A major area of our trial practice consists of trade secret and non-compete law. We hear all the time from people that believe Iowa is a “right to work” state so that means non-competes are not upheld under Iowa law, right? Wrong.

Non-competes are upheld in cases where the scope and duration of the restrictive period is reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s interest as compared to the employee’s interest. Whether the non-compete will be upheld various greatly on the wording of the agreement and the position held by the employee.

But in a recent article from Seyfarth Shaw on some of the top developments in trade secret, non-compete law and computer fraud, I found it really interesting that government agencies are increasing the scrutiny of non-compete agreements. This is especially true in the case of certain franchises who had “no poach” provisions in their agreements. Lots of times these policies are used to prevent lower-wage workers from moving to higher paying jobs. Often fast food franchise operators have been found to have these sorts of provisions in their agreements. Attorney generals in several states alleged these provisions limited the earning potential of these lower wage employees and many franchisors decided to remove the clauses in the agreements due to pressure from the attorney generals.

Please be sure to read the article link for other interesting developments including a $700 million to a technology start-up In Texas for damages in a misappropriation of trade secrets case.


It is reported that Michigan State will be paying $500,000,000 to the young women who were abused by Larry Nassar. I used all the zeros for a reason. It is a shocking number. I am not going to dive into all the facts and circumstances that led to the settlement in this post. What I do want to stress is this:

If you see wrongdoing in your organization, particularly if you are the leader of your organization, you need to step up and do the right thing.

Time and time again I have seen organizations that try to minimize, hide or ignore wrongdoing. It does come back to bite you. Don’t believe me? Well, I’ve 500,000,000 reasons for you.

I am not getting any younger. This is a fact but it also means my friends are not getting any younger either. And lately, I’ve seen some of those friends down-sized and looking for work. It can be hard for older workers to obtain employment.

This article from Forbes discusses some factors that enabled the EEOC to obtain a $2.8 million settlement with Darden Restaurants (parent of Olive Garden) on behalf of older job applicants.

Employers will often use thinly veiled code words to describe why older workers shouldn’t get a job. If you’re being told you “don’t fit the image”, or you aren’t “vibrant” enough (among others), you may just be the victim of age discrimination. And if you’re an employer, avoid these sorts of references in your hiring decisions or you could find yourself on the wrong end of an employment suit or EEOC investigation.

The Brick Gentry Law Firm of West Des Moines, Iowa recently added its trial team blog to feature information on several practice areas including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Personal Injury;
  • Employment Discrimination and Harassment;
  • IP Litigation;
  • Business Litigation;
  • Class Actions.

This trial team blog is edited by Brick Gentry shareholder Rush Nigut. In 2006, Rush started his individual award-winning legal blog, Rush on Business, and has maintained it since that time. Rush has been quoted or referenced by hundreds of other legal and business blogs and Web sites including the blog networks for the Wall St. Journal, Forbes Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine.  Rush has extensive litigation experience in a variety of practice areas and serves as the point person from this blog to direct you in finding the right attorney on our Brick Gentry trial team to handle your case. We have several lawyers working on our trial team who all have their own individual specialties and so we try to align your case with the best lawyer at the firm to fit your needs.

We developed this new trial team blog to feature the Brick Gentry trial and litigation work. We have several attorneys working on our trial team and we are unique in Iowa because we have over 30 lawyers in our law office, yet we handle a substantial amount of plaintiff’s work rather than representing predominantly insurance companies like many firms of our size.

Our strong sense of purpose with this blog is to educate and provide information to people in a way that helps them identify legal issues and make more informed choices about what legal services they need.  The collaborative process of a law blog can allow this to happen.