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Neal Weinrich knows noncompetes and trade secrets inside and out. A shareholder at Berman Fink Van Horn, Neal counsels clients in all industries on matters involving restrictive covenants, trade secrets and other competition-related issues.
Neal represents employers and employees, as both plaintiffs and defendants, in disputes involving noncompetes, customer nonsolicits, nonrecruits, and nondisclosure covenants. He represents clients in noncompete disputes throughout Georgia and in jurisdictions across the country.
Neal also litigates competition-related cases involving various other claims, including tortious interference with business, contractual and/or employment relations, breach of fiduciary duty and/or duty of loyalty, deceptive trade practices, defamation, and violations of the Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and/or violations of the Stored Communications Act.
Neal also handles a variety of other business-related matters, including complex commercial litigation and contract disputes and cases involving business torts, partnership or shareholder disagreements and executive compensation disputes.
Neal is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and received his Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University.
An avid Atlanta Falcons fan, Neal also enjoys running road races, playing tennis, golfing, traveling and spending time with his wife and two sons, and their family dog, Sutton.
- Georgia (2006)
- Supreme Court of Georgia
- Court of Appeals of Georgia
- Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia
- United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- B.A., Tulane University, cum laude (2003)
- J.D., Emory University School of Law (2006)
- American Intellectual Property Law Association
- Vice-Chair, Digital Forensics Subcommittee, Trade Secret Law Committee (2014)
- Atlanta Bar Association
- Labor and Employment Section
- Chair (2022 – Present)
- Board Member, Labor & Employment Section (2019 – Present)
- Litigation Section
- Labor and Employment Section
- State Bar of Georgia
- Vice-Chair, Trade Secret Committee, IP Section (2020 – Present)
- Georgia Young Lawyers Division, Co-Chair, Ethics and Professionalism Committee (2014-2015)
- Uniform Law Commission’s Covenant Not to Compete Study Committee (2018-2021)
- Lawyers Club of Atlanta
- Atlanta Tulane Alumni Association
- Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta
- Georgia (2006)
- Georgia Super Lawyers, 2022 – present
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2021 – present
- Georgia Trend’s 2022 Legal Elite
- Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2012-2021
- Order of the Barristers, Emory Law School
- Director of Special Teams, Moot Court Society, 2005-2006
- Member, Moot Court Society, 2004-2006
- James C. Pratt Best Brief Award, Moot Court Society, 2004-2005
- Emory University School of Law C. Robert Henrikson Scholarship Recipient
- 2003 Tulane College Religious Studies Award
- Tulane University Deans’ Honors Scholar
News & Insights
The FTC’s Proposed Noncompete Ban: What You Need to Know
Breaking Noncompete News
Huge News In the Noncompete World
2022 American Intellectual Property Law Association Trade Secrets Summit
Georgia Court Refuses to Enforce Noncompete for Automotive Service Contract Salesperson
Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act
Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act: Noncompete Geographic Limits
Although Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act (RCA) has been in effect for almost 11 years, there are still only a handful decisions from Georgia’s appellate courts interpreting the RCA.
Filing suit on a former employee
A Noncompete Case and BBQ
- On January 12, 2023, Neal co-presented on trade secrets at the State Bar of Georgia’s Midyear Meeting, “Trademarks and Trade Secrets Aren’t Just Federal: A Review of Georgia State Laws and Cases.”
- On December 8, 2022, Neal co-presented a “Legislative Update,” including participating on a panel discussion, at the 2022 AIPLA Trade Secret Summit in Miami.
- On November 16, 2022, Neal presented “Keep your Competitive Edge & Protect your Practice from Unfair Competition and Trade Secret Theft” at the North Fulton Medical Group Management Association meeting.
- On October 14, 2022, Neal served as a moderator at the Atlanta Bar Association meeting (Litigation and Labor & Employment Law sections), “Advancing the Law | Noncompetes & Other Restrictive Covenants – Changing Tides.”
- On October 12, 2022, Neal co-presented “Non-Compete Agreement Trends and Discussion” at the National Employment Lawyers Association Georgia Annual CLE Seminar.
- On August 31, 2022, Neal served as co-chair for the State Bar of Georgia/Institute of Continuing Legal Education program, “Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets.” He also presented “Trade Secrets, Confidential Information and Computer Fraud & Abuse.”
- On April 28, 2022, Neal moderated an Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section webinar titled “The Great Resignation.”
- On July 13, 2021, Neal moderated a State Bar of Georgia/Trade Secret Committee program, “Entry into an Intentional World: The Civil Trade Secret Case Morphs Into a Criminal Trade Secret Case.”
- On May 14, 2021, Neal moderated a session on Trade Secrets at the AIPLA Spring Meeting.
- On September 2, 2020, Neal moderated a panel, “Forensics and Artificial Intelligence in Trade Secret Protection and Litigation/Ethics in Trade Secret Investigations and Litigation” at the AIPLA 2020 Trade Secret Law Summit.
