Russell Beck Quoted in The New York Times

New York TimesRussell Beck was quoted in a New York Times Opinion article about state and federal initiatives to regulate the use of noncompete agreements.

The Opinion story is titled “Why Are Fast Food Workers Signing Noncompete Agreements?” The September 29, 2021, article was written by Peter Coy, who writes about economics for New York Times Opinion.

The article discusses recent legislative efforts to ban the use of non-competition agreements altogether. Both sides of the issue are presented, with one commenter stating that a ban is appropriate because “[e]mployers are adequately protected from rogue former employees by other provisions, such as trade secrets law.”

On the other side of the question about whether noncompetes should be banned, the article quotes Russell as follows:

Russell Beck, a lawyer in Boston, says trade secrets law isn’t a complete substitute for noncompete agreements because “it’s very hard for an employer to know if an employee has taken information with them when they leave.” And employees may not fully understand what’s allowed and not allowed, says Beck, a founding partner of Beck Reed Riden, who has represented employees, former employers and new employers in noncompete cases.

In the article, Russell Beck explains that only a small minority of states have issued an outright ban on noncompete agreements:

California, North Dakota and Oklahoma have banned noncompete agreements since the 19th century. Beck, the lawyer in Boston, says that by his count, three-quarters of states have fiddled with their noncompete laws in recent years, most in the direction of restricting their use, though none going as far as joining the three states with bans.

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For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized, and includes:

  • Over thirty working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Assisting the Obama White House as part of a small working group to develop President Obama’s Noncompete Call to Action
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete matters
  • Authoring the book Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019), covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law
  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administering the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administering the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,660 and 870 members, respectively, around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2020 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is “an expert in the field of trade secret and restrictive covenant law,” and is also noted for his “ability to adjust and come up with successful solutions.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck to Speak at PLI Noncompete Agreement Program

On Thursday, October 21, 2021, Russell Beck will be speaking at Practising Law Institute’s program on noncompete agreements. The program, which will be held online, is titled “Evaluating the Pros, Cons, and Necessity of Noncompetes and Other Restrictive Covenants.”

The one-hour program starts at 1 p.m. ET on October 21, 2021. More information and registration is available here.

Speakers will discuss recent federal and state efforts to reform non-compete agreements.

In addition, according to the course description, the program brings together experts and thought leaders in the field, and attendees will learn about the following topics:

  • The policy, pros, and cons of noncompetes
  • The state of legislative activity and public opinion
  • The state of the academic research on noncompetes
  • What is likely to happen at state and federal levels
  • How to plan for anticipated changes, including up to a complete ban on noncompetes

The other panelists for the presentation are:

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For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized, and includes:

  • Over thirty working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Assisting the Obama White House as part of a small working group to develop President Obama’s Noncompete Call to Action
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete matters
  • Authoring the book Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019), covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law
  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administering the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administering the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,660 and 870 members, respectively, around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2020 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is “an expert in the field of trade secret and restrictive covenant law,” and is also noted for his “ability to adjust and come up with successful solutions.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck to Speak About Federal Regulation of Noncompete Agreements

Russell Beck will appear on a panel of experts assembled by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, titled “Noncompetes and the Biden administration: What comes next.”

The free event will be held on Friday, August 20, 2021, at 10:00 AM ET on Zoom. More information and registration available here.

Anyone who is unable to attend the live session should still register, as Lawyers Weekly will send a recording and the slides after the presentation.

Panelists will discuss President Joe Biden’s recently-released Executive Order that asks the Federal Trade Commission to take steps to “curtail the unfair use of noncompete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.”

The panel will analyze what happens next, what steps the FTC might take, and what companies should do in the meantime, including how to evaluate your current noncompetes and what else you can do to protect your business interests.

The panel also includes:

  • Andrew P. Botti of McLane Middleton
  • Lisa A. Zaccardelli of Hinckley Allen

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For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized, and includes:

  • Over thirty working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Assisting the Obama White House as part of a small working group to develop President Obama’s Noncompete Call to Action
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete matters
  • Authoring the book Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019), covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law
  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administering the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administering the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,660 and 870 members, respectively, around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2020 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is “an expert in the field of trade secret and restrictive covenant law,” and is also noted for his “ability to adjust and come up with successful solutions.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck Named Boston’s Lawyer of the Year in Litigation – Labor and Employment by Best Lawyers in America®

Russell Beck was named the Best Lawyers® 2022 LitigationLabor and Employment “Lawyer of the Year” in Boston.

