Trade Secrets Litigation: 2019 Practice Note Update

I’m pleased to present the 2019 update to our “Trade Secrets Litigation” Practice Note, published by Thomson Reuters Practical Law. My co-author Zachary Jackson and I discuss litigation for employers whose employees have misappropriated trade secrets.

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Employment Law This Week Video: NLRB Wraps Up a Busy Summer 2019

In a Trending News interview from Employment Law This Week®, our colleague RyAnn McKay Hooper of Epstein Becker Green discusses the Republican-majority NLRB’s recent decisions and how they signal a shift in the Board’s focus:

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Expert Determination Explained

Expert determination is a private method of dispute resolution whereby disputing parties appoint an expert to determine their dispute. We take a purposeful look at the small print of this resolution method.

In Brief

Expert determination is a private method of dispute resolution whereby disputing parties appoint an expert to determine their dispute. It is most used in the areas of valuation and assessment. In certain cases, it can have significant advantages over arbitration.

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Federal Court’s Approval of Settlement in Litigation Over Expenses Charged to Brokers Offers Guidance on Settlement of Parallel Class Actions

On September 6, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California preliminarily approved a settlement in Harvey v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC.  The significance of the result is two-fold.  First, substantively, it is a reminder to financial services firms of potential liability under California labor law when advisors are required to pay for business expenses.  Second, procedurally, the court’s approval of the settlement is edifying on the subject of parallel class actions.

In the Harvey case, plaintiffs challenged Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s (“MSSB”) Alternative Flexible Grid expense program on the grounds that it violated California labor law by failing to reimburse their reasonable and necessary business expenses.

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New York Paid Family Leave Benefits and Employee Contributions Set to Increase January 1, 2020

As we enter the last quarter of 2019 and the business community begins to plan ahead for 2020, New York employers should be aware of the changes coming to the New York Paid Family Leave (“NYPFL”) program. On January 1, 2020, both the amount of employee contributions and weekly benefits allowed under the program are scheduled to increase. This will be the second of three annual increases in weekly benefits.

The NYPFL program, which took effect in 2018, provides partially-paid, job-protected leave for bonding with a new baby, caring for a seriously ill family member, and matters related to a family member who is deployed abroad on active military duty. The length of permissible leave began at eight weeks, is currently at 10 weeks, and will increase to 12 weeks in 2021.

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Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Why Building an Audience is Key for Successful Content Marketing

Content marketing can feel like the opportunity to be the author or podcaster or speaker that you’ve always wanted to be.

But when done strategically, it’s about building relationships with clients and potential clients, and providing additional value to them that will make you top of mind when they have a matter that requires your expertise. When you bear that in mind as an end goal, it’s a reminder that you can’t simply put out content – you need to build an audience. 

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Working with Headway Ireland, our Charity Partner

Last Wednesday, 25th September 2019, Robert Bourke, Partner, and Solicitors Sarah Falvey, Rachael O’Shaughnessy and Sean Fitzgerald met at the Headway Ireland office in Limerick, to present a cheque to Kieran Loughrane, CEO of Headway, and Rella Galvin, Rehabilitation Manager. Our team raised over €6,800 for Headway. This will assist Headway in opening their “Wellness Vault” to deliver holistic therapies and relaxation areas.

We are honoured to partner with the charity Headway and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.

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SEC Sanctions Broker-Dealer and Its CEO for Failing to Supervise an Employee Who Committed Securities Fraud

On August 20, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged Mosaic Capital, LLC, formerly known as AOC Securities, LLC (“AOC”), and its CEO with failing to adequately supervise an employee who engaged in securities fraud.  Pursuant to the SEC Orders, AOC and its CEO were ordered to pay penalties of $250,000 and $40,000, respectively.  The SEC’s actions serve as a reminder to broker-dealers—and members of firm management—of the potential for liability based on the actions of a self-dealing employee, and the need to guard against such activities.

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Lawyers: What Does it Take to Get to the Top?

Recently, I was speaking with a group of  professional women about the skills they see as essential to “getting to the top.” CEO of Pure Performance Communications, Deirdre Breakenridge, put together an article, “Climbing the Ladder to Success: Five Thought Leaders Weigh-in with Advice,” collecting their answers, and I wanted to share mine with you here.

For me, the answer is three-fold: persistence, a willingness, and openness to always be learning, and a strong tribe.

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NJ Division on Civil Rights Issues Guidance on Illegal Discrimination Based on Hair

In September 2019, the New Jersey Division of Rights (“DCR”) issued enforcement guidance (“Guidance”) clarifying and explaining how the DCR applies the state’s Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) to discrimination based on hairstyles, particularly with respect to those “closely associated with Black people.”  The Guidance states that the LAD’s prohibition on discrimination based on race encompasses discrimination that is ostensibly based on hairstyles that are inextricably intertwined with or closely associated with race and therefore prohibits employers from refusing to hire or otherwise treating “a Black person differently because they wear their hair in a style that is closely associated with being Black.”

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