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What We Do
Trade Secrets/Unfair Competition Litigation and Advice

Most organizations recognize that protecting their confidential and trade secret business information is critical to business success. Protecting such information in hard data form – whether related to technical processes, formulae, organizational plans, or the identity of customers and sales strategies – is fairly straightforward. To the extent such information resides in the minds of key employees, however, it can be far more challenging. With escalating competition for skilled employees with technical knowledge, sales experience, and the like, and an increasingly mobile workforce much more willing to change jobs, the challenge is how to maximize the protection of this critical information in the context of inevitable employee transition.

Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP attorneys have significant experience in representing employers in disputes over unfair competition, covenants not to compete, duty of loyalty, trade secrets and related issues surrounding losing – or hiring – key employees. When an organization loses a key employee, prompt action is critical. We know how to respond immediately to prevent theft of trade secrets or confidential information, limit the misuse of customer information and stop any improper raiding of other employees. Where appropriate, we can obtain immediate court relief in the form of temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions and rigorously monitor compliance with these court orders. Perhaps even more importantly, we also focus on how to minimize these risks before the employee departs. We provide counsel on how to prepare agreements to protect confidential information and employee inventions, and restrict, as broadly as possible, post-employment competition and solicitation. But employer efforts need not stop there. We can review policies and procedures, training programs, compensation and related agreements with an eye toward making your organization the employer of choice for talented workers and avoiding the loss of key employees in the first place.

When an organization is hiring a key employee, it may unwittingly become the target of the former employer’s anger just as much as the former employee. In this context, we frequently provide advice as to how to minimize the risk of any breach of an enforceable agreement with a previous employer or a violation of any trade secret law and avoid becoming the target of litigation. At the same time, using the same intimate knowledge of unfair competition and trade secret law, we can aggressively resist any improper efforts to limit full and fair competition.