A question of confidentialityOn 1 Feb 2002 in Confidentiality, Personnel Today Employment lawyers have a great deal to thank Michael Douglas for.Disclosure gave us an insight into sexual harassment in the workplace. WallStreet illustrated the damage that can be done when a key employee leaves andengages in competitive activity. And now his wedding to Catherine Zeta Jonesprovides a masterclass on the law of confidence and privacy. Before the couple’s wedding in 2000, OK! magazine struck a deal with thecouple to pay a large and undisclosed sum for exclusive rights for nine monthsto publish wedding photographs. OK! asserted that rival magazine Hello hadoffered three times the contractual sum but that the couple trusted OK! topublish only the images they wanted. On 20 November, two days after the wedding, Ms Zeta Jones warned OK! thatHello was about to publish unauthorised photographs. The company obtained aninterim injunction but Hello appealed and on 23 November the Court of Appealdischarged the injunction. Hello published its issue three days before OK! thusspoiling completely its rival’s scoop. The decision is of considerable significance. It illustrates: – the common law’s capacity to develop established doctrines and apply themto unprecedented situations; – the growing importance of the law of privacy and its close relation, thelaw of confidence; n the importance of the Human Rights Act 1998 in relation both tosubstantive rights, such as the right of privacy, and to the exercise ofdiscretion in deciding whether to grant an injunction. This is likely toinvolve a balancing exercise between different rights under the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights (incorporated into the HRA), particularly where theright of freedom of expression is involved. Even where a claimed infringementof a right is well-founded, this balancing act may mean that an injunction isrefused. The developing law of confidence The employer often has an exaggerated sense of what is confidential. Tradesecrets and confidential information are identifiable, objective knowledgewhich form part of the employer’s stock-in-trade but do not include theemployee’s skill, experience, know-how and general knowledge. The improbably named Faccenda Chicken Ltd v Fowler  1 Ch 117, case,identifies three classes of information: – Class 1 is trivial, or easily accessible information from public sourcesand therefore not confidential; – Class 2 is information which the employee must treat as confidential, butwhich remains in his head becoming part of his own knowledge. He cannot use itother than for his employer’s benefit during the contract of employment, but heis free to do so after its termination; – Class 3 is so confidential that, even if it is learned by heart, theemployee cannot lawfully use it for anyone’s benefit but the employer’s, evenafter leaving that employment. In distinguishing between Class 2 and Class 3, the test is whether a personof ordinary honesty and intelligence would recognise the information as theemployer’s property, or as the employee’s own property to do with as he likes.Applying the test requires examining the nature of the employment and theinformation; whether the confidential nature of the information was impressedon the employee; and whether the information could be easily isolated from thatwhich the employee was free to disclose. Protecting confidential information Garden leave may be appropriate where the employee has given notice ofresignation, and the employer believes that the employee intends to useconfidential information to compete with the employer on his own, or by joininga competitor before expiry of the notice period. However, garden leave islawful only if the employer has a legitimate interest to protect (such asconfidential information) and for no longer than is reasonably necessary toprotect it (which may involve difficult questions as to its shelf-life). Express restrictive covenant may state that the employee may not use ordisclose confidential information other than for his employer’s benefit, duringand after the employment, and frequently identifies items of confidentialinformation. Since an employee is under a duty of confidence towards theemployer irrespective of the express terms of the contract, it could be arguedthat an express covenant adds nothing to the common law position. It iscertainly true that the mere mention relating to an item of information asbeing confidential in such a clause cannot of itself make the informationconfidential. However, express confidentiality covenants have two potential advantages.First, they impress on the employee that certain information is, or may be,confidential. Second, certain judges appear to be of the view that a widerrange of information is to be treated as confidential for the purpose