People: Dawn Mertineit, Associate

Photo of Dawn Mertineit, Associate

Dawn Mertineit

Associate

Boston
Direct: (617) 946-4917
Fax: (617) 946-4801
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Ms. Mertineit is an associate in the Litigation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, primarily representing corporations and their directors and officers in all stages of litigation. Ms. Mertineit specializes in non-compete and trade secrets litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts, from pre-litigation counseling through to judgment or settlement, as well as advising her clients on their non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants. Ms. Mertineit also has experience litigating a variety of employment actions, franchise disputes, partnership disputes, banking and finance matters, real estate disputes, and various tort actions. Her clients include major national and international employers, including franchisors, staffing firms, technology companies, banking institutions, real estate holding companies, manufacturers, supermarkets, and various other business ventures.
 
Ms. Mertineit is a member of several practice groups at Seyfarth Shaw, including the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group; Securities and Financial Litigation Practice Group; Distribution & Franchise Litigation and Counseling Group; and Commercial Litigation Practice Group. She is also a member of Seyfarth Shaw's Whistleblower Team.  Ms. Mertineit regularly contributes to Seyfarth Shaw's "Trading Secrets" blog (www.tradesecretslaw.com). 
 
Ms. Mertineit is the associate chair of the Boston chapter of the Seyfarth Women's Network, and is also a member of the firm's Diversity Action Team. Ms. Mertineit also serves as outside counsel and officer to More Than Words, a Boston-area non-profit.
 
The National Law Journal recently named Ms. Mertineit a “Boston Rising Star”, a list of 40 outstanding lawyers under the age of 40.
Ms. Mertineit is an associate in the Litigation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, primarily representing corporations and their directors and officers in all stages of litigation. Ms. Mertineit specializes in non-compete and trade secrets litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts, from pre-litigation counseling through to judgment or settlement, as well as advising her clients on their non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants. Ms. Mertineit also has experience litigating a variety of employment actions, franchise disputes, partnership disputes, banking and finance matters, real estate disputes, and various tort actions. Her clients include major national and international employers, including franchisors, staffing firms, technology companies, banking institutions, real estate holding companies, manufacturers, supermarkets, and various other business ventures.
 
Ms. Mertineit is a member of several practice groups at Seyfarth Shaw, including the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group; Securities and Financial Litigation Practice Group; Distribution & Franchise Litigation and Counseling Group; and Commercial Litigation Practice Group. She is also a member of Seyfarth Shaw's Whistleblower Team.  Ms. Mertineit regularly contributes to Seyfarth Shaw's "Trading Secrets" blog (www.tradesecretslaw.com). 
 
Ms. Mertineit is the associate chair of the Boston chapter of the Seyfarth Women's Network, and is also a member of the firm's Diversity Action Team. Ms. Mertineit also serves as outside counsel and officer to More Than Words, a Boston-area non-profit.
 
The National Law Journal recently named Ms. Mertineit a “Boston Rising Star”, a list of 40 outstanding lawyers under the age of 40.

Education

  • J.D., Boston University School of Law (2007)
    cum laude
    Honors in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Concentration
  • B.A., Colby College (2004)
    magna cum laude
    Distinction in the French major

Representative Engagements

1. Select Trade secrets, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Experience
 
a. Represented staffing firm in various actions alleging violations of non-compete agreements, resulting in dismissal of actions prior to discovery.
 
b. Represented a major international staffing firm in an action against its former executive and her new employer for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion.  Obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting the former executive from soliciting the staffing firm’s clients, despite the lack of a non-solicit agreement.  Successfully opposed the defendants’ motion to dismiss or in the alternative for summary judgment.
 
c. Defended a Fortune 500 staffing agency and 10 of its employees in an action brought by the employee’s former employer, alleging breach of non-compete agreements, interference, and unfair competition.  Obtained a highly favorable settlement on behalf of clients.
 
d. Represented individual defendant (and new employer, as non-party) against various claims, including alleged breach of restrictive covenant, violation of Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secret Act, and unfair competition claims.  Reached a successful settlement on the eve of what would have been costly and time-consuming expedited discovery.
 
e. Represented plaintiff software company in a federal suit alleging violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, unfair competition, and breach of restrictive covenants, among other causes of action.  Following expedited discovery and mediation, the parties entered into a favorable settlement agreement allowing for, among other things, a “search and destroy” protocol to rid defendants’ systems of any confidential information belonging to the client.
 
f. Represented a biotechnology company in pre-litigation settlement discussions based on competitor’s unfair competition and former employees’ violations of non-compete and non-solicit provisions.
 
g. Represented a major international technology company in suit against former employee for violation of non-compete agreement.  On the eve of trial, obtained a successful settlement preventing employee from working in a given product line for several months, and from soliciting several major clients for a similar period of time.
 
