Steve Riden to Speak About Employee Duty of Loyalty Litigation

On Friday, February 26, 2021, Steve Riden will be a panelist for a Federal Bar Association presentation titled “Employee Duty of Loyalty Litigation – A National Survey.” The presentation is part of the Federal Bar Association’s 2021 Biennial Labor and Employment Law Conference.

The presentation will be conducted via webinar on February 26, 2021, from 3 to 4 p.m. ET. Registration information and other details are available here.

The other panelists for the presentation are:

The webinar will survey the law of various states concerning the duty of loyalty and how they differ, including recent federal and state court decisions in this area. The panelists will discuss topics particular to federal practice, such as which state’s laws apply for common law claims in conjunction with a breach of contract claim containing a choice-of-law provision; whether the DTSA preempts certain duty-of-loyalty claims; and whether a claimed breach of the duty of loyalty can be a “faithless servant” defense to a wage claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

This seminar will provide an overview of duty of loyalty litigation across the country and tips for litigating them from both the plaintiff and defendant standpoint.

teve Riden is the current Chair of the Board of Editors for the Boston Bar Journal. Previously, Steve was the Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Business and Commercial Litigation Section.

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.

Steve Riden Giving Presentation on Tortious Interference

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, Steve Riden will be a panelist for a Strafford presentation titled “Tortious Interference With Contracts, Business Relations, and Economic Advantage: Proving and Defending Claims.”

The presentation will be conducted via webinar on October 27, 2020, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET. Registration information and other details are available here.

The CLE webinar will focus on proving and defending claims of tortious interference with contract, tortious interference with business relations, and tortious interference with economic advantage.

These claims arise when a person intentionally disrupts a formal agreement between two parties or when a third party takes unlawful action to deliberately drive business away or to cause another party to not enter into a business relationship with the plaintiff.

The presentation will address the following issues:

  • What must plaintiffs prove to establish a tortious interference claim?
  • What are the potential defenses to defeat tortious interference claims?
  • Can preliminary injunctive relief be obtained for tortious interference?
  • What economic damages are available to prevailing plaintiffs in tortious interference cases?
  • How do tortious interference claims overlap with related employment, unfair competition, and defamation claims?

The other panelist for the presentation is V. John Ella
of Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A.

teve Riden is the President of the Board of Directors for the Boston College Law School Alumni Association. He is the current Chair of the Board of Editors for the Boston Bar Journal. Previously, Steve was the Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Business and Commercial Litigation Section.

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.

Beck Reed Riden LLP in Law360 for Preliminary Injunction Win

An article in Law360 higlights Beck Reed Riden LLP’s success in defeating a bid to enforce a noncompete agreement. The article is titled “Facebook Beats AI Startup’s Bid To Shield Trade Secrets.”

The article summarizes a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts:

An artificial intelligence startup has failed to prove that its first employee ran off with the company’s trade secrets when he took a job at Facebook, a Massachusetts federal judge said, denying the firm’s request to block the former worker’s ongoing research at the social media giant.

U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper … denied Neural Magic’s bid for an injunction, saying it wasn’t clear whether the work that Aleksandar Zlateski did for Facebook even qualifies as a trade secret.

The article explains that:

Aleksandar Zlateski is represented by Russell Beck, Stephen D. Riden, and Hannah Tso Joseph of Beck Reed Riden LLP.

The case is Neural Magic Inc. v. Facebook Inc. et al., case number 1:20-cv-10444, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

The article is by Brian Dowling.

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.

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’ legaland 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.

Beck Reed Riden LLP Celebrates 10th Anniversary

On May 24, 2010, Russell Beck, Stephen B. Reed, and Steve Riden opened their own litigation firm based on principles of integrity, collaboration, and service. Since then, Beck Reed Riden LLP has emerged as a premier boutique law firm known for its expertise and thought leadership in the areas of restrictive covenants and trade secrets law, employment law, and business disputes.

In commemoration and celebration of the firm’s 10th anniversary, the founding partners sat for an interview with the firm’s first junior associate (now senior counsel), Hannah Joseph, to discuss the early days of Beck Reed Riden, the firm’s milestones, and where the firm is headed. Here is what they had to say:

Hannah Joseph: We can start with a softball question. What made you want to open your own firm?

Stephen D. Riden: Russell, do you want to take this one?

