San Francisco Attorney Manages Breach of NDA Cases
Preeminent representation for plaintiffs and defendants throughout California
Non-disclosure agreements or NDAs are common additions to employment contracts meant to protect an employer’s trade secrets. Companies also execute NDAs prior to negotiations with potential trade partners. Although disputes can arise during the working relationship, most controversies arise after parties to the NDA part ways, and the former employee or trade partner seems to have used trade secrets for advantage in a new position. At Fergus, A Law Office, I represent businesses and individuals, plaintiffs and defendants, in litigation of NDAs. Drawing on more than 35 years of complex civil and commercial litigation, I work diligently to help you resolve conflicts and implement appropriate remedies. If your business has been harmed by a breach of NDA, or if allegations of breach threaten your livelihood, I can help you protect your rights and present a compelling case for appropriate relief.
Remedies available for breach of NDA in California
To limit the harm to a business from an NDA breach, the company must take legal action quickly. Remedies available to the business include:
- Injunctive relief — One remedy a business may consider is the extraordinary grant of an immediate order from the court that the breaching party stop the offending behavior. This may be in the form of an injunction forbidding the breaching party from using stolen formulas, recipes, customer lists or business plans. Courts can issue temporary restraining orders if the court finds that plaintiff has a likelihood of success on the merits; there is a likelihood of irreparable harm to the plaintiff in the absence of preliminary relief; the balance of equities tips in the plaintiff’s favor; and that an injunction is in the public interest.
- Monetary damages — As in any breach of contract case, the non-breaching party may be entitled to recover losses caused by the breach.
- Unjust enrichment — In cases of misappropriated trade secrets, it is possible to obtain damages for unjust enrichment, which is the measure by which the breaching party profited by virtue of the stolen information.
- Punitive damages — In cases where the breaching party’s conduct is particularly egregious, the court may order exemplary damages to punish the bad behavior and discourage similar conduct in the future.
In most cases, it is more cost-effective to negotiate a settlement that includes a promise to cease the offending behavior and compensatory payments.
Defense to a breach of NDA lawsuit
Individuals and entities accused of breaching NDAs can employ a variety of defenses available in contract cases. Depending on the facts of your case, you could utilize one or more of the following:
- No breach — There are a number of reasons why an accused party can claim there was no breach of the NDA, including the fact that the subject of the NDA was not secret. Proof that the allegedly confidential information was in the public domain or was widely in use is sufficient.
- NDA is overly broad — The NDA must be precise about what exactly is to be protected. Attempts to cover everything under the sun are usually ruled unenforceable or void for vagueness.
- Hypothetical loss — The plaintiff must have suffered some real, quantifiable damage. If the information claimed to be confidential had no value to the competitor, the plaintiff’s business was not harmed, despite the breach.
I consult closely with you to elicit all the pertinent facts, and together we decide on which defense strategies to pursue. When you retain my services, you can count on my utmost loyalty and my determined efforts to deliver the best possible results.
Retain preeminent representation for your NDA litigation in San Francisco
Disputes over non-disclosure agreements can be damaging for your business and your reputation. I can help plaintiffs and defendants resolve even the most complex NDA issues as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. To schedule an appointment, call Fergus, A Law Office today at 415.537.9030 or contact my office online. The office is conveniently located in downtown San Francisco.