of anexpress confidentiality covenant than under the implied duty of confidentiality.Non-competition covenant The drawback of the restrictive covenant is thedifficulty an employer faces in policing the employee’s compliance. An employeris likely to face formidable difficulties in establishing that an employee hasmisused confidential information. It may be easier to keep the employee out ofthe relevant market all together for a limited period through a non-competitioncovenant. The implied duty of confidence is a last resort, since the courts arereluctant to stretch the implied duty of confidence if an employer has nottaken the trouble to incorporate an express restraint on the employee’spost-termination activities. The springboard principle is where confidential information has been used byan employee in a competing business, but where the information is no longerconfidential because it has entered the public domain or is no longer availableto the employee. However, by his past misuse of the confidential information,the employee has unlawfully gained a springboard or head start for hiscompeting business. There is controversy about springboard remedies and theyhave not yet been fully explored by the courts. Common problems A number of problems arise in relation to enforcing the duty of confidence,including a decision on how to plead the case. If the employer’s legal advisersget this wrong it can have catastrophic consequences. One pitfall is thetemptation to plead confidentiality for a wide and general body of information.For example, it might be claimed that “the claimant’s manufacturingprocess” was confidential, or that “the defendant had knowledge ofthe claimant’s confidential financial and other business affairs”. Such aplea is not always without reason. The matter is urgent, the claimant needs toget an injunction at short notice, and it is more expedient to plead in generalterms, at least at the outset. However, it may be counter-productive if thisresults in the court throwing the claim out all together. The court could hold it to be an abuse of the process of law to giveparticulars of information which is not truly confidential. It will not allowan approach based even in part on wide and unsupportable claims ofconfidentiality which could be used as an instrument of oppression orharassment against a defendant, or to destroy an ex-employee’s ability toobtain employment or a competitor’s ability to compete. The wider the claims, the longer and more expensive the litigation. The Human Rights Act 1998 The decision in Douglas v Hello! (2001 QB 967) highlights the importance ofthe HRA in such cases. Section 12 applies where the court is consideringwhether to grant any relief which might limit the right to freedom ofexpression. Section 12(3) provides that there should be no restraint onpublication before trial unless the court is satisfied that the applicant islikely to establish that publication should not be allowed. This may requirethe court to anticipate how the balance might be struck between competingConvention rights of the right to privacy and the right to freedom ofexpression as it did here. The Douglas case also demonstrates the importance of the principle thatinjunction-seekers should have “clean hands”. Lord Justice Brookesaid he was not sorry to refuse an interim injunction, because it appeared thatOK! had engaged in similar spoiling tactics directed at Hello in the past. Finally, the case demonstrates the fluidity of the law. Adaptingwell-established principles to a changing technological environment, coupledwith the impact of the Human Rights Act, means that this field is now ripe fordevelopment under the influence of creative and ingenious arguments fromemployment lawyers. Paul Goulding is a QC at Blackstone Chambers. This article is abridged from a paper presented to the EmploymentLawyer’s Association in December Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article
Franchise letting agency giant Belvoir has ended its attempted takeover bid for rival The Property Franchise Group (TPFG), parent company of Martin & Co and five other brands including hybrid agency EweMove.Belvoir today announced that it was ending its attempts to persuade TPFG shareholders to back Belvoir’s attempts to buy TFPF and merge the two businesses.Despite having considerable goodwill, Belvoir has admitted that without the support of the key TPFG directors and their share-owning backers a deal would be difficult, if not impossible.Belvoir’s statement confirming the withdrawal of the merger offer says: “The Belvoir board is disappointed that the TPFG board has declined to enter into a dialogue, not least given that the board itself has recognised the scale that would be achieved in combining the two businesses, and moreover, given a number of common