Steve Riden in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on Confidential Information Disclosure

A recent issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features a quote from Steve Riden in an article titled “Added attorneys’ fees in earlier case provides basis for standing.”

The article covers a decision by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerning the analysis of whether a party had standing to assert a claim arising out of the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information in a separate lawsuit. The decision was entered in the case titled Wiener v. MIB Group, Inc.

The decision addresses whether attorneys fees incurred in a separate lawsuit, incurred as a result of the unauthorized disclosure of certain life insurance information to another party in that action, could support a claim against the disclosing party. Notably, the entity that disclosed the confidential, person information did so on its own volition – it was not compelled to do so in response to a subpoena.

In the article, Stephen Riden is quoted as follows:

There may not be many cases with similar facts — where an entity holds such comprehensive information across an industry, like the defendants in Wiener possessed about life insurance applicants, said Boston attorney Stephen D. Riden.

However, there are plenty of cases in which people outside of a lawsuit — often former employees, who do not enjoy whistleblower protection but may be bound by confidentiality agreements — may have information helpful to one of the parties.

The disadvantaged party may then come to believe they suffered an injury from the disclosure of that information in violation of a confidentiality agreement, Riden noted. The rationale behind Wiener suggests that the third party could then be sued.

“[The decision] hints at opening up another front for litigation,” Riden said.

Boston attorney Justin P. O’Brien agreed, noting that in his practice he has had instances in which he has tried unsuccessfully to argue that the expenditure of attorneys’ fees is potentially actionable.

Practitioners will want to be aware of the Wiener decision, as it provides a “toehold to that issue,” he said.

To insulate and provide cover for witnesses from claims like the plaintiff’s, attorneys should consider sending those witnesses a subpoena, Riden suggested.

The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Kris Olson.


Steve is a seasoned litigator with substantial experience successfully litigating complex commercial matters in state and federal court. Steve has substantial experience representing owners involved in intra-corporate disputes, including shareholder litigation and close-corporation control matters.

His exceptional track record in navigating the intricacies of court procedures, coupled with his deep understanding of commercial law, has earned him a reputation for delivering favorable outcomes for his clients. With an acute attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to upholding the rights and interests of his clients, Steve consistently demonstrates his ability to effectively advocate for their positions.


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.

Stephen Riden in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on Close Corporation Dispute

A recent issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features a quote from Steve Riden in an article titled “Non-derivative nature of claim dooms motion to shift burden in business spat.”

The article covers a decision by a Massachusetts Superior Court judge concerning a close corporation dispute. The decision was entered in the case titled Wettemann v. Nucleus Research, Inc., et al.

The decision addresses a party’s burden of proof in connection with a complex matter involving a dispute between owners of a close corporation. The lawsuit spans “150 or so docket entries,” and featured allegations of self-dealing, including a claim that an owner spent corporate funds on personal expenses. After the court’s determination that the lawsuit should have asserted derivative, as opposed to direct, claims, the parties reportedly settled the matter prior to trial.

In the article, Steve Riden is quoted as follows:

Boston business litigator Stephen D. Riden agreed that it is the type of case that would behoove attorneys to try to settle.

“What [Wettemann] does illustrate is the challenging fact of litigating a close corporation dispute between two co-owners of that corporation,” he said.

The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Kris Olson.


Steve is a seasoned litigator with substantial experience successfully litigating complex commercial matters in state and federal court. Steve has substantial experience representing owners involved in intra-corporate disputes, including shareholder litigation and close-corporation control matters.

His exceptional track record in navigating the intricacies of court procedures, coupled with his deep understanding of commercial law, has earned him a reputation for delivering favorable outcomes for his clients. With an acute attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to upholding the rights and interests of his clients, Steve consistently demonstrates his ability to effectively advocate for their positions.


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.

Stephen Riden Quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on First Circuit Ruling

A recent issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features discussion with Steve Riden in an article titled “Jurisdictional issue jeopardizes eight-figure verdict.”

The article covers a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concerning a contract dispute. The decision was entered in the case titled BRT Management LLC v. Malden Storage, LLC, et al..

