Russell Beck to Speak at AIPLA’s 2023 Spring Meeting

Russell Beck will be a speaker at this year’s American Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Meeting. The AIPLA’s Spring Meeting will take place on May 10-12, 2023, in Seattle.

Russell Beck will be giving a presentation on May 10th, titled “Non-Competition Covenants in the Age of Remote and Hybrid Work.”

The AIPLA is a bar association of lawyers in private and corporate practice, government service, and the academic community. AIPLA represents individuals, companies and institutions involved in the practice of patent, trademark, copyright, and unfair competition law, as well as other fields of law affecting intellectual property.


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.

Russell frequently writes and speaks 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 was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about the FTC’s proposed rule, and he 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.

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 DRI’s Business and Intellectual Property Litigation Conference

On Thursday, April 27, 2023, Russell Beck will be speaking at DRI’s 2023 Business and Intellectual Property Litigation Super Conference. The event will be held in New Orleans.

Russell’s presentation is titled “Hold onto Your Trade Secrets: The Winds of Change are Howling Around Employee Noncompete Agreements.

The three-day, in-person program starts on April 26, 2023. More details are available here.

According to the event’s description, at DRI’s Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Super Conference, among other things, attendees will learn about generational differences impacting the practice of law, issues in front of the Supreme Court and the anticipated effects of future rulings, the sweeping changes affecting restrictive covenants.

Russell’s presentation on noncompete agreements is described as follows:

Nearly sixty percent of employees who change jobs admit to stealing trade secrets on their way out the door. The harm to the economy and innovation caused by the misappropriation is so great that it led to the near unanimous passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, establishing a federal private right of action for trade secret misappropriation. Yet, in the name of enhancing employee mobility, the key agreements designed to protect trade secrets — employee noncompete and nondisclosure agreements — are under attack in legislatures across the country, in Congress, and at the Federal Trade Commission. This presentation will explore this dilemma and the steps companies can take to protect their trade secrets in the face of recent and anticipated regulation favoring employee mobility over the protection of trade secrets.

DRI is the largest international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation.


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.

Russell frequently writes and speaks 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 was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about the FTC’s proposed rule, and he 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.

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 MCLE About Trade Secrets

On April 25, 2023, Russell Beck spoke about trade secrets at the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s seminar on intellectual property.

Russell’s trade secrets presentation was part of a program titled “What Every Business Lawyer Must Know About Intellectual Property Law Pitfalls & Opportunities.” The webcast will be rebroadcast on May 10 and May 18, and a recording is available found here.

Russell’s presentation focused on the sources of trade secret law, the impact of restrictive covenants, and the changing regulatory landscape. He also addressed the importance of establishing a proper trade secret protection program, and the basics of bringing and defending a misappropriation case.

_____

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.

Supreme Court Declines To Resolve Circuit Split On Forum Selection Clauses

Late last year, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Howmedica Osteonics Corp. v. DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc., which was brought to the Supreme Court for review from an opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 28 F.4th 956 (9th Cir. 2022).  At the heart of Howmedica (as explained in a previous article, here) was the classic Erie law school hypothetical – does federal or state law control in federal court when deciding if a party’s contractual forum selection clause preempts a state statutory forum selection mandate?

o briefly summarize the Howmedica case: A former sales representative for Howmedica had an employment agreement containing a New Jersey forum selection and choice of law provision, as well as noncompete and nonsolicitation clauses. He ultimately resigned and went to work for a competitor. When Howmedica attempted to enforce the restrictive covenants, the former employee asserted that the forum selection and choice of law clauses were void under California Labor Code § 925, because he was a California resident.

The former employee filed a declaratory judgment action in the Central District of California, asking the court to declare those provisions void. Howmedica 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, and that the forum selection clause was therefore invalid and unenforceable. The Ninth Circuit agreed, and held 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.” Howmedica then petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari review.

y applying state law to decide the validity of a forum selection clause, the Ninth Circuit joined the Seventh Circuit in the minority on this issue.  See, e.g., Jackson v. Payday Fin., LLC, 764 F.3d 765, 774 (7th Cir. 2014). The Second, Third,[1] Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits have all gone the other way—they hold that federal law as pronounced in M/S Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore Co., 407 U.S. 1 (1972), applies to determine the validity and enforceability of forum selection clauses.

Despite the circuit split, the Supreme Court denied Howmedica’s petition for certiorari on December 12, 2022. This means that in practical terms, significant uncertainty remains with respect to how contractual forum selection clauses will be treated in the face of the increasing number of state statutes that mandate a given forum for particular subjects, such as employment restrictive covenants.

