Titan Environmental, the environmental subsidiary of a major international defense and technology company, retained Mr. MacGregor to defend against a claim for unfair competition by a rival in the environmental remediation industry. The competitor sought to enjoin most of Titan’s operations, alleging that Titan had systematically targeted employees with special trade secret information and contacts with key customers in order to create its business from scratch.
Pre-trial discovery revealed that the employees in question had voluntarily sought out competitive employment with our client, and there was an ongoing pattern of business practices within the plaintiff company that was driving its employees to leave. Moreover, it was shown that the key customers involved had made voluntary decisions to move business from the competitor to Mr. MacGregor’s client, eliminating a critical element of the plaintiff’s claim.
The case settled for nuisance value, an amount dwarfed by the increased revenue realized by the client from the acquisition of the disaffected employees and customers.
Ironically, Titan subsequently retained Mr. MacGregor on an ongoing basis in connection with trade secret and employee piracy matters in which the client has been on either side of this highly complex issue.
Titan Environmental | Contra Costa County Superior Courtt
Success Type: Business Litigation | Case Type: Unfair Competition
Defense contractor Logicon was sued by a former employee who is both African-American and female, for race discrimination.
Careful investigation of the remaining employees in the unit and pre-trial discovery revealed that the company had a meticulous record of race-neutral hiring and job assignments. It had a well-documented history of extending to the plaintiff special opportunities such as providing car-pool privileges and a flex-time work schedule to accommodate her commute and child-care responsibilities.
Most significantly, Mr. MacGregor established that the decision complained of had been made by the client’s customer, thus relieving the firm’s client of direct responsibility. The law firm won on summary judgment for Logicon.
Logicon | Los Angeles County Superior Court
Success Type: Business Litigation | Case Type: Race Discrimination
Titan Corporation came to Mr. MacGregor as a plaintiff to retrieve trade secret software allegedly pirated by former employees, who had painstakingly developed it at great expense while employed at Titan. The programs were worth millions, as they were capable of performing extremely complex three-dimensional calculations ranging from such things as the impact of the Shoemaker-Levy comets on Jupiter to the cascade effect of a nuclear or subnuclear explosion on matter in the path of the event.
Discovery revealed that the programs were accessible to the members of the development team and had been removed from the Titan premises without permission. Moreover, the MacGregor team discovered that arrangements had been made by the defendants to enter into contracts with third parties for the use of the software before they gave notice of their departure from Titan. Mr. MacGregor won a total victory by way of summary judgment. The court ordered the defendants to return the software, and they were absolutely prohibited from engaging in any competitive activities. Rather than appeal, the defendants capitulated to the injunction and paid the settlement demand.
Success Type: Business Litigation | Case Type: Employee Piracy