Lawrence H. Pockers represents clients nationally in complex commercial litigation with a primary focus on non-compete, trade secrets and unfair competition cases. Mr. Pockers is Co-Chair of the Duane Morris Non-Compete and Trade Secrets practice group. He is also the founder and lead editor of the Duane Morris Non-Compete and Trade Secrets blog. Mr. Pockers has been lead trial counsel in a number of key cases in this area of the law, including The Valspar Corporation v. Van Kuren, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111862 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 9, 2012), in which he obtained an injunction on behalf of The Valspar Corporation prohibiting a former manager who had no non-compete or other post-employment restrictive covenant from taking a competitive position, only the second U.S. District Court decision (the celebrated Bimbo Bakeries case being the first) decided under Pennsylvania law enjoining employment of an individual who had no non-compete or other post-employment restrictive covenant.
Mr. Pockers also has significant experience handling a variety of other types of complex commercial cases, including real estate and other business disputes, securities litigation with an emphasis on disputes between customers and broker/dealers and/or registered representatives, litigation involving the licensing and implementation of software, and mass tort products liability litigation. He has tried more than 30 cases in federal, state and arbitration forums.
In 2019, Mr. Pockers was recognized as an Influencer of Law in the area of Business Litigation by Philadelphia Media Network (Philly.com, Inquirer and Daily News), one of only 12 lawyers recognized in this area of the law. In 2012, Mr. Pockers was selected by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of its "40 Under 40" honorees. The 40 Under 40 award recognizes young professionals in the Philadelphia region for outstanding success and contributions to their community. Mr. Pockers was also selected in 2011 and 2012 as a Pennsylvania "Rising Star" in the area of Business Litigation by Super Lawyers, a publication of Thomson Reuters, and he has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in the area of Business Litigation every year since 2013.
Mr. Pockers is very active in the community. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, Eastern Pennsylvania Region. Mr. Pockers is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. He is also the immediate past Executive Chairman for the American Red Cross, Penn-Jersey Region's Center City Legal Initiative. Mr. Pockers is also a former officer of the Alumni Board of his alma mater, American University. Mr. Pockers has served on the Volunteer Committee for the Support Center for Child Advocates and regularly handles pro bono matters for that organization, which selected him as a Distinguished Advocate in 2013.
Mr. Pockers is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He also is admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He is a 1999 magna cum laude graduate of Temple University School of Law, where he was a member of the Temple Law Review and a member of the National Trial Team, which defeated more than 200 law schools to win the 1998 Association of Trial Lawyers of America Trial Tournament. Mr. Pockers also graduated with honors from American University.
ECBM LP v. Brian M. Chance, Civ. Action No. 20-0830 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 15, 2020). Secured denial of motion for a preliminary injunction on behalf of former ECBM employee who joined Stephens Insurance, finding that ECBM had failed to establish that it had more than a negligible likelihood of success on the merits of its claims.
PeopleStrategy, Inc. v. Lively Employer Services, Inc., 3:20-cv-02640 (D. N.J. Aug. 28, 2020). Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of an HR consulting company and its subsidiary, in a case in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against five former employees, and their new company, requiring defendants to cease doing business with the clients’ customers, honor their contractual non-solicitation obligations, and stop using the clients’ confidential information.
Aramark Services, Inc. v. West, 19-cv-05496 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 17, 2020). Obtained a consent injunction on behalf of Aramark against one of its former senior executives of its Uniform & Career Apparel business.
- Zampell Refractories, Inc. v. Helfrich Brothers Construction Services, LLC, Civ. Action No. 1977CV00493 (Essex Cty., Mass. May 3, 2019). Obtained denial of a preliminary injunction motion filed by the plaintiff, a Massachusetts-based refractories company, against its former Vice President.