Russell Beck: Sure. I was working in the Boston office of a large international firm, which was a terrific experience. But, ultimately, I realized that my practice would work better in a smaller environment. I happened to be talking to Steve Riden, who put the bug in my ear about starting a firm, which he said he would do with me. I then reached out to my former colleague, Steve Reed, who was interested in a new opportunity. So, the three of us started Beck Reed Riden.

Stephen B. Reed: Russell and I had previously worked together, so I was excited when he first proposed the idea. At the time that he reached out, I also felt that I was ready to take on the challenge of starting a business. So, the timing was perfect.

HJ: So, Steve Riden, you put the bug in Russell’s ear?

SDR: I guess I must have! I remember that we had several conversations about how exciting it would be to hang our own shingle. Plus, Russell and I had worked together for nine years by then, give or take. We worked well together, and I knew that we both shared a client-centered approach to practicing law and a desire to promote a collegial working environment. I knew pretty early on in our conversations that I was on board.

HJ: I joined the firm in 2013, so I missed BRR’s early days. What were they like?

SBR: It was just the three of us in a tight subleased space with a few established clients.

RB: We were a true start up! Back then, we were purely focused on efficiency, to get the firm up and running. We wanted to make sure that we were set up to maintain the same quality and effectiveness that clients had come to expect from us. We spent a lot of late nights mapping out how the firm would look.

SDR: That’s right. We were a complete bootstrap operation. It was also so exciting to build something from scratch: to figure out what we were as a law firm and exactly how we wanted to practice the law. We built the firm around a platform of efficiency. On top of practicing law, we spent a lot of time figuring out all the bits and pieces that go into running a business.

HJ: You have come a long way since then.

SDR: It’s incredible. We went from subleasing office space from another law firm to eventually having our own space with a thriving hive of activity and a roster of clients that I never would have dreamed of when we started out. And, when there’s no global pandemic, we still have lunch together every day.

SBR: We spent a lot of time on marketing efforts, which greatly helped us to grow our client base. Now we are nine attorneys plus support staff and, as Steve mentioned, we have a steady stream of challenging work.

RB: I would say that we’ve far exceeded our initial expectations for the firm.

HJ: Was there an “a-ha” moment when you knew that BRR might succeed?

SBR: I never doubted that BRR would succeed, so I’m not sure that there was an “a-ha” moment for me. When we were comfortable enough to leave our sublease “nest” and venture out into our own space – that was a particularly memorable milestone.

SDR: For me, the “a-ha” moment came after our first year of operation when we had grown our book of business enough to hire others to work with us. At the same time, we were continuing to get more and more work from an expanding client base.

RB: I’ve had a series of “a-ha” moments – “a-ha,” we survived our first year, “a-ha,” we can sustain incremental growth, “a-ha,” we will thrive as a boutique firm in Boston – which we have done now for a decade – and “a-ha,” our work with restrictive covenants and trade secrets has reached a national platform. I would say that some of my bigger “a-ha” moments were when our 50 State Noncompete Chart was cited by The Wall Street Journal, and then by The New York Times, and ultimately relied on by both the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Obama Administration. That’s when I felt like we’d really made it.

HJ: For readers who might be unfamiliar with our 50 State Noncompete Chart, it’s a comprehensive chart that tracks the noncompete laws of each state, and indicates – for each state – whether the state permits the use of noncompetes in the context of employment, which business interests are deemed protectable by noncompetes, the standard for analyzing the enforceability of a noncompete, whether the state exempts certain professions or industries from noncompetes, whether continued employment is sufficient consideration to support a noncompete, and whether the state is a reformation, “blue pencil,” or “red pencil” state.

RB: That’s exactly correct. I’m really proud of our 50-state chart. Nothing like it existed at the time we started putting it together. Now, we update it throughout the year. We have poured hundreds of hours into drafting and updating the chart and, in turn, it has helped to distinguish BRR as a leader in noncompete law nationally. We have also created a companion 50 State Trade Secrets Survey that provides a comparison of every state’s trade secret law and the federal trade secret law.

HJ: Speaking of accomplishments, what are you most proud of with respect to the firm?

SBR: Certainly Russell’s accomplishment in becoming a national thought leader on noncompetes and trade secrets. I’m also very proud of the fact that we’ve reached a high level of sophistication across all our practice areas, while maintaining a close working relationship with each of our clients, big and small. Our clients come to us knowing that we will provide fully customized solutions that take into consideration not only the legal issues at play, but also our clients’ individual goals and needs. Our approach is very practical, which is important.

