Not only were we able to obtain an award of attorneys' fees, but we obtained non-compete-type of relief, all in the absence of any kind of non-compete agreement.
Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) June 27, 2014
Robert Rickman, head of the employment practice group at Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC, represented Prevail IT Resources LLC and earned one of the first permanent injunctions and final judgments under the new Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The new law went into effect on September 1, 2013 and is intended to give Texas businesses a remedy for protecting the business against former employees who may have violated company policies regarding customer data or other trade secrets.
The case involved allegations that a former employee took customer information with him to his next job. According to court documents, Prevail IT Resources LLC, doing business as F2 Onsite, alleged that a former employee downloaded proprietary customer and employee information from a company-issued laptop before taking a new job at Vodastra Solutions Inc. Vodastra’s official Lord Baah challenged the allegations in a bench trial and said that the company did nothing wrong because F2 Onsite did not have a non-compete agreement with their former employee. The permanent injunction and final judgment entered by the court precludes Vodastra from conducting business with F2 Onsite's customers, utilizing F2 Onsite's employees and agents, and awarded F2 Onsite its attorneys' fees.
The key piece of information in this case is that Prevail did not have a non-compete agreement in place. The new Uniform Trade Secrets Act allows employers to collect attorney fees - even without a non-compete or other contract. Rob Rickman’s victory in this case provides insight into the future application of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
“Prior to the statute, an employer under a misappropriation claim could not recover attorneys’ fees,” Rickman said. “You’d have to assert a breach of contract claim, which provides for attorneys’ fees. But you would need a contract, typically a non-compete agreement. We didn’t have a non-compete in this case. So not only were we able to obtain an award of attorneys' fees, but we obtained non-compete-type of relief, all in the absence of any kind of non-compete agreement.”
Texas’ previous trade secret law did not have a strict definition for declaring something a ‘trade secret.’ The new law should make it easier for companies to decide what is classified as a trade secret and whether or not it has true value to the company.
Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC is a full service law firm with offices in Dallas and Houston. Formed in 1992 with five lawyers, today KRCL has more than 85 attorneys. The Firm provides professional services for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to medium-sized public and private companies to entrepreneurs. KRCL handles transactional, litigation and bankruptcy matters in Texas and throughout the country.
SOURCE: Kane Russell Coleman & Logan, P.C.
CAUSE/CASE NO: 429-04378-2013
COURT: 429th District Court, Collin County
JUDGE: Jill Willis