Overview: For Final Project Part I of this course, you will create a
memorandum. In Milestone One, submit your Memo Introduction, Facts and
and Facts to be Determined sections (Sections I, IIA and IIB, and IIC)
of the memorandum.
Prompt: In the Memo Introduction section, articulate what you feel
are the strengths of your company’s legal claim or defense. In the Facts
and Laws section,
analyze the facts related to employment discrimination or unlawful
termination based on your company’s perspective. In the Precedent
section, select cases that
support your company’s position in terms of employment discrimination or
unlawful termination. Justify why they support its case. In the Facts
to be Determined
section, determine any facts that will help you better analyze your
company’s position. Make sure to incorporate the feedback you receive on
into your final submission.
You are an intern at the legal department at one of the companies in
the following scenario (Greene or Howell) and tasked with compiling a
memo for your
supervisor, which will be used to formulate an official executive brief
of these lawsuits.
Mary Jane and Allen Greene, a married couple, own a high-end costume
jewelry manufacturing and distribution company called Greene's Jewelry
LLC. The principal place of business for Greene's Jewelry is in Derry,
New Hampshire, where it owns a warehouse and two storefronts.
Originally started in 1957, the company expanded over five decades, and
it now employs 502 individuals in a variety of departments, including
marketing, research and development, human resources, and manufacturing.
The primary asset of Greene's Jewelry is its patented process for
creating a synthetic gold-colored material called "Ever-Gold," which is
used in Greene's
necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets. Ever-Gold is impervious to
scratches, discoloration, oxidization, and is marketed as "everlasting
Jennifer Lawson, who has been employed for three years as a junior
executive secretary in the research and development department at
Greene's Jewelry, has
just learned that she is pregnant. She has earned high marks on each of
her annual reviews with the company, with the exception of the fact that
shows up 15 to 30 minutes late for work. Otherwise, she is deemed to be
professional, articulate, diligent, and skilled in her role with the
company. When Lawson
advises the head of human resources, Lisa Peele, that she may have to
take additional time off as a result of some high-risk factors that she
will face during the
course of her pregnancy, she is told that her position has been
eliminated. The specific words are: "Congratulations Jennifer! That is
exciting news for you. We do
not need to worry about time off, though, because, regrettably, I was
just going to let you know that we are downsizing and no longer have a
need for any of our
junior executive secretaries."
Jennifer is distraught, and immediately returns to her desk to clear
it out as instructed. She removes all of her personal items, as well as
the projects she was
working on prior to her discussion with Lisa Peele. When she returns to
her home, she realizes that she has inadvertently taken a draft letter
to Greene's patent
attorney, which details the secret process for creating Ever-Gold.
Although Greene's Jewelry requires all of its executives to sign
covenants not to compete and confidentiality agreements, Jennifer was
only required to sign a
confidentiality agreement, by which she agreed never to disclose any
information that she might acquire from Greene's regarding the process
used to create
Panicked, and knowing that she needs a job, she calls one of Greene's
competitors, Howell Jewelry World, and advises its hiring manager that
she is a former
employee of Greene's, that she needs a job, and that she has
confidential information about Ever-Gold that would help Howell compete
with Greene's. The
hiring manager at Howell, Naomi White, schedules an interview with
Jennifer for the following day.
At the end of the interview, Naomi makes an offer to Jennifer to
begin work with Howell immediately, but she conditions the offer on
Jennifer's execution of an
employment contract. The contract contains two specific provisions that
Naomi insists Jennifer read and initial, in addition to signing the
contract as a whole. One
of those provisions states that Jennifer will disclose the information
she has regarding the Ever-Gold process prior to commencing work with
Howell. The other
provision is a covenant to not work for any competitor of Howell for two
years after she leaves the employ of Howell, irrespective of the reason
for leaving, and
whether she quits or is fired. Jennifer initials both of the provisions,
signs the contract for employment, and gives Naomi a copy of the letter
that she removed
from her desk at Greene's.
One week after she starts working with Howell, Jennifer is fired for
chronic tardiness, and she thereafter gets a job working as a sales
associate with the only
other jewelry company in town, Triumph Jewels.
Meanwhile, Greene's learns that Howell has acquired knowledge of the
secret process used to create Ever-Gold, and that Howell has tweaked the
so as to avoid any patent infringement issues but to still create a
product with similar characteristics and qualities of Ever-Gold. Howell,
for its part, has learned
that Jennifer is working for a competitor and fears that Jennifer will
disclose the process to Triumph. Finally, one of Howell's customers had
disfiguring rash as a direct result of the new process Howell has begun
using in its jewelry.
Greene's sues Jennifer for breach of the confidentiality agreement
when it learns that she has given confidential information to Howell.
Greene's for wrongful termination. Howell sues Jennifer for breach of
the covenant not to compete, and Jennifer counter-sues for fraudulent
believing that she was tricked into signing the employment contract with
Howell and that Howell was never interested in hiring her, but was
interested only in
acquiring information on the process to create Ever-Gold. Howell also
sues Triumph, claiming that it knew or should have known that Jennifer
was subject to a
covenant not to compete, and that Triumph should therefore be bound by
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
Memo Introduction: Articulate what you feel are the strengths of your company’s legal claim or defense.
A. Facts and Laws
1. Analyze the facts related to employment discrimination or unlawful termination based on your company’s perspective.
2. Analyze the facts related to contract issues based on your company’s perspective.
3. Identify the operative employment and contract laws that apply to your company’s case.
C. Facts to be Determined