Russell Beck Featured in Bloomberg Law on Noncompete Agreements

Russell Beck was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about the FTC’s proposal to ban noncompete agreements.

The story is titled “FTC’s Noncompete Ban Mirrors State Proposals Before Scaling Back.” The January 9, 2023, article was written by Chris Marr, who writes about labor & employment news for Bloomberg Law.

The article discusses the proposed rule recently issued by the Federal Trade Commission that would essentially ban noncompete agreements.

The article quotes Russell as follows:

“I expect that the FTC will pare back the proposed rule to make it address the abuses,” which include “using them for low-wage workers, using overly-broad noncompetes, and disclosing the requirement of a noncompete the day the employee shows up for work,” said Russell Beck, an employment lawyer with Beck Reed Riden LLP in Boston.

The FTC rule is widely expected to face legal challenges, as many lawyers and business interests such as the US Chamber of Commerce question whether Congress delegated such broad rulemaking authority to the commission.

“Even though the FTC likely doesn’t have authority to issue any rule on employee noncompetes outside of mergers, I think if they create a narrow rule, it will be far less likely to be challenged,” Beck said.

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Russell frequently writes about current efforts to regulate noncompete agreements. He was featured on NPR and quoted in the New York Times discussing federal regulatory efforts targeting noncompete agreements. In January 2023, Russell wrote an article for Law360 called “Companies Must Brace For FTC’s Overbroad Noncompete Rule.” 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.

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 years of experience 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 Publishes Article on Proposed Noncompete Ban

Russell Beck‘s article about the Federal Trade Commission’s proposal to essentially ban noncompete agreements was published by Law360 under the title, “Companies Must Brace For FTC’s Overbroad Noncompete Rule.”

The FTC’s proposed rule follows President Biden’s Executive Order on noncompete agreements

In the article, Russell reports that:

On Jan. 5, the FTC proposed a rule called the Noncompete Clause Rule, which would essentially ban all employee noncompetes, as well as any other restrictive covenant — including nondisclosure agreements — that can be interpreted by the FTC as a de facto noncompete.

The proposed rule would bar new noncompete agreements, and retroactively invalidate all existing noncompetes

ussell observes that the FTC’s

throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater approach is a mistake. While a bright-line rule provides clarity and certainty, the unintended consequences are likely to be extreme and can potentially dwarf the benefits of a complete ban.

For example, the rule would almost certainly result in more trade secrets being unlawfully taken to a competitor. The theft of trade secrets is already estimated to cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars a year and was a principle driver of the 2016 enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act.

Given the FTC’s move to ban noncompete agreements, Russell says the time to act is now:

Immediate action is required.

First, become part of the discussion. The FTC has requested public comment on virtually everything in its 218-page notice. Whether you use noncompetes or oppose their use, if you have something useful to add to the discussion, add it. This is the time to voice your opinion before it’s too late. But I encourage an honest debate with supportable facts and argument, not rhetoric and hyperbole.

This has been a four-plus year process that is crescendoing now. This will be the last chance for companies and individuals to provide input. If you have any, provide it. And do it now. You have 60 days from the date the notice is published in the Federal Register. While the FTC is almost certainly going to promulgate a rule, it has signaled a willingness to consider shifting to a more balanced approach.

In addition to the suggestion to give comments to the FTC, Russell also suggests that companies should stop using noncompete agreements for low-wage workers.

Russell concludes that

The FTC’s proposed rule needs to be a wake-up call. Companies need to immediately take steps to provide their input to the FTC and, simultaneously, brace for its impact — which may be far from certain for many months to come.

_____

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 years of experience 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.

U.S. News Includes Beck Reed Riden LLP in 2023 Best Law Firms Ranking

Beck Reed Riden LLP has again received national recognition in U.S News & World Report’s “Best Law Firms” publication for 2023.

For the fifth time, Beck Reed Riden LLP received a national ranking in addition to several regional rankings. Specifically, U.S. News & World Report designated Beck Reed Riden LLP as a Tier 3 firm nationally in the category of Litigation – Labor & Employment.

