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May 2016




President Obama Signs Bipartisan Bill Creating Federal System Of Trade Secrets Law

By: Mike Wolak and Amanda Cash

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) into law.  The DTSA is intended to create a more predictable, nationwide body of trade secrets law through a single federal statute.  The new law, which overwhelmingly passed both houses of Congress, will give companies a direct path to federal court as a plaintiff.  Until now, employers and businesses had to bring trade secrets claims under state law, which often presented disadvantages for large employers operating in multiple states.  The DTSA creates a federal cause of action that, for the first time, gives federal district courts original jurisdiction over trade secret disputes, including contract and tort claims that are currently asserted under state laws.

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Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms Includes Stun Guns

By: M. Michelle Youngblood

Picture it: a mother of two gets off work and walks outside to find her violent ex-boyfriend, against whom she has obtained several restraining orders, waiting on her.  He begins screaming at her, threatening her.  This mother, fearing for her safety – a reasonable fear, based on his past behavior and current conduct – displays a stun gun.  She tells him that she doesn’t want to use it, but she will if he doesn’t leave her alone.  It works.  The ex-boyfriend departs without further incident. 

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Ask The Magic Eight Ball: When Will Changes To The FLSA’s White Collar Exemptions Become Effective?

By: Marty Heller

Magic eight ball, will the proposed increase in the minimum salary for the white collar exemptions become effective in June or July of this year? Concentrate, and ask again later. Magic eight ball, will the proposed increase in the minimum salary for the white collar exemptions become effective in August or September of this year? Signs point to yes. In all seriousness, we expect the effective date of the proposed regulations increasing the minimum salary for the white collar exemptions from $23,000 per year to more than $50,000 will be somewhere between late July and early September.

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Show Me the Money! The Supreme Court Leaves Open the Possibility of Mooting Class Claim by Depositing Money to Satisfy Representative Plaintiff

By: Ze'eva Kushner Banks

In the recent Supreme Court case Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez, 136 S. Ct. 663 (2016), the Navy contracted with the advertising company Campbell-Ewald (“Campbell”) to develop a multimedia recruiting campaign. The campaign included sending text messages to a target group of young 18 to 24 year olds who previously had consented to receiving texts on topics such as service with the Navy.  Mr. Jose Gomez was a recipient of one of these text messages, however he was 40 years old and had not consented to receiving such texts.  

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Firm and Attorney News 

Agne Krutules has joined the Firm's Atlanta office as an Associate, where she works in the Firm's Labor and Employment Law and Commercial and Complex Litigation Practice Groups.  Ms. Krutules represents public and private sector employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including employment discrimination claims, wage and hour claims, and restrictive covenant litigation.  Ms. Krutules also advises employers on general employment matters, such as employment agreements, restrictive covenants, and arbitration agreements.

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David Cole and Brad Adler will be speaking on various claims-related issues involving data breaches at the PLUS Southeast Cyber Liability Seminar on May 19, 2016.  Among other things, Mr. Cole and Mr. Adler will be discussing proper protocols an organization should implement once it has discovered a data breach and the interaction with and impact of insurance in managing post-breach obligations.

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Brian Dempsey and Wes Jackson successfully defended a federal suit brought against a city, police chief, and detective in a case alleging of false arrest and retaliation in violation of the First Amendment.  The claims arose from plaintiff’s arrest for making terroristic threats, which occurred shortly after plaintiff had publicly criticized the police chief. In a 30-page opinion, the court concluded that the detective had probable cause to seek an arrest warrant based on the reports other officers and entered summary judgment in defendants’ favor as to all of plaintiff’s claims.

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Dana Maine and Joyce Mocek were selected for Best Lawyers in America, "Women In The Law", 2016 for Municipal Law and Insurance Law.

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Amy Bender was invited to speak at the Greater Pensacola, Florida SHRM 2016 Legal Conference. She presented on the topic of Employee Handbook Best Practices.

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About Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP

Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP is a leading national litigation firm, serving clients through its practice groups in CGL and Business Liability, Commercial and Complex Litigation, Construction and Design Law, Financial Services and Transactions, Government Law, Government Relations, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith, Labor and Employment Law, and Professional Liability. With offices in Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Florida, FMG attorneys serve as trusted counsel to corporations and governments throughout the country, providing practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for legal issues. For more information about FMG, visit www.fmglaw.com.




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