SDR: I echo Steve’s sentiments. In addition, I’m very proud of the team that we have put together. We have this great team that combines senior attorneys, new lawyers, and staff at every experience level. Seeing new lawyers develop over the years is really gratifying and it speaks to the culture of mentorship that we have created at BRR.

HJ: I’m an example of that – I joined BRR right after law school and have grown up at the firm. I think we have a very strong culture of mentorship. In fact, we’re just about to launch a new internal training program designed to help junior associates develop practical skills and exercise best practices. Our culture of promoting open dialogue is one of the things I appreciate most about the firm – in addition to the many, many free snacks that we normally have on stock.

SDR: And because we don’t impose minimum billable hours requirements, we can set aside time to have those more general discussions that, in turn, inform our practice of law and ultimately lead to better work product. And, it’s true, we are usually very well-stocked in terms of snacks.

RB: I am also extremely proud of the environment that we have built at BRR. We have managed to do precisely what we set out to do: provide top quality legal work in an environment that has the closeness and cohesiveness of a family.

HJ: Would you say that these characteristics distinguish BRR from other law firms?

SDR: Certainly, at least with respect to our approach to minimum billable requirements. Because we don’t have minimum requirements, we are able to collaborate and work with efficiency. Our ethos is to get the work done, and to do it well – our steady stream of business and healthy appetite for being involved in the community ensures that we stay busy.

SBR: I completely agree.

RB: Me too.

HJ: So. We’ve made it 10 years. Congratulations! Where do you see BRR 10 years from now?

RB: These questions are hard. Probably largely the same as it is now, albeit a little larger. I always thought that somewhere between 10 and 20 attorneys is good for a firm’s long-term stability. We’re just about there, and I’d expect that we’ll continue to grow strategically, in ways that make sense. For instance, you won’t see us picking up a med-mal practice. We’re going to stay true to the areas in which we practice – trade secrets, restrictive covenants, employment, and complex business disputes – and possibly grow into areas that are complementary. We have also spent a good deal of effort making sure that we maintain a strong culture of collaboration and collegiality. So, any future growth will be a result of finding other like-minded people.

SBR: Hear, hear. I also expect that we will continue to elevate our profile as a national leader in restrictive covenants and trade secrets law.

SDR: As long as we get to continue doing what we are doing with a great team, I’ll be happy.

HJ: Good answers. Okay, last question. If you had only three words to describe BRR, what would they be? Mine are community-oriented, expert, and collaborative, so you can’t use those.

SBR: “Caring,” “dependable,” and “sophisticated.”

SDR: I’m also using “sophisticated.” Also, “lean” and “boutique.”

RB: I’ll also go with “sophisticated.” And “integrity” and “home.”

HJ: Congratulations on Beck Reed Riden’s 10th anniversary. We have come a long way and I can’t wait to see what the future holds in store. Thank you for your time today.

SBR: Thank you.

SDR: Thanks, Hannah.

RB: Thanks!

Russell Beck is a litigation attorney with over 30 years of experience, nationally known for his work representing employees and employers (from Fortune 500 companies to “mom and pop” shops to individuals) in trade secret and noncompete matters. For the past decade, he has also taught the course, Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants, at Boston University School of Law. He was the lead advisor and drafter of the new Massachusetts noncompete law, and assisted several legislators with, and revised some of the language in, the new Massachusetts trade secrets law.

In 2016, he was invited to the White House to participate in the working group discussions that led to the development by the Obama Administration of a Call to Action on noncompetes. He authored the book, Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE, Inc. 2019) (covering trade secrets nationally, with a focus on Massachusetts law), and the book, Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (5th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2015) (covering Massachusetts noncompete law).

In addition, he created the widely-used 50 State Noncompete Survey (Employee Noncompetes, A State By State Survey) and 50 State Trade Secrets Comparison Chart (state and federal trade secrets acts compared to the UTSA), the former of which was relied upon by the United States Department of the Treasury Office of Economic Policy’s report, “Non-compete Contracts: Economic Effects and Policy Implications,” and by the White House in connection with the Call to Action and related report. He also monitors changes to noncompete and trade secrets laws around the country, as detailed on his award-winning blog, FairCompetitionLaw.com. In his free time, Russell enjoys photography with a focus on cityscapes. His favorite photographer is Ansel Adams, whose work he has seen on exhibition countless times.

