Russell Beck to Speak at Noncompete Agreement Symposium

Russell Beck will be a panelist at the 5th Annual Symposium on Employee Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secrets and Job Creation in Boston, Massachusetts.

BBAThe Boston Bar Association is sponsoring the Symposium, which will be held on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, from 4 to 6 p.m. at 16 Beacon Street in Boston. Registration information is here.

The Symposium will feature discussion and debate about the legal landscape of noncompete agreements, protection of trade secrets, and job creation in Massachusetts.

The Boston Bar Association describes the event as follows:

Is Massachusetts enforcement of employee non-compete agreements a drag on the creation of new enterprises (and jobs) – preventing “spin-offs” from incumbent ones – compared to unenforceability of such agreements under California’s 1872 codification of the common law?

Is enforceability necessary to protect business investment against unfaithful employees and expensive trade secret litigation?

Massachusetts court decisions extend enforceability of non-compete agreements to protect “confidential information” that does not meet certain conditions for trade secrets seen in American Law Institute’s 1939 Restatement of Torts.  Have broad employee confidentiality agreements changed the common law presumption against servitudes?  Would joining forty-eight states (including California and most recently Texas) in adopting the more modern Uniform Trade Secrets Act help make Massachusetts more competitive?

In addition to Russell Beck, the panel includes the following speakers:

About us

Beck 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.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members 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 2013 Chambers USA Guide, which included Russell in its “Notable Practitioners” section, adding that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is respected by commentators for his skills as a litigator. His areas of specialty include noncompete and trade secrets matters.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

 

Russell Beck to Chair Seminar on Noncompete Agreements

On February 6, 2013, Russell Beck will be chairing MCLE’s seminar titled “Noncompetes & Other Restrictive Covenants: Overview and update with practical drafting, enforcement, and defense tips.”

The panel for this week’s seminar includes Margaret A. Shukur, Esq., of Lionbridge Technologies, Inc., in Waltham, and Hon. Allan van Gestel (ret.) of JAMS in Boston.

Registration and more information is here.

This informative seminar will guide attorneys through the proper design and implementation of an enforceable trade secret, confidential information, and goodwill protection program.

The agenda for the seminar includes the following:

  • Recent developments in noncompete agreements and related restrictive covenants;
  • Trade Secret Audits;
  • Establishing a proper program for the protection of trade secrets, confidential information, and goodwill;
  • How to avoid common mistakes in drafting restrictive covenants; and
  • Best practices for enforcement of, and defense against enforcement of, restrictive covenants

About us

Beck 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.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,000 members 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 2012 Chambers USA Guide, which identified Russell as one of its “Notable Practitioners,” stating, “The highly regarded Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP has an excellent reputation for his work on trade secret and noncompete issues.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

 

 

Russell Beck Chaired Intellectual Property Seminar

On November 7, 2012, Russell Beck chaired MCLE’s Intellectual Property seminar titled “Practical steps to protect your clients’ intellectual property.”

More information is available here.

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

The agenda for the seminar is as follows:

  • Copyright: The statutory framework; Copyright registrations; Computer software license agreements and the freelance programmer; Graphic arts agreements and the freelance artist; Website design and ownership; User-generated content; Bringing and defending an infringement case.
  • Trademark: The statutory framework; Selecting and evaluating a trademark—registration and infringement risk; Getting a federal registration; Foreign registration; Trademark licenses and assignments; Maintaining the value and strength of your trademarks; Bringing and defending an infringement case.
  • Trade Secret: The sources of trade secret law; The impact of restrictive covenants; Establishment of a proper trade secret protection program; Bringing and defending a misappropriation case.
  • Patent: The statutory framework; Patent novelty and clearance searches; Patent prosecution; Foreign patents; Patent licenses and assignments; Duty of candor; Patent misuse and its extensions; Bringing and defending a patent infringement case.
  • IP and Social Media: General intellectual property and proprietary rights considerations raised by social media; IP clearance in a social media environment; Challenges posed by user content; Protecting your IP at risk through social media
  • “Ask the Experts” Q&A Session.

About us

Beck 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.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 1,000 members 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 2012 Chambers USA Guide, which identified Russell as one of its “Notable Practitioners,” stating, “The highly regarded Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP has an excellent reputation for his work on trade secret and noncompete issues.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

50 State Noncompete Survey

Beck Reed Riden LLP is pleased to make available its updated 50 state (plus DC) survey chart of noncompete laws. The chart is a summary of employee noncompetition laws and applicable standards throughout the country.

Recent articles in The Wall Street Journal feature Beck Reed Riden LLP’s expertise in noncompete and trade secret issues.

The chart covers the following:

  • Whether noncompete agreements are permitted in the state

  • Governing statutory authority, if any

  • Identification of the protectable interests (also known as legitimate interests or legitimate business interests)

  • Applicable standards for enforcement

  • Industries or professions exempt from noncompete agreements2015_BLF_Silver_Standard

  • Whether continued employment is sufficient consideration to support a noncompete

  • Whether the state follows the reformation rule (also known as “judicial modification,” the “rule of reasonableness,” the “reasonable alteration approach,” and the “partial-enforcement” rule), the blue pencil doctrine, or the red pencil doctrine (also known as the “all or nothing” rule)

  • Whether non-compete agreements are enforceable against at-will employees whose employment was terminated without cause

The chart is available for download here.

