Protecting Your Rights In Cases Involving Nondisclosure Agreements
Nondisclosure 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 am an experienced economic rights attorney who represents businesses and individuals, plaintiffs and defendants, in complex NDA litigation throughout California. 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.
What Remedies Are Available For Breach Of An NDA?
To limit the harm to a business from an NDA breach, your company must take legal action quickly. Remedies available to the business include:
- Injunctive relief — Considered an extraordinary remedy, courts may order the breaching party to stop the offending behavior immediately, pending a full hearing on the merits.
- Monetary damages — As in any breach of contract case, the nonbreaching party may be entitled to recover losses caused by the breach.
- Unjust enrichment — In cases of misappropriated trade secrets, unjust enrichment damages measure the amount by which the breaching party profited from 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 many cases, it is often more cost-effective to negotiate a settlement that includes compensatory payments and a promise from the breaching party to cease the offending behavior.
Defenses 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.
As your lawyer, I will consult closely with you to elicit all the pertinent facts, and together we can 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.
To find out more about how I can help you resolve complex NDA issues as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, call 866-256-5487 or contact my office online. From my office in San Francisco, I help clients nationwide.