Stephen B. Reed focuses on the defense of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour, and related claims. He has successfully litigated and tried cases in state and federal court, as well as before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Maine Human Rights Commission, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A large portion of Steve’s practice involves advising employers on issues involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and other state and federal employment statutes that affect the employment relationship on a daily basis.

Steve has reviewed and drafted countless employment and workplace policies since beginning his practice in 1992. Steve also advises clients on unfair competition issues, including the use and enforceability of noncompete, nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure agreements. He has successfully litigated cases on behalf of both employers and employees to either enforce or overcome such agreements. Steve also has extensive experience in traditional labor law. He has tried cases before the National Labor Relations Board and arbitrated numerous cases on behalf of employers. He has counseled employers on union avoidance issues and represented management at the collective bargaining table.

Steve has lectured and written on employment law subjects for continuing legal education and various business organizations. He is a frequent panelist on employment law issues at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. He was a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association subcommittee responsible for drafting the MCAD Sexual Harassment Guidelines. In addition to his family, Steve is passionate about international travel, wake surfing, and the musical Hamilton, which he has seen five times … so far.

Stephen D. Riden has extensive experience litigating business disputes involving breach of contract, fraud, unfair competition, trade secrets, and noncompete agreements. He has represented companies in a variety of governmental investigations. Steve also has substantial experience representing owners involved in intra-corporate disputes, including shareholder litigation and close-corporation control matters. Steve was selected as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in New England and Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts.

Steve is the President of the Board of Directors for the Boston College Law School Alumni Association. He is also the current Chair of the Board of Editors for the Boston Bar Journal. Previously, Steve was the Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Business and Commercial Litigation Section. Steve is the author of the first chapter in the book Damages, Interest, and Attorney Fees in Massachusetts Litigation. The chapter, supplemented in 2019, is titled “General Law of Damages in Massachusetts.” Steve is originally from the Lone Star State, and has perfected the art of making Texas Nachos.

Hannah Joseph is Senior Counsel at Beck Reed Riden LLP, where she focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation. Specializing in the areas of trade secrets law, restrictive covenants, employee mobility, and unfair competition, she regularly litigates issues concerning the use and enforceability of noncompetition, nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure agreements, and counsels employers and employees regarding the same. Hannah has been named Super Lawyers’ Rising Star in Massachusetts consecutively since 2016.

In 2015, she pioneered the Boston Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Basics Workshop Series (a program that continues today). Hannah regularly publishes and speaks on the topics of intellectual property law and restrictive covenants, including at the American Intellectual Property Law Association, Boston Bar Association, and Practising Law Institute. In addition, Hannah co-teaches the course Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law alongside Russell Beck. Hannah graduated from Binghamton University in 2007 and Boston College Law School in 2013. When there is not a global pandemic, Hannah is an avid traveler and most recently visited Prague and Budapest.

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.

Steve Riden Giving Presentation About Raising Your Profile As A New Lawyer

On May 21, 2020, Steve Riden will be a panelist for a Boston Bar Association presentation titled “How To Increase Your Visibility As A New Lawyer.”

The focus of the presentation will be how new lawyers can raise their professional profiles by contributing to journals and publications such as Mass Lawyers Weekly, volunteering in the legal community, planning and speaking at educational events, presenting at bar association events and more.

The other panelists for the presentation are:

The presentation will take place on Thursday, May 21st at noon via webinar. Registration information and other details are available here.

teve Riden is the President of the Board of Directors for the Boston College Law School Alumni Association. He is the current Chair of the Board of Editors for the Boston Bar Journal. Previously, Steve was the Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Business and Commercial Litigation Section.

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.

Steve Riden Elected President of Boston College Law School Alumni Board

On November 1, 2019, Stephen Riden was elected President of the Board of Directors for the Boston College Law School Alumni Association. His one-year term as president began on January 1, 2020.

The stated purpose of the BC Law Alumni Association is to “further the ideals and tradition of Boston College Law School through the education and involvement of alumni in the life of the Law School and to promote the tradition of service to others, consistent with the Jesuit tradition, through the development and involvement of alumni, students and faculty.”

One goal of the BC Law Alumni Association is to connect and reconnect the graduates of BC Law to the institution and to one another. There are nearly 14,000 alumni of BC Law School.

