I am part of small seasonal business in New York State. We had managers who placed our client data base on their personal computer so that they could handle inquiries during the off season while we looked for their replacements (they had decided to quit to pursue other endeavors). These managers took off with the data base and did not return phone calls or emails. It took us months to retrieve and access the data we needed which also caused (and is still causing) several problems during our operations this year. Currently we know where they are. Suing them would be taking blood from a turnip. Three questions: Do we have criminal recourse? Which court? What is the statute of limitations?
1 Answer from Attorneys
This is not a criminal violation in my opinion and only law enforcement can initiate a criminal action. You are certainly free to discuss with the authorities, perhaps the county DAs office, but I would not be very hopeful that this will be productive.
What you described is a civil action for infringement on your trade secrets. But you will have to show the court that you intended on protecting this information as such and the facts presented (in brief albeit) to do not really support that.
Here is a brief explanation of trade secrets:
If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.
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