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Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets



Since 1995, this annual seminar on Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets has provided an opportunity for litigators and transactional lawyers to learn everything they need to know about the law in Georgia and beyond. In addition to providing an update on restrictive covenant and trade secret law, the seminar will delve into the judicial viewpoint on noncompete and trade secret cases, computer forensic issues that arise in these disputes, as well as the changing landscape of restrictive covenant legislation.




Benjamin I. Fink, Program Co-Chair; Berman Fink Van Horn P.C., Atlanta, GA


Neal F. Weinrich, Program Co-Chair; Berman Fink Van Horn P.C., Atlanta, GA








Welcome and Program Overview


Benjamin I. Fink




Restrictive CovenantS and Trade Secrets Cases: A View from the Bench   


Hon. Walter W. Davis, Judge, Georgia Statewide Business Court, Atlanta, GA


Hon. Steven D. Grimberg, Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta, GA


Hon. Emily Kathleen Richardson, Judge, Fulton Superior Court, Atlanta, GA




Restrictive Covenants in Employment and Other Agreements


Benjamin I. Fink








Trade Secrets, Confidential Information and Computer Fraud & Abuse


Neal F. Weinrich








Choice of Law, Venue, and Other Procedural Issues in Restrictive Covenant Litigation 


John G. Perry, Womble Bond Dickinson (US), LLP, Atlanta, GA




Forensic Analysis: I Suspect Theft of Proprietary Information, What Do I Do Now?


Lea Clinton Dearing, Berman Fink Van Horn P.C., Atlanta, GA


Gregory L. “Greg” Fordham, CPA, CIA, CCE, Sec+, MCP, Fordham Forensics, Atlanta, GA


David E. Sems, CPA, CITP, CFF, Advisor White Elm Group, LLC, Atlanta, GA








Recent Legislative Developments: Are Noncompetes Going to be Banned?


Moderator: Benjamin I. Fink


Russell Beck, Beck Reed Riden LLP, Boston, MA


Michael P. Elkon, Fisher & Phillips LLP, Atlanta, GA






Mr. Benjamin I. Fink, Esq.'s Profile

Mr. Benjamin I. Fink, Esq. Related seminars and products

Berman Fink Van Horn P.C.

Benjamin I. Fink, a shareholder in Berman Fink Van Horn P.C., concentrates his practice in business and employment litigation with a particular emphasis on non-compete, trade secret and other competition-related disputes.

With nearly 30 years in practice, Ben has handled cases in Georgia’s state and federal courts as well as state and federal courts in more than 15 other states. He has also handled disputes in arbitration before the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Ben’s non-compete and unfair competition practice includes representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in disputes involving non-compete, non-solicitation of customers, non-recruitment of employees and non-disclosure/confidential information agreements. Ben also represents parties in disputes involving trade secrets, tortious interference with business and contractual relations, breach of fiduciary duty and/or duty of loyalty, unfair and deceptive trade practices, business defamation, trade name and trade dress infringement, Computer Systems Protection Act violations, Economic Espionage Act/Defend Trade Secrets Act claims, Electronic Communications Privacy Act claims, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims, Stored Communications Act claims and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims.

Ben also represents plaintiffs and defendants in all types of other business and commercial disputes, including contract disputes, business torts, partnership, shareholder and other internal corporate disputes, shareholder derivative lawsuits and securities fraud claims. He is experienced in helping draft agreements that can be instrumental in protecting the competitive edge of his client’s businesses and avoiding unfair competition, including non-competition, non-solicitation, non-recruitment, confidentiality and trade secret agreements and computer use provisions.

Given his extensive experience in the area of non-competes, Ben testified before a joint committee of the Georgia House and Senate tasked with studying proposed legislation relating to restrictive covenant agreements. He also served as a member of the State Bar of Georgia Special Legislative Study Committee on Restrictive Covenants, which served as a resource for the Georgia Legislature as it considered legislation.