This version was updated as of August 14, 2013.

Check back for periodic updates or email us at info@beckreed.com, and we will automatically send the latest updates as they become available.

Please note that the chart is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for proper legal research and advice. It is provided for informational purposes only.

Beck Reed Riden LLPis 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.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck to speak at Labor and Employment conference in Louisville

Russell Beck will be a speaker at the 29th Annual Carl A. Warns, Jr. Labor & Employment Law Institute in Louisville, Kentucky.  The conference is sponsored by the  University of Louisville’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

Russell will be speaking on the topic, “Covenants Not To Compete: From Negotiation to Enforcement and Defense.”

Russell is scheduled to speak on Thursday, June 21, 2012.

About us

Beck 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.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members 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 2012 Chambers USA Guide, which identified Russell as one of its “Notable Practitioners,” stating, “The highly regarded Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP has an excellent reputation for his work on trade secret and noncompete issues.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

 

Russell Beck in New England In-House on noncompete agreements

The February 29, 2012, issue of New England In-House features Russell Beck addressing noncompete agreements for in-house counsel in an article called “Are New England’s in-house counsel free to join competitors?

Many companies ask new employees to agree to restrictive covenants as a condition of employment. These restrictive covenants can take a variety of forms, including the familiar non-compete agreements and nondisclosure agreements, as well as forfeiture agreements, no-raid agreements, and assignment of inventions agreements.

Unlike most employees, however, lawyers are generally not permitted to enter into noncompete agreements. Rule 5.6 of the Rules of Professional Conduct bars attorneys from entering into noncompete agreements.  However, the language in Rule 5.6 leaves open the question whether in-house counsel are always prohibited from entering into non-competition agreements.

In his article, Russell Beck refers to the American Bar Association for an answer:

Despite those questions, the American Bar Association has determined that Rule 5.6 applies not just to outside lawyers, but to in-house counsel as well.

And, as the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics (relying on Virginia, Illinois, Connecticut, Washington and Philadelphia bar opinions, as well as cases involving outside counsel) assayed, “the overwhelming majority of jurisdictions in the United States follow the ABA’s approach and hold that restrictive covenants affecting lawyers, whether employed by corporations or private law firms, generally violate state ethical standards.

Thus, while it is clear that attorneys, including in-house counsel, are generally not permitted to enter into noncompete agreements, one possible exception is based on the role that the in-house counsel takes in his/her new company:

In contrast, it is only when the non-compete prohibits in-house counsel from taking a purely business role that the agreement would likely be enforceable.

Thus, for example, a non-compete that prevents in-house counsel from going to a competitor as a COO would likely be enforceable.

The rationale for that exception to the exception is that the individual’s status as a lawyer is irrelevant to the role and, therefore, client choice for legal services is not at issue.

Russell Beck concludes the article with a reminder that, although in-house counsel are generally free to move about without the burdens of a noncompete agreement, they are not free from all restrictions.

So, while you are almost certainly free to move from in-house job to in-house job, and to bring legal support staff of your choosing, you are not free from all restrictions. Confidentiality and conflicts rules and certain restrictive covenants will govern your transition.

Russell Beck’s complete article appears here.

About Us

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

We are widely recognized for our work handling trade secret and noncompete mattersRussell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law

1st Circuit Decisions on Noncompete Agreements

The 1st Circuit has recently issued two noncompete decisions: Officemax, Inc. v. Levesque and EMC Corp. v Arturi. These decisions suggest the need for revisions to certain provisions in existing noncompete agreements and similar restrictive covenants. They are as follows:

  • It may no longer be sufficient to use generic successors and assigns language. The language should be made to expressly apply to the restrictive covenants.
  • In the absence of an express tolling provision, a noncompete likely cannot be enforced (for equitable relief) even if the passing of the restrictive period is caused by the former employee’s secret conduct or the court’s protracted delay.

In addition, below are two other restrictions to consider adding to nonsolicitation agreements:

  • Prohibit the employee from notifying customers of his/her new contact information, or require that any such notification be presented to you for review and approval before it is sent.
  • Prohibit the employee from accepting business (not just from soliciting business) from former customers.

About Us

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck On Noncompete Agreements in Mass. Lawyers Weekly

Russell Beck was quoted in a recent Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article about a lawsuit concerning the enforcement of a noncompete agreement.  The article was written by Eric T. Berkman.  A copy of the article is available here.

In the article, Russell speaks about the challenges judges face in deciding whether to enforce a noncompete agreement:

Russell Beck, … [a] Boston attorney who represents both employers and employees in non-compete litigation, agreed that such matters often come down to the “black hat-white hat” issue.

“Courts are faced with these decisions in a very short timeframe,” said Beck, who practices at Beck, Reed, Riden. “They get a bunch of briefs and affidavits, and if they have a few hours to look at everything, they’re lucky. They really have to make their decision on a gut level, and the perceived conduct of the parties sometimes has a tremendous influence on the outcome of the case, especially where there’s a bad actor in the mind of the court.”

Russell Beck frequently writes and speaks about noncompete agreements.

About Us

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

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