Last month, I
wrote about a trade-secret case in which a defendant employee,
David Cheung, asked the court to order the plaintiff
employer, Brocade Communications, to pay his attorney's
fees because the claims against him were frivolous. Last
Wednesday, the court agreed to dismiss the case because the only
evidence Brocade had against Cheung was gleaned in settlement
discussions with him, evidence which would be inadmissible at a
trial under the rules of evidence. The judge said she was
"really disappointed" and "kind of shocked"
when reading the briefs for the motion. The judge left
the door open for Brocade to file a claim again, but only because
she would need a finding of bad faith to award attorney's fees
and costs to Cheung, and apparently she could not find bad faith
(yet). But she left the door open for such an award if
Brocade filed again. She told Cheung: "[I]f they
file again, you just file a motion to transfer venue and you bring
it back to me and I'll take care of it."
After a judicial tongue-lashing like that, I don't expect
that Brocade will be filing another claim against Cheung
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