In 2017, Ben was invited to attend the Inaugural Sedona Conference on Developing Best Practices for Trade Secret Issues, an invitation-only group of thought leaders in trade secret law. Today, Ben serves on Sedona Working Group 12 on trade secrets. 

Ben is a well-respected writer and lectures regularly on non-competes, trade secrets and related topics, as well as other topics involving competition-related legal issues and other legal issues facing businesses. He co-authored a chapter on Restrictive Covenant Litigation for Georgia Business Litigation, a book published in 2013 by Daily Report Books, a division of ALM Media, LLC. He also co-authored a Practice Note on Georgia Confidentiality, Nondisclosure and Non-Solicitation for Thomson Reuters Practical Law.

Since 2005, Ben has been named a Super Lawyer in Atlanta Magazine for his work in Employment/Business Litigation and he has been selected by Georgia Trend magazine as one of Georgia’s Legal Elite since 2012. Since 2013, Ben has been named a Top 100 Georgia Super Lawyer and selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2015 – present).

A member of the Labor and Employment Section Board of Directors of the Atlanta Bar Association from 2011 to 2019, Ben served as its Chair from 2014-2015. Since 1999, Ben has served on the board of Conexx: America Israel Business Connector. He served as Chair of the Conexx Board (2015-2017) and continues to serve on its Executive Committee. Ben is also involved with his university alumni organizations, including Duke University’s Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee (2000 – present) and Atlanta Regional Alumni Board; and the alumni board of Emory Law School (2015 – present). In 2021, Ben was named President of the Alumni Board of Emory Law School.

After graduating from Duke University, Ben obtained his law degree from the Emory University School of Law and has lived in Atlanta since 1989. Ben is married to Robin Young Fink and has two children. When not practicing law, Ben enjoys kayaking, bicycling, playing golf and being an enthusiastic spectator at his children’s various athletic and recreational activities.

Hon. Leigh Martin May, Judge's Profile

Hon. Leigh Martin May, Judge Related seminars and products

United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Leigh Martin May is federal judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Prior to joining the court, she was a partner at the law firm of Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer LLP. President Barack Obama nominated May to fill a vacancy on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on December 19, 2013. May received confirmation on November 13, 2014, when the United States Senate voted 99-0 in favor.

Mr. Walter West Davis, Judge's Profile

Mr. Walter West Davis, Judge Related seminars and products

Georgia State-wide Business Court

Walter W. Davis is the judge of the Georgia Business Court. He joined the court on August 1, 2020. Governor Brian Kemp (R) appointed Davis to the position July 15, 2019, and Davis was confirmed on August 14, 2019.

Davis is the first judge to serve on the Georgia Business Court, which was established in 2019.

Davis obtained his B.A. in philosophy and political science from Mercer University in 1998. He earned a J.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2001.


  • 2020-present: Judge, Georgia Business Court
  • 2002-2020: Attorney, Jones Day
  • 2001-2002: Law clerk to Judge Beverly Martin, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Hon. Emily Kathleen Richardson, Judge's Profile

Hon. Emily Kathleen Richardson, Judge Related seminars and products

Fulton Superior Court

Judicial Assignments
2018 – present: Superior Court of Fulton County

J.D., Emory University Law School (2005)
A.B., Duke University (2001)

Professional Experience/Associations
Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney, Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit
Senior Assistant District Attorney, Douglas Judicial Circuit
Assistant Attorney General, Georgia Attorney General’s Office

Important Information

Please be advised that your credit will not be reported to the State Bar of Georgia CLE Regulation Department until after you have completed the steps necessary to earn credit for that program. 

Self reporting is required for all other jurisdictions except Tennessee.

The information presented is solely for educational purposes. The opinions expressed by the faculty in their materials and presentations are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the State Bar of Georgia, its officers, directors and/or employees. The faculty is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and these presentations and publications are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. All publications and presentations were created to serve the continuing legal education needs of practicing attorneys.

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