By: James Kachmar
When one or more of your key employees leaves to join a competitor and begins soliciting your customers, one of your strongest weapons under California’s trade secret laws is the ability to obtain an immediate temporary restraining order to stop your former employee and his or new employer from unlawfully competing against you. Many trade secrets cases can be won or lost at the early TRO/preliminary injunction stage. However, it is imperative that employers act fast to protect their rights or they may find that their trade secret case is weakened. Employers may, when faced with departing employees who are soliciting their customers, take a wait and see approach to determine the amount of damage and whether it is worthwhile to hire an attorney to pursue the matter in the court system. While this may make sense from a business approach, it can adversely impact the employer’s remedies should it eventually decide to pursue a lawsuit.