Litigating Trade Secret Misappropriation Claims Post-DTSA: Pursuing Claims Against Former Employees or New Employers

Drafting Continuing Obligations and Cease-and-Desist Letters; Pursing Ex Parte Seizure Orders, TROs and Litigation Holds

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, March 30, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will prepare employment litigators to pursue trade secret misappropriation cases against former employees and/or their new employers in the wake of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). The panel will discuss court interpretations of the DTSA and best practices for counsel when issuing continuing obligations letters and cease-and-desist letters to prevent dissemination of misappropriated trade secrets. The panel will also outline litigation strategies, including obtaining ex parte seizure orders and preliminary injunctions, sending litigation hold notices, and more.


The ease of accessing, storing and transmitting data electronically significantly increases the risk of misappropriation of a company’s trade secrets by a departing employee. With the passage of the DTSA in 2016, employment litigators have a new tool in their arsenal for pursuing legal action against former employees and/or their new employers for trade secret misappropriation.

The DTSA gives employers the right to file private trade secret theft civil cases against employees in federal court and, more significantly, allows employers to forcefully recover misappropriated trade secrets from former employees through ex parte seizure orders. Since the DTSA was passed, there have been at least 49 trade secret misappropriation cases filed in federal court.

Employment litigators must be skilled in drafting continuing obligations letters and cease-and-desist letters to prevent the dissemination of misappropriated trade secrets, as well as savvy at pursuing ex parte seizure orders, preliminary injunctions, and litigation hold notices against former employees and/or their new employers. In addition, counsel must guide clients in developing clear, consistent trade secret protection policies and practices, and a strategic approach to dealing with departing employees.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the latest trends in trade secret misappropriation lawsuits since the DTSA went into effect and strategies for employment litigators involved in trade secret misappropriation litigation. The panel will also explain upfront steps employment counsel should take to prevent the loss of confidential company information before a key employee leaves to work for a competitor.


  1. Trade secret misappropriation litigation trends since the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act
  2. Employer litigation strategies
    1. Continuing obligations letter to former employee
    2. Cease-and-desist letter to former employee and new employer
    3. Ex parte seizure orders
    4. Preliminary injunctions
    5. Litigation hold notices
  3. Proactive steps to prevent trade secret misappropriation by departing employees


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Trends in trade secret misappropriation lawsuits post-Defend Trade Secrets Act
  • Strategies for pursuing trade secret misappropriation litigation against former employees and/or their new employers
  • Proactive steps for preventing the misappropriation of trade secrets from departing employees


Bradford K. Newman, Partner
Paul Hastings, Palo Alto, Calif.

Mr. Newman leads the Firm's International Employee Mobility and Trade Secret practice. According to Chambers, he is a recognized “authority on trade secret cases.” He is the author of Protecting Intellectual Property in the Age of Employee Mobility: Forms and Analysis. He has successfully litigated a broad spectrum of trade secret and employee mobility cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. He regularly advises and represents the world’s leading technology, banking, professional service, manufacturing and commerce companies in significant employee mobility matters.

Jacqueline C. Johnson, Shareholder
Littler Mendelson, Dallas

Ms. Johnson devotes her practice to employment litigation and counseling, with particular experience in trade secret and wrongful competition litigation and drafting and enforcement of multi-state compliant noncompetition agreements. Co-Chair of the firm’s Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets Practice Group, Ms. Johnson regularly authors client updates on developments in unfair competition and trade secret law. 


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