Steve Riden joined the Alumni Board in 2011, and has served on the Board in various capacities, including Treasurer and Secretary.

In 2010, Steve received Boston College Law School’s 2010 Chapter Award for Boston.

Steve Riden graduated from Boston College Law School in 1999, and he graduated from Boston College in 1995.

Stephen has extensive experience litigating business disputes involving breach of contract, fraud, unfair competition, trade secrets, and noncompete agreements. He has represented companies in a variety of governmental investigations. Stephen also has substantial experience representing owners involved in intra-corporate disputes, including shareholder litigation and close-corporation control matters.

Steve Riden was selected as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in New England and Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts.

Steve is the author of the first chapter in the book Damages, Interest, and Attorney Fees in Massachusetts Litigation. The chapter, supplemented in 2017, is titled “General Law of Damages in Massachusetts.”

Beck Reed Riden LLPis 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 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 Moderates Discussion with Judge Young on Arbitration

On May 29, 2019, Steve Riden hosted a discussion with The Honorable William G. Young, Judge, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, at the Boston Bar Association on the topic of arbitration. 

The presentation was titled “Reconsidering Arbitration: A Conversation with Judge Young.”

The focus of the presentation was a December 2018 decision by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young concerning the use of arbitration clauses in commercial transactions. The decision was entered in the case titled CellInfo, LLC v. American Tower Corporation, 18-cv-11250, United States District Court, District of Massachsuetts.

The presentation featured discussion about the line between myth and reality concerning the value of arbitration.

In the CellInfo decision, Judge Young conducted a lengthy analysis of private arbitration, titled “Whatever Were They Thinking? Myths and Realities Concerning Courts and Arbitration.”

The court introduced its analysis of arbitration as follows: “How could an otherwise sophisticated agreement have made such a hash out of the parties’ intentions concerning the interplay of arbitration and court processes? It appears that in this ‘big law’ era, the drafters operated under the myth that arbitration is cheaper, faster, and more confidential than litigation (only one of these is true) without talking to trial lawyers who understand the reality that while people may not want trials, what they do want is a firm and reasonably prompt trial date before an impartial fact-finder as the best chance for a fairly negotiated settlement.” Judge Young’s analysis proceeded with in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of arbitration, and comparisons to court proceedings.

In an article in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly about the decision, Steve Riden is quoted as follows:

Boston commercial litigator Stephen D. Riden says Young made some very good points in CellInfo, points that he himself has raised with his corporate clients.

“In dealing with companies, there’s a perception that arbitration is always going to be faster, cheaper and more confidential than a federal court proceeding,” Riden says. “That’s not always right.”

Steve Riden is the Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Business and Commercial Litigation Section.

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.

Stephen Riden Featured in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on Arbitration

A recent issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features extensive discussion with Steve Riden in an article titled “Benefits of business-to-business arbitration on trial.”

The article covers a decision by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young concerning the use of arbitration clauses in commercial transactions. The decision was entered in the case titled Cellinfo, LLC v. American Tower Corporation, 18-cv-11250, United States District Court, District of Massachsuetts.

Procedurally, the decision addresses a motion to dismiss based on the defendants’ argument that a dispute resolution clause in the parties’ contract required the matter to be submitted to private arbitration. After addressing the merits of the motion, Judge Young concludes his opinion with a lengthy analysis of private arbitration in general, titled “Whatever Were They Thinking? Myths and Realities Concerning Courts and Arbitration.”

The court introduces its analysis of arbitration as follows: “How could an otherwise sophisticated agreement have made such a hash out of the parties’ intentions concerning the interplay of arbitration and court processes? It appears that in this ‘big law’ era, the drafters operated under the myth that arbitration is cheaper, faster, and more confidential than litigation (only one of these is true) without talking to trial lawyers who understand the reality that while people may not want trials, what they do want is a firm and reasonably prompt trial date before an impartial fact-finder as the best chance for a fairly negotiated settlement.” Judge Young’s analysis proceeds with in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of arbitration, and comparisons to court proceedings.

In the article, Steve Riden is quoted as follows:

Boston commercial litigator Stephen D. Riden says Young made some very good points in CellInfo, points that he himself has raised with his corporate clients.

“In dealing with companies, there’s a perception that arbitration is always going to be faster, cheaper and more confidential than a federal court proceeding,” Riden says. “That’s not always right.”

