Wednesday, July 12, 2006, 7/12/2006 03:41:00 PM

To the Prevailing Party Go . . . The Attorney's Fees

By Todd
You ever read employment agreements that have provisions that say "if litigation is necessary to seek redress for alleged theft of our confidential or trade secret information, the prevailing party in any such litigation is entitled to reimbursement of its attorney's fees from the non-prevailing party"?

Hawaii Management Alliance Ass'n. apparently sued Mr. Meek for misappropriating its trade secrets and confidential information. Mr. Meek argued that he did no such thing and Mr. Meek happened to have one of those clauses referenced above in his employment agreement. The district court apparently agreed Mr. Meek hadn't done anything wrong and then granted his motion to have his attorney's fees reimbursed by Hawaii Management Alliance Ass'n.

On appeal, Hawaii Management Alliance Ass'n. apparently argued "but we weren't suing him under the contract." Ninth Circuit said "that contract doesn't limit the reimbursement remedy to only suits based on the contract - it relates to any actions." The case can be cited as: Hawaii Management Alliance Ass'n v. Meek, 2006 WL 1891819 (9th Cir. July 11, 2006).

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