Founders’ Dilemmas: Obligations to Other Employers

The vast majority of early-stage businesses operate in what I like to call “the hairy netherworld of in-between.” This is the stage where the founders have developed a fledgling concept, generated some excitement, done some early developmental work, but not all the founders have committed to the idea full time yet. This is a natural … Read More

Social Media and Confidentiality Clauses

Recently read an article about a teenager whose Facebook status update cost her father the $80,000 settlement he won in an age-discrimination lawsuit. The facts are simple. Father signed an agreement for an $80,000 settlement in an age-discrimination case. The daughter bragged about the award on Facebook. The employer sued to get the settlement award … Read More

Common Startup Legal Mistakes: Entity Form Mismatch

With the proliferation of legal documents available online, more startups have begun putting together their own legal work. For a simple entity, this might not be a problem, but if you’re trying to do something more complicated, you may run into trouble. As one example, many startup founders have learned about the importance of vesting … Read More

What Is a Startup?

“Only describe, don’t explain.” ― Ludwig Wittgenstein According to Merriam-Webster, a startup is a fledgling company. According to Wikipedia, it’s a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, you spell start-up with a hyphen. But most people who work in the … Read More

Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine: When Your Employer Can Keep You from Working for a Competitor

Most people have heard of non-compete agreements. But there’s another scenario where an employer can keep you from working for a competitor, even in the absence of a prior agreement: the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine. Three tests must be met for a court to invoke the doctrine. 1) You must possess trade secrets that you do … Read More