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Business Torts - 2 CLE hours
Business, real estate and commercial transactions and negotiations are fraught with potential tort liability for attorneys and their clients. Whether out of disappointment at losing a deal or as a negotiating tactic or legitimate belief, counter-parties, competitors and third parties can easily allege tortious interference with existing or prospective business relationships. There is also the risk of breaching the duty of good faith and fair dealing in transactions or misusing proprietary information obtained in negotiations in a failed deal. Recruiting a star employee from a competitor can also give rise to a host of torts that might diminish or eliminate the value of the hire. This program will provide transactional attorneys a practical framework for understanding the range of torts that may be alleged against them or their clients and discuss real-world defenses and methods to avoid litigation and liability.
Day 1 – December 9, 2014:
• Understanding business torts and liability for transactional attorneys
• Intentional interference with an existing contractual relationship – and the “business privilege” of competitors
• Interference with a prospective contract or transaction – what’s an “expectancy”?
• Fraudulent misrepresentations – how does an attorney spot “intent”?
• Negligent misrepresentation, including contributory negligence and the economic loss rule
Day 2 – December 10, 2014:
• Implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing – what it means for contract negotiations
• Contract terms involving discretion v. explicit terms
• Misdeeds by clients in contract negotiations
• Misappropriation of trade secrets disclosed in contract negotiations
• Usurpation of business opportunities and the organizational opportunity doctrine
• Torts in recruiting and hiring key employees away from competitors
William J. Kelly, III is a founding member of Kelly & Walker LLC, and has more than 20 years’ experience in the areas of employment and commercial litigation. In the area of employment law, he litigates trade secret, non-compete, infringement and discrimination claims in federal and state courts nationwide and has advised Fortune 50 companies on workplace policies and practices. In the area of commercial litigation, his experience includes class action litigation, breach of contract and indemnity, mass-claim complex insurance litigation, construction litigation and trade secrets. Earlier in career, he founded 15 Minutes Music, an independent music production company. Mr. Kelly earned his B.A. from Tulane University and his J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law.