- Osborne Assocs. v. Cangemi, 3:17-cv-1135-J-34MCR (M.D.Fla. Nov. 14, 2017). Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of a provider of salon services(Osborne Assocs. d/b/a Generation Salon) to senior living communities enjoining its former managers and the company they formed from competing in violation of the employees non-competition agreements.
- Alliance Life Sciences Consulting Corp. v. Fabriczi, 2:17-cv-00864-CDJ (E.D. Pa. Aug. 17, 2017) report and recommendation of Magistrate Judge adopted 2:17-cv-00864-CDJ (E.D. Pa. Sept. 21, 2017). Represented QuintilesIMS (now IQVIA), a technology-enabled healthcare services provider, in obtaining denial of a preliminary injunction motion filed by Alliance Life Sciences Consulting Group against QuintilesIMS and a former employee who joined QuintilesIMS, allegedly in violation of the employee’s non-competition agreement with Alliance.
- Aramark Services, Inc. v. Procopio, 2:16-cv-04662-RBS (E.D. Pa. Aug. 31, 2016) and (E.D. Pa. Oct. 24, 2016). Obtained a temporary restraining order and later a preliminary injunction on behalf of Aramark against a former senior executive in Aramark’s healthcare division, enjoining the senior executive from accepting employment with a competitor.
- Allied Construction, LLC v. Cooper, C108-15 (Burlington Cty, NJ Nov. 19, 2015). Obtained a temporary restraining order against the former employee of a construction and solar firm enforcing the former employee’s non-competition agreement.
- Zeno Digital Solutions, LLC v. Kelly, 4:15-cv-01290 (S.D. Tex. June 17, 2015). Obtained an injunction against a former employee of an office equipment and digital solutions provider prohibiting the former employee and his new employer from competing in violation of the former employee’s non-competition agreement.
- Nuvasive, Inc. v. Lewis, A-12-CA-1156-SS (W.D. Tex. Oct. 23, 2014). Represented a high-performing medical device sales representative in a jury trial in which her former employer brought multi-million dollar claims against her for, among other things, breach of a non-competition agreement and misappropriation of trade secrets. Following a five-day jury trial in which our client substantially prevailed, the Court awarded her reimbursement of her attorneys’ fees under the fee-shifting provisions of the Texas Theft Liability Act.
- Synthes, Inc. v. Globus Medical, Inc., 2013-09843 (Chester County, PA May 21, 2014). Secured the denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by Synthes against four of its former employees who left Synthes to join Globus Medical, allegedly in violation of the employees’ non-competition agreements with Synthes.
- Capsicum Group LLC v. Rosenthal, 2:13-cv-05322-WY (E.D. Pa. Dec. 17, 2013). Obtained a preliminary injunction enforcing non-competition agreements against former employees of a technology services firm, Capsicum Group.
- De Lage Landen Financial Services, Inc. v. Thomasian, 2:13-cv-00852-RB (E.D. Pa. Mar. 27, 2013) and 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62639 (E.D. Pa. May 1, 2013). Represented a former employee of DLL (Thomasian), through his new employer (Element Financial), in securing denial of a motion for temporary restraining order, and then a motion for preliminary injunction, filed by DLL seeking to enforce the employee’s non-competition agreement with DLL.
- The Valspar Corporation v. Van Kuren, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111862 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 9, 2012). Obtained on behalf of The Valspar Corporation an injunction prohibiting the former Technical Manager of its Beverage Ends packaging coatings group from working for a competitor, despite the fact that there was no non-competition agreement or other post-employment restrictive covenant prohibiting him from working for a direct competitor, on the grounds that there was a substantial likelihood that he would disclose trade secrets if permitted to work for the competitor.
- Synthes USA, LLC v. Mathew, 2009-08219 (Chester County, PA May 18, 2010). Prevailed in obtaining the denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by Synthes against a former employee who left Synthes to join Branch Medical, allegedly in violation of the employee’s non-competition agreement with Synthes.