The decision addresses a party’s obligation to establish the existence of subject matter jurisdiction when asserting claims in federal court. In this case, the defendants had not provided sufficient assurances that every member of one defendant — a limited liability corporation — met the requirement for diversity, i.e., that no plaintiff and defendant were domiciled in the same state. As a consequence, the First Circuit indicated that dismissal of the lawsuit would be justified, but gave the defendants “one more chance” to establish that the District Court has subject matter jurisdiction.

In its decision, the First Circuit detailed the obligations of establishing diversity for non-corporate entities like LLCs or trusts.

In the article, Steve Riden is quoted as follows:

Boston attorney Stephen D. Riden called BRT “required reading for any attorney who is going to represent or be adverse to an LLC or trust in federal court.”

The case illustrates that the burden to conclusively establish the diversity of citizenship “never ends,” Riden said. He noted that the parties thought they were doing the right thing by stipulating that diversity existed, apparently having mutually decided that it may not be worth the effort to drill down and identify every natural person involved in a trust or LLC.

But the 1st Circuit was “merciless” in emphasizing that there are “no shortcuts,” he said.

***

As much as the 1st Circuit’s decision is a “cautionary tale,” it is also a “helpful guide,” recommending a process of conducting limited jurisdictional discovery of non-public information at the outset of a case to confirm that jurisdictional diversity exists, Riden observed.

“This is a decision that cannot be ignored, with application to every single case in federal court with an LLC, LLP or a trust as a party,” Riden said.

The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Kris Olson.


Steve is a seasoned litigator with substantial experience successfully litigating complex commercial matters in state and federal court. His exceptional track record in navigating the intricacies of court procedures, coupled with his deep understanding of commercial law, has earned him a reputation for delivering favorable outcomes for his clients. With an acute attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to upholding the rights and interests of his clients, Steve consistently demonstrates his ability to effectively advocate for their positions.


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.

Stephen Riden Quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

A recent issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features discussion with Steve Riden in an article titled “In family business dispute, appraisal right deemed waived.”

The article covers a decision by a Massachusetts Superior Court judge concerning a close corporation dispute. The decision was entered in the case titled Szawlowski Potato Farms, Inc., et al. v. Szawlowski, et al.

The decision addresses a situation involving a dispute among family members in a close corporation. The estate of one family member sought to exercise certain rights under the owners’ shareholder stock redemption agreement. However, after undertaking a close analysis of the parties’ agreements and communications, the court ruled that the estate waived its contractual right to seek an appraisal of the decedent’s ownership interest in the company.

In the article, Steve Riden is quoted as follows:

Boston attorney Stephen D. Riden said apparently it was particularly helpful to the companies that, in the notice of their intent to repurchase the decedent’s interest, they had flagged the trustee’s deadline to request the appraisal, which made it easier for the judge to find waiver of that right.

For his part, the trustee seemed to have treated the notice as an invitation to negotiate a settlement of all disputes between the parties, which Riden called “a completely appropriate strategy.”

But at the same time, the trustee needed to expressly exercise his appraisal rights under the contract.

“The lesson there is to still keep your eye on the ball and make sure that you’re sticking to the terms of the contract in case the effort to negotiate fails,” Riden said.

The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Kris Olson.

Steve has substantial experience representing owners involved in intra-corporate disputes, including shareholder litigation and close-corporation control matters.


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.

 

Nicole Corvini Daly to Speak About Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, Nicole Corvini Daly will be giving a presentation at the Boston Bar Association titled “Maintaining Confidentiality Outside the Office.”

The one-hour webinar starts at 11 a.m. ET. Registration and additional information is available here.

The Boston Bar Association describes Nicole’s presentation as follows:

Keeping company information confidential has become even more challenging with employees increasingly working outside the office and accessing company records from their homes and personal devices. This program will address the pitfalls for employees and employers alike when it comes to access to trade secrets, proprietary information, and confidential communications. Providing management-side and employee-side perspectives, the program will cover trends, risks, and solutions for a constantly shifting issue.

icole is a partner at Beck Reed Riden LLP. Her practice focuses on litigating and advising on the use and enforceability of noncompete, nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure agreements. She handles trade secret and restrictive covenant matters around the country, including cases involving mass defections of employees, and has successfully litigated cases on behalf of both employers and employees to either enforce or overcome restrictive covenants.

