10 Steps To Take When Hiring From A Competitor

The beginning of the year is a time of high employee mobility, and with that mobility comes a risk of litigation between the hiring employer and the former employer – particularly when the two companies are direct competitors.

When a lawyer is asked to weigh in on a potential hire and to advise regarding the litigation risk, the legal analysis is just one part of the puzzle; the human element is equally important. Not infrequently, raw human emotion -- anger, feelings of betrayal, and/or pure competitive fire – serves as the triggering straw for litigation in such situations. Fortunately, there are practical steps that employers can take to minimize the risk of such litigation. The attached article, which was recently published by the author in Law360, discusses ten suggested ones; some to address the legal elements, others the human ones.

Peter A. Steinmeyer To Conduct Webinar On July 10, 2012 Regarding "Hiring a Competitor's Employees: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls"

Peter A. Steinmeyer of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. will be speaking in an upcoming live phone/web seminar entitled "Hiring a Competitor’s Employees: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls" scheduled for Tuesday, July 10, 1:00pm-2:30pm EDT.

As readers of this blog well know, hiring an employee from a competitor involves a great deal of risk due to the employee's access to the competitor's trade secrets, customers and other employees. Because of this, a competitor is likely to take aggressive measures to protect its proprietary information and resources from the new employer.

Key employees are often bound by restrictive covenants with the competitor, usually in the form of noncompete, nondisclosure or nonsolicitation agreements. Such restrictions could limit the employee's value to the new company and put the new employer at risk of suit for trade secret misappropriation or breach.

Counsel to employers considering hiring from a competitor can provide guidance on the extent of the risk of the hiring and on steps to minimize the employer's exposure. The more transparent the recruitment and hiring process, the less likely the new employer will be subject to liability.

In the upcoming webinar, Jessica Brown, Partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Peter A. Steinmeyer, Member at Epstein Becker & Green, will provide guidance to counsel to understand and mitigate risks for clients hiring an employee from a competitor. The panel will explain best practices to decrease litigation exposure and will highlight key defenses to competitor suits.

The panel will review these and other key questions:

• What risks are inherent in hiring key employees from a competitor?
• What special considerations come into play when a new employee is subject to a noncompete, nondisclosure or nonsolicitation agreement with a competitor?
• What are some best practices for employers to follow when hiring a competitor's employee to protect the company and avoid litigation?
• What potential claims might the competitor bring against the new employer—and what are some effective defenses to those claims?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.

For more information or to register, click here, or call 1-800-926-7926 ext. 10 (mention code: ESZEU1-PZB2AZ).

Download Our Additional Statewide Guides On Trade Secrets Laws, Published By EpsteinBeckerGreen And The Practical Law Company

The national law firm of EpsteinBeckerGreen, in conjunction with the Practical Law Company, recently wrote and published statewide guides on the trade secret laws of Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

These guides, which were written by EpsteinBeckerGreen's attorneys in a "question and answer" format, address trade secret and confidentiality laws affecting employers and employees. They focus on the legal requirements related to protecting trade secrets and confidential information.

Here is a list of the aforementioned guides which are now available:

• "Trade Secret Laws: Illinois" – written by Zachary C. Jackson and David J. Clark

• "Trade Secret Laws: Massachusetts" – written by Barry A. Guryan

• "Trade Secret Laws: New Jersey" – written by James P. Flynn and Amy E. Hatcher

These guides follow an earlier group of similar guides which EpsteinBeckerGreen and the Practical Law Company published regarding non-compete laws of Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut, and trade secrets laws of the District of Columbia.
 

Peter Steinmeyer to Conduct Noncompete Agreement Litigation Developments Webinar on August 11, 2011

Peter A. Steinmeyer of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. will be speaking in an upcoming live phone/web seminar entitled "Noncompete Agreements: Latest Litigation Developments" scheduled for Thursday, August 11, 1:00pm-2:30pm EDT.

As readers of this blog well know, employers frequently use noncompete agreements to protect confidential business information from misappropriation by departing employees. With continuing layoffs and business information easily accessible via computers and the Internet, enforceable noncompetes are critical in today’s economy.

Employment attorneys crafting noncompete agreements must avoid unreasonable and overbroad provisions. Courts are increasingly scrutinizing and, in some instances, refusing to enforce agreements that go too far to restrict employee activity.

This program was developed to prepare employment counsel to craft clear and enforceable non-compete agreements that are likely to stand up in court, and will also include discussion of litigation strategies for employment counsel pursuing or defending noncompete litigation.

Perspectives and guidance on these and other critical questions will be offered:

• How can noncompete agreements be structured to avoid being found an unfair restraint on trade and competition?
• What are the key steps for employers to follow, beginning with hiring and prior to a termination, to reinforce the confidentiality of company information with employees?
• What legal considerations should employment counsel take into account when deciding whether litigation is the most appropriate means for addressing an alleged breach of a noncompete agreement?

After presentations of the program’s panelists, there will be a live question and answer session with participants -- to answer your questions about these important issues directly.

For more information or to register >
 

Health Care and Life Sciences Employers: Let's Meet on 6/7/11 in Washington, DC at Our HEAL (Health Employment And Labor) Summit

Please join the attorneys of EpsteinBeckerGreen on June 7, 2011, at the National Press Club, as we present eight panels covering labor and employment topics that have increasingly impacted employers in the health care industry. 

Our first panel, entitled Significant Labor and Employment Issues that Affect Health Entities, will include representatives from the health care industry, such as a hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and emergency medical services. These executive panelists will discuss the critical labor and employment issues they are currently experiencing and the greatest challenges they expect to manage. 

EpsteinBeckerGreen attorneys representing the Labor and Employment, Health Care and Life Sciences, and Corporate Services practices will review the issues of concern and, over the course of the day, offer practical advice and solutions.

For more details and registration information, please visit the EpsteinBeckerGreen HEAL Summit page.

We hope to meet you and other readers of this blog.