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Evaluating the Pros, Cons, and Necessity of Noncompetes and Other Restrictive Covenants

Speaker(s): Danielle Sheer, Evan Starr, Russell Beck
Recorded on: Oct. 21, 2021
PLI Program #: 336862

Danielle Sheer, General Counsel of Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY), a leading provider of financial technology that makes complex business payments simple, smart and secure.

Previously, Danielle founded and developed Carbointe Inc.’s (NASDAQ: CARB) legal and data privacy/security teams, led Carbonite through its IPO and NASDAQ listing, executed several technology acquisitions and integrations, grew the IP and licensing portfolio from its first patent, established and scaled the global data privacy and security program, and successfully defended against patent troll litigations, a hostile takeover and activist shareholders.

In 2018, Danielle was honored by Corporate Counsel as one of 2018’s Innovative Women in Law. Previously, she was named to the Boston Business Journal's "Forty under 40" list of emerging business leaders, honored by the Massachusetts Bar Association as an "Emerging Leader" and received the "Maverick of the Year" Stevie award for Women in Business.

Danielle holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from George Washington University. She is admitted to practice in both New York and Massachusetts. She serves on the Board of Directors for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Advisory Boards of LinkSquares and TechGC.


Russell Beck is a business, trade secrets, and employee mobility litigator, nationally recognized for his trade secrets and noncompete experience. He was invited to the Obama White House to develop guidelines for the proper use of noncompetes, and has been cited as an expert on trade secrets and noncompetes by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the White House, the Treasury Department, National Public Radio, the BBC World News Service, PBS Newshour, Le Monde, and many others.

Named a Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and included in the Top 10 Lawyers in Massachusetts by Super Lawyers® in 2020, Russell and has over 30 years of experience as a complex business, trade secrets, and noncompete litigator, representing clients throughout the country.

Called “one of the foremost trade secret litigators in the country,” Russell is a recognized authority on the law of trade secrets, noncompetes, and employee mobility. In addition to revising language for the Massachusetts Uniform Trade Secrets Act, he wrote the law, wrote the book, and teaches the course on noncompetes in Massachusetts. His books include, Trade Secrets Law for the Massachusetts Practitioner (1st ed. MCLE 2019) and Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (6th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2021), and the course he created and teaches is Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law.

Russell also writes and administers the award-winning Fair Competition Law blog and publishes and lectures frequently. He also prepared his firm’s widely used 50 State Noncompete Survey (the first of its kind and updated regularly since 2010) and the firm’s 50 State Trade Secrets Comparison Chart (also the first of its kind).

Russell is President of the Boston Bar Foundation. And, prior to founding the firm, Russell was a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he was founder and chair of the Trade Secret/Noncompete Practice. Before that, he was a partner at Epstein Becker & Green, PC, and an associate at Reynolds Rappaport & Kaplan and at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Dr. Evan Starr is an Associate Professor of Management & Organization at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. His research examines issues at the intersection of employee mobility, human capital, entrepreneurship, and technology, with a focus on employer-employee contracting practices. He is particularly interested in the impacts of postemployment restrictive covenants on workers and firms. Dr. Starr has authored more than a dozen articles in leading journals in economics and management and testified in front of the US Senate and the US House of Representatives. His research has been covered in major news outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, NPR, Financial Times, and The Washington Post. Formerly a professor at the University of Illinois, Dr. Starr received his PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan. He has received several awards for his research and teaching. Dr. Starr teaches undergraduate, MBA, and PhD-level courses strategic management and empirical methods.