Posts tagged "Leness"

EventMonitor, Inc. v. Leness (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-014-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11920   EVENTMONITOR, INC.  vs.  ANTHONY LENESS.[1]       Suffolk.     November 3, 2015. – February 4, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Employment, Termination.  Contract, Employment, Performance and breach, Termination, Indemnity.  Indemnity.  Massachusetts Wage Act.  Damages, Employment contract.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 30, 2008.   The case was heard by Jeffrey A. Locke, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Ronald W. Dunbar, Jr. (Andrew E. Goloboy with him) for the plaintiff. Shana I. Kaplan (James E. O’Connell, Jr., with her) for the defendant. David J. Fried, for Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     DUFFLY, J.  The plaintiff, EventMonitor, Inc. (EventMonitor), is a Delaware corporation, established in 2000, with headquarters in Boston.  It develops and markets software for the financial industry.  The defendant, Anthony Leness, was one of the early employees of the company.  Leness was hired as EventMonitor’s vice-president for business affairs in June, 2001, upon his graduation from Harvard Business School.  He served in that position for approximately six years, until he was terminated on December 5, 2007, two months after he had proposed a plan to restructure EventMonitor into two related entities, a proposal that Sheldon Chang, EventMonitor’s president and executive director, believed would undermine the future of the company.  The termination was characterized as “without cause.” Under the terms of Leness’s employment contract, EventMonitor therefore was required to pay him one year’s salary and benefits, plus the value of any accrued but unused vacation time.  Section 6(b) of the employment agreement provided that, upon termination, Leness was to return “all items containing or embodying Proprietary Information (including all copies).”  Before his departure, Leness returned, among other things, a company laptop computer containing proprietary information that he had used in the course of his work at EventMonitor. Soon after Leness’s termination, through a forensic examination of the laptop computer, EventMonitor discovered that Leness had copied all of the data on the computer, including EventMonitor’s customer information and proprietary business plans, to a data backup and storage service accessed over the Internet.  Leness had not informed EventMonitor about this backup before his termination was effective.  To the contrary, Leness had paid the subscription for […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 4, 2016 at 5:20 pm

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