Bruce’s Summary: Really, whether you’re a startup or have had a small business for a couple of years this article is worth reading because you don’t want this kind of legal issue to happen to you. Like the author so elegantly said, “I am often amazed how an opportunistic plaintiff could take a routine or innocuous situation and spin it into a multimillion dollar boondoggle for a company.” I know people who found themselves in this type position, whether through a plaintiff attorney raising allegations or just through a rogue internal employee who steals company secrets and the cost to legally recover is astronomical. Sometimes due to cost, it just isn’t worth pursuing and an owner(s) is left wondering how this happened and vowing “never again”.
To ensure “never again” happens, boards and cofounders have to have the conversation and document, and employees have to sign the right documentation that aligns with the structure and/or make up of the organization. Whether a profit or non-profit, I’ve seen one signed document, by the plaintiff, change the whole dynamics of an alleged allegation and the allegation went away. Its good insurance to document, document, document and oh, yes, know where it is. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.”