- Missett v. HUB International of Pennsylvania, LLC, (Montgomery Cty., PA Dec. 17, 2008). Secured a declaratory judgment for the former employee of an insurance broker finding his non-competition agreement to be unenforceable. Rev’d Missett v. HUB International of Pennsylvania, LLC, 6 A.3d 530 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2010).
- Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC v. Classified Ventures, LLC, 06-5213 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 30, 2006). Prevailed in obtaining the denial of a motion for a temporary restraining order filed by the owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer seeking to enforce a non-competition agreement against two of the newspaper’s former online sales representatives.
- Insight Interactive Group Inc. v. McNally, 040302109 (Philadelphia Cty., PA Mar. 12, 2004). Obtained a temporary restraining order and, later upon consent, a preliminary injunction against the former manager of a digital advertiser enjoining the former manager from soliciting the digital advertiser’s clients.
- IKON Office Solutions v. Crabb, 01-CV-1851 (Dane Cty, Wisconsin 2001). Obtained a preliminary injunction against former employees of IKON Office Solutions, a national digital equipment and office solutions provider (later acquired by Ricoh), and the business formed by the former employees, in violation of the former employees’ non-competition agreements with IKON.
- IKON Office Solutions v. Dale, 170 F.Supp.2d 892 (D. Minn. 2001) affirmed 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 22855 (8th Cir. 2001). Obtained a preliminary injunction against a former employee of IKON Office Solutions, a national digital equipment and office solutions provider (later acquired by Ricoh), and the business formed by the former employee, in violation of the former employee’s non-competition agreement with IKON.
Messer LLC f/k/a Linde LLC v. Devault Packing Company, Inc. d/b/a Devault Foods, No. 18-4705 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 29, 2020). Obtained summary judgement on client’s affirmative breach of contract claim and on all of defendant’s counterclaims, leaving only the issue of the client’s damages to be determined at trial.
- Biales v. Aviants Insight & Strategy LLC, 2:18-cv-02079-PD (E.D. Pa. Nov. 27, 2018). Obtained a take nothing dismissal on behalf of a client sued by a former employee for breach of contract and violation of Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law.
- Troia v. Essentials Salon and Day Spa, 2:15-cv-05953-PBT (E.D. Pa. Sept. 7, 2016). Obtained a take nothing dismissal and judgment for costs incurred by client in a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who brought claims for age discrimination.
- S.K.I.P. of New York v. Athena Software, 1:2015-cv-03756 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 25, 2015). Won dismissal of a lawsuit on forum non conveniens grounds filed by a former customer against a Canadian software provider.
- ________ v.________, AAA Arbitration No._____(Feb. 3, 2014). Obtained an arbitration award, following an eight-day arbitration hearing on behalf of an insurance company against a computer services vendor, which had sought $3.75 million in damages in connection with a claim for breach of contract relating to the license and implementation of insurance policy and claims modules, denying the computer services vendor's claim in its entirety and awarding the insurance company client all of its out of pocket expenses associated with the failed implementation.
- PBS Holding Group, Inc. v. Procaps, L.P., Int’l Centre for Dispute Resolution, No. 50 181 T 00252 05 (Apr. 26, 2007, filed as part of public record in Case 1:07-cv-06208-LAP (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 30, 2007). Successfully tried a 16-day arbitration hearing in a dispute involving breach of distribution contracts involving "paintball" products before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution resulting in a net award to the client of nearly $10 million.
- Sonecha v. New England Life Ins. Co., 03-3757 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 28, 2004) affirmed No. 04-1448 (3rd Cir. Mar. 23, 2005) (unpublished). Won dismissal of a lawsuit on behalf of client where the plaintiff, the trustee of a life insurance trust, alleged that client was negligent in permitting one of the policies relating to the trust to lapse. The dismissal was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
- ______v.______, NASDR-DR Arbitration Number______(2004). Successfully represented a broker in an NASD (now FINRA) arbitration case brought by the broker's former customer alleging breach of fiduciary duties and fraud. Prior to the arbitration hearing, negotiated a "take nothing" settlement after obtaining sanctions against the claimants' counsel for discovery abuses.
