Attorney Ralston Enforces Major Packaging Firm’s Restrictive Covenants against its Former Employee, His New Employer
Representing a large multi-state packaging services and manufacturing company based in Maryland, and with offices throughout Pennsylvania (a client of founding partner Paul McGinley’s), Attorney Andy Ralston, with able assistance from Attorney Loren Speziale and Paralegal Kristin Cressman, brought legal proceedings against a former employee of that company, and the new competitor firm that the employee went to work for, seeking to: (a) enjoin the former employee, and the competitor firm he went to work for, from competing against and/or utilizing confidential business information of our client and (b) recover monetary damages resulting from competition that had already occurred. The employee had signed restrictive covenants in connection with his employment with our client which prohibited his competition for a period of two (2) years, and his possession or use of confidential business information.
A Hearing on Attorney Ralston’s request for injunctive relief occurred on February 2, 2012, in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, before The Honorable Anthony Beltrami. Just prior to the Hearing’s commencement, Attorney Ralston secured a settlement with the competitor employer, whereby that firm: (a) in light of the restrictive covenants, voluntarily terminated the employment of the former employee; (b) agreed not to possess or use any confidential information they came in to possession of as the result of contact with the restricted employee; (c) agreed not to compete against our client on accounts that the former employee had advised them were accounts of our client, for a period of two (2) years; and (d) agreed to withdraw from a head-to-head bidding war they were engaged in over a major customer of our client. That settlement agreement was approved as an Order of Court.
The former employee would not agree to enter into a voluntary injunction, instead arguing that: (a) the restrictive covenants sought to be enforced were “unenforceable” because they supposedly “lacked consideration”; (b) the confidential business information sought to be protected was supposedly “not protectable”; and (c) as a matter of public policy, the covenants should not be enforced. After a day-long hearing, Attorney Ralston was successful in convincing Judge Beltrami to issue an injunction prohibiting the employee from doing all of those things which Attorney Ralston’s client sought to be enjoined. A Trial in order to assess our client’s monetary damages as the result of competition that occurred prior to the injunction will now be scheduled.