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Memorandum- BUSINESS LAW
Mary Jane and Allen Greene, a married couple, own a high-end costume jewelry manufacturing and distribution company called Greene’s Jewelry Wholesale, LLC. The principal place of business for Greene’s Jewelry is in Derry, New Hampshire, where it owns a warehouse and two storefronts. Originally started in 1957, the company has expanded over five decades, and it now employs 502 individuals in a variety of departments, including sales and marketing, research and development, human resources, and manufacturing.
The primary asset of Greene’s Jewelry is its process for creating a synthetic gold-colored material called “Ever-Gold,” which is used in Greene’s necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets. Ever-Gold is impervious to scratches, discoloration, and oxidization and is marketed as “everlasting gold.” Greene’s maintains this process as a trade secret.
Jennifer Lawson, who has been employed for three years as a junior executive secretary in the research and development department at Greene’s Jewelry, has just learned that she is pregnant. She has earned high marks on each of her annual reviews with the company, with the exception that she routinely shows up 15 to 30 minutes late for work. Otherwise, she is deemed to be professional, articulate, diligent, and skilled in her role with the company. When Lawson advises the head of human resources, Lisa Peele, that she may have to take additional time off as a result of some high-risk factors that she will face during the course of her pregnancy, she is told that her position has been eliminated. The specific words are: “Congratulations, Jennifer! That is exciting news for you. We do not need to worry about time off, though, because, regrettably, I was just going to let you know that we are downsizing and no longer have a need for any of our junior executive secretaries.”
Jennifer is distraught and immediately returns to her desk to clear it out as instructed. She removes all of her personal items as well as the projects she was working on prior to her discussion with Lisa Peele. When she returns to her home, she realizes that she has inadvertently taken a draft letter to Greene’s intellectual property attorney that details the secret process for creating Ever-Gold.
Although Greene’s Jewelry requires all of its executives to sign covenants not to compete and confidentiality agreements, Jennifer was only required to sign a confidentiality agreement, by which she agreed never to disclose any information that she might acquire from Greene’s regarding the process used to create Ever-Gold.
Panicked, and knowing that she needs a job, she calls one of Greene’s competitors, Howell Jewelry World, and advises its hiring manager that she is a former employee of Greene’s, that she needs a job, and that she has confidential information about Ever-Gold that would help Howell compete with Greene’s.
Greene’s sues Jennifer for breach of the confidentiality agreement when it learns that she has given confidential information to Howell. Jennifer counter-sues Greene’s for wrongful termination.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
Memo Introduction: Articulate what you feel are the strengths of your company’s legal claim or defense.
1. Analyze the facts related to employment discrimination or unlawful termination based on your company’s perspective. 2. Analyze the facts related to contract issues based on your company’s perspective.
2. Identify the operative employment and contract laws that apply to your company’s case. B. Preceden
3. Select cases that support your company’s position in terms of employment discrimination or unlawful termination. Justify why they support its case.
4. Select cases that support your company’s position in terms of contract disputes. Justify why they support its case.
Determine any facts that will help you better analyze your company’s position. In other words, what questions do you need answered before you can proceed?
Explain how the identified facts will help establish the legal rights and/or obligations of the defendant in relation to your company. In other words, how would those facts reflect on the propriety and legality of the decisions that were made?