Michael E. Smith, Rebecca J. Bennett, Frantz Ward LLP; Allison McCallum, counsel, PolyOne Corp
In today’s age of ever-increasing competition among companies to get the most advanced product to the market as quickly as possible, a company’s proprietary information is worth protecting more than ever. That desire is in constant tension with the always fluid desires of middle and upper management personnel seeking greener pastures. Efforts to restrict the dissemination of such information include confidentiality and non-competition and/or non-solicitation agreements for upper-level employees. The panel, made up of in-house and outside counsel, will explore numerous issues companies are currently facing in this area, including the following: the effect of mergers and acquisitions on non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, recruiting challenges and obtaining waivers/modifications from a candidate’s current or former employer, the status of the inevitable disclosure doctrine, the reasonableness of time and geography restrictions in an increasingly global marketplace, drafting issues in defining the termination of an employee, and the ethical implications for inside and outside counsel responsible for negotiating non-competes with employees.