- On February 24, 2020, Neal was a featured speaker on a State Bar of Georgia panel, “Trade Secrets Audits and Asset Management.”
- On January 10, 2020, Neal presented “Trade Secrets, Confidential Information and Computer Fraud and Abuse” at the ICLE: State Bar of Georgia Series seminar “Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Georgia.”
- On January 10, 2020, Neal moderated a panel, “Advising Employers and Employees During the Hiring Process – Do’s and Don’ts” at the ICLE: State Bar of Georgia Series seminar “Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Georgia.”
- On November 5, 2019, Neal presented “Noncompetes and other Restrictive Covenants” at the Atlanta Bar Association’s “But You Said You’re a Lawyer” seminar.
- On September 11, 2019, Neal presented to Fulton Superior Court Judges and Staff attorneys, “Georgia Trade Secret Law: Everything You Need to Know About Trade Secrets in 60 Minutes.”
- On April 4, 2019, Neal presented “Trade Secrets: Protecting the Hidden Practice of Your Ideas.” Neal’s presentation was part of an intellectual law property law workshop for faculty and students at the Georgia Tech InVenture Prize competition.
- On March 22, 2019, Neal moderated “Proactively Dealing with Confidential/Trade Secret Information when Advising a Departing Employee/New Employer” at the AIPLA 2019 Trade Secret Law Summit in New York.
- On January 10, 2019, Neal presented “Trade Secrets, Confidential Information and Computer Fraud and Abuse” at the State Bar of Georgia’s ICLE seminar, “Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Georgia.”
- On October 3, 2018, Neal co-presented to Fulton County Superior Court judges & staff attorneys, “Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act: Where Does Georgia Noncompete Law Stand Now?”
- On March 20, 2018, Neal presented “Restrictive Covenant Litigation” at the Business Litigation seminar hosted by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia.
- On March 1, 2018, Neal facilitated a discussion titled, “Drafting and Litigating Noncompete and Trade Secret Matters Outside your Jurisdiction” at the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secret Summit in San Diego.
- On January 11, 2018, Neal was a guest speaker at the State Bar of Georgia’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education program, “Restrictive Covenants & Trade Secrets in Georgia.” He discussed trade secrets, confidential information and computer fraud and abuse. He also participated on a panel that discussed injunctions, declaratory judgments and protective orders.
- On October 25, 2017, Neal was a guest speaker at the Atlanta Bar Association’s program, “But you said you’re a Lawyer?! Topics every Lawyer Should Know (A Little) About.” Neal discussed non-compete agreements.
- On September 14, 2017, Neal was a guest speaker at the Federal Bar Association’s Annual Meeting. Neal discussed the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act as part of a program titled, “Trade Secret Protection Goes Federal.”
- On March 3, 2017, Neal moderated a panel with Judge Duffey of the Northern District of Georgia at the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secret Law Summit. The panel, “Perspectives The From Bench: How Judges View The Growth and Scope Of Trade Secret and Restrictive Covenant Disputes,” addressed various issues relating to trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation.
- On February 7, 2017, Neal presented “Common Evidentiary Foundations and Evidentiary Rules for TROs and Preliminary Injunctions” at a seminar hosted by the Atlanta Bar Association.
- On January 25, 2017, Neal presented “Trade Secrets, Confidential Information and Computer Fraud and Abuse” at the State Bar of Georgia’s annual seminar on Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets.
- On June 21, 2016, Neal co-presented “The Defend Trade Secrets Act: Trade Secret Protection Goes Federal.” Neal’s webinar was broadcast statewide by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia.
- On March 2, 2016, Neal presented “Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act: How Has it Impacted Non-Compete Practice?” at the Fulton County Business Court’s monthly seminar. Attendees included state and superior judges and staff attorneys.
- On January 14, 2016, Neal spoke on “Recent Federal and State Legislative Developments in Trade Secret and Non-Compete Law” at the annual Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets seminar.
- On November 13, 2015, Neal presented at the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secret Summit in Boston. His presentation was titled “Making Smarter Trade Secret Decisions by Assessing the Overall IP Portfolio, Economic Value and Enforcement and Damage Strategies – Damage Strategies from Outside Counsel’s Perspective.”
- On October 22, 2015, Neal was a guest attorney/lecturer at a Contract Drafting class at Emory University School of Law. Neal led a discussion on drafting non-competes and other restrictive covenants. He also addressed other contractual issues that arise when employees leave companies and ways companies can protect confidential information from theft.
- On July 14, 2015, Neal presented “Unfair Competition 101: A Primer for Business Owners and Employees” at the Tulane Alumni Association Business Breakfast in Atlanta.
- On May 22, 2015, Neal presented “Recent Developments in Georgia Non-Compete Law” at a continuing legal education seminar for attorneys. The Employment Law seminar was held at Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Ga.