This accolade is awarded to individual lawyers with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region. Only one lawyer is recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” for each specialty and location.

In addition, three other lawyers at Beck Reed Riden LLP have been named to the 2022 Edition of Best Lawyers, and one of its lawyers was included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch.

Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries.

Best Lawyers Award BadgeLawyers on the Best Lawyers in America ® list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing. For the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, more than 10.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 66,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized, and includes:

  • Over thirty working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Assisting the Obama White House as part of a small working group to develop President Obama’s Noncompete Call to Action
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete matters
  • Authoring the book Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019), covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law
  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administering the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administering the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,660 and 870 members, respectively, around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2020 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is “an expert in the field of trade secret and restrictive covenant law,” and is also noted for his “ability to adjust and come up with successful solutions.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Beck Reed Riden LLP Attorneys Named to 2022 Best Lawyers in America List

Beck Reed Riden LLP is pleased to announce that four of its lawyers have been named to the 2022 Edition of Best Lawyers, and one of its lawyers was included in Best Lawyers: Ones to WatchIn addition, Russell Beck was named Lawyer of the Year in the category of LitigationLabor and Employment.

Russell Beck, Stephen Riden, Nicole Daly, and Bob Shea were named to the 2022 Best Lawyers in America list in the following categories:

  • Russell Beck, Commercial Litigation, Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment, and Trade Secrets Law
  • Steve RidenCommercial Litigation
  • Nicole DalyEmployment Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Bob Shea, Employment Law – Management

In addition, Hannah Joseph was included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment Law – Management, and Litigation – Intellectual Property.

Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries.

Best Lawyers Award BadgeLawyers on the Best Lawyers in America ® list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing. For the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, more than 10.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 66,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck in New Jersey Law Journal on Noncompete Agreement Regulation

Russell Beck was recently featured in an article about President Biden’s Executive Order on noncompete agreements. The article, published in the New Jersey Law Journal and Law.com, is titled “Some Lawyers Doubt Biden’s Move to Curb Employment Noncompete Agreements Would Stimulate the Startup Economy.

The article discusses President Biden’s order encouraging the FTC to exercise its rulemaking authority “to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.”

The article references the argument frequently made by opponents of noncompete agreements that California’s prohibition of such agreements is the reason for its vibrant technology sector. In response, Russell is quoted as follows:

“This is a classic example of assuming that correlation means causation,” said Russell Beck, an attorney at Beck Reed Riden in Boston who frequently handles noncompete agreements in his business litigation practice. He pointed to Oklahoma and North Dakota, both of which have banned noncompetes since the 1800s. Neither has startup activity comparable to that in California, Beck said.

“I do not believe that banning noncompetes will stimulate the economy. I actually fear that banning noncompetes may have unintended, adverse effects on the economy,” Beck said.

In the article, Russell further explains that:

if companies can’t protect themselves with noncompete clauses, they will protect themselves with costly and time-consuming trade secret litigation, which he says is an unintended consequence of banning noncompetes that hasn’t been studied thoroughly. “That’s a drain on the economy as well,” he said.

Beck concedes that banning noncompete clauses would make it easier to launch a startup company but says that analysis fails to consider the prospect of a suit from a former employer.

“Some research suggests if noncompetes are enforced strongly, you’ll have fewer startups, but the quality of the startups will be improved. If the goal is just to have a lot of startups, the strict enforcement of noncompetes may hinder that but it may result in not wasting a lot of people’s money and time on poor-quality startups and instead focusing on high quality startups, which I would think is the goal” Beck said.

“This is one of those issues where there are a lot of soundbites, and they really sound compelling. But when you go behind them, you find out this is a lot more nuanced issue,” Beck said. “There is a lot more work that needs to be done to understand what we’d be giving up by banning noncompetes and how that would impact the economy.

ussell describes the genesis of the current efforts to regulate non-competition agreements as follows:

Noncompete clauses have been on the radar screens of state and federal officials since 2014, when a controversy arose over imposition of such terms on low-wage employees of Jimmy John’s, a chain of sandwich shops, Beck said.