The complete list of Beck Reed Riden LLP’s rankings is as follows:

National rankings:

Tier 3 in Litigation – Labor & Employment

Regional rankings: Boston

Tier 1 in Commercial Litigation
Tier 1 in Employment Law – Management
Tier 1 in Litigation – Labor & Employment

The 2023 rankings are based on peer reviews and client input. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America.

Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity. The “Best Law Firms” rankings can be seen in their entirety by visiting bestlawfirms.usnews.com.

U.S. News & World Report is a registered trademark of U.S. News & World Report, L.P. Best Lawyers is a registered trademark of BL Rankings, LLC.

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 Lead Panel for New York City Bar on Noncompete Regulation

New York City BarOn December 13, 2022, Russell Beck will be a panel leader at the New York City Bar Association’s symposium titled “Navigating the Law of Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants.” Russell’s panel is “What happens if the Federal Government Restricts Restrictive Covenants?

The New York City Bar describes the symposium as follow:

This two-day program, focusing on trade secret law, will examine some of an organization’s most valuable assets, from cutting edge technologies to profit-enhancing improvements and beyond.

The first half-day session will cover the fundamentals of trade secret law and the laws governing the creation, identification, and protection of trade secrets – including the drafting of agreements governing trade secret use and remedies for misappropriation.

The second half-day session will be a more in depth analysis of trade secrets litigation, mega-verdicts, and recent federal enforcement of restrictive covenant agreements deemed to be violations of the antitrust laws. The panels will include esteemed judges, in-house counsel, representatives from government agencies and top practitioners examining both the plaintiff and defense-side of the law. IP lawyers, employment lawyers, general counsel and executives should attend.

Russell’s panel will focus on the effects of a federal initiative to restrict noncompete agreements. On July 9, 2021, President Biden signed the sweeping Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, which, among other initiatives, “encouraged” the FTC to use its statutory rulemaking authority “to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.” While efforts to curtail the use of noncompetes are not new, this latest executive action could signal increased momentum towards nationwide restrictions banning or restricting the use of noncompetes for workers in a wide range of industries.

The panelists are:

  • John P. Barry of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • Benjamin I. Fink of Berman Fink Van Horn. P.C.
  • Rosa M. Morales of Crowell & Moring LLP

A full program for the presentation is available here.

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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 years of experience 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 Trade Secret Summit

Russell Beck will be speaking at the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s two-day Trade Secret Summit. The conference will take place on December 8 and 9, 2022, in Miami, Florida.

Registration and additional information can be found here.

The AIPLA Trade Secret Summit is the leading trade secret conference in the nation, with speakers from across the spectrum of private practitioners, in-house counsel, government, and academia.

Russell will be speaking on the panel called, “Exploring the Contours of What is a Trade Secret: A deep dive on confidential information vs. trade secrets, employee’s general skill and knowledge vs. an employer’s trade secrets, and their role in the enforcement of restrictive covenants.”

Other topics that will be covered at the Trade Secret Summit are the following:

  • Best Practices for Trade Secret Identification in Litigation
  • The Changing Shape of Trade Secret Trials: What You Need to Know to Prepare and Try Today’s Trade Secret Cases
  • Damages in Trade Secret Cases
  • Protecting AI-generated Inventions as Trade Secrets
  • Criminal and Government Investigations of Trade Secret Theft

AIPLA was founded in 1897 to maintain a high standard of professional ethics, to aid in the improvement in laws relating to intellectual property and in their proper interpretation by the courts, and to provide legal education to the public and to its members on intellectual property issues. AIPLA is a national bar association constituted of professionals in private and corporate practice, in government service, and in the academic community.

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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 years of experience 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 Speaks at Strafford Seminar on Noncompete Regulation

On October 26, 2022, Russell Beck was a panelist for a Strafford seminar titled “Restrictions on Noncompetes: Recent FTC Developments on Wage and Hour Workers”

The presentation, a recording of which is now available online, is described as follows:

On July 9, 2021, President Biden signed the sweeping Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, which, among other initiatives, “encouraged” the FTC to use its statutory rulemaking authority “to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.” While efforts to curtail the use of noncompetes are not new, this latest executive action could signal increased momentum towards nationwide restrictions banning or restricting the use of noncompetes for workers in a wide range of industries.

he White House’s explanatory fact sheet clarifies that “the President encourages the FTC to ban or limit non-compete agreements.” A nationwide rule regarding noncompetes would be an unprecedented move by the federal government.

