Responsive representation with a goal-oriented focus
Butler Snow’s Business Torts & Unfair Competition Practice (BTUC) Group regularly counsels clients on matters that profoundly affect their competitiveness and livelihood. As a result, the BTUC Group is constantly evolving—as the law evolves—to maintain a thought-leadership role in this important area of the law.
BTUC team members regularly monitor, and frequently lecture on, innovative concepts regarding a wide variety of business tort matters. For instance, our lawyers have been on the forefront of taking command of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and promptly advising clients regarding its advantages and ramifications. Our team members regularly publish articles and blog posts addressing significant developments influencing our clients’ business interests. This practice ensures that the BTUC team stays on the cutting-edge of this essential area of the law.
Our team members also stay abreast of technological advances, which enables our clients to have the best possible representation at a reasonable expense. We are very knowledgeable on applicable e-discovery rules, which can significantly impact litigation. We also have established working relationships with a network of third-party vendors, who are experts at investigating and establishing trade secret violations, foul play by departing employees or any other business-tort related matter.
Our clients include a cross-section of industries, including financial services, healthcare, real estate and technology companies. Our BTUC team regularly represents clients to:
- Obtain injunctive relief to protect trade secrets and goodwill
- Enforce restrictive covenants
- Prosecute and defend trademarks, patents and copyright infringements
- Prosecute and defend fiduciary duty claims
- Protect against trade libel/product disparagement
- Address corporate raiding matters
- Prosecute consumer protection and deceptive trade practices actions
- Stop tortious interference with our clients’ existing and prospective business relationships
Our commitment to you—extraordinary responsiveness, effective communication
The BTUC team’s dynamic, cross-disciplinary approach draws on the experience of lawyers from our firm’s commercial litigation, labor and employment, and intellectual property practice groups, as well as various other groups depending on clients’ specific needs and industry affiliation. Additionally, many of our lawyers bring experience and perspective from previous roles, including past employment with various governmental agencies that regulate corporate law.
Our ability to readily rely upon our colleagues’ wealth of talents allows us to provide a multifaceted approach to your case and to respond with the speed and thoroughness required for any given situation. Injunctive relief, misappropriated clients lists and improper contact with clients by former employees are just some of the matters that can require immediate action. When the stakes are high and every second counts, our proven experience can make the difference in these fast-moving proceedings.
While we work to be highly responsive to unfolding events, we also recognize that keeping you fully informed is an important part of the litigation/dispute resolution process. Accordingly, we consistently work to ensure that you are always fully informed and that there are no surprises during the litigation/dispute resolution process.
Our commitment to you—aggressive defense
Our initial goal is to help you take proactive actions aimed at avoiding litigation, arbitration or other disputes. To that end, we take a goal-oriented approach to your business matters. We strive to understand your priorities, your strategies and your key business goals. Then, it becomes our priority to get you there.
At times, litigation becomes inevitable. In those instances, we understand the significant bottom-line impact—often a bet-the-company impact—that litigation can present. Zealous, aggressive representation is in order and we stand ready to meet that challenge.
Often, we make strategic recommendations to our clients both from a business and legal perspective. Based upon our track record of successes—coupled with our client-first mentality and our teamwork approach—we are able to make confident, innovative recommendations that usually lead to favorable results.
Our commitment to you—maximize results, minimize expense
We understand that value matters. While maximum responsiveness to your business matters is always our priority, we also keep a close eye on value. We routinely work across disciplines to find the right, most cost-effective solutions to your legal matters. Using a teamwork approach, we put your work in the right hands, such as proper distribution between different practice groups, partners, associates and paralegals, to help ensure that even your most complex matters are handled with an eye toward providing maximum value, along with successful results.
- Successfully defended, in a heavily litigated case over seven years, against claims of trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition arising from a sales manager’s termination of employment to open a new branch for a competitor, which ultimately led to the former company’s closure. Magnolia Air Conditioning & Supply Co., LLC, et al. v. Richard East, et al., Rankin County Circuit Court, 2017.
- Represented a construction supplier in pursuing claims for breach of fiduciary duty asserted against a former manager and a competitor. The BTUC team helped our client overcome an initial grant of summary judgment by successfully navigating two appeals in order to preserve the client’s claims for a jury trial. After the trial court denied the defendants’ attempt to exclude our client’s economic expert, the parties resolved this matter through a confidential settlement agreement. Ram Tool & Supply Co., Inc. v. HD Supply Construction Supply, No. 13C822, Davidson County Circuit Court.
- Filed suit in Mississippi against two former employees who conspired to injure our client by covertly working with a competitor to steal our client’s largest company, as well as taking 90 company employees to the competitor. Through discovery, the BTUC team located and secured significant text communications exposing the conspiracy. We used text message evidence, which the defendants originally believed was permanently deleted, to attack the defendants’ credibility. Through its thorough discovery and aggressive approach, the BTUC team vindicated our client’s reputation in the industry and prevented the mass exodus of employees that the client feared.
- Conducted an internal investigation, after a law firm’s managing partner discovered irregularities in the firm’s financial statements, which confirmed a real estate partner at the firm had embezzled almost $500,000 in 18 months. We drafted and filed a bar complaint and met with the general counsel of the Mississippi Bar; prepared and filed a claim under the fidelity/employee dishonesty policy of insurance; prepared an answer and counterclaim in response to the former real estate partner’s filing of a civil lawsuit for discovery; responded to a subpoena duces tecum from criminal defense counsel following the former partner’s indictment; assisted the client with its media strategy; negotiated a very favorable settlement with the insurance carrier; and negotiated a stay of the civil proceedings pending the criminal trial. This matter, which was very contentious at times, resolved very favorably for our client law firm.
- Successfully obtained injunctive relief enforcing noncompete agreements on many occasions, as well as successfully defended against actions for injunctive relief.
- Testified as expert witnesses in various business tort and unfair competition matters, including corporate opportunity/corporate governance litigation.
- Represented brokers before the SEC, FINRA and FBI, and conducted Sarbanes-Oxley corporate internal investigations for public Fortune 500 corporations.
- Defended an individual before the IRS and FBI who was accused of “structuring” bank deposits to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements. The charges were ultimately dismissed.
- Represented a bank in pursuing corporate raiding and trade secrets misappropriation claims against a competing bank and former employees.
- Defended a health care company against charges of corporate raiding, trade secrets misappropriation, and inducement of breach of non-solicitation contracts.
- Represented multiple bank officials targeted by the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and the U. S. Justice Department. All cases were closed without indictment.
- Filed an amicus brief for hospital corporations supporting federal immunity under the HCQIA. The Fifth Circuit upheld immunity and reversed an underlying judgment. Poliner v. Texas Health Systems, 537 F.3d 368, Fifth Circuit, 2008.
- Successfully reversed, on appeal, a $400,000 judgment against a partner of a limited liability partnership. Phillips Brothers LLP Winstead, 129 So.3d 906 (Miss. 2014).