institutional shareholders have publicly stated their support, in principle, for a dialogue between the boards of Belvoir and TPFG with regard to the Possible Merger Offer”.End of the bidThe end of the bid to merge the two businesses has been prompted by the timetable that companies entering into a takeover must stick to, as set out in the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers.This is the end-game of a rapidly-moving skirmish that started in early October when Belvoir approached the TPFG board and, after initially believing its overtures were being well received, made an offer that that was then rejected.On 19th October Belvoir went public with its intention to effect a hostile takeover of TPFG in a deal worth £33.7 million based on a share offer of 52.2p by Belvoir for TPFG shares.But on 1st November the TPFG board and its directors, who control 49.3% of its issued share capital, comprehensively rejected Belvoir’s offer – effectively making it dead in the water.Martin & Co merger Belvoir takeover TFPG The Property Franchise Group EweMove November 16, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » It’s over! Belvoir pulls out of merger attempt with Martin & Co parent company previous nextIt’s over! Belvoir pulls out of merger attempt with Martin & Co parent companyBelvoir says it recognises that without the support of the TPFG board and its directors a takeover/merger doesn’t have much chance of success.Nigel Lewis16th November 201701,005 Views
Teddy Hall have imposed a blanket smoking ban on college grounds without students’ consent. In an email sent to all undergraduates, JCR president Joshua Coulson stated, “ I’ve just come out of a governing body meeting (with all the college fellows), where the decision has been made to ban all smoking in college (at all sites). I don’t know exactly when this will come into practice, but the decision has been made. “I’d imagine that many people will either be happy or ambivalent about this news, but some of you will be furious, and I can see why. I was involved in the discussion, but this is ultimately something that is not in the JCR’s control.”The Bursar at Teddy Hall has declined to comment. The motion against smoking on college ground was passed with 17 in favour of the ban, two against and three abstentions. The governing body also resolved to place a CCTV camera which will be placed outside the night gate to help protect people smoking there.Some students registered their fierce opposition to the motion. Second year PPEist Alex Michie sent a letter protesting the legislation to college principal, Dr Keith Gull.The letter stated, “The only reasons put in favour of the smoking ban are completely irrelevant, as opposed to many sensible arguments against.“There has been no serious consultation with the relevant bodies – those people who it actually affects, and where there was consultation, it has been ignored.”A key reason made in favour of the ban in the meeting, according to Coulson, was that the designated smoking area in college had been ignored and smokers had been leaving cigarette butts around the graveyard, a grassy area at Teddy Hall. Michie slated this argument in his email, stating, “A small bin by the bar and by the library entrance, as repeatedly requested, would solve [the issue of litter] immediately. “Additionally, as a result of the ban, the mess will just be transferred to the entrance of college, along with a cloud of smoke – ruining the aesthetic of the college far more than at present – even without bins.“Ironically, Teddy Hall will now, as a result of the ban, be known as the college of smokers.”Michie also emphasised the welfare issue for students who would have smoke outside college late at night as a result of the ban. “There is a heightened risk to students, especially female… placing a CCTV camera outside the late gate will be able to record any attacks/rapes that happen. Brilliant.”Though this piece of legislation has proved controversial at Teddy Hall, proponents of the motion stated that a blanket smoking ban was the norm at most Cambridge colleges. Michie argued, “So what? Who cares what colleges in Cambridge are doing? This defense amounts to that of the five year old caught smashing windows: ‘all my friends were doing it.’ Besides, surely a more appropriate comparison would be other Oxford colleges, hardly any of which have a blanket ban.“Policies affecting those that live and work here should have significant input from those who are affected – the JCR, the MCR, and the SCR. I don’t think any of these democratic organisations were consulted in any serious way.’However, James Black, a student at Corpus Christi Cambridge stated, “Every one here seems in favour [of the ban].“Besides, there are always people who can dodge the ban if they try hard enough.”
The Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP), a company similar to WISC, states on its website that associate members must have a grade point average of at least 3.2 out of a possible 4.0 to study. Visiting students also fall under the umbrella of associate members, with a GPA minimum of 3.7 out of a possible 4.0 according to both WISC and OSAP. To study at Magdalen through OSAP the minimum is 3.6. Senior Oxford members criticised this cash-conscious approach. Associate members are said to “pose a severe reputational risk” due to “often low” standards of admission. Most colleges require evidence of academic achievement by way of grades and references. An internal report by the University of Oxford has voiced concerns that high fee-paying “associate members” may be threatening the academic reputation of the University. As well as evidence of academic achievement, associate members are also expected to pay fees (likely to be in excess of £5,000) on top of their college fees. Fees are adjusted according to the length of time in Oxford, but most colleges give priority to applications for a year rather than a single term. With EU fees capped at £9,000 per annum, the existence of visiting students programmes and associate members allows the University to make up the shortfall by charging a premium for college facilities. The official academic criteria for visiting students has, according to the University website, “no minimum qualification…each application will be considered according to all the information available and in comparison with other applications.” Associate members apply through the normal channels and receive an Oxford qualification for a similar tuition fee. NUS’s International Students Officer Daniel Stevens previously described some programmes as ‘cash cows’. In defence of Oxford’s acceptance of associate members, a university spokesperson told Cherwell, “Associate members are not Oxford University students and do not take up student places. They do not receive teaching and do not gain an Oxford qualification. This is made clear upfront.” Most such students do not apply directly to colleges, but are accepted via a commercial company which takes a cut of their fees. The largest of these companies is the Washington International Studies Council (WISC), which charges $20,900 (£13,400) per term. The firm places students with a number of colleges, including Magdalen, Christ Church and New College, which receive around £4,000 per student per term. It states that the emphasis in the admissions process appears to be on finances rather than grades, claiming, “Although there is some assessment of their GPA scores before they are admitted by each college, the transaction seems to be one of a purely commercial kind.” A University spokesperson said, “Associate members…pay a fee to use college facilities for a term as a way for colleges to make their facilities more widely available and earn income.”
(Photo supplied/City of South Bend) The City of South Bend has launched the South Bend Alive grant program to award grant funding for organizations that work to reduce instances of violence in the community.The new grant program, managed by the Office of Community Initiatives, will focus on funding initiatives that provide mentorship for young people, help connect youth with employment training and opportunities, and conduct community outreach and youth engagement activities.“We must work together as a community to connect our youth to opportunities and reduce the gun violence in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor James Mueller. “This new program will help to empower community organizations to thrive and make a greater difference in the lives of our young residents at risk.”The grants, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, will support new or existing programs that are proven to help prevent or reduce gun violence among youth and young adults.Applications for the program are being accepted today through November 16, 2020. Applicants must complete the grant application found at www.southbendin.gov/alive and email proposals to [email protected] Final grant awards will be reviewed and announced before the end of the year.The Office of Community Initiatives will host two information sessions for prospective applicants:Wednesday, September 23rd, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.Charles Black Community Center3419 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN 46619Wednesday, September 30th, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center1522 W. Linden Ave., South Bend, IN 46628 Google+ Previous articleU.S. Congressman from Indiana willing to take COVID-19 vaccineNext articleFree flu vaccine clinics set in Goshen for uninsured and under-insured 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. IndianaLocalNews Twitter Grant program to help fund organizations aimed at reducing violence WhatsApp Twitter Facebook By 95.3 MNC – September 17, 2020 0 216 Pinterest Pinterest Google+ WhatsApp Facebook
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to announce a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands and waters, reversing Trump administration policies on energy and the environment.,The move follows a 60-day suspension of new drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters announced last week.,Biden is also expected to direct officials to conserve 30% of the country’s lands and ocean waters in the next 10 years and elevate climate change to a national security priority.,He will direct all U.S. agencies to use science and evidence-based decision-making in federal rule-making.,That’s according to two people familiar with Biden’s plan who spoke on condition of anonymity before the announcement.
