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Showing 6 posts by Seth E. Darmstadter.

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Attention Illinois Employers: Your Use of Restrictive Covenants Is About to Be Severely Limited

Meet Jane Doe, owner and operator of Chicago-based XYZ Corporation. Though business is booming at XYZ, not everything is as it should be. That’s because John—Jane’s top-performing salesperson—just departed for a cross-town competitor.

When John left XYZ, he took with him a large client base and a mountain of contact information developed over time, potentially a crushing blow to XYZ’s business. In response, and to assure this won’t happen again, Jane decided to present her remaining salespeople with agreements restricting them from competing with XYZ after the termination of their employment. She plans on requiring them to sign within ten days . . . or else. (Read More)

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Optimizing the Legal Spend: A Better Approach for GCs

Notwithstanding the economic impact of COVID-19 upon businesses nationwide, corporation across industries continue to rack up some rather hefty legal bills. In fact, according to Statista, it is estimated that in 2021, large domestic companies will have spent more than $23 billion on litigation alone, up from the $22.8 billion spent in 2020.

As corporate legal fees continue to rise, GCs across the country are being asked to reduce costs. This, however, is a real challenge, especially as first-year associate compensation is becoming increasingly competitive, with many of the nation’s largest law firms offering starting salaries exceeding $200,000 (an amount that only increases as associates get promoted to more senior status). At the same time, there is an anticipated uptick in both litigation and corporate transactions as a result of the pandemic. (Read More)

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Attention Corporate America: With PR Nightmares Lurking, Get Ahead of the Inevitable Crises

Imagine the panic inside the halls of Colonial Pipeline last May. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, the privately held company is among the nation’s largest pipeline operators. Estimates suggest it provides nearly half of the East Coast's fuel supply—we’re talking gas, diesel, home heating oil, jet fuel and even fuel for the military.

So, when criminal hackers breached the company’s computer network through a VPN account—using a password leaked on the dark web, to do so—all in an effort to hold Colonial Pipeline’s data for ransom, decision-makers in Alpharetta were backed into a corner. Because the ransomware infected a computer system responsible for pipeline management, stakeholders at Colonial Pipeline elected to halt all pipeline operations on May 7 and pay the hackers $4.4 million in bitcoin. (Read More)

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An Important Message From Michelman & Robinson About California Governor's Statewide Stay-At-Home Order

The entire state of California has essentially been placed on lockdown as Governor Gavin Newsom has called for a statewide stay-at-home order to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Governor Newsom’s move, which impacts nearly 40M people, comes on the heels of various “shelter in place” and similar orders that have already been issued throughout the state, including the “Safer at Home” emergency order declared in Los Angeles earlier today by Mayor Eric Garcetti. (Read More

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A Message From Michelman & Robinson About "Shelter in Place" Orders

With several counties in California’s Bay Area ordering residents to “shelter in place” for at least three weeks to keep coronavirus from spreading across the region, and Orange County (California) now following suit and preventing private or public gatherings, it seems quite possible that other jurisdictions may take these drastic measures as well. Whether you are located in an area now subject to a “shelter in place” order, or are somewhere that has yet to restrict movement, it is helpful to understand the scope of these new mandates, especially as they relate to your business.

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M&R Deciphers the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Just Passed by the Senate and Signed Into Law by the President

Today, in an effort to ward off economic calamity, the U.S. Senate passed its second economic relief bill this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic—the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("Act"). The Act, which passed by an overwhelming 90-8 vote and was then quickly signed into law by President Trump, expands emergency paid sick and family leave for certain workers, expands unemployment insurance assistance, includes nutrition assistance, and guarantees free diagnostic testing for the coronavirus. Michelman & Robinson addresses common questions about the Act in this alert, which supersedes our discussion of the bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week. Note that our analysis is based on the bill’s language as of March 18.

(Read More)