Computer Forensic Expert Uncovers Employee’s Attempt to Download Employer’s Confidential Documents
2004 WL 1067795 (Md. 2004)
The plaintiff filed a motion for a temporary injunction to enjoin the defendant from using trade secrets that the plaintiff believed the defendant had misappropriated. The defendant claimed that any “trade secrets” that he had copied were coincidental. He claimed that he was attempting to copy personal photos that were in the “my documents” folder of the hard drive; since he didn’t know how to separate out files, he copied the whole “my documents” folder. The plaintiffs hired a computer forensic expert who was able to refute the statement by the defendant; not only had the defendant copied one of the plaintiff’s files that was not in the “my documents” folder, but the defendant had also attempted to erase the record of the file transfer.
The trial court ruled, and the appellate court affirmed, that this was a misappropriation of “trade secrets” under the Maryland Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion for the preliminary injunction based on the doctrine of “inevitable disclosure”. However, the appellate court disagreed with this part of the ruling, vacated the injunction, and remanded the case for further proceedings.
The appellate court did not agree with the trial court’s ruling on the issue of “inevitable disclosure” for the following reasons: (1) the doctrine permits an employer to enjoin the former employee without proof of the employee’s actual or threatened use of trade secrets based upon an inference (based in turn upon circumstantial evidence) that the employee will use his or her knowledge of those trade secrets in the course of his new employment. The result is not merely an injunction against the use of trade secrets, but an injunction which restricts employment; (2) if “inevitable disclosure” were recognized in this case, then the plaintiff would benefit from a non-compete agreement even though it never negotiated one with the defendant; finally, (3) the adoption of the doctrine would permit the court to infer “inevitable disclosure” from the employee’s mere exposure to trade secrets.
- Staff Recognized for Departing Employee Investigations - The first issue of Corporate Counsel Business Journal, CCBJ, includes an interview with our Director of Digital Forensics, Yaniv Schiff, and Solutions Architect, Curtis Collette, on the evolution of departing employee investigations. Departing Employee: When Do Investigations Become Necessary? appeared in the print publication, online edition, and on CCBJ’s In-House Tech website. For Increasing Numbers of Employers, Departing Employee Investigations[...Read More]
- Chicago Office Food Drive – The Results Are In - QDiscovery’s Chicago Office collected nearly 1,000 containers of food for the local food bank this Holiday Season! Our office competed with sister offices in Indiana and Connecticut. Alas, we came in third. Our sister offices each collected nearly 2,000 containers for their local food banks. Relatively new to the company-wide food drive, the Forensics Division[...Read More]
- QDiscovery Forensics Team Develops Award Winning App! - QDiscovery is winner of a 2017 Relativity Innovation Award. Presented at Relativity Fest, the award celebrates organizations that create apps or integrations that extend the functionality of Relativity’s eDiscovery software. Our development team created an application that makes the analysis of mobile collections much more manageable. Relativity users can now produce and review mobile device data[...Read More]
- Moving and Changing - Acquired by Connecticut-based QDiscovery in 2016, Forensicon’s capabilities multiplied overnight, both in forensics brain power and eDiscovery expertise. As part of a leading provider of end to end litigation support, moving to larger offices that are more central to the Chicago legal community was inevitable.
- QDiscovery Named One of the Top 20 Providers of Legal Services! - Leading industry publication, CIO Magazine, has named Forensicon’s parent company, QDiscovery, to it’s Top 20 Providers of Legal Services. The annual listing includes 20 companies that are at the forefront of providing legal solutions and impacting the marketplace. Read the whole article here. Featured in the publication alongside QDiscovery President, Dave Barrett, is Director of Digital Forensics, Yaniv[...Read More]