InCap Svce. Co. v. Memorial Funds & Parkway Advisors L.P., 24-C-04-004859 (Baltimore Cty., MD 2004). Obtained dismissal on personal jurisdiction grounds of a lawsuit brought against the clients alleging breaches of services agreement.
Representative Non-Compete and/or Trade Secret Cases
Other Representative Matters
Areas of Practice
- Non-compete and trade secret litigation
Counseling and investigations relating to non-compete and other post-employment restrictive covenants
- Complex business disputes
- New Jersey
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- Supreme Court of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Temple University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1999
- American University, B.A., cum laude, 1996
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2008-present
- Associate, 1999-2007
Honors and Awards
Named a Labor & Employment Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2019
Philadelphia Inquirer: Influencer of Law, 2019
- Selected by the Support Center for Child Advocates as a Distinguished Advocate for 2013
Philadelphia Business Journal, 40 Under 40, 2012
Named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, 2013-2020
- Pennsylvania Rising Star, 2011-2012
Civic and Charitable Activities
Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, Eastern Pennsylvania Region
Former Executive Chairman, Center City Legal Initiative for American Red Cross, Penn-Jersey Region
Former Chair, Board of Directors, American Red Cross, Penn-Jersey Region
Former Member, American University Alumni Board
- Member, Volunteer Committee, Support Center for Child Advocates
- Co-author, "Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Finds No-Hire Provision Between Two Businesses 'Unreasonably in Restraint of Trade and Therefore Unenforceable'," Duane Morris Alert, May 3, 2021
- Quoted, "Pa. High Court Points Way To Valid Employer No-Poach Deals," Law360, April 30, 2021
- Co-author, "Washington, D.C., Ban on Noncompetes Will Likely Not Take Effect Until October 1, 2021," Duane Morris Alert, February 17, 2021
Co-author, "Restricting Restrictions - New Legislation in Washington and Oregon Limits the Enforceability of Noncompete Agreements," Duane Morris Alert, June 3, 2019
Co-author, "Third Circuit Reverses on Restrictive Covenant Agreement's Enforceability in New Jersey," Duane Morris Alert, May 13, 2019
- Co-author, "Q&A: Duane Morris Attorneys Weigh In On Recent Trade Secret Law Trends," Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property, August 16, 2017
- "The Continuing Split of Authority in the Interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," Duane Morris Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Law Blog, May 20, 2013
- "Massachusetts Proposed Legislation Limiting Employee Non-Compete Agreements," Duane Morris Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Law Blog, February 26, 2013
- "Latest Hope for U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Circuit Split Over Scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Dashed," Duane Morris Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Law Blog, February 4, 2013
- "What To Do When Your Sales Manager Asks: 'Can we hire this guy, he has a non-compete with a competitor?'," Duane Morris Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Law Blog, January 24, 2013
- "Tips for Minimizing Attorney's Fees in Non-Compete/Trade Secret Cases," Duane Morris Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Law Blog, January 17, 2013
- "The New Duane Morris Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Blog (And Why You Should Read THIS Blog)," Duane Morris Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Law Blog, January 9, 2013
Selected Speaking Engagements
Moderator, “Competing Interests, Post-Employment and Other Competitive Restrictions in Sports, Gaming, Hospitality & Entertainment,” Greater Philadelphia Association of Corporate Counsel Symposium, Atlantic City, NJ, July 12, 2019
Presenter, "The Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act: One Year Later," Pennsylvania Bar Institute's 2017 Business Law Institute, November 15, 2017
- Moderator, "Restrictive Covenants Enforcement Realities Around the Country: The In-House Perspective on Chasing the Departed," DRI Business Litigation Seminar, Nashville, Tennessee, May 5, 2016