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NJL People: Katie M. Connolly

Katie represents publicly traded and Fortune 500 companies across the nation in post-employment covenants and trade secret litigation. She also serves as national counsel in an advisory capacity accounting for each state’s unique requirements when auditing post-employment covenants and maintaining her clients’ compliance with each state’s non-compete laws.  While she has settled matters in the early stages of a case, Katie has successfully litigated cases in both state and federal courts throughout the country.

In addition to her covenant and trade secret work, Katie routinely advises and litigates discrimination claims, as well as leave of absence and time-off claims. She focuses her practice in the information technology, financial service, retail, insurance and manufacturing industries.

Key Industry Experience

  • Manufacturing
  • Financial services
  • Retail
  • Insurance
  • Information technology companies

Representative Matters

  • Cambria Company LLC v. Mohawk Industries, Inc., Dal-Tile Tennessee, LLC and Schumann (D. Minn.) – Successfully opposed motion for preliminary injunction alleging inevitable disclosure of trade secrets and breach of contractual confidentiality provision.
  • Prime Therapeutics LLC v. Maxor National Pharmacy Services, LLC (D. Minn.) – Defeated injunction motion seeking to prevent high-level executive from becoming employed by competitor based on implementation of phased job duties negating alleged inevitable disclosure of trade secrets
  • Nutrablend, LLC v. Consumers Supply Group (W.D. Mo.) – Obtained consent injunction for full relief demanded, including termination of employee who misappropriated trade secrets
  • PCM v. BIT Direct, Inc. et al. (S.D. Ohio) – Obtained consent injunction for full relief demanded, including termination of employee who violated non-compete agreement
  • PCM Sales, Inc. v. Blake Reed (N.D. Ill.) – Won summary judgment as plaintiff in breach of non-compete case, resulting in extension of non-compete for full period of breach
  • Loftness Specialized Farm Equipment v. Twiestmeyer & Assocs. et al. (D. Minn.) – Won federal jury trial involving alleged $6 million breach of non-disclosure agreement following seven years of litigation and two appeals
  • TelCom Construction Inc. v. Michael Simon and MP Nexlevel, LLC (Minn. Dist. Ct.) – After replacing prior counsel, obtained vacation of previously entered temporary injunction and obtained summary judgment on non-compete and tortious interference claims.
  • Wesco Distribution, Inc. v. Vittorio: Won a TRO in Minnesota federal district court in favor of Wesco Distribution, Inc. in a non-compete matter.
  • 3M v. Robrecht:  Won a TRO and partial preliminary injunction in Wisconsin state court in a trade secret dispute.
  • BFI Waste Systems of North America, Inc. v. Freeway Transfer, Inc.:  Won a jury verdict in Minnesota federal district court in favor of BFI Waste Systems of North America in a contract dispute.
  • Aramark Uniform & Career Apparel, LLC v. Simmons:  Won a TRO enforcing a non-compete agreement in Minnesota state court.
  • Thomas v. UnitedHealth Group, LLC: Won summary judgment in claim by former employee alleging race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
  • Hanson v. Mental Health Resources: Won summary judgment in claim by former employee alleging FMLA interference and retaliation, as well as violation of the Minnesota Parenting Leave Act, and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

Recognitions and Honors

  • Selected to Rising Stars list by Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2008-2019
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Indiana University

Publications and Presentations

  • How to Create Enforceable and Effective Restrictive Covenants,” Minnesota CLE, October 7, 2019
  • “Complex Restrictive Covenant Topics for the Advanced Practitioner,” Minnesota CLE, 2019 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 20, 2019
  • “Protecting the Home Field:  Creating and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants – Sophisticated Strategies for Multi-State Employers,” ALFA International L&E and Professional Liability Practice Groups, June 14, 2018
  • “Creating and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants – A Deep Dive for Multi-State Employers,” Minnesota CLE, 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 21, 2018
  • “Ethics and Conflicts Issues in Restrictive Covenant Litigation,” Minnesota CLE, Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants: Protecting Assets and Litigating Disputes Seminar, February 20, 2018
  • “The Tightrope of Behavioral Health, ADA, and FMLA: Managing the Risk,” 2016 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference, April 26, 2016
  • “The Injured Worker: Navigating the Post-Injury Working Relationship,” 2014 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 20, 2014

Community Engagement

  • Volunteer Lawyers Network
  • The Advocates for Human Rights

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