***

The judge acknowledged that federal litigation is “expensive as well — too expensive.” However, he concluded it was plainly a myth that arbitration is always a bargain by comparison. . . . Noting a typical arbitrator might charge $400 an hour, Riden says Young made one of his better points on the issue of up-front costs.

“For arbitration, it’s going to cost thousands of dollars up front, and it can cost tens of thousands of dollars just to pay for the arbitration over the course of the case,” Riden says. “Compare that to federal court where you put a few hundred dollars on your credit card and you’re off to the races.”

***

Riden acknowledges the popular perception that the costs of discovery in litigation far outweigh the costs of discovery in arbitration. However, he says his experience has shown that the costs tend to be comparable.

“I don’t see much of a difference in terms of cost between conducting discovery in federal court as opposed to conducting discovery in arbitration,” he says. “You’re still going to have to pay for the same forensic experts in both cases.”

***

According to Riden, a main benefit of litigation is that a party can start “pulling levers” to get rulings from a judge on dispositive motions much faster than parties can get decisions on the merits from an arbitrator.

“Typically, an arbitrator is not going to issue a decision on the merits in a case until the very end of the dispute,” Riden says. “Whereas in a federal or state court case, you ask for dispositive rulings up front or move for a preliminary injunction. Then you will have input from a decision-maker at the outset of a case.”

***

Riden says he typically advises clients to insert arbitration clauses in their contracts when he knows the client cares more about the confidentiality as opposed to the cost of a proceeding.

“Absolute confidentiality can be provided in an arbitration, but it certainly comes at a cost,” Riden says.

The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Pat Murphy.

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, Stephen Reed, and Stephen Riden Named Top 100 Lawyers

Super Lawyers Magazine has selected Russell Beck, Stephen Reed, and Stephen Riden as three of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Massachusetts for 2017.

In addition, Russell Beck and Stephen Riden have been named as two of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in New England for 2017.

Russell BeckRussell Beck is a business and intellectual property litigator, nationally recognized for his trade secrets and noncompete experience. Russell has more than twenty-five years of experience as a complex business and intellectual property litigator, representing corporate and individual clients throughout the country in federal and state trial and appellate courts, arbitrations, and mediations.

Stephen Reed represents employers in a wide array of labor and employment matters, from counseling companies on day-to-day employee-relations issues to litigating cases in court and administrative agencies. Steve’s principal focus is on the defense of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, wage & hour, and related claims.

Steve Riden is a commercial litigator who represents corporate and individual clients in a wide array of disputes across the country. Steve has extensive experience litigating business disputes involving breach of contract, fraud, unfair competition, trade secrets, and noncompete agreements. Steve also has substantial experience representing owners involved in intra-corporate disputes.

The selection of the top 100 Super Lawyers in Massachusetts and New England is based on a process of peer review following a survey of lawyers from the region. The Super Lawyers selection process is described in detail here.

Russell Beck and Steve Riden have been selected to Super Lawyers Top 100 lists in several prior years.

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.

Steve Riden Supplements Guide to Law of Damages

Steve Riden has written the first supplement to his chapter in the book Damages, Interest, and Attorney Fees in Massachusetts Litigation. The chapter, supplemented in 2017, is titled “General Law of Damages in Massachusetts.”

The book was edited by Tara J. Myslinski, Esq., of O’Connor, Carnathan, and Mack LLC, in Burlington, Massachusetts.

The first chapter provides an overview of the law of damages in Massachusetts. It describes compensatory, nominal, and punitive damages and reviews the different types of injury associated with damages claims. It also describes a series of special rules and doctrines affecting damages, such as mitigation, the collateral source rule, comparative negligence, additur and remittitur, contribution and indemnification, and tax consequences. Included in the chapter is a digest of nearly sixty specific statutory provisions authorizing punitive damages awards.

General Law of Damages in MassachusettsThe book is published by MCLE and is an essential resource for civil litigators seeking to assess the value of their cases and develop effective strategies for litigating damages. The earliest chapters of the book offer a general overview of the law of damages in Massachusetts, guidance on practice and procedure, and a look at settlement options.

The book explores damages issues in major areas of civil litigation in Massachusetts, such as personal injury actions and Chapter 93A cases.

RectangleThe concluding chapters, on interest and attorney fees, provide clear and practical guidance on these important but occasionally overlooked aspects of a plaintiff’s recovery. More information about the book is available here.

Beck Reed Riden LLPis 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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