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I need help with a situation which might fall under Employment, Intellectual Property.

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This is the situation I was working for client company (Company-A) through a consulting company (Company-B).
I was working on two projects at the same time, one for Company-A and another for Company-B.
For project of Company-B, I and my team started using Company-A docs.google.com account for the documentation.
When I was leaving Company-A, I shared the Google docs folder with my Company-B address and also downloaded those documents to my drive to upload to Company-B Google Docs account. However, I never uploaded to Company-B's Google Docs account, as I learned that I shouldn't. And for the files on my Drive, I deleted most of them, the others I forgot to deleted and I never accessed them or shared them with others. Company-A contacted me saying this amounts to theft of their property.

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Legal
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4/2/2018
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 3 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 125,870
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you did take documents from Company A that belonged from Company A, then it could be deemed a theft of Company A's property. However, they also need to prove that the documents you took from the google drive belonged to Company A and did not belong to Company B.

If they can prove that, you need to inform them you do not have the documents and the only thing you did with Company A google docs drive was stored project documents on there and did not take or use any proprietary documents. That is all you can do, deny it.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Company-A asked me to bring the drive to their office and leave the drive there for investigation by their Forensics team.
I have all my personal files including financial in that drive.
I asked the person from Company-A if I can segregate my personal files and have them inaccessible to them. He agreed to that over our phone call.
I am planning to copy my personal files (not documents I copied from Company-A laptop) to a different Drive and delete those files in the current drive, delete them with a software that would make them hard to recover. Can I do that?
Would Company-A now say that you deleted our documents only recently.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I was working for client company (Company-A) through a consulting company (Company-B).
I was working on two projects at the same time, one for Company-A and another for Company-B.
For project of Company-B, I and my team started using Company-A docs.google.com account for the documentation.
When I was leaving Company-A, I shared the Google docs folder with my Company-B address and also downloaded those documents to my drive to upload to Company-B Google Docs account. However, I never uploaded to Company-B's Google Docs account, as I learned that I shouldn't. And for the files on my Drive, I deleted most of them, the others I forgot to deleted and I never accessed them or shared them with others. Company-A contacted me saying this amounts to theft of their property.Company-A asked me to bring the drive to their office and leave the drive there for investigation by their Forensics team.
I have all my personal files including financial in that drive.
I asked the person from Company-A if I can segregate my personal files and have them inaccessible to them. He agreed to that over our phone call.
I am planning to copy my personal files (not documents I copied from Company-A laptop) to a different Drive and delete those files in the current drive, delete them with a software that would make them hard to recover. Can I do that?
Would Company-A now say that you deleted our documents only recently.
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 3 months ago

Thank you for your reply. Sorry for the delay in responding, but we are working with multiple customers at one time and they all deserve the same time you deserve. Thank you for your patients.

You need to show that you no longer have the files. That means once you put the files on your personal drive, you subjected everything on that drive to examination. You will need to either surrender the drive or claim it has been lost or you no longer have it. Before you let them inspect it, however, you need to mirror the drive so you can defend yourself if they try to claim you still had their documents. Yes, you can do a file wipe on those files as well so that they cannot see they were even there and you should do that.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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