But, the case law is also far from uniform on a multitude of subsidiary issues.  For example, courts have come to opposite conclusions on whether a given state’s statutory forum selection mandate (such as in the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (“MNAA”)) in and of itself demonstrates that state’s clear public policy for the purposes of deciding a motion for transfer. In Hilb Grp. of New England, LLC v. LePage, for example, the Eastern District of Virginia held that “no Massachusetts court has held that the Massachusetts Noncompete Agreement Act [which mandates that all cases involving Massachusetts residents must take place in Massachusetts] manifests the state’s strong public policy. Thus, the enforcement of the Agreement’s forum selection clause would not go against a strong public policy of Massachusetts.” No. 3:21-cv-757, 2022 WL 1538583, at *4 (E.D. Va. May 16,2022).

n contrast, the Delaware Chancery Court came to the opposite conclusion regarding whether a statute demonstrates a state’s public policy. In AG Res. Holdings, LLC v. Terral, the Delaware Chancery Court held that “[t]he Louisiana [forum selection] laws cited above are clear pronouncements by the Louisiana legislature regarding its public policy on matters of employment and competition. Under the circumstances, Louisiana’s interests must be respected and enforced.” No. CV 2020-0850-JRS, 2021 WL 486831, at *5 (Del. Ch. Feb. 10, 2021). Idaho provides another example. Idaho Code § 29-110(1) states that it is against Idaho public policy for a contract to restrict a party’s ability to enforce its rights in Idaho courts. Idaho courts have interpreted this statute as evidence of the state’s “strong public policy” against forum selection clauses that mandate proceedings outside of Idaho.  See, e.g., Off-Spec Sols., LLC v. Transportation Invs., LLC, 168 Idaho 734, 739, 487 P.3d 326, 331 (2021); see also Gemini Technologies, Inc. v. Smith & Wesson, Corp., 931 F.3d 911, at 915-17 (9th Cir. 2020).

This thorny issue will continue to cause uncertainty for employers operating in multiple states, as well as employers whose workforce is spread out across more than one state.  Without clear guidance from the Supreme Court, practitioners must continue to be sensitive to the ever-changing landscape of state laws and the judicial decisions interpreting those laws, in order to understand where a case may eventually be heard, and what laws may apply to the dispute.

 

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.


[1] By way of 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.

 

Stephen Riden Featured in The National Law Journal on Noncompetes

A recent issue of The National Law Journal features discussion with Steve Riden in an article titled “Legal Industry Is Split on FTC’s Proposed Ban on Non-Competes.”

The article covers the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed Noncompete Clause Rule, which would essentially ban all employee noncompete agreements. The report was written by Christine Schiffner, Bureau Chief for the National Law Journal in Washington, D.C.

In the article, attorneys discuss a variety of viewpoints about the value of noncompete agreements, and assess the FTC’s proposal to restrict such provisions. Steve Riden is quoted as follows:

“We would suggest that the FTC reconsider an outright ban of non-compete agreements,” said Boston-based Beck Reed & Riden partner Stephen Riden. He and the firm’s other name partner Russell Beck spearheaded the publication of an open letter signed by 59 attorneys underscoring the effectiveness of non-compete agreements to protect trade secrets and “stealing confidential company information” when employees leave their jobs. His firm is also planning to actively weigh in during the FTC’s public comment period.

***

While 47 U.S. states currently permit non-competes and three states have enacted bans, Riden points out that “there are measures that can be taken to soften the impacts of non-competes,” including clear disclosures and more transparency during the hiring process. “Companies could provide notice of the non-compete agreements before the employee accepts the job,” Riden said—“so employees start a new role with their eyes wide open.”

***

While the FTC argues that the new rule would promote “greater dynamism, healthy competition, and innovation,” defense attorneys disagree. Particularly in circumstances of employees handling confidential or even trade secret information, non-compete clauses “give the old employer the opportunity to protect and further capitalize on the confidential information,” Riden said.

Steve has substantial experience representing companies and individuals in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters.

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.

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 on Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Panel About Proposed Noncompete Ban

Russell Beck will appear on a panel assembled by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly titled “FTC Proposes Nationwide Ban on Non-Competes.”

The seminar will focus on the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed Noncompete Clause Rule, which would essentially ban all employee noncompete agreements. The free event will be held on Monday, January 30, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. ET on Zoom. More information and registration is 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 the current landscape, what the rule says, what the impact will be on employers, what the timeline might be for implementation, the implications for non-disclosure agreements and other restrictive covenants, what alternatives the FTC might consider, and what businesses can do.

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

Russell frequently writes and speaks 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 was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about the FTC’s proposed rule, and he 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.

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 MCLE About Proposed Noncompete Ban

Russell Beck will be speaking at the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s seminar on the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed Noncompete Clause Rule, which would essentially ban all employee noncompete agreements.

The presentation, titled “FTC’s Proposed Rule Banning Noncompetes,” will take place online on January 25, 2023, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. ET.

Registration and additional information for the MCLE program can be found here.

According to the description of the program, “[o]n January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission announced a groundbreaking proposed rule, which would ban employee noncompetes. The proposed rule, if enacted, will completely change the landscape on restrictive covenants and trade secret protection. Not only would employers be unable to use or enforce noncompetes, they would be required to take steps to rescind existing noncompetes and notify employees that they are no longer enforceable. The proposed rule, which President Biden urged the FTC to adopt, purports to preempt all state law on noncompetes, including centuries of case law and significant recent state legislative efforts.”

MCLE describes the target audience for this program as follows:

Employers and employees need to be aware of and begin to plan for the possible adoption of the proposed rule (or a revised version thereof). Interested parties should also take advantage of the 60-day period to comment to the FTC on the proposed rule. This fast-track program is designed to assist lawyers in advising their clients in planning for compliance.

Russell frequently writes and speaks 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 was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about the FTC’s proposed rule, and he 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 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.

____

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.

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.

____

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.

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