The company ended the practice after it was sued by state officials in Illinois and New York. Federal legislation to restrict noncompetes was introduced in Congress but did not find traction, he said.

Many states have also been focusing on noncompetes, with some barring their use on low-wage workers or mandating notice provisions for job-seekers who are hired by a company that imposes a noncompete clause, Beck said. In February, Washington, D.C,. enacted a wide-ranging ban on noncompete clauses.

Questions remain about whether the FTC has authority to regulate noncompete clauses, Beck says. But the business litigator expects the agency to enact regulations that address imposition of noncompetes on low-wage workers and notice requirements, which would give states the authority to enact additional regulations on the issue if they are inclined.

The article was written by Charles Toutant, a litigation writer for the New Jersey Law Journal.

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For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized, and includes:

  • Over thirty working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Assisting the Obama White House as part of a small working group to develop President Obama’s Noncompete Call to Action
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete matters
  • Authoring the book Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019), covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law
  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administering the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administering the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,660 and 870 members, respectively, around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2020 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is “an expert in the field of trade secret and restrictive covenant law,” and is also noted for his “ability to adjust and come up with successful solutions.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck in Lawyers Weekly on Federal Action on Noncompete Agreements

Russell Beck‘s article about President Biden’s recent Executive Order on noncompete agreements was recently published by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Russell’s article, titled “The ‘Great Resignation,’ departing employees and new federal efforts to restrict noncompetes,” discusses President Biden’s order encouraging the FTC to exercise its rulemaking authority “to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.” In addition, the article suggests practical steps companies should consider to protect their business interests in light of the recent Executive Order.

According to the article,

The Great Resignation is coming. Unprecedented numbers of employees are expected to change jobs, and more than half of them will take confidential company information. Worse, 40 percent of them will use that information at their new job.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Companies frequently protect their trade secrets from this type of exfiltration with narrowly tailored noncompetes that prevent employees from taking jobs in which they are likely to use their former employer’s confidential information. These agreements are an important part of an effective trade secret protection program.

However, on July 9, President Biden issued an “Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy” calling for the Federal Trade Commission to “to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.”

he article provides an overview of recent state and federal efforts to regulate the use of non-compete agreements. The current status of non-competition agreements is as follows:

Although states have, for the most part, been imposing various wage thresholds and notice requirements, the federal government has not yet taken action. Congress has not voted to ban noncompetes. Biden did not ban noncompetes though his executive order. And the FTC has not banned noncompetes. But they may.

The article concludes with suggestions for practical steps that companies can take now to prepare for federal regulation of noncompete agreements:

First, if you want to be heard, reach out to the FTC and Congress.

Second, review all existing restrictive covenants, whether contained in employment agreements, RSU agreements, stock option agreements, long-term incentive agreements, or other agreements.

Also, review and strengthen as appropriate all policies and codes of conduct. But be mindful of other applicable laws, including, for example, D.C.’s forthcoming prohibitions on anti-moonlighting requirements.

Third, make sure that there is a culture of confidentiality at your clients’ companies. That is not to say that all information needs to be locked down. There is always a balance. If information is locked down too tightly, work becomes less efficient and people will find workarounds, likely resulting in even less security for the information.

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For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized, and includes:

  • Over thirty working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Assisting the Obama White House as part of a small working group to develop President Obama’s Noncompete Call to Action
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete matters
  • Authoring the book Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019), covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law
  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administering the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administering the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,660 and 870 members, respectively, around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2020 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is “an expert in the field of trade secret and restrictive covenant law,” and is also noted for his “ability to adjust and come up with successful solutions.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck Featured in Law360 on Federal Noncompete Order

Russell Beck‘s article about President Biden’s recent Executive Order on noncompete agreements was published by Law360 under the title, “FTC Should Take Nuanced Approach On Noncompete Regs.

Among other things, Biden’s order encourages the FTC to exercise its rulemaking authority “to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.”

Russell’s analysis begins with an overview of recent state and federal initiatives to restrict or eliminate the use of noncompete agreements. With respect to Biden’s recent directive to the FTC, Russell explains that “even assuming that the FTC has authority to regulate in this area, proper regulation of noncompetes is a very nuanced issue with which states have wrestled for over 200 years.”

n the article, Russell notes that there are competing viewpoints about what the FTC should do.

