In the case Cerullo v. Gottlieb, 309 S.W.3d 160 (Tex.App. 2010) the jury awarded actual and punitive damages against Gottlieb. The Court of Appeals reversed the judgment on the verdict and rendered judgment that Cerullo take nothing on its fraud claim against Gottlieb.
The Court of Appeals stated that there was legally insufficient evidence to support the jury verdict as to fraud. Further, they found that no evidence that Gottlieb intended to break his promises upon which New You relied in exchange for divulging business concepts and referring patients and physicians. The court of appeals applied the no evidence standard of review.
The Court stated that circumstantial evidence could not be considered under the circumstances or from the jury's assessment of credibility. Cerullo did not demonstrate a clear admission of intent.
Therefore, the Court of Appeals reversed the jury's findings.
Violations and Confidentiality:
According to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 , attorneys are required to report any material violations of securities laws to the corporation's highest authority. In 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permitted attorneys to disclose confidential information to the SEC without their corporate client's consent in certain circumstances.
These changes in confidentiality were amended into the American Bar Association's ethics rules; however, many states have not amended their ethics rules to reflect the amended changes in the American Bar Association or Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
In the case Hudson Muma, Inc. v. Wolf-Hubert Co., ___ N.W.2d ___ (Mich.App. 2010) the trial court granted a motion dismissing the action. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
The Court stated that there were no factual questions surrounding Hudson's claims, and supported the trial court's decision to grant a direct verdict in favor of Wolf.
The Court noted that a violation the Uniform Trade Secrets Act pursuant to MCL 445.1902(b)(i), occurs when someone knowingly acquires a trade secret by improper means. However, no evidence presented that Wolf-Hulbert knew or should have known that the items were taken through improper means.
The Court further stated that there was no indication that any information improperly taken by Mr. Muma was given to Wolf-Hulbert. Wolf-Hulbert's knowledge, or lack thereof, of Mr. Muma's actions was crucial to a decision, as a defendant is required under statute to know or had reason to know that information was acquired under one of the three circumstances cited in MCL 445.1902(b)(ii)(B).
Therefore, to the extent Wolf received a benefit from or at the expense of Hudson; its retention of the same was not inequitable or unjust.