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National Non-Compete Update – March 2018

IBM & Its Diversity Trade Secrets: IBM had sued its former Chief Diversity Officer for moving to Microsoft and breaching a non-compete agreement. At issue: IBM claimed that Lindsay Rae McIntyre was privy to “trade secrets” regarding IBM’s efforts to promote and retain diverse talent. I call bullshit. Somewhat shockingly, the SDNY issued a temporary … Continue reading

DOJ Aggressively Policing No-Poaching Agreements

In a surprising continuation of Obama-era policy, the Trump DOJ has announced that it will pursue criminal action against firms using no-poaching agreements. On January 18th, 2018, while speaking at an Antitrust Research Foundation conference, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim noted that the DOJ has not backed away from previous no-poaching guidance. Instead, AAG Delrahim … Continue reading

Reevaluating Non-Compete Agreements in the Auto Sales Industry (yes, AutoNation)

It’s time to take a hard look at non-compete agreements in the car business. Let’s use an example: AutoNation, the Fort-Lauderdale-based car industry giant and Fortune 500 company. For the past twenty years or more, AutoNation has had a field day filing weak non-compete lawsuits. AutoNation files these cases in its backyard, the United States … Continue reading

Exiled LLC Member Wins Declaratory Judgment and $1 Million in Wrongful Expulsion & Non-Compete Dispute

Question: When two members of a privately held LLC get together and conspire to wrongfully expel the third member, what is the worst possible course of action they can take? Answer: Insist that the wrongfully expelled member is STILL a member and is bound by a non-compete, then litigate the matter until the bitter end. … Continue reading

Waymo Loses Damages Expert, Struggling v. Uber

In the latest chapter of the Waymo v. Uber trade secret litigation, the Court has dealt Waymo yet another blow, this time excluding its damages expert. Let’s take a look. To briefly recap: Waymo is a Google spin-off focused on self-driving cars. Uber is Uber. Anthony Levandowski was a leading Waymo engineer. In 2015, Uber … Continue reading

It’s Time to Abolish Employee Non-Compete Agreements

Employee non-compete agreements are pretty much bullshit. And it’s time we get rid of them, with perhaps a few very limited exceptions. This is not an unstudied opinion. Rather, it’s my opinion. I began my career doing proper antitrust work at Boies, Schiller & Flexner and then became an authority on non-compete defense in Florida … Continue reading

Waymo Struggling in Trade Secret Fight v. Uber

To sum up the latest chapter of the Waymo v. Uber trade secret litigation: Waymo basically embarrasses itself.  Uber pretty much wins. Let’s take a look: Waymo / Uber Background Waymo is a technology company focused on self-driving cars. It’s a Google spin-off.  Uber is, well, Uber. Anthony Levandowski (“AL”) was one of Waymo’s star engineers. … Continue reading

Monopolists & Non-Compete Agreements

Let’s beat the same drum but only this time, take it a step further: Widespread Ignorance About Non-Competes & Antitrust   Certain practitioners and judges have absolutely no understanding of the antitrust principles upon which non-compete law is based.  True story:  I was in a hearing in front a federal judge who I will not … Continue reading

SDFL Denies Injunction in Non-Compete Fight Over Client Ernst & Young

A recent case out of the Southern District of Florida provides important guidance into the limits of non-compete agreements under Florida law. The case is one of the most comprehensive Florida non-compete decisions of the past several years, whether in state or federal court. Let’s take a look: IDMWorks is a company that specializes in … Continue reading

Florida 5th DCA Says Referral Relationships Not Protectable

A recent case out of Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals raises important raises important issues related to physician non-compete agreements. Let’s take a look: Before addressing the specifics of this case, some context is necessary: Agreements not to compete are restraints of trade. In any non-compete case, there are two lenses: restraint of trade … Continue reading

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