Following years of litigation on behalf of a client with a financial planning and tax preparation business, a jury returned a verdict in favor of the firm’s client and against the defendants, finding liability on all claims.
The defendants were terminated by their former employer upon its discovery that they had set up a competing business and were taking steps to leave and solicit clients. Though the former employees were not bound by non-competition or non-solicitation agreements, they admitted to making a full copy of the company server, which contained information on every company client, their personal financial and tax information, as well as all financial information of the company. The jury concluded that the company’s client list constituted a protectable trade secret.
After four days of trial, the jury determined that the defendants willfully and maliciously misappropriated their former employer’s trade secret client list, tortiously interfered with its advantageous business relationships, conspired together to misappropriate trade secrets and tortiously interfere, breached their fiduciary duties and duties of loyalty. Plaintiff was awarded damages for the business losses resulting from defendants’ wrongful conduct.