Stephen has over twenty years of experience as a business law attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area and internationally. Stephen's expertise involves trade secrets, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, technology licensing and distribution and construction contracting and disputes. Stephen also represents clients in general business litigation and dispute resolution, and he regularly counsels clients on business operations, business formation and dissolution, IP protection, sales and marketing and employment issues.
Litigation is sometimes necessary in order to enforce contract rights, and sometimes it is unavoidable when you are sued as a defendant. Stephen represents plaintiffs and defendants in business disputes. Litigation can be and often is a long and involved process that takes many years to complete. It is a big, lumbering locomotive. But, a skilled attorney like Stephen knows how to guide it along a path best suited for the client’s case, and knows how to stop it and when to get off the train. Stephen has the background and experience to guide clients through each stage of litigation, providing the insight and counseling needed to make decisions on litigation strategy, and the skillset to execute the litigation plan. Contact Stephen to discuss your litigation needs and how he can effectively represent you to get the best result possible.
Stephen handles commercial transactions involving the licensing and distribution of intellectual property, construction contracting, asset purchase agreements and commercial leases, and corporate transactions involving entity formation and founders agreements, such as partnership agreements, operating agreements, shareholder agreements and buy-sell agreements between shareholders. Contact Stephen to discuss your commercial transaction and how he can help you to complete on the best terms possible.Trade Secret & Non-Compete Litigation
California Civil Code §3426, et seq. known as the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act, or “CUTSA,” gives a right of action for owners of trade secret information against those who would take and such information without permission. Not all business information constitutes a trade secret, even if it is considered confidential and not all uses of such information constitute “misappropriation.” Trade secret information is information, such as a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process, that (1) derives independent economic value from not being generally known to the public, (2) whose value derives from being kept secret, and (3) where the owner uses reasonable measures under the circumstances to keep the information from public disclosure. The information must be owned by the person claiming a right to it, which generally requires having either created or acquired the information. Misappropriation of a trade secret means the acquisition of a trade secret by someone who knows it was acquired by improper means, or the disclosure of a trade secret to another without actual or implied consent. Trade secret information does not include information developed without any steps taken by the owner to ensure its secrecy, or information that can be independently developed using publicly available information.
Non-compete agreements are often used by employers in an effort to protect trade secret information from leaving an organization along with a terminating employee. However, in California, non-compete agreements are considered restraints of trade and are void and unenforceable. In California, public policy favors employee mobility. As a result, employers and employees often end up in a dispute over what information the former employee might have taken and used with a new venture or new employer.
Fortunately, there are other ways to protect trade secrets. A Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement can accomplish the same goals as a non-compete agreement without running afoul of anti-competition laws. In addition, employers can also use a proprietary inventions and assignment agreement in order to carve-out any prior intellectual property while at the same time gaining ownership rights to intellectual property created by an employee in the course of his or her employment.
Contact Stephen to discuss how to protect your confidential, proprietary and trade secret information or resolve any disputes involving such information.Construction Contracting and Claims
Stephen began his legal career working on a large, international construction project with a Fortune 50 company. Since then, Stephen has represented contractors and engineers in construction contracting and claims. Stephen has worked with civil engineering companies implementing construction project, which gives him an understanding of how construction projects reach a state of completion. Stephen has over two decades of experience working between construction owners and contractors to address the myriad of issues that arise in the course of construction project in order to resolve the issues and keep the project on schedule.
As part of Stephen’s construction practice, he works with clients on construction contracts involving both private and public works of construction. He is very experienced in the bidding process for both private and public construction projects, including the process of making a responsive bid and bid protests. In addition, Stephen regularly represents clients in the mechanics lien process, including as it relates to bond claims for payment bonds and stop notices (public works construction). Stephen also works on home improvement contracts for contractors and homeowners.
Contact Stephen to discuss how he can help assure your construction project goes off without a hitch and, if stalled, how to get it back on track for timely completion.Mediation
Since 2012, Stephen has mediated business and commercial disputes in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. Stephen is a panel mediator in both Contra Costa County Superior Court and Alameda County Superior Court. Stephen conducts half-day and full day mediation using Zoom. He is a board member for the ADR Section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association.
Stephen has worked with both large and small organizations to help them reach their business goals at any stage of business development from entity formation, to negotiating the next business deal and keeping projects on schedule and on budget. He is a full-service business attorney. Contact Stephen today to discuss your business and legal needs and learn how he can add value to your organization as a business advisor and legal counselor.
Since 1998, Stephen has practiced in California, New York and internationally, working with Fortune 500 companies, top tier law firms, and small and medium-sized companies in Contra Costa and Alameda counties in business litigation, construction contracting and claims, intellectual property licensing and distribution and trade secret and non-compete litigation.
Stephen is also a panel mediator in Contra Costa County Superior Court and Alameda County Superior Court since 2012. Stephen uses the most modern technology in his practice, including conducting on-line mediations via Zoom.
Contra Costa County Business Litigation Lawyer | Alameda County Trade Secret & Non-Compete Agreement Attorney | Stephen L. Moses
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