The University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center and Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute are bringing stem cell research and its legal, political and personal ramifications into the spotlight on the Athens, Ga., campus.The RBC will explore stem cell issues at 10:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, at Masters Hall in the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. The talk will feature Sherry Knowles, Rep. Thomas E. Price (R-Ga.) and Hamilton Jordan.“It’s not just the science that will speed or hamper progress toward new clinical uses of stem cells,” said Steven Stice, professor and Georgia Research Alliance eminent scholar. “We hope to address some of these issues during our symposium.”On the legal side, Knowles will speak on intellectual properties issues in stem cell research. She’s a partner at King and Spalding law firm and a frequent speaker and author on protecting biotechnology patent portfolios.As Georgia’s 6th District congressman, Price has made it a priority to strengthen health care and education. A medical doctor, he is active in congressional issues surrounding stem cell research.Jordan is a three-time cancer survivor and was White House chief of staff to former President Jimmy Carter. He is the author of “No Such Thing as a Bad Day.” Jordan will bring a personal perspective when he speaks on the value of medical research and its hand in saving lives in the future.The symposium will end with a 30-minute question-and-answer discussion.Formed in early 2003, the RBC regularly holds public contact forums addressing new advances in regenerative science. The Oct. 17 symposium will be in conjunction with UGA’s Human Embryonic Stem Cell Toolbox workshop. This five-day clinic is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.Other sponsors for the symposium include the UGA Office of the Vice President for Research, Georgia Research Alliance, Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues, Bresagen Inc., Applied Biosystems and Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene.For more information, contact Stice at (706) 583-0071, at www.biomed.uga.edu/rbc.html or at www.biomed.uga.edu/stice.html.
By Dialogo August 02, 2012 A homemade submersible ready to be loaded with six tons of cocaine was seized by the Colombian Navy near the Gulf of Urabá (north west), that institution announced on July 30. According to the announcement, the 20-meter-long vessel was kept in an improvised workshop that was part of a complex made up of four structures, including one with lodging for around 25 people. A warehouse and a sector with storage for provisions and a kitchen were also found at the site. According to the Colombian Navy, when the troops arrived at the location, they were harassed with shots, at the same time that unidentified individuals set fire to the submersible and then fled. The armed institution attributed ownership of the vessel to “Los Urabeños,” a criminal gang in the service of drug traffickers and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group, in what it considers “a criminal alliance to send drugs to the international black market.” The announcement specified that the submersible found in the Gulf of Urabá is the fifth of its kind seized so far this year. In total, it concluded, 76 partially submersible and two fully submersible vessels in the service of drug traffickers have been neutralized since 1993.
September 15, 2002 Regular News The Supreme Court has adopted a number of amendments to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure as part of its regular rules cycle review, including one dealing with substitution of counsel in a case in which an indigent defendant is the appellee, and another allowing a litigant to request that a district court of appeal issue an opinion in a case where that court has issued a decision without opinion.The court acted August 29 in case no. SC02-270 on the recommendation of the Bar’s Appellate Court Rules Committee.The court, at the request of the committee, deleted rule 9.140, subdivision (b)(5) (Withdrawal of Defense Counsel after Judgment and Sentence) and adopted new subdivision (d) (Withdrawal of Defense Counsel after Judgment and Sentence or After Appeal by State).The new subdivision addresses both defense and state appeals, and was proposed in response to the Second District Court of Appeal’s decision in State v. White, 742 So. 2d 374 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999), which noted “neither the applicable statutes nor the rules of procedure are well written to address the issue of substitution of counsel in a case in which an indigent defendant is the appellee.”In addressing the need for the new rule, the Appellate Court Rules Committee told the court: “In cases in which the state takes an appeal, and the defendant was represented by counsel, there was no clear provision in this rule for continued appellate representation. As White points out, problems resulting from this deficiency in the rule are particularly common when the court has appointed private counsel for an indigent defendant for the trial proceedings. In many cases, defendants have not been afforded representation for the state appeal proceedings.”The Board of Governors, however, expressed concerns that the original proposed amendment might force an attorney to represent a defendant on appeal, contrary to his or her contract, retainer, or wishes.To address that problem, the committee proposed subdivision (E) and explained: “(E) makes clear