Litigation

Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

Summary:  Our client wsa a Bay Area business whose pricing and customer identity information was highly confidential.  After a key salesperson left to work for a competitor, our client discovered that its former employee had transmitted key trade secret and confidential information to his home computer and had also communicated with a company client to “wait” to place an order until he joined the competing business.  We secure a temporary restraining order against the employee and engaged in significant expedited discovery prior to the hearing on our motion for a preliminary injunction.

Result:  The case was settled early in the litigation on favorable terms.

Attorney:  Jamie L. Dupree

Litigation

Receiver litigation

Summary:  We represent the federal court-appointed receiver over one part of a large state agency.  In 2006, a contractor began work with the state agency after the receiver was appointed, but without the receiver’s knowledge or approval and without a written contract awarded under state contracting procedure.  The receiver terminated the contractor’s services and declined to pay for the services because they had been rendered without compliance with California public contracting law.  The contractor sued the receiver and the state agency, seeking more than $4 million in damages.

Result:  After several years of litigation, we successfully negotiated a settlement of the case which resulted in the state paying only about one-half the amount which the contractor had sought, while our client, the receiver, was not required to pay any portion of the settlement.

Attorney: 

Martin H. Dodd

Litigation

Trade Secret and Employee Mobility Case

Summary: A former employee joined a competitor and solicited his former employer’s customers to do business with his new employer.  We helped obtain key evidence and presented it quickly to the court to protect our client’s valuable customer relationships.  The employee brought a counterclaim for wages.  

Results: Obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunction for a period of several years against the former employee and successfully defended employee’s claim for wages.  United States District Court, Northern District of CA, 2008.  

Attorney: 
Daniel L. Croley

Litigation

Employee v. Employer

Marin County Superior Court

Summary: Our client runs a well-established cosmetic dentistry practice. When he terminated his office manager for poor performance, she sued, bringing a host of claims including sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, nonpayment of wages, intentional infliction of emotional distress and blacklisting.  She went so far as to claim our client was “stalking her” and sought a restraining order.  We defeated her effort to obtain a restraining order by showing that her stalking claim was not credible.  Despite that early victory, plaintiff continued to play games throughout the litigation, such as canceling her deposition at the last minute or failing to show up at her scheduled deposition.  

Result: We ultimately prevailed on a motion for terminating sanctions and judgment was entered in our client’s favor on all claims.  

Attorneys:
Jamie L. DupreeMartin H. Dodd

Litigation

Shareholder Dispute

Summary: A corporation comprised of three divisions — agriculture, timber and aviation — was owned by three brothers (40%-40%-20%).  One of the 40% owners sued the other two and the company in 1994, seeking to dissolve the business. He simultaneously sued to dissolve a related family partnership.  

Over the next 13 years, we successfully defeated the minority shareholder’s repeated lawsuits and obtained judgments against him on cross-complaints.  Eventually, in a dissolution action, the court held a two-week valuation evidentiary hearing under California Corporations Code § 2000 to determine the value of the minority shareholder’s interest in the company. In addition to ascertaining the value of thousands of acres of farm and timberland, a major legal issue in the case involved whether the minority shareholder’s interest should be valued before or after hypothetical income taxes had been deducted.  

Result: We successfully convinced the court that income taxes were required to be deducted, thereby saving our client approximately $9 million. The case settled by virtue of a tax-free spin-out of assets to the minority shareholder. 

Attorneys:
Martin H. DoddJamie L. Dupree