Saturday, November 19, 2005, 11/19/2005 02:21:00 PM

Kansas Federal Court Rejects Novel Attorneys' Fees Theory

In Bradbury Co., Inc. v. Teissier-DuCros, 2005 WL 2972323 (D.Kan., Nov. 3, 2005), a Kansas federal judge rejected a novel claim for attorneys' fees in a trade secrets case.

Defendant alleged a bad faith claim stemming from an allegation that Plaintiff was preparing for the case at hand while also negotiating a settlement agreement in a different lawsuit. The settlement agreement in that case stated that: "[t]he parties desire to avoid future litigation insofar as is reasonably possible ..." Defendant argued that the preparation for the lawsuit while making such a representation in the settlement agreement showed that Plaintiff brought its trade secrets claim in bad faith.

The federal court rejected the theory holding that "Kansas courts would define bad faith in the KUTSA as a frivolous action or one brought with no supporting evidence." Subjective intent of the plaintiff was not a basis for finding bad faith.

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