Pacific Union v. Dingman is a generic example of “brain raid” litigation that we have covered several times. What makes this case different is the alleged breadth of the exodus. This was not a small number of employees. It appears to have been an entire region of Pacific Union’s mortgage lending business de-camping and pitching their tents under the flag of Cardinal, a direct competitor of Pacific Union (see here at pages 25-26).
Whenever we see such cases (and we see them frequently), we ask ourselves, “What were they thinking?” (meaning the departing employees and the “raiding company”). Were they advised by lawyers?
If so, the alleged transfer of five gigabytes of data by a departing employee to his personal account seems difficult to understand (see p. 14). The complaint, more broadly, suggests a breath-taking mass departure which, if not handled skillfully, will end badly for the departing employees and their new employer.
We recently posted about a smaller scale brain raid, St. Jude v. Heath. Now, there was a case where it is clear that the departing employee and the competing business were very careful to do the right thing, and careful to do it by the book. Even so, unfortunately for Mr. Heath and Boston Scientific, this did not eliminate the risk of protracted litigation although we predict that Heath and BS will ultimately prevail.
If you or your company are considering a brain raid yourself, or if you are considering quitting and joining a competitor of your employer, you might want to call LEVENTHAL pllc, 612-234-7349, for a free 1/2 hour consultation and advice. It can be far cheaper to deal with the legal ramifications on the front end than it is to postpone the reckoning and have protracted litigation as part of the aftermath.