On one side, there are opponents of noncompete agreements who seek to ban them altogether, variously contending that “non-compete clauses inflict real harms on workers and competition and offer no credible offsetting benefits to society,” and that “employers use non-compete clauses to discourage workers from seeking, or even exploring, alternative work and business opportunities.”

On the other side, Russell notes that there are many who urge restraint and suggest “that any regulation should focus on leveling the playing field and adding additional transparency and fairness to the use of noncompetes.” This was the approach suggested by Russell Beck and scores of other experts in the field who recently submitted a letter to the FTC.

Given that it may be more than a year before the FTC issues any noncompete regulations, Russell advises that companies take the following three steps now:

  1. Reach out to the FTC to share your view.
  2. Review any restrictive covenant agreements, including those contained not just in employment agreements, but in restricted stock unit agreements, stock option agreements, long-term incentive agreements and other agreements. Also, review all policies and codes of conduct and strengthen them as appropriate.
  3. Make sure that there is a culture of confidentiality at your company. Training is critical. If you are not providing training at all stages of the employment life cycle — at the time of onboarding, during the employment relationship, and at off-boarding — you are potentially exposing your work to contamination by someone else’s information, and exfiltration and loss of your own trade secrets.

Russell was recently featured on NPR discussing President Biden’s Executive Order. In April 2020, Russell Beck and Erika Hahn’s article about the FTC’s investigation about whether it should regulate noncompetes was published by Law360. In July 2019, Law360 published Russell Beck’s analysis of misconceptions in the noncompete debate. In December 2019, Law360 also published an article by Russell Beck and Erika Hahn about federal noncompete reform efforts.

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For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning trade secrets and noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized, and includes:

  • Over thirty working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Assisting the Obama White House as part of a small working group to develop President Obama’s Noncompete Call to Action
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete matters
  • Authoring the book Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019), covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law
  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administering the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administering the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,660 and 870 members, respectively, around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2020 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is “an expert in the field of trade secret and restrictive covenant law,” and is also noted for his “ability to adjust and come up with successful solutions.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck Quoted in NPR Coverage of Biden Executive Order

NPR logoA recent episode of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR featured Russell Beck in a story titled “What Biden’s Latest Executive Order Means For Businesses And Consumers.”

The story focused on President Biden’s recently-issued Executive Order. Among other things, the order encourages the FTC to exercise its rulemaking authorty “to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.”

The story was reported by Andrea Hsu, NPR’s labor and workplace correspondent.

The following is a portion of Ms. Hsu’s interview with the host of Weekend Edition Saturday, Scott Simon:

Weekend Edition SaturdaySIMON: Can [President Biden] do that – a federal ban on noncompete agreements?

HSU: Well, it’s unclear. It’s certainly not going to be immediate, and it may not be a total ban. I talked with Russell Beck. He’s this attorney in Boston who tracks state laws on noncompetes. He thinks the Federal Trade Commission is likely to do something narrower, maybe something focused on low-wage workers. But he doesn’t think they’ll ban noncompetes in all workplaces.

RUSSELL BECK: I would be very surprised if the FTC went so far as to ban noncompetes for people who really do have trade secret information, other confidential information that needs to be protected.

HSU: But Beck says it’s also in question whether the FTC has the authority to enact such a ban. You know, regulation of noncompete agreements has until now been left to the states. Three states already ban them, California being the biggest, and close to a dozen states ban them for low-wage workers. So even if the FTC does move on this, it’s going to take a while. I spoke to a former acting chair of the FTC, and she said we may see a proposed rule out fairly quickly, but federal rulemaking, you know, takes forever. It has to be submitted to Congress. There are public comment periods, revisions and so on. And so it could be a year before a rule is issued. And that, Scott, would be considered fast.

Listen to the full story here.

Russell Beck was also quoted by NPR in an article appearing online discussing the same topic as follows:

[A] sweeping federal rule would be a significant departure and is expected to be challenged by businesses. At a workshop held by the FTC in January 2020, questions were raised over whether the agency even has the authority to enact a ban. Given the likelihood of legal challenges, some expect the FTC to take a narrow approach, for example banning noncompete agreements for low-wage workers rather than for everyone.