Previously, the states regulated noncompete agreements. Many–including Illinois, Nevada, and Oregon–have passed legislation limiting the enforcement of noncompetes by setting minimum compensation levels and time limits on the period of restriction. The Executive Order and accompanying fact sheet do not offer details on whether these are the types of limitations the FTC should consider.

Still, they represent common compromises that are short of an outright ban on noncompetes. In addition to President Biden’s Executive Order, the Illinois legislature passed new noncompete legislation in late May 2021. The new law will have significant changes for agreements and litigation in Illinois.

Although the FTC’s administrative rulemaking process regarding noncompete agreements has not yet been initiated, employers should immediately consider reviewing their workers’ noncompete agreements and employment policies for compliance with state law and with consideration of future possible federal action limiting the enforceability of such agreements.

The panelists discussed the following topics:

  1. History of noncompete regulation
  2. Biden Executive Order
  3. FTC possible regulations
  4. Future of noncompete beyond low-wage workers
  5. Best practices for employers in the future seeking to limit unfair competition and protect their businesses

A full program for the presentation is available here.

____

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 years of experience 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.

Chambers Commends Russell Beck’s Noncompete and Trade Secrets Expertise

Russell Beck’s experience with noncompete matters is lauded in the 2022 Chambers USA Guide.

According to Chambers:

Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is noted for his skillful reputation of business clients in a variety of disputes. He is particularly noted for his trade secrets work. “He’s very sharp and knowledgeable.” “He’s top-notch in the area of trade secrets and noncompete litigation; one of the leading experts on this area in Massachusetts.”

Chambers also notes that:

Russell Beck is a well-known employment lawyer, with specific expertise in the noncompete area. “He is a preeminent noncompete attorney.”

Russell was first ranked by Chambers USA in its 2010 guide.

____

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 years of experience 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 Sandpiper Partners on Trade Secrets

On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Russell Beck will be speaking at Sandpiper Partners’ annual program on trade secrets. The program, which will be held in New York City, is titled “Trade Secrets Protection, Enforcement, and Litigation.”

The one-day program starts at 9 a.m. ET on November 16, 2022. Registration is available here.

The program brings together judges, in-house counsel, and outside lawyers from across the country. Attendees will learn about the following topics:

  • Overview of trade secret law
  • Trade secret protective measures
  • What to do when there’s been a theft or one is suspected?
  • Avoiding being accused of misappropriation
  • Choice of forum
  • Identifying and protecting trade secrets in litigation
  • Discovery in trade secret cases

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 years of experience 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 Bloomberg Law on Noncompete Agreements

Russell Beck was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about legislation in New Jersey that would require garden leave benefits in noncompete agreements.

The story is titled “N.J. Noncompete Proposal Would Make Post-Employment Pay the Norm.” The September 9, 2022, article was written by Chris Marr, who writes about labor & employment news for Bloomberg Law.

The article discusses legislation in New Jersey governing noncompete agreements that would “require full pay plus benefits for former employees whenever a noncompete or other restrictive covenant is in effect.”

The article quotes Russell as follows:

“The payment of money unquestionably makes it easier to enforce a noncompete,” said Russell Beck, an employment lawyer with Beck Reed Riden LLP in Boston.

As scrutiny of employee noncompete agreements spreads among state legislatures and courts, Beck said he’s seen a small uptick in companies opting to include garden leave in their agreements without a legal mandate for it, particularly in the financial services industry.

Russell explains the origins of the the term “garden leave” as follows:

Although often used in the US to refer to noncompetes, the term “garden leave” originated with a different kind of post-employment pay, Beck said. Employees in the UK often are contractually obligated to give a notice period before leaving their job. If the employer doesn’t want the employee on site after they’ve given notice, “the company will pay you to sit in your garden” instead, he said.

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Russell frequently writes about current legislative efforts to regulate noncompete agreements. He was featured on NPR and quoted in the New York Times discussing federal regulatory efforts targeting noncompete agreements. 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.

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 years of experience 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.