The other speaker on this panel is Michael Ackerstein of Ackerstein Law.

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.

Stephen Riden to Speak at MCLE Conference

On Friday, February 3, 2023, Steve Riden will be speaking at MCLE’s 22nd Annual Business Litigation Conference.

The one-day online event starts at 12 p.m. ET. Registration and additional information is available here.

Steve will be speaking on a panel called “Preserving, Searching for, and Discovering Key Evidence.” The panel will cover the following topics:

  • Litigation hold requests
  • ESI-email, texts, phone logs—identifying key custodians and accounts
  • Considering client’s document retention policies and practices
  • Agreeing to joint search terms for ESI
  • Protective orders
  • Confidentiality designations
  • Motions to impound confidential material
  • Confidentiality terms in settlement agreements
The other speakers on this panel are:
  • Matthew S. Furman, Esq., of Todd & Weld LLP , Boston
  • Sarah M. Nyren, Esq., of Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford LLP, Boston

MCLE describes the event as follows:

This year’s annual Conference is a can’t-miss event! Get the latest update on new business litigation developments and important case law delivered in a dynamic, streamlined format by a stellar faculty of U.S. District Judges, U.S. Magistrate Judges, Massachusetts Superior Court Judges, and preeminent practitioners. Hear their insightful, practical tips from the trenches—and from the bench. The Judges discuss recent trends and field your questions in the ever-popular Business Litigation Session Judicial Panel and Federal Judicial Panel. And hear valuable strategic insights on preliminary injunctions as well as preserving, searching for, and discovering key evidence. Get highly practical, sage perspective that only experience—and the Conference—can provide.

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.

Stephen Riden Quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

A recent issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features discussion with Steve Riden in an article titled “Door opened to surcharge against breaching fiduciary.”

The article covers a decision by the Supreme Judicial Court concerning the availability of “surcharge” as an equitable remedy in claims for breach of fiduciary duty in the context of a close corporation dispute. The decision was entered in the case titled Tocci v. Tocci.

The decision addresses a situation involving a dispute among family members in a close corporation. One family member was accused of diverting money from the company for his own benefit. The SJC ruled that, as a general matter, a surcharge may be used to award a plaintiff the costs of attorney’s fees in a close corporation dispute when the plaintiff asserts a claim on behalf of the corporation against a fiduciary for breach of the duty of loyalty. This was the first time the SJC affirmed the use of surcharge in this context.

In the article, Steve Riden is quoted as follows:

Boston attorney Stephen D. Riden said he also takes a broader lesson from the SJC’s decision in Tocci.

“It reminds litigants that they can be creative when they ask for equitable relief,” Riden said. “Just because something has not been done before in Massachusetts does not mean it is not available to you.”

The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Kris Olson.

Steve has substantial experience representing owners involved in intra-corporate disputes, including shareholder litigation and close-corporation control matters.

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.

Stephen Riden Discusses Attorney-Client Privilege in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

A recent issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features discussion with Steve Riden in an article titled “Accidentally disclosed draft letter must be returned.”

The article covers a decision by a Superior Court judge in the Business Litigation Session concerning whether a litigant’s accidental disclosure of privileged information constituted a waiver of the attorney-client privilege. The decision was entered in the case titled Van Vuuren vLowenstein Sandler LLP, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-004-22).

The decision addresses a situation involving a party’s mistaken disclosure of a draft letter, which was attached to a motion filed in a shareholder freezeout suit. The party who received the inadvertently-disclosed document resisted a motion to compel its return and argued that the attorney-client privilege was waived. The court (Judge Kenneth W. Salinger) ruled that the accidental disclosure did not constitute a waiver of the privilege.

In the article, Steve Riden is quoted as follows:

Boston civil litigator Stephen D. Riden said he was pleased by the court’s acknowledgement that lawyers are humans and humans make mistakes.

“I think every practitioner has had that ‘Oh, no!’ moment when they fear they have accidentally produced privileged information and are worried they have done lasting damage to a client,” Riden said. “It happens all the time, but what this court is saying is that one mistake isn’t going to open the door into discovery of protected privileged communications.”

The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Eric T. Berkman.

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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