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Non-Competes & Trade Secrets

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Bob Gilbertson

612.474.3324 (Minneapolis)

816.339.9310 (Kansas City)

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Competition is the lifeblood of our economy, but the law recognizes limits. We help you navigate the varying and ever-changing legal framework across the United States when companies add or lose key employees.

Americans’ attitudes toward work, information, employers, and institutions generally are changing, and companies that ignore these shifts do so at their peril. Sensitive business information is in greater jeopardy today than ever and high-quality sales, technical, and management personnel have more options than ever. Key-employee movement among companies is a given.

What is not a given is how the traditional tools—non-competes, non-solicits, proprietary-information agreements, and the like—will fare in a particular situation. There is a large body of law that varies from state to state and is not always consistently applied. Our lawyers have been handling restrictive-covenant and trade-secrets disputes across the United States for nearly 30 years. Clients in the consulting, high-tech, food, manufacturing, medical-device, and other industries turn to us to counsel them when key employees join or leave their organizations. We bring to bear our experience evaluating such situations nationwide in helping our clients navigate or negotiate their way to a positive resolution. And where agreement cannot be reached, we bring or defend motions for temporary restraining orders and the like and pursue litigation as far as it needs to go.

Representative examples

  • Prevailed, on behalf of an up-and-coming medical-device company, in a dispute with an industry giant in Medtronic, Inc. v. Ernst, 182 F. Supp. 3d 925 (D. Minn. 2016)
  • Brought and resolved litigation in Illinois securing the right of two highly placed medical-device sales executives to join a competitor
  • Defeated theft-of-trade-secrets claim against a New York employee who left her company to join a competitor
  • Represented smaller competitor in resolving complicated non-compete dispute with largest company in the industry
  • Represented executives of a Fortune 500 transportation-logistics company in a two-week jury trial including allegations of tortious interference and non-compete violations