The article covers a decision by the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court that an in-house lawyer could not be barred from offering advice to his new employer without evidence that the advice would breach his ethical duty to his former employer. The decision was entered in the case titled The Gillette Company v. Craig Provost, et al.
In the article, Russell Beck is quoted as follows:
Russell Beck, a Boston lawyer who focuses on trade secrets and noncompete litigation, said Sanders’ ruling is one of the rare instances in which a judge delved into the circumstances under which an in-house counsel can advise a former employer’s competitor.
“It provides a little additional clarity in an area in which there have been very few cases,” Beck said.
Beck said it was significant that Sanders rejected Gillette’s inevitable disclosure argument that the in-house lawyer could not help but rely on Gillette’s confidential information when advising ShaveLogic. There is no Massachusetts appellate court ruling that affirmatively adopts or rejects the inevitable disclosure doctrine as a substitute for a noncompete agreement, and trial courts have been wrestling with the issue, according to Beck.
“As in most of the cases, the court found there would not have been a need to restrict the employee — in this case the lawyer,” Beck said.
The passage of time was another major factor in Sanders’ analysis, Beck said. The defendant left Gillette in 2006 and began working for ShaveLogic six years later.
“That’s an important thing for people to remember when considering the risk imposed by a lawyer, or any employee moving from one company to another,” he said.
The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Sheri Qualters.
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.
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 (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
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 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 2014 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP specializes in noncompete litigation and is a trade secrets expert. He comes highly recommended by his peers for his nationwide practice in this niche. ‘He’s fantastic,’ sources say.”
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.