Employment Law

Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Employment Law
This answer was rated:

Im being sued because I was a part owner in a business that

I'm being sued because I...
I'm being sued because I was a part owner in a business that worked for my full time job. Even though my boss knew about the ownership. They are sueing myself along with 4 other coworkers for over 1 million dollars. They claim that we conspired against them and that the services my part time company did could have been done in house. Even though other districts out sourced these same services. Do they have a strong case?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Answered in 3 minutes by:
9/6/2013
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,250
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Can you tell me what "cause(s) of action" they have pleaded in the papers that you were served?

Customer: The reason I believe that this is happening is because back in march my boss, myself and 3 other coworkers left to go to work for another company who is a competitor of the old company. The new company I work for is also being sued for trade secrets and other things.
ScottyMacEsq :

Understood. Can you tell me what "cause(s) of action" they pleaded in the pleadings?
4

Customer: Breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriations of trade secret and conspiracy.
ScottyMacEsq :

can you tell me whether or not you actually worked on projects or in a role where you would have a conflict of interest as a part owner of the company as well as an employee of the other company?

Customer: I had someone else handle the day to day running of the business. I did however call him when work needed to be done.
ScottyMacEsq :

aside from other districts that outsource these same services, you have a defense to the claims, even that the claims were just patently wrong?

Customer: So I do have a defense.
ScottyMacEsq :

No, that was a question...

ScottyMacEsq :

That is, "do you have a defense...?"

Customer: The only defense I have is that my boss knew about what was going on. And that my primary job was more important.
ScottyMacEsq :

It's entirely possible that they're trying to get at the "deep pockets" of the new company that you're working at, but taking a "shotgun" approach to the whole matter, (shooting legal pleadings like a shotgun and seeing what they can hit). Understand that in a lawsuit, they are going to be sending out all sorts of discovery requests, such as requests for admission, requests for production, interrogatories, as well as depositions. They might just be pleading these causes of action in the hopes that they actually do turn up evidence of collusion, conspiracy, etc. that does not mean that they actually will, and in a lawsuit they would have the burden of proof to show all of these causes of action actually happened.

ScottyMacEsq :

again, it is quite possible that they are trying to get to the deeper pockets of your new employer and prevent any trade secret misappropriation, rather than trying to get to you personally.

ScottyMacEsq :

Ultimately, it's hard to say given what little I know of the situation, and if there is evidence of collusion and conspiracy to drive up prices, there could be potential causes of action against you as employees for a breach of duty to the employer. It's a stretch, and again they would still have the burden of proof of proving these causes of action, but it is possible if the evidence actually bears it out.

ScottyMacEsq :

Can you tell me if your new company is going to be representing you as well, or if you're going to be getting an attorney to represent you in this lawsuit?

ScottyMacEsq :

Are you a corporation, LLC, LLP, or a general partnership that is not registered with the Texas Secretary of State?

Customer: I'm probably going to use the lawyer who set up my LLC
ScottyMacEsq :

So it's an LLC. the reason I asked is that if it is an LLC, Corporation, LLP, etc., you would have to have representation to represent you in trial. You would not be able to represent yourself. you should certainly contact your lawyer and see if he/she handles litigation such as this. Often business formation attorneys do not handle business litigation cases, but some do.

Customer: They also want a jury trial.
ScottyMacEsq :

I would not say that based on what you told me that they have a strong case, as it does not appear that there was any fraudulent misrepresentation or hiding of matters that would be relevant to the company. Again, it really does depend upon what facts are borne out in the course of the trial, and it could turn out one way or the other. I wish that I could give you more of a definite answer, but at this stage it's hard to say for certain. Based on previous cases that I have dealt with and seen, I would say that it's more likely that they are trying to get the deep pockets of your current company, then actually trying to go after you.

ScottyMacEsq :

as for the jury trial, there's nothing you can do about that, since it is a right of either party to request. That's not unusual in any situation.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

ScottyMacEsq :

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response. Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Customer: Yes.
ScottyMacEsq :

I'm not sure what question you answered "yes" to...

Customer: This is a civil matter so at the end of the day it's all about money.
ScottyMacEsq :

I absolutely understand that, all the more so in business litigation.

Customer: I just want to make sure a didn't break any law that would take me away from my family
ScottyMacEsq :

Not that I can see.

Customer: But this is a civil suit not criminal. They just want money. Not me behind bars.
ScottyMacEsq :

That's correct. And most of the time this is civil, unless it's some sort of obvious fraud (such as a Ponzi scheme, etc...)

