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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117401
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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The questions below are related to my previous ones that you

Customer Question

The questions below are related to my previous ones that you answered in June-August this year. Our previous case for re-consideration is re-scheduled for the court hearing on 12/2/2016. The motion for re-consideration included a computer screenshot showing the profit information of one of their accounts and it was handed over from one of their employees.The opposing party filed a new lawsuit earlier this week against us and their employee who leaked their computer screenshot to us for the trade secret violations and the breach/interference of the employment contract between them and the employee. The employee quit the job a couple of weeks before the lawsuit and the circumstances of the resignation are unknown whether it was voluntary or forced as he is not willing to share the information. I assume that his resignation was voluntary even though the overall situation surrounding it strongly implies otherwise.1. The informant leaked the computer screenshot to us because he thought his company had been misleading the court with wrong information on their declarations. Now that the ex-employer is coming after him, can he be protected from the lawsuit as a whistle-blower even after he quit the job voluntarily?
1-1. What are the critical points of disputes whether he was a whistle-blower or not?
1-2. If his resignation from the job was a forced one, does it make any difference?2. The new lawsuit verifies that the computer screenshot attached to our motion for re-consideration IS authentic and I think we would not need to worry about authenticating it any longer. Do we still need to worry about the possibility that the court may strike it down as evidence because it was a leaked one from their ex-employee?
2-1. If he is recognized as a whistle-blower, then does it make any difference?Thank you for your prompt assistance. Please note that all things are a California case and I have to talk with you only in writing.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
First of all, in the new lawsuit, you need to file a motion to dismiss you as a defendant, because you had nothing to do with their ex employee turning over information to you.
Second, if the information proves fraud, the ex employee is protected since the employer cannot hide behind their claim of proprietary information that hides proof of fraud or criminal acts, just like a whistleblower.
He is not really a whistleblower under the law, but he certainly can file to dismiss based on the theory of "unclean hands" meaning that the employer was committing fraud and he exposed the fraud so his employer cannot hide behind non-disclosure to prevent disclosure of their fraudulent conduct.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
1. In fact, we asked the informant to help us prove that the numbers on a declaration of our opposing party (his employer) were broadly wrong and/or misleading and he responded. The new lawsuit alleges that we violated their trade secrets and interfered with their employment contract. Does it make sense for us to file a motion to dismiss us as a defendant?2. Do we still need to worry about the possibility that the court may strike the computer screenshot down as evidence because it was a leaked one from their ex-employee?Thank you for your continued assistance.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I would not say you asked him to get the information, you may have asked him about the numbers and he got the information to you on his own. You need to try to dismiss yourself from this lawsuit as if you solicited their employee to break their contract and confidentiality clause, you could be liable to them for damages.
The information was LEAKED, not that you engaged their employee to commit an act in violation of their contract, so if that was the case, then the information should not be stricken.