Forum Selection Clauses Head To The Supreme Court

Essential to the drafting of any robust employment agreement, and indeed, nearly all modern contracts, is a forum selection clause that governs that agreement. Forum selection clauses are thought to provide the parties to a contract with certainty about where any disputes arising from that contract will be heard; they are presumed to avoid congesting the courts with disputes over venue, so the parties may head to the merits of a case. In general, unless there are obvious defects with a contract’s validity, courts will honor the agreement on venue that the parties reached and memorialized in the contract.

ut what happens when a state passes a law that expressly bans contractual forum selection clauses that would remove a case from that state’s jurisdiction? This type of law is becoming increasingly common among states that view non-compete clauses and other restrictive covenants with suspicion (or outright hostility).

For example, Massachusetts’ Noncompetition Agreement Act provides that “[a]ll civil actions relating to employee noncompetition agreements subject to this section shall be brought in the county where the employee resides or, if mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee, in Suffolk county . . .” Mass. General Laws c.149 § 24L(f).

California is another example. California Labor Code Section 925 provides: “An employer shall not require an employee who primarily resides and works in California, as a condition of employment, to agree to a provision that would …:[¶] (1) Require the employee to adjudicate outside of California a claim arising in California.” (§ 925, subd. (a).) “Any provision of a contract that violates subdivision (a) is voidable by the employee, and if a provision is rendered void at the request of the employee, the matter shall be adjudicated in California and California law shall govern the dispute.” (§ 925, subd. (b).)

A classic Erie law school exam hypothetical presents itself: in the event that an employee is a California resident, and signs an employment agreement with a company that contains a forum selection clause choosing New Jersey, where will the parties be ordered to litigate if the company sues the (now former) employee when he quits and starts working for a competitor, in direct violation of his employment agreement?

his is the exact scenario before the Supreme Court in Howmedica Osteonics Corp. v. DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc., on certiorari from an opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 28 F.4th 956 (9th Cir. 2022). In that case, Jonathan Waber was a sales representative for Howmedica, and signed a standard employment agreement with the company, containing a New Jersey forum selection and choice of law provision, as well as non-compete and non-solicitation clauses that prevented former employees from competing, soliciting, and servicing for one year after their departure. Mr. Waber ultimately resigned from Howmedica, and accepted a position with DePuy Synthes Sales. When Howmedica attempted to enforce the restrictive covenants against Mr. Waber, his attorney responded by asserting that the forum selection and choice of law clauses were void under California Labor Code § 925. Communication between the parties broke down, and litigation ensued.

After Mr. Waber filed a declaratory judgment action in the Central District of California, asking the court to declare those provisions void, the petitioner moved to transfer venue to the District of New Jersey under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The district court denied the motion, holding that state, not federal, law governed the validity of a forum selection clause in a contract. Deeming the forum selection clause invalid, and therefore unenforceable, the court assigned no weight to the forum selection clause when evaluating the transfer factors. The Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that § 1404(a) and Stewart Organization, Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22 (1988) “do not broadly preempt all state laws controlling how parties may agree to or void a forum-selection clause.”

In so doing, the Ninth Circuit joined the Seventh Circuit in the minority view that state law, not federal judge-made law, controls the validity of a forum selection clause in a case sitting in diversity in federal court. The Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits have all gone the other way—they hold that the issue is procedural, rather than substantive, and that federal law as pronounced in M/S Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore Co., 407 U.S. 1 (1972) is properly applied to determine the validity, as well as the enforceability, of forum selection clauses.

The circuit split on this important issue is clear, as are the implications for its resolution. To take one example of the disparate outcomes in different jurisdictions, analyzing the very same forum selection clause, in the very same employment contract at issue, the District of New Jersey upheld the forum selection clause, and rejected arguments that California Labor Code § 925 invalidated it. Howmedica Osteonics Corp. v. Howard, 2020 WL 1102494, at *3 (D.N.J. Jan. 17, 2020), report and recommendation adopted, 2020 WL 1082601, at *1 (D.N.J. Mar. 5, 2020). Same facts—opposite outcome.

The Supreme Court has yet to announce whether it will grant certiorari for this case. While Howmedica may not spark the same headline news as other cases before the Supreme Court this term, it is definitely one to watch for practitioners in the labor and employment space.

Sarah Tishler is the author of this article. Sarah is a commercial litigator whose practice focuses on complex business disputes in state and federal courts, including intellectual property, breach of contract, and fraud claims.

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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