Trade Secret Misappropriation/Breach of Confidence/Inevitable Disclosure. Brought suit on behalf of Fortune 100 semiconductor company against nine former employees and their new employer. The employees, who were involved in the design and engineering of integrated circuits for power supply control functions, resigned en masse to accept jobs with a direct competitor. Obtained a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from contacting certain customers, using or disclosing the client’s trade secrets, and soliciting or hiring the client’s employees.
Copyright Infringement. Successfully defended a new media advertising and services company against claims of copyright infringement on database software brought by a competitor. Using computer forensic analysis, obtained proof that no copying had occurred and filed antitrust counterclaims and claims for business disparagement against the competitor. Thereafter, the competitor voluntarily dismissed the action without payment of any kind by the client.
Trade Secret Misappropriation. Successfully defended a regional tortilla manufacturer against claims of trade secret misappropriation brought by a competitor. The competitor claimed that the client’s founder and key employees misappropriated alleged secret recipes for the manufacture of tortillas. Settled for substantially less than the projected cost of defense after depositions of the plaintiff’s principals and filing motion for summary judgment.
Inevitable Disclosure of Trade Secrets. Brought suit on behalf of Fortune 100 semiconductor company against a former employee who was intimately involved in the development of the company’s industry leading digital light processing technology. Employee had resigned under suspicious circumstances and begun working for a competitor in the same field. Obtained a temporary restraining order, enjoining the former employee from working for the competitor, after which, the employee resigned and returned to work for the client.
Breach of Contract/Business Torts. Successfully pursued jury trial to $28 million verdict for plaintiff for a breach of a stock option contract. One of the hundred largest jury verdicts in the United States in 2010, and the largest employment-related jury verdict in Texas that year.
Appellate. Upheld jury verdict and judgment in favor of option holder in an appeal to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Published opinion available at Garriott v. NCsoft Corp., 661 F.3d 243 (5th Cir. Oct. 21, 2011).
Securities Regulation. Successfully defended law firm and investigator hired by law firm in civil Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation. The SEC was investigating allegations of insider trading and alleged collusion between law firms and hedge funds known for taking “short” positions on stocks. Though the SEC field office expressed its intent after conducting numerous interviews to recommend the institution of a civil action, the Commission closed its investigation without institution of civil action after receiving the client’s “Wells” submission.
Antitrust Litigation. Obtained summary judgment for defendant automobile auction in an antitrust action brought by an automotive transport service. The plaintiff alleged that the client had wrongfully denied it access to an “essential facility” in violation of the antitrust laws. On a motion by the client, the court found that the plaintiff’s claims were not legally tenable or factually sufficient to warrant a trial.
Appellate. Upheld summary judgment in favor of antitrust defendant automobile auction on appeal to the Texas Eighth District Court of Appeals.
Insurance Coverage. Obtained summary judgment for insured professional basketball team in suit for duty to defend against alleged violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). Following standard industry practice, the defendant insurance company refused to pay on a commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy for the TCPA claim. The trial court granted the plaintiff/client’s motion for summary judgment and entered multi-million dollar judgment, including statutory damages for late payment, against the insurance company.
Appellate. Upheld summary judgment on appeal to the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Texas for insured professional basketball team in suit for the duty to defend against TCPA claims under CGL policy. Appellate victory caused the insurance industry to adopt a mandatory endorsement excluding such claims from future CGL policies. Published opinion available at TIG Ins. Co. v. Dallas Basketball Ltd., 129 S.W.3d 232 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2004, pet. denied).
Health Care Fraud. Obtained summary judgment for a client hospital on allegations of federal False Claims Act (“FCA”) violations in a qui tam action in which the United States had intervened. The United States alleged that the client committed fraud, violated the FCA, and otherwise obtained overpayments from the government relating to cost reimbursements from the Texas Medicaid program. Following the grant of summary judgment in favor of the client on all fraud and FCA claims, the remaining claims settled for substantially less than the projected cost of defense.
First Amendment/Privacy. Obtained court-ordered dismissal on behalf of a film director and production company in defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuit. An individual who appeared in the trailer to an Oscar®-nominated documentary film sued alleging that the use of his image in the film’s advertising was a misappropriation of his likeness and harmed his reputation. On a motion by the clients, the court found that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and dismissed the action.