February 7, 2014
A lawsuit filed by the government industry association TechAmerica against a rival it accuses of poaching three of its top executives along with proprietary information they held is entering mediation while the organizations exchange discovery documents, according to the court record.
The docket in the case shows a scheduling order for mediation entered on Friday. Mediation is a process in which a third party helps litigants resolve some or all of their disputes before going to trial. It does not affect the progress of the litigation.
The Information Technology Industry Council had filed a motion to delay discovery -- the process by which litigants demand documents from each other to use as evidence -- but withdrew that motion in advance of a court hearing on Friday, a person familiar with the case said.
TechAmerica filed suit in November against ITI and the three former employees, Trey Hodgkins, Pam Walker and Carol Henton, in the Superior Court of Washington. The suit claims the former TechAmerica employees negotiated with ITI prior to abruptly resigning their jobs and agreed to induce more than a dozen TechAmerica member companies to each pay ITI $50,000 in membership fees. Those fees helped cover the cost of hiring the employees and launching a public sector division.
The suit also charges that Henton continued to access proprietary TechAmerica information after she resigned, including pulling membership lists from a company laptop before returning the computer.
ITI returned more than 50,000 pages of documents to TechAmerica prior to a judicial hearing on Friday, according to a report by Federal News Radio. The judge in the case will rule shortly on an ITI motion to dismiss, according to that report.
TechAmerica is seeking a minimum of $5 million in damages. The company did not immediately respond to questions about the mediation order on Friday.
This story has been updated to add additional details.
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February 7, 2014