1 - Investigation and Response when an Employee Departs to a Competitor
Topic 2 - What is a Trade Secret and Laws Governing Trade Secrets
Topic 3 - Avenues for Enforcement of Trade Secrets
Topic 4 - Trade Secret Litigation Strategies
Topic 5 - Key Trends in Use and Enforcement of Non-Competes and other Restrictive Covenants
Topic 6 - Combating Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Employee Raiding

CLE Credits

Course Materials


Terry J. Smith's Profile

Terry J. Smith Related seminars and products: 1


Smith O'Callaghan & White

Founding partner of boutique labor and employment firm Smith O’Callaghan & White. Representation of employers in the full spectrum of employment litigation in federal and state courts, including extensive experience in cases involving non-competes, theft of confidential information, employee pirating, breach of fiduciary duty and trade secrets, as well as employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistle-blowing and wrongful discharge. As a big firm partner and in my boutique firm, I've represented some of the largest and most successful corporations in the country on their sensitive labor and employment matters.

PRACTICE AREAS: Labor and Employment Law

PRIOR ROLES/EXPERIENCE: Schiff Hardin (partner)

LAW SCHOOL: Cornell University


Linda Stevens's Profile

Linda Stevens Related seminars and products: 1

Smith O'Callaghan & White

I am a trial lawyer and counselor with a national practice based in Chicago. I have more than 30 years’ experience in resolving – both inside and outside of the courtroom – intellectual property and other commercial disputes. I have experience with emergency injunction hearings, dispositive motions, international arbitration, mediation, and trying cases to both bench and jury. 

In addition to my courtroom and other dispute resolution work, I have acted as general outside counsel, assisting intellectual property-focused businesses with a wide array of business issues. This general corporate experience gives me a broader and more holistic view how litigation fits (or doesn't fit) into a client's business and strategy. I know that most clients view litigation as a last resort, a tool to be used only after other, more strategic and cost-effective dispute resolution methods have been explored. But when litigation is necessary, clients want quick and effective action.

PRACTICE AREAS: Employment and Intellectual Property Litigation

PRIOR ROLES/EXPERIENCE: Schiff Hardin (partner)

LAW SCHOOL:  University of Michigan


Robert Duda's Profile

Robert Duda Related seminars and products: 1

Smith O'Callaghan & White

Robert R. Duda Jr. is a partner at Smith O'Callaghan & White, a boutique labor and employment law firm in downtown Chicago. Bob represents employers in federal and state courts in employment-related litigation. He has been selected by his peers and recognized as a Rising Star in Labor and Employment Law by Illinois Super Lawyers from 2011-14. 

Bob has extensive experience handling complex departing employee litigation, including misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of employment contracts, breach of fiduciary duty, enforcement of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, interference with customer relationships, employment-related torts and misconduct, workplace defamation, and unfair competition. He frequently counsels employers to protect their interests through the use and enforcement of restrictive covenants and by responding to employee raiding and pirating attempts.

PRACTICE AREAS: Labor & Employment Law


LAW SCHOOL: DePaul University College of Law


MCLE Information

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& Video replay with Live Q&A

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For each webinar, webcast or video replay with live Q&A, Select Counsel will be tracking your attendance through participation codes that pop up during the presentation. Instructions on how to use these participation codes, along with information about how to retrieve your credit will be provided to you prior, during and after the completion of the program.

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Select Counsel only applies for course approval in the following states: CA, IL, OH, PA, TX, VA and WA,.  Select Counsel will report attendance in any of the above states (e.g. PA) that require the provider to report attendance.  For states that allow course approval reciprocity and/or that attorneys are self-reporting/applying, Select Counsel will guide you to the appropriate forms and governing bodies. All information about reporting credit to your state will be provided as a hand out prior, during and after the completion of the course.

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