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RLM Communications, Inc. v. Tuschen

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
831 F.3d 190 (2016)


Amy Tuschen (defendant) worked for RLM Communications, Inc. (RLM) (plaintiff), a company that provided cyber security and related needs to government agencies. At the time she was hired, Tuschen entered into a confidentiality agreement with RLM. Tuschen also signed a covenant not to compete or noncompete agreement with RLM. The noncompete agreement said that, for one year after leaving RLM, Tuschen could not directly or indirectly participate in any business similar to a business that RLM engaged in then or later. After six years at RLM, Tuschen went to work for eScience and Technology Solutions, Inc. (eScience) (defendant), a smaller company that directly competed with RLM for government contracts relating to information technology. Before leaving RLM, Tuschen copied several files from her company laptop onto a CD. Soon after starting at eScience, Tuschen helped eScience bid against RLM on a government contract. RLM sued Tuschen and eScience in state court for, among other things, breach of the noncompete agreement, breach of the confidentiality agreement, and misappropriation of trade secrets. RLM sought preliminary and permanent injunctions against Tuschen and eScience. The state court granted a temporary restraining order, but then the defendants removed the case to federal court. The federal district court also granted RLM a temporary restraining order. However, the federal district court ultimately granted summary judgment to the defendants and dismissed RLM’s claims. RLM appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Diaz, J.)

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