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Newport Beach California Business Litigation Law Blog

California Court Of Appeal Creates Significant Exception To Statutory Prohibition on Covenants Not To Compete.

Business and Professions Code section 16600 contains a short and simple prohibition on covenants not to compete, providing "every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void." (emphasis added). In Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP (2008) 44 Cal.4th 937, 955, the California Supreme Court, acknowledging the inflexible language of Section 16600, held "[n]oncompetition agreements are invalid under section 16600 in California, even if narrowly drawn." 

Legal elements of a breach of fiduciary duty

When people work together in a business setting, they are expected to always act in the best interests others. Often, employees, partners and shareholders are contractually obliged to do this. Acting in one's self-interest or in a way that is against the best interests of the party one should be faithful toward is known as a breach of fiduciary duty.

If you have been affected because someone breached their fiduciary duty toward you, you may be able to take legal action and gain back damages. Before you do so, understand the four elements of the crime.

Orange County Trial Lawyers Association Names Mark B. Wilson Trial Lawyer of the Year in Legal Malpractice

Klein & Wilson is proud to announce that the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association has named Mark Wilson the 2019 Trial Lawyer of the Year in Legal Malpractice! This is only the second time OCTLA has honored an attorney with this award in the legal malpractice category, and the first recipient was Mark's partner, Gerry Klein.

Each year, the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association recognizes and honors local trial attorneys for their exceptional trial skills over the past year. These attorneys not only show courage and commitment to their clients, but also demonstrate truly exceptional skill, ability, preparation, and professionalism to obtain outstanding results on behalf of their clients.

Mark Wilson Selected to 2020 Edition of "Best Lawyers in America"

We are pleased to announce that our partner Mark Wilson has been selected for inclusion in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Commercial Litigation and Litigation - Real Estate.

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Gerald Klein Selected to 2020 Edition of "Best Lawyers in America"

We are pleased to announce that our partner Gerald Klein has been selected for inclusion in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Intellectual Property and Litigation - Real Estate.

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Make Sure Your Trial Lawyer Has Trial Experience

No one would have a doctor perform brain surgery who had never performed the procedure before. Yet, many clients go to trial with lawyers who have little or no trial experience. Often, clients simply assume their lawyers have trial experience and do not bother to ask. That is a mistake. As with everything else, lawyers get better at handling trials by having practice. Generally, the more trials a lawyer has, the better he or she will do trying your case. At trial, many split second decisions must be made. Should I object? What is the proper objection? Should I ask a particular question? Should I move to strike the answer? These decisions must be made in the blink of an eye or the opportunity is lost. Inexperienced lawyers are often confused by the speed of trial. But experienced lawyers act on instinct which is developed through a long history of trying cases. If you think your case is going to trial, make sure to ask your attorney how many trials he or she has taken to verdict. Otherwise, when the day of trial comes, you may find that your attorney is being run around in circles by a more experienced trial lawyer.

Klein & Wilson Resolves Law Firm Divorce and Saves Client Approximately $1 Million

Lawyers often hire Klein & Wilson when their partnerships sour. Recently, an attorney in a 20-year partnership engaged Klein & Wilson to untangle disputes that had been lingering for years. When Klein & Wilson got into the case, the client was willing to give up his capital account and pay a premium for shared assets just to get out of the abusive relationship. Klein & Wilson took over the case and turned it around. By the end of the matter, the abusive partner was begging to end the litigation. Klein & Wilson saved the client approximately $1 million in capital and profits that he was initially willing to sacrifice to end the relationship with his former partner. 

Protect your business when a former employee uses a trade secret

To compete in the modern marketplace, a business needs to offer something unique or do it better than others. Being able to offer a similar product or service at a lower price is also a great way to remain competitive. There has to be something that sets your company apart for you to secure and retain clients or customers.

To give your business an edge, you have likely created special recipes, formulas, processes or practices that are unique to your business. Those special practices, services, recipes or knowledge are part of your company's trade secrets.

California Appellate Court Issues Important Ethical Opinion Regarding Lawyers Representing Harassment Victims

If you represent a victim of someone who suffered harassment in the workplace, can you contact another employee victim to get evidence? In Doe v. Superior Court (2019) Westlaw 2480029 (no official cite available yet) the Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Div. 1 answered this question "yes."

In her complaint, plaintiff victim alleged that another employee, "Andrea," was also a victim of Southwestern College's abusive conduct. Plaintiff's counsel noticed Andrea's deposition. Defense counsel told plaintiff's counsel that Andrea remained employed by the college and was entitled to representation and defense counsel was in the process of securing conflict counsel for her. The next day, plaintiff's counsel informed defense counsel that he now represented Andrea. The college cried foul and said plaintiff's counsel violated California Rule of Professional Conduct, rule 4.2 by communicating with Andrea. That rule prohibits lawyers from communicating with witnesses who are represented by counsel and current employees of a represented organization if the subject of the communication is any act or omission of that person which may bind the organization.

DIY Network Celebrity Dismisses $16 Million Case After Klein & Wilson Knocks Out His Damages Expert

A DIY Network celebrity accused Klein & Wilson's client of violating Civil Code section 3344 by using his image without authorization to sell products. The celebrity's expert opined that the celebrity's damages were not less than $16 million, representing all the sales Klein & Wilson's client made during the period at issue. Klein & Wilson filed a motion (which the court heard right before picking a jury) asking the court to exclude the expert because his testimony was based on inaccurate assumptions instead of reliable data. The court granted the motion, gutting plaintiff's case. Recognizing an adverse jury verdict was inevitable, plaintiff dismissed the case just as the court was calling prospective jurors to the courtroom. 

Honors & Awards

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4770 Von Karman Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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