Court Denies-in-Part Motion for TRO and Grants Expedited Discovery in Trade Secret Case

AmSpec, LLC v. Calhoun et al., Civil Action No. 4:22-cv-00120-RSB-CLR (S.D. Ga. May 25, 2022)

Plaintiff AmSpec, LLC filed suit against Defendants Richard Calhoun, Dung Hoang, Carl Crawford, Victor Brown, and Camin Cargo Control, Inc. on May 9, 2022 in the Southern District of Georgia (Savannah Division). The Complaint alleges that Defendants have engaged in tortious interference and unfair competition by intentionally targeting and hiring four key managers and four other employees while they were employed by Plaintiff in order to competitively harm and damage Plaintiff’s business. The Complaint further alleges that Defendants Calhoun and Brown misappropriated (and specifically, failed to return) company-issued laptops and inserted removable USB devices into those laptops before their departure to download Plaintiff’s confidential and proprietary information and trade secrets. The Complaint asserts claims for (1) conversion of property, (2) trade secret misappropriation under the Defend Trade Secrets Act and Georgia Trade Secrets Act, (3) breach of duty of loyalty and fiduciary duty, (4) aiding and abetting breach of duty of loyalty and fiduciary duty, (5) breach of contract, (6) tortious interference with contract, (7) tortious interference with business relations, (8) unfair competition, and (9) attorney’s fees pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11. The case has been assigned to Judge Ray in the Southern District.

On May 10, Plaintiff AmSpec filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Defendants requiring Defendants to return their misappropriated company-issued laptops and submit removable USB devices that were inserted into the same computers prior to their departure for inspection. Plaintiff further moved to enjoin and restrain Defendants from using confidential and trade secret information misappropriated from Plaintiff and from contacting and/or soliciting Plaintiff’s current or former customers and employees. Plaintiff also filed a request for expedited discovery asking for leave to serve no more than five requests for production and interrogatories to Defendants and to take Defendants’ depositions prior to a hearing on Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction.

The Court held a hearing on Plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order on May 24, 2022. In an order dated May 25th, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion but granted Plaintiff’s request for expedited discovery. The Court reserved ruling on Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction until limited, expedited discovery is completed. The Court stayed all deadlines in the Rule 26(f) Order until further notice. The Court ordered the parties to submit a joint status report as to the status of expedited discovery on June 8, 2022.

Categories: PI/TRO, S.D. Ga., Trade Secrets

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