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November 14, 2017

It is commonly known that trial courts applying Florida law to an employment contract containing a covenant not to compete will enter injunctive relief enforcing the covenant so long as the agreement is in writing, signed by the person to be bound, is reasonable in geographic scope and duration, and finally, is supported by a legitimate business interest. These requirements are spelled out in Florida Statute § 542.335. The statute also defines legitimate business interests, identifying a non-exhaustive list that includes 1) trade secrets, 2) valuable confidential business or professional information, 3) relationships with existing customers, patients or clients, 4) goodwill associated with an ongoing business, a specific geographic location or a specific marketing or trade area, and finally, 5) extraordinary or specialized training. Again, this is a non-exhaustive list, and the statute itself makes this clear. In defining legitimate business interests, the relevant section states that...

November 3, 2017

Under Florida's litigation privilege, "a defendant can slander the plaintiff and lie to her and the court, and still be absolutely immune from a later lawsuit for defamation, tortious interference with a business relationship, and even violations of federal consumer protection statutes, as long as the slander and lies were made in the courtroom or during the formal discovery process and had some relation to the case."  This proposition was put to the test by attorney Michael Rudd and his law firm, Rudd & Diamond, P.A. in Arko Plumbing Corp. v. Rudd and Rudd & Diamond, P.A., 2017 WL 4654904 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017).

In 2013, Rudd and his firm were defending Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in the breach of property insurance case brought by the Bascuas family.  Rudd and his firm, with the help of a former Arko employee, John Collucci, used Collucci’s still-active password to access Arko’s MotoMon Global Positioning System account. MotoMon is an internet-based computer program which prov...

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