OBE Motions for Early Discovery, Access to Staley's Computer, in Confidentiality Suit
January 18, 2012

by Penny Stacey, pstacey@glass.com

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope (OBE) has requested early discovery and access to the personal computer of a former employee against whom the company has filed suit for alleged "misappropriate[ion] of [its] trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary information." The request for early discovery is the latest move in the suit filed against former employee Jon Todd Staley last September.

OBE claims the court previously ordered Staley to provide a forensic image of the computers in question, and that during that deposition, "Staley confirmed that he had emailed to his personal email account numerous Oldcastle documents in the days immediately procedure."

The company further claims that Staley says he accessed these documents on his personal computer and that some of the information may still be saved on his personal computer.

"As explained in its complaint, Oldcastle's primary concern in this case is to secure and safeguard the confidential and proprietary information Staley took just before his departure," writes the company in the motion. "And Staley's deposition has justified Oldcastle's concerns regarding its confidential information. Regardless of his motives, Staley took information that does not belong to him, kept that information after he left Oldcastle, and may still have at least some of that information on his computer."

Based on these claims, OBE says a forensic examination of Staley's personal computer would allow the company "to determine the extent to which Staley still possesses or has disseminated Oldcastle's information, [which] could vastly narrow, if not resolve, most of the issues in dispute."

"If a forensic analysis reveals no trace that Staley still possesses or has transmitted Oldcastle's documents, the vast majority of this dispute would be solved," continues the motion from OBE. "Of course, if the forensic analysis reveals that Staley still possesses Oldcastle's information or has disseminated it to others or used it in his new job, Oldcastle is entitled to know that as soon as possible as well. In either case, good cause exists for Oldcastle's requested independent forensic analysis."

Staley's counsel has responded to the motion, saying that the request is premature "until facts and evidence are established by [OBE] to entitle plaintiff to an appropriate invasion into [his] and his family's private affairs."

"While [OBE] argues that Mr. Staley admitted that he transferred emails and documents to his home computer, those are facts that were known at the time the lawsuit was filed as Mr. Staley worked between several location[s] and it was not unusual that he would have homework," writes Staley's counsel in its response.

Staley's counsel further argues that the previously requested depositions of OBE executives Mollie Hines, vice president of legal, and Mary Carol Witry, vice president of architectural and technical, will "shed more light on [OBE's] case and aid [Staley] in determining whether [OBE] has the evidence necessary to invade defendant's and his family's privacy through a forensic review of their computer[s]."

At press time, the court had not yet ruled on the motion.

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