that, in publicly-funded cases, public defenders and private counsel appointed to handle indigent cases at the trial level retain specified responsibilities to ensure representation of defendants for their appeal or the state’s appeal. It also specifies that retained trial defense counsel may withdraw from representation of a defendant seeking to appeal, or in the event of a state appeal, but requires that the attorney file a motion to withdraw in the appellate court with service on the defendant, stating what the defendant’s plans for representation are for the appeal, or may be, if any. This is a new requirement in the rule, but parallels the procedure set forth in the White case. The committee felt it would not impose too great a burden on retained defense counsel.”With that proviso, the court approved the amendments, which are intended to ensure that indigent defendants are afforded continued representation after the conclusion of trial court proceedings when the state files an appeal.The court also amended rule 9.180 (Appeal Proceedings to Review Workers’ Compensation Cases), subdivision (c)(3) (Relinquishment of Jurisdiction by Court to Consider Settlement) as proposed by the committee to conform to chapter 2001-91, §17, Laws of Florida, which eliminated the requirement that a judge of compensation claims approve the entirety of a settlement if the claimant is represented by counsel.The court also amended rule 9.330(a), which governs motions for rehearing to allow a litigant to request, as part of a motion for rehearing, that a DCA issue an opinion in a case where that court has issued a decision without opinion. A committee note also explains that the amendment is not a limitation of the right to seek rehearing on other grounds.The rule also requires that the request must include the following statement signed by the attorney for the party: “I express a belief, based upon a reasoned and studied professional judgment, that a written opinion will provide a legitimate basis for Supreme Court review because (state with specificity the reasons why the Supreme Court would likely grant review if an opinion were written.)”The court also added language to make it clear that only those requests filed by attorneys must include the signed statement set forth in the rule.The court also adopted the committee’s proposal to amend rule 9.330(d) to expressly provide that the court will not entertain motions for rehearing addressed to the dismissal of a petition for an extraordinary writ when that writ is used to seek review of a DCA decision without an opinion, in accord with Grate v. State, 750 So. 2d 625 (Fla. 1999).The court also made “substantial amendments” to the rule governing the filing of briefs by amici curiae, rule 9.370.“In this regard, we retain the language that appears in rule 9.370, which also appeared in the predecessor rule, that the brief may be filed only ‘by leave of court or by consent of all parties,’ provided that the brief otherwise is in compliance with the time requirements and page limitations of the rule,” the court said, noting it is aware that “despite the alternative language of the rule, courts do exercise their own inherent authority to decide if the brief should be permitted.”The court also asked the committee to consider whether this rule authorizes the filing of an amicus brief solely on the written consent of all parties, or whether the rule always requires leave of court to make a recommendation to the court.The court also amended rule 9.440 (Attorneys), subdivision (a) (Foreign Attorneys) to make it consistent with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.061 and subdivision (b) (Withdrawal of Attorneys) to make it consistent with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.060(i) (Withdrawal of Attorney).Rule 9.800 (Uniform Citation System), subdivision (i) (Florida Rules) also was amended to change the form for citation to the Rules Relating to Admissions to the Bar because the rules are no longer grouped by articles due to the 1997 rule change. The court, however, declined to adopt the committee’s proposal to amend subdivision (n) (Other Citations) to allow practitioners to use the ALWD Citation Manual, in addition to The Bluebook, as a default reference, saying uniformity in reporting is more important to the appellate courts, and ultimately to the public, than allowing practitioners the flexibility of using multiple citation manuals to reference sources.The amendments are effective January 1, 2003. Appellate rules amended Appellate rules amended
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Nassau County Correction officer has been arrested for allegedly possessing amphetamines with the intention of selling them after a drug bust near a school in his hometown of Levittown this week.Daniel Lanigan was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and criminal possession of a controlled substance.Prosecutors said the 29-year-old man participated in a drug-related transaction behind a strip mall on Division Avenue, one block away from a school on Monday.Investigators recovered 10 capsules of an amphetamine known as Adderall, which Lanigan picked up less than two hours before he was to report to work at Nassau County jail in East Meadow, authorities said.Judge Scott Siller released Lanigan without bail following his initial court appearance Tuesday. Lanigan faces up to 2-1/2 years in prison, if convicted. He is due back in court on Thursday.The investigation is continuing in cooperation with Nassau County Sheriff Michael Sposato.