The In-House Advisor

  • MA Employers Beware: Employees Have a Right to Use Medical MarijuanaJuly 19, 2017

    In a recent decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has made it clear that employers cannot take action against employees who lawfully use medical marijuana, as doing so is tantamount to denying a request for a reasonable accommodation under the Commonwealth’s disability discrimination laws. In Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, the SJC reversed the dismissal of an employee’s handicap discrimination claim, alleging that her employer terminated her because of her lawful medical use of marijuana, and failed to engage in an interactive process... more

  • Even a Clear Choice of Law Provision Can Be VulnerableJune 27, 2017

    When two parties reside and/or conduct business in different states, any agreement between them almost always has a choice of law provision. Typically, such a clause is as simple as: “The Parties agree that this Contract shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” As the Superior Court held earlier this month in Oxford Global Resources, LLC v. Hernandez, however, such simple and straight-forward language is no guaranty that a court will abide by it. Oxford is a... more

  • Tips From The Inside: Mark Bowers, Division Counsel and Senior Director, Samsung Pay, Inc.June 12, 2017

    In this installment of The In-House Advisor, we interview Mark Bowers, Division Counsel and Senior Director at Samsung Pay, Inc., Samsung Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service that enables users to make payments using Samsung phones and other mobile devices. Mark’s role involves overseeing all of Samsung Pay’s legal needs, including contracts, compliance, litigation, HR support, real estate, management of the IP portfolio, marketing, product development, among other things. The In-House Advisor: The role of in-house counsel has changed a lot over... more

  • Even a Well-Crafted Non-Compete May Not Get You Injunctive ReliefApril 27, 2017

    No doubt, having a properly drafted agreement is critical if you wish to prevent a former employee from competing against you or soliciting your customers. But, simply having a clear and straight-forward agreement may not be enough to persuade a court to enjoin someone from violating the terms of it. Rather, a plaintiff must show that a post-employment restrictive covenant is necessary to protect “legitimate business interests” before any injunctive relief will issue. Further, and as the Superior Court reconfirmed earlier this month in ABM... more

  • The Value of a Non-compete Agreement to an Acquiring Company Can Be LimitedApril 10, 2017

    It is standard practice in M&A transactions for the acquired business to assign all if its contractual rights to the purchaser. While that may sound good in theory, depending upon how the underlying contracts are drafted, they could have little or no value to the purchaser. Indeed, as the Massachusetts Superior Court’s decision in NetScout, Inc. v. Hohenstein confirms, this warning can be particularly important when the underlying contract involves an employee non-compete. Carl Hohenstein was employed by a subsidiary of Danaher Corporation, and in... more

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