- On December 3, 2014, Neal presented “Recent Developments in Georgia Trade Secrets Law” at a trade secrets seminar sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division’s Labor & Employment Committee.
- On October 6, 2014, Neal served as a facilitator at The Law Partners International seminar “Moral Achievement: The Defining Characteristic of Good Lawyering.” The seminar featured Avarita Hanson, Executive Director of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism.
- On October 2, 2014, Neal co-presented ”Evidence Collection in the Mobile Age: Obstacles & Opportunities in Mobile Forensic Collections” as part of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secret Law Committee Education Series.
- On February 26, 2014, Neal spoke via webinar to the Trade Secrets Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Neal spoke on the use of electronic mobile devices in the workplace and the policies that should be implemented to protect trade secrets which may exist on such devices.
- In March 2013, Neal was a panel participant at the Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section seminar on Advanced Employment Law. Neal offered advice on what employers can do to avoid jeopardizing intellectual property when employees depart.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of federal lawsuit seeking COBRA penalties and damages brought by former employee of company that provides military equipment training and design and manufacturers military simulation products.
- Obtained favorable settlement for company that provides travel technology and data services in federal lawsuit against former employees alleged to have taken proprietary company’s software.
- Successfully defended trade secrets claims brought by international animal health company against former veterinary products sales representatives who moved to a competitor.
- Defended former key employees of transportation logistics company against efforts to enforce over broad restrictive covenants. Obtained denial of motion for temporary restraining order in action filed against employees in Delaware. Obtained declaratory judgment from Georgia court that one of the employee’s covenants were unenforceable. Also obtained declaratory judgment on behalf of new employer with respect to both employees’ over broad restrictive covenants. Successfully obtained voluntary dismissal of arbitration against second employee based on results in other actions.
- Obtained favorable settlement of claims brought by former employee of credit card merchant processing company for alleged breach of stock option agreement.
- Represented former employees of third-party logistics company in federal lawsuit filed by former employer against new employer and employees based on alleged raiding and trade secrets violations. Obtained favorable settlement of all claims.
- Obtained favorable settlement of lawsuit against client which provides in-home nursing services based on hiring of former employee of competing company who was subject to unenforceable restrictive covenants.
- Assisted owner of mail order jewelry company in disputes with former partner; including filing lawsuit to recover debts owed on jointly-owned property. Obtained favorable settlement of all claims relating to partnership.
- Obtained favorable settlement for publicly traded software development and e-commerce firm in defense of claims by former customer for fraud and breach of contract.
- Obtained favorable settlement of claims by client that buys and sells large apartment complexes against buyer which breached employee non-recruitment provision in the parties’ purchase and sale agreement.
- Successfully defended executive in temporary and contract staffing business in federal lawsuit where former employer, a large multi-national company, sought to enjoin executive from violating over broad non-compete agreement.
- Obtained favorable settlement of dispute between adjoining homeowners in Midtown Atlanta over ownership of alleyway in between their properties.
- Obtained dismissal of pregnancy discrimination claim against thrift store.
- Enforced restrictive covenants in South Carolina lawsuit against former owner of company acquired by client, a large, national installation sub-contractor.
- Obtained judgment on behalf of credit card merchant processing company for unpaid draw owed by sales representative.
- Obtained summary judgment and attorneys’ fees award in defense of claims by tenant against real estate broker seeking return of security deposit and alleging self-help and other damages.
- Obtained dismissal on statute of limitations grounds of premises liability claims arising from shooting at a hotel.
- Obtained favorable settlement of federal lawsuit alleging Fair Housing Act discrimination against extended-stay hotel
- Obtained jury verdict for all damages sought following four-day trial in federal court in Alabama on claims for finder’s fee owed to broker of steel manufacturing facility.
- Provided substantial research and assistance for trial on securities fraud claims in which the plaintiff sought over $5 million in damages against the former CEO of a public company in the gaming business. Trial resulted in a directed verdict on all claims at the close of the plaintiff’s case.
- Obtained dismissal on jurisdictional grounds of federal copyright infringement action brought by copyright troll against website owner who was alleged to have improperly replicated a news-related image from the Denver Post’s website.
- Obtained favorable settlement of FINRA arbitration against former employee of large brokerage who was alleged to have violated non-solicitation covenants and to have taken trade secrets in connection with transitioning to a new firm.
- Obtained injunction against former employee of company which provides multi-cultural health care marketing, health management and health care communications solutions based on her theft of proprietary company information.
- Quoted in Life Annuity Specialist, “FTC Proposal Would Get Rid of Insurers’ Noncompete Clauses,” (subscription required), January 9, 2023
- Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, “FTC Proposes Banning Noncompete Clauses for Workers” (subscription required), January 5, 2023
- “Nearly a Decade Later: Surveying Georgia’s “New” Noncompete Law