“I think a considered approach would probably be the likely approach,” says Russell Beck, a Boston attorney who has represented both employers and employees in noncompete cases.

He says he’d be very surprised if the FTC went so far as to ban noncompetes for workers who possess trade secrets or other confidential information that warrants protection.

In April 2020, Russell Beck and Erika Hahn’s article about the FTC’s investigation about whether it should regulate noncompetes was published by Law360. In July 2019, Law360 published Russell Beck’s analysis of misconceptions in the noncompete debate. In December 2019, Law360 also published an article by Russell Beck and Erika Hahn about federal noncompete reform efforts.

____

For up-to-the-minute analysis of legal issues concerning trade secrets and noncompete agreements in Massachusetts and across the United States, read Russell Beck’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

eck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience. In 2016, the White House issued a report entitled, “Non-Compete Agreements: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses,” relying in part on Beck Reed Riden LLP’s research and analysis, including its 50 State Noncompete Survey.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized, and includes:

  • Over thirty working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Assisting the Obama White House as part of a small working group to develop President Obama’s Noncompete Call to Action
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete matters
  • Authoring the book Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019), covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law
  • Drafting and advising on legislation for the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administering the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administering the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,660 and 870 members, respectively, around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2020 Chambers USA Guide, which stated that Russell Beck is “an expert in the field of trade secret and restrictive covenant law,” and is also noted for his “ability to adjust and come up with successful solutions.” Chambers noted that Russell “basically wrote the new Massachusetts statute on noncompetes” and that “he’s an expert in employee mobility and nonrestrictive covenants.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

 

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Features Hannah Joseph’s Analysis of Supreme Court Case

Hannah Joseph’s article, summarizing the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Van Buren v. United States, was published by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on July 2, 2021.

The article, titled “Supreme Court narrows Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,” provides in-depth analysis of the Court’s landmark decision, which narrowed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) and resolved a significant circuit split. The article also discusses the ruling’s import and makes practical suggestions for employers that want to preserve the potential to bring a CFAA claim in, e.g., trade secret misappropriation cases.

According to the article, following Van Buren, it no longer matters for purposes of determining CFAA liability that a person obtained computer information for an unauthorized purpose (such as accessing an employer’s confidential information to use at his next employer). It only matters whether the access was authorized to begin with.

In particular, as the article states,

he Van Buren decision has effectively returned the CFAA to its intended form as an anti-hacking statute, targeting external and internal hackers and centering around a gates-up-or-down inquiry.

This holding holds particular significance for trade secrets owners (such as employers) in those circuits that had previously interpreted the statute broadly.

Following Van Buren, it is no longer relevant for purposes of CFAA liability that an employee obtains computer information for an unauthorized purpose. Employers must now show that, in obtaining the computer information, the employee accessed a computer, or an area of a computer (such as a file, folder or database), that was off-limits to him.

Accordingly, employers who are interested in potentially preserving the option of bringing a CFAA claim may want to consider establishing internal firewalls on their computer systems and technologically cordoning their employees from information that they do not need to know in order to perform their roles.

(Doing so is also helpful for purposes of establishing a trade secrets claim but, on the other hand, may be counter to a company’s culture and otherwise slow down workflow processes. The extent to which a company partitions between departments and employees is thus a decision that an employer should make in partnership with its trade secrets counsel.)

Moreover, following Van Buren, companies looking to prevent the scraping of their online data may need to look to other causes of action, including, inter alia, for breach of contract, copyright infringement, trade secrets misappropriation, and under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In addition to creating internal technological barriers (to address threats posed by employees), those companies may want to limit the amount of information they make available to the public (by, e.g., taking down certain information or password-protecting certain pages).

Hannah Joseph is Senior Counsel at Beck Reed Riden LLP, where she focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation. Specializing in the areas of trade secrets law, restrictive covenants, employee mobility, and unfair competition, she regularly litigates issues concerning the use and enforceability of noncompetition, nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure agreements, and counsels both employers and employees regarding the same. She also counsels on the protection of trade secrets. Hannah has been named Super Lawyers’ Rising Star in Massachusetts consecutively since 2016 and has been recognized as a recommended attorney by The Legal 500 United States 2021.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and employment.

We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

 

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