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by M. McClure on Jan 2, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Arkansas courts, like most courts around the country, closely scrutinize employers' attempts to restrain former employees from competing.  For example, it's generally an up-hill battle to enforce a non-compete agreement in Arkansas

In the absence of a non-compete agreement, some employers turn to the Arkansas Trade Secrets Act to limit competition from a former employee, but this approach just became a little more difficult when an Arkansas court recently narrowed the application of the inevitable disclosure doctrine in the state.  

In Verizon v. Langston, Verizon attempted to prevent a former Alltel/Verizon employee from working for the new Little Rock telecom company, Allied Wireless Communications Corp. (AWCC).  Langston worked for Alltel for twenty-five years until Verizon acquired Alltel, during which time he worked for Verizon in its Transition Planning.  Langston was responsible for transitioning properties to Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc (ATNI) after Verizon sold the properties to ATNI.  Langston resigned in November 2009 and began working for AWCC, a subsidiary of ATNI, as the Chief Information Officer.

Verizon sought to prevent Langston from working for AWCC because it would violate the Arkansas Trade Secrets Act and the non-disclosure portion of his employment contract, which reportedly did not contain a non-compete agreement.  The court denied the injunction, in part, because the court did not believe that Langston would inevitably disclose trade secrets that he acquired with Alltel and Verizon.  

Under the inevitable disclosure doctrine, a court can issue an injunction when it finds that a former employee will inevitably disclose the trade secret to the new employer, even if there is no actual proof of disclosure.  Arkansas courts have accepted this doctrine (see Cardinal Freight v. JB Hunt), whereas courts in California, Florida and Virginia have rejected it. The court did not apply the doctrine to Langston primarily because AWCC took steps to ensure Langston's duties did not pertain to Verizon's confidential information.   AWCC successfully argued that the trade secrets that Langston possessed would not be of value in the role he held with AWCC. 

Although trade secret and non-compete litigation is largely fact-dependent, it appears that employers will now be able to hire employees who possess trade secret information when the employee is placed in a role where the trade secrets are not useful, thus narrowing the doctrine of inevitable disclosure in Arkansas.

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by Jewel Bennett on Nov 30, 2009 at 1:57 PM
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The House and Senate have set out their plans for reform of our nation's health care system, and several writers have analyzed the bills and outlined how the proposed bills will affect employers.  The following is a list of some blog posts that give you a quick review on the two:

The Senate still needs to vote, and if the Senate bill is passed both bills will be reconciled.  However, it is not too early for employers to be reviewing how any changes may affect them. 

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by Admin on May 18, 2009 at 4:15 PM
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by Admin on Apr 8, 2009 at 11:58 AM
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this is a test article

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by Admin on Jan 16, 2009 at 9:56 AM
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By Edith Honan and Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A US Airways jet with 155 people on board ditched in the frigid Hudson River off Manhattan after apparently hitting a flock of geese on Thursday and officials said everyone was rescued.

"We've had a miracle on the Hudson," New York Gov. David Paterson told a news conference, calling the pilot a hero for landing the Airbus A320 plane in the fast-moving river.

"The pilot somehow, without any engines, was able to land this plane ... without any serious injuries," Paterson said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg lauded the pilot for ensuring all those on board, including a baby, were safe. 

"The pilot did a masterful job of landing the plane in the river and then making sure that everybody got out," Bloomberg said, noting that the pilot was calm enough to walk through the plane twice after landing to ensure everyone was out.

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