h. Represented staffing agency in response to pre-litigation demand letter from a former employer of staffing agency’s current employees, threatening a suit for violations of employees’ non-compete and non-solicit obligations and alleged misappropriation of trade secret, ultimately settling the dispute prior to litigation.
 
i. Successfully prosecuted non-compete, misappropriation, tortious interference, and unfair competition case for staffing agency in Massachusetts against several former employees and their new company, resulting in satisfactory settlement agreement.
j. Represented educational technology company in non-compete actions against former employees.
 
k. Currently representing international medical device manufacturer against several former employees for violations of their non-compete and non-solicit obligations, as well as their new employer for, among other things, interference and unfair competition.
 
l. Representing urine drug testing laboratory in action against former employee for violation of obligations to his former employer.
 
m. Counseled various clients, including major retailers, franchisors, software companies, and staffing agencies on enforceability of non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants, as well as trade secret protection.
 
2. Select Franchise Experience
 
a. Represented international convenience store franchisor in federal suit against former franchisee and landlord for breach of contract, unfair trade practices, and conversion related to defendants’ refusal to allow franchisor to remove its property.  Obtained injunctive relief prohibiting defendants from operating property during the pendency of the action, and ultimately obtained settlement allowing franchisor to remove its property.
 
b. Representing international convenience store franchisor against former franchisee’s breach of contract, unfair competition, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty claims, and counterclaims for former franchisee’s own breaches of contract.  Successfully defeated former franchisee’s request for injunctive relief, and prevailed on cross-motion for injunctive relief, resulting in an order requiring the franchisee to vacate the store.
 
c. Defended international franchisor against claims of breach of contract, unfair competition, interference, and declaratory judgment regarding alleged unconscionability of provision in franchise agreement.
 
3. Select Labor and Employment/Whistleblower Experience
 
a. Successfully defended major international bank before OSHA against alleged whistleblower’s claims of retaliatory employment practices in violation of SOX and Dodd-Frank, resulting in dismissal of the alleged whistleblower’s claim; currently representing bank on appeal before the Department of Labor.
 
b. Currently defending major hospital against OSHA whistleblower claim.
 
c. Representing urine drug testing laboratory in retaliation claim related to False Claims Act litigation.
 
d. Successfully defended medical practice from three simultaneous lawsuits involving allegations of age discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and shareholder disputes.
 
e. Defended and obtained complete defense verdict following jury trial on behalf of national financial services firm and its CEO and CFO, in a suit brought by former senior vice president of the firm for tortious interference with his employment relationship. Represented client on appeal, where verdict was upheld. 
 
4. Select Financial, Unfair Competition, Class Action, and Other Complex Commercial Litigation Experience
 
a. Represented one of America’s largest seafood importers and distributors in suit for breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent inducement, and unfair competition arising out of major bank’s refusal to honor a letter of credit, successfully defeating the bank’s motion to dismiss, resulting in a highly lucrative settlement for the client.
 
b. Represented a class of tenants in a Charlestown, Massachusetts housing development against the local housing authority, obtaining a large settlement after over 11 years of litigation.
 
c. Filed arbitration demand on behalf of information technologies company for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, fraud, and unjust enrichment, resulting in highly favorable settlement.
 
d. Represented plaintiff physician in action for violations of the Stored Communications Act and the Massachusetts invasion of privacy statute for defendant’s unlawful access of plaintiff’s private emails.
 
e. Defended financial services firm in shareholder dispute, resulting in favorable settlement.
 
f. Represented one of the world’s largest real estate investment groups in federal suit for declaratory judgment seeking an order that a contract for sewer fees entered into in 1987 with a municipality was an illegal tax as opposed to a permissible fee.  Obtained summary judgment and an order that the city repay six years’ of payments to the client, plus interest, totaling over $1.1M.
 
g. Represented plaintiff bank in adversary proceeding against condominium trust seeking declaratory judgment on statutory construction issue related bankruptcy proceedings.  Successfully defeated the condominium trust’s motion to dismiss, obtained summary judgment on the declaratory judgment count, and defeated the condominium trust’s cross-motion for summary judgment.
 
h. Represented regional bank against trustee process claims, successfully securing a voluntary dismissal following the filing and oral argument on a motion to dismiss and for fees.
 
i. Defended drug manufacturer in arbitration against breach of contract claims related to a rebate agreement, resulting in a highly favorable decision from the arbitrator.
 
j. Representing a variety of corporations in action to reverse housing appeals committee’s decision to allow comprehensive permit in industrial park.
 
k. Represented real estate investment company in a variety of receivership actions in multiple jurisdictions and in both federal and state court, resulting in appointment of receiver.
 
l. Represented high-end supermarket chain in various premises and products liability actions resulting in favorable resolutions
 

Presentations

  • "Protecting Trade Secrets in the Social Media Age," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (September 28, 2017)