Stephen Riden in Forbes on Social Media Employment Disputes

Stephen Riden is featured in a November 14, 2011, Forbes story about a lawsuit filed by a company against its former employee for using a Twitter account after leaving the company. The article is written by Forbes staff writer, Kashmir Hill.

In the lawsuit, the company, Phonedog, claims that its former employee, Noah Kravitz, established a Twitter account at the company’s request, and then used that account to promote the company’s services.

When the employee left, the Twitter account went with him.  So the company sued and is seeking damages for the alleged theft of its trade secrets, i.e., the Twitter account and its followers.

Stephen Riden, a partner at Beck Reed Riden LLP, who specializes in employment law, says the case is ‘murky,’ in part because Kravitz included ‘Phonedog’ in his Twitter handle. ‘Employers usually address this in their employee manuals — whether an employee can include their name or brand in social networking accounts, and whether accounts are being set up for the company or the employee,’ says Riden. ‘It’s much cheaper to spell this out ahead of time than to litigate it after the fact.’

Click here to read more about the intersection of social media and employment disputes.

About Us

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

Stephen Reed Presenting Seminar for Employment Attorneys on MCAD

On October 26, 2011, Stephen Reed is giving a presentation about appearing before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) as part of an MCLE seminar titled “On Your Feet at the MCAD.”

This seminar will help attorneys build the skills needed to make an effective case when appearing before the MCAD.

The agenda for the seminar is as follows:

  • MCAD Overview.
  • Faculty Demonstration of an Investigative Conference and Mock Investigative Conference with MCAD Investigators.
  • Faculty Demonstration of Conciliation Conference and Mock Conciliation Conference with MCAD Mediators.
  • Faculty Demonstration of Pre-hearing Conference and Mock Pre-hearing Conference with MCAD Hearing Officers.
  • Faculty Demonstration of Opening Statement and Mock Opening Statement with MCAD Hearing Officers.
  • View from the MCAD.

Stephen Reed represents employers in a wide array of labor and employment matters, from counseling companies on day-to-day employee-relations issues to litigating cases in court and administrative agencies.

About Us

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor 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 Among Top 100 New England Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers

Massachusetts Super Lawyers Magazine selected Russell Beck as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in New England for 2011.

Russell Beck’s practice concentrates on complex business litigation, including high-tech and intellectual property matters, business-to-business conflicts, unfair competition claims, breach of contract claims, employee mobility issues, attorney/partner mobility matters, land use cases, and healthcare payor/provider disputes. Russell is also a leading authority on the law of trade secrets and noncompetes.

The selection of the top 100 Super Lawyers in New England is based on a process of peer review following a survey of lawyers from the region.  The Super Lawyers selection process is described in detail here.

All of Beck Reed Riden LLP’s attorneys have been selected as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars this year.

About Us

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

2011 Super Lawyers Magazine Selects All of Beck Reed Riden LLP’s Attorneys

Super Lawyers

For the seventh year in a row, Russell Beck and Stephen Reed have been recognized as Super Lawyers by Massachusetts Super Lawyers Magazine. And Stephen Riden, for the seventh year in a row, has been recognized as a Rising Star by the Magazine.

The title of Super Lawyer is given to 5% of the lawyers in the Commonwealth while the Rising Star designation recognizes 2.5% of lawyers under 40.  The Super Lawyers selection process is described in detail here.

About Us

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor 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 Chair Intellectual Property Seminar

On November 2, 2011, Russell Beck will be chairing MCLE’s Intellectual Property seminar titled “Practical steps to protect your clients’ intellectual property.”

Registration and more information is here.

This seminar will guide attorneys through the basic issues in key areas of intellectual property. Although aimed at practitioners new to these areas, this program also provides enough depth to be of interest to those with some experience.

The agenda for the seminar is as follows:

  • Copyright: The statutory framework; Copyright registrations; Computer software license agreements and the freelance programmer; Graphic arts agreements and the freelance artist; Website design and ownership; User-generated content; Bringing and defending an infringement case.
  • Trademark: The statutory framework; Selecting and evaluating a trademark—registration and infringement risk; Getting a federal registration; Foreign registration; Trademark licenses and assignments; Maintaining the value and strength of your trademarks; Bringing and defending an infringement case.
  • Trade Secret: The sources of trade secret law; The impact of restrictive covenants; Establishment of a proper trade secret protection program; Bringing and defending a misappropriation case.
  • Patent: The statutory framework; Patent novelty and clearance searches; Patent prosecution; Foreign patents; Patent licenses and assignments; Duty of candor; Patent misuse and its extensions; Bringing and defending a patent infringement case.
  • Counseling Technology Based Clients: General considerations in licenses; Building and maintaining a portfolio of patents and trademarks; Deciding whether to file for copyright protection.
  • “Ask the Experts” Q&A Session.

About Us

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor 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’s Guide to Preventing Runaway Legal Fees

The current issue of New England In-House features Russell Beck’s guide for controlling legal costs, called “Prevent runaway legal fees with proper planning.”

It is a well-known fact that litigation can be a costly undertaking. In the article, Russell Beck offers a variety of practical tips to consumers of legal services for ways to keep a lid on legal fees.

For instance, in order to prevent runaway fees, Russell suggests that there should be clear lines of communication drawn at the beginning of the engagement:

The initial conversation should include a thorough discussion of your objectives and expectations. Failing to have a clear understanding of everyone’s perspectives is a recipe for problems.

For example, you may be extremely angry with the opposing party because it breached some significant contractual or fiduciary obligation. Nevertheless, unless there are other business objectives at work, you generally do not want to spend more than is necessary to bring the case to a swift and favorable resolution.

But the lawyer may hear your anger and assume you want scorched-Earth litigation, or perhaps that is the attorney’s general approach. While that approach may be what some clients want, if it is not what you are expecting, you may find that the lawyer has engaged in extensive work that is unnecessary to succeeding on the merits and which has the deleterious effect of causing the other side to dig in its heels, rather than making the payment as part of an early settlement.

Not only will you be disappointed with the result, but you will be even less happy having to pay for it.

Accordingly, the lawyer needs to understand your goals and expectations in order to come up with a strategy that best accomplishes the client’s goals and that meets its expectations.

The complete article is here. For more information about strategies for containing legal fees and what constitutes reasonable attorneys’ fees, click here.

About Us

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

Stephen Riden in Lawyers USA on Social Media in Litigation

Stephen Riden is featured in the September 2011 issue of Lawyers USA in an article about the intersection of social media and litigation. The article is by Lawyers USA reporter Correy Stephenson.

The article focuses on the challenges faced by litigants and their attorneys when discoverable evidence is stored on social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter, as well as cloud storage sites like Dropbox. The article is reprinted here.

Social media is implicated “in every kind of case, from corporate espionage all the way down to a fender-bender,” said Stephen D. Riden, a commercial litigator and partner at Beck Reed Riden in Boston.

The article addresses the ever-changing nature of online communications, and the obligations of parties to preserve such material.

Education may be the first step, Riden said.”Parties are typically unwilling to cough up [social media] communications,” he said. “When I inform clients of their obligation to preserve information or explain that it is discoverable, they are surprised — and resistant.”

While clients may understand that things like work e-mails are discoverable, they feel that Facebook “is a personal mode of communication,” Riden said.

In the article, Steve discusses the importance of maintaining the status quo when electronic communications are involved:

To get the importance of preservation across, “I read my clients a variation of the riot act,” Riden said. “I let them know the penalty for deleting things like a Tweet or an IM over Facebook is high and could affect the outcome of the case.”

Riden instructs clients not to delete or change anything on their social media platforms. In one case, he even had a client share his Dropbox password so he could ensure that all the information was being properly preserved.

“I tell my clients that to the extent any communication over any websites pertains to this action, don’t delete anything and keep it as is,” Riden said. “Further, don’t have any future communications about this case, including on these websites.”

Steve Riden frequently writes and speaks about commercial litigation issues, including electronic discovery.

About Us

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor 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 Dow Jones’ VentureWire

Russell Beck was quoted by Dow Jones’ VentureWire discussing a recent move by the Department of Energy to categorize the total cost of renewable energy projects, backed by billions of dollars in federal loans, as non-public information. The DOE’s decision was in response to requests from loan recipients. Beck’s discussion concerned whether or not a project’s total cost could be classified as a trade secret. The full story is available here. The Wall Street Journal’s Venture Capital Dispatch blog mentions the post here.

Russell was quoted as in the article as follows:

Total cost of a project can be considered a trade secret, but only if a company can prove the information could give a competitor an economic advantage, according to Russell Beck, attorney with the law firm Beck Reed Riden LLP and a professor at the Boston University School of Law’s Intellectual Property program. Just because the cost is confidential doesn’t automatically make it a trade secret, he said, especially in cases where the contract is already signed with a customer as opposed to still being part of a confidential bid process. The fact that the information was open to the public, and to competitors, for several months on the government website is also likely to disqualify it from being subject of trade secret laws, Beck said.

Russell Beck frequently writes and speaks about noncompete agreements and other restrictive covenants.

About Us

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

Stephen Riden on EDiscovery in Mass. Lawyers Weekly

Stephen Riden was quoted in a recent Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article about a development in eDiscovery involving the closely-watched Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The article was written by David E. Frank. A copy of the article is available here.

In the article, Stephen describes the impact of Judge Scheindlin’s withdrawal of an earlier ruling concerning disclosure obligations of a federal agency:

Stephen D. Riden, a civil litigator at Boston’s Beck, Reed, Riden, said Scheindlin’s February ruling
created a new understanding of what government parties had to produce in response to a FOIA
request.

That understanding is now off the table, he observed.

“The guidance that the judge provided is simply no longer there,” he said. “But a lot of what was
written in her [February] decision is still relevant because it was a back-to-the-basics approach of encouraging attorneys to deal with each other in a way that is fair and open with one another.”

Stephen frequently writes and speaks about commercial litigation issues, including electronic discovery.

About Us

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