Kagan Law Group Secures Defense Verdict from Jury in Complex Trade Secret and Restrictive Covenant Dispute
January 8, 2019
Following a month-long trial before a jury in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, litigators from Kagan Law Group, LLC (Michael Marinello and Jonathan Kagan) obtained a complete defense verdict in favor of a company client and its president. The verdict – rendered June 14, 2018 after 21 days of trial testimony, evidence and argument – represented a complete victory for the clients in what was truly a “bet-the-company” case.
The plaintiff made claims against KLG’s clients involving misappropriation of trade secrets under Maryland’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, tortious interference with contracts, tortious interference with business relations, fraud, conversion, conspiracy and unfair competition. Lawyers for the plaintiff asked the jury to find KLG’s clients liable on all counts and to award the plaintiff approximately $7 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages of twice that amount ($14 million), exposing the Anne Arundel County company to upwards of a $21 million judgment. After the presentation of all evidence and the arguments of Kagan Law Group, the jury found no liability on the part of the clients across the board. The jury returned their verdict in less than 90 minutes. Two other individual defendants, both of whom were former employees of the plaintiff, were also found not to be liable on any claims.
“Thanks to Kagan Law Group for a well-prepared defense, and argument at trial, which resulted in a verdict in our favor,” the client’s president said. “This is a tremendous win for us, after two years of litigation. Kagan Law Group managed the complexities of Electrical and Mechanical engineering design to present the evidence and argue the case to a jury. I couldn’t imagine a better team than Kagan Law Group to represent me.”
The plaintiff and KLG’s company client each provide the wireless television technology, such as wireless cameras and microphones, and the technical support used to broadcast live sports, auto racing, and other events. At trial, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants conspired to steal trade secrets from the plaintiff in order to win the contract with a customer which the plaintiff had held for 15 years. It also alleged that the two former employees breached their respective contracts and obligations with the plaintiff and that KLG’s clients induced them to do so. According to the plaintiff, the conspiracy also amounted to fraud and unfair competition.
Kagan Law Group presented evidence, particularly through expert testimony of engineers, that the alleged trade secrets were not confidential and proprietary and thus, the technology was not a “trade secret” at all and that no misappropriation or conspiracy had occurred in any event. Critical evidence was also presented through fact and expert witnesses that the plaintiff lost the customer as a result of its own pricing and not due to any alleged conduct of the defendants.
The complex trial involved hundreds of exhibits and numerous fact and expert witnesses, including the complicated fields of electrical engineering, computer forensics, and financial accounting. Through their attention to detail and trial skills, Kagan Law Group’s litigators were able to manage these complexities and present the evidence and arguments in the way needed to secure the complete defense verdict on behalf of their clients.
Kagan Law Group is a business, employment, and civil litigation firm in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, which concentrates in business and employment transactions, and civil litigation in the State and Federal Courts in Maryland and Washington, D.C.