ScottyMacEsq :

But serving in dual roles in the manner that you did, particularly with full disclosure to the employer, is not in and of itself illegal.

Customer: Gotcha. None of that.
ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~50 minutes) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer: Ok. We did have to sign a survey every year that asked if I was involved in a business that the company didn't know about. I always answered no because my boss knew. They said it should have been in writing. Little did I know my boss didn't take it up the chain.
ScottyMacEsq :

Okay... If your boss knew and there was no fraudulent motive on your part, I don't see how that could be held against you.

Customer: Thanks for your time.
ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer so that it will close out and allow me to assist other customers that are waiting. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~50 minutes) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,250
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified
ScottyMacEsq and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,250
17,250 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

ScottyMacEsq is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,184 satisfied customers

JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

12,480 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

12,264 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

11,887 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

3,773 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

3,007 satisfied customers

I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.

< Previous | Next >

Related Employment Law Questions
I take XANAX to sleep. I have insomnia. I took my
I take XANAX to sleep. I have insomnia. I took my prescription way to early and had to go to walk in clinic. They said they would give me six pills but I have to inform my psychiatrist about it. I fin… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,190 satisfied customers
I was recently terminated from my job on November 3rd. SC. I
Hello! I was recently terminated from my job on November 3rd. … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,882 satisfied customers
Was reciently in an interview process and was not selected
was reciently in an interview process and was not selected for the job. Feel like I have been discriminated against because of my age/appearance. not sure if I would have a case or how to persue … read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
I applied for Ztrip and have the lease for the car rental
ok so I applied for Ztrip and have the lease for the car rental next to e it says in the lease on page one section f and g lessor is insured and provides liability and property damage insurance (or eq… read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,195 satisfied customers
I need guidance on an harassment and discrimination issue at
I need guidance on an harassment and discrimination issue at work. … read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,195 satisfied customers
I was recruited from my company from the CEO of the company
I was recruited from my company from the CEO of the company I currently work. My title is "Director of Opportunities". The CEO travels and is not present in the office 80% of the time. The executive t… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,882 satisfied customers
How can i get copies of my evaluations from my previous
how can i get copies of my evaluations from my previous employer … read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,887 satisfied customers
I have stage 4 colon cancer, and i work for the city of
I have stage 4 colon cancer, and i work for the city of Cleveland...i take chemo and my job title is sewer service worker, I've asked for reasonable accommodation and been told to do janitorial work. … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,480 satisfied customers
Are you familiar with Colorado PERA? It's at will and it's
Yes it's at will and it's it was full time and I'm also collecting unemployment. And I was wondering if I'm doing something wrong … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I am salary. My days off are sun an mon. I do not get
I am salary. My days off are sun an mon. I do not get Memorial Day , Labor Day , Christmas , and New Years , holidays this years because they all fall on Monday my normal day off. All other salary emp… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
17,966 satisfied customers
I recently submitted a medical note to my employer with
I recently submitted a medical note to my employer with driving restrictions (from my home address to a client's home) as i am a social worker and drive often for a government entity. I was told initi… read more
Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco
2,990 satisfied customers
I have been wrongfully terminated because I inquired about a
I have been wrongfully terminated because I inquired about a full time position and my boss fired me for going above his head… read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
I worked as a Vice President of a large Engineering
Hi, I worked as a Vice President of a large Engineering firm(HNTB). I managed the 5 Southern California offices for 18 months. I was able to grow the practice year over year. Sales were up by almost 4… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,887 satisfied customers
Questions on what I can do legally as a Federal Technician.
Questions on what I can do legally as a Federal Technician. Alot of information goes into this but basically My position is trying to fire me for making my first mistake on the job. I've been working … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I work in Missouri, and I was wondering, if I get fired for
Hi, I work in Missouri, and I was wondering, if I get fired for literally no good reason, after working 60+ hours a week without receiving any type of overtime, and I've heard my boss make numerous ra… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I'm a salaried paid manager and have been working 7 days
I'm a salaried paid manager and have been working 7 days straight mainly from 8am til 930 pm with no time off since Oct. 07, 2017, is this legal? I'm exhausted and can barely … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
886 satisfied customers
I have twin 14 month old boys. they have been sick a lot
i have twin 14 month old boys. they have been sick a lot since the start of our fiscal year (June 1st). about 11 days total i'v missed. the last three were due to my wife having the flu and i stayed h… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I have been at my job 26 years. I never had an issue until
Hi! I have been at my job 26 years. I never had an issue until recently. I was wrote up for what they claiim was falsifying company documents. I work in a sulfuric acid plant and caught the samples on… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x