November, 2010 | The Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan

Danaher Corp. Sues Former VP for Allegedly Stealing Trade Secret Information

Gregory D. Jordan, an experienced Austin Business Litigation Attorney and Austin Employment Attorney, comments on cases involving theft of trade secrets and breach of confidentiality agreements.

Danaher Corp. sued its former V.P., Joseph Rodriguez, accusing him of breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Danaher filed its lawsuit against Rodriguez on Sept. 22 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

On Aug. 17, Rodriguez was told in advance that he was being terminated effective Sept. 27. Danaher Corp. took possession of Rodriguez’s company computer and performed a forensic analysis on it. Danaher said it discovered that Rodriguez installed data-wiping software on the company’s computer and deleted more than 15,000 files shortly before he was told of his termination. Danaher claims Rodriguez copied confidential information and then sought to cover his tracks.

Danaher Corp. is seeking punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, lost profits and court costs in addition to an injunction against Rodriguez to prevent him from using or disclosing the company’s confidential trade secret information.

“Now that employees often have computer access to confidential corporate information, companies must be prepared to act quickly to protect their trade secrets if they suspect an employee may be stealing them,” said Austin Business Attorney and Employment Lawyer Gregory D. Jordan. “Over the years, we have represented both corporations and employees in lawsuits over confidential information. A quick hearing for injunctive relief is many times the best way to protect a corporation’s information and bring one of these cases to a rapid conclusion.”

Regardless of whether an employee has a confidentiality agreement with an employee, the employee still owes common law duties to his employer not to use or disclose the employer’s confidential information.

“Rodriguez would not have been entitled to take Danaher’s confidential information even if there had been no written confidentiality agreement, but the fact there is a written agreement may make it easier for Danaher to recover attorney’s fees in this case,” said Austin Business Litigation Lawyer and Employment Attorney Jordan. Jordan recommends that almost all corporations should seriously consider whether it would be appropriate to have at least some of their employees execute confidentiality agreements.

Gregory D. Jordan has substantial experience representing both employers and employees in disputes over the use of confidential information. He is an Austin Business Attorney, Austin Employment Lawyer and Austin Business Litigation Attorney.

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Partnership Disputes – What Do We Do Now?

Individuals usually focus on building a successful business when they form a partnership, and sometimes fail to consider many of the bad things that can occur that can derail their new enterprise.

No marriage has ever survived without at least an occasional disagreement, and partnerships are no different. The question becomes what do you do when the inevitable dispute occurs? Do you get a partnership “divorce” or do you find a way to work around the disagreement?

Most partnership disputes involve one of the following issues: (1) partner compensation or expenses, (2) business expansion or contraction, (3) changes in a partner’s family or marital status that affects the partnership, (4) a desire by one or more partners to exit the business or (5) changes in economic conditions. Naturally, the first thing you will likely try to do when confronted with a partnership dispute is to try to talk things out. However, if you suspect your partner may have done something illegal or may have tried to take advantage of you, then you should talk with a lawyer who knows partnership law without delay.

Partners owe each other a fiduciary duty. That is generally the highest business duty that one person can owe to another. The Texas Business Organizations Code in conjunction with the partnership agreement often governs the rights and responsibility of each of the partners. If you are involved in a partnership dispute, make sure the lawyer you hire has a good understanding of the applicable statutes and that he or she is well versed in contract law. Also, ask your lawyer whether a quick injunctive action might be helpful. Sometimes the best way to avoid a protracted and expensive legal fight when a partnership dispute cannot be resolved is to seek a temporary restraining order or injunction from the court that will bring the central issues to a head.

As in any relationship, minor disagreements will occur between partners. Most of the time such disagreements can be resolved, but if you face a serious matter that you believe merits legal assistance, look for an experienced partnership lawyer that knows the law and will stand up for your rights.

Gregory D. Jordan is an Austin business attorney, Austin employment lawyer, and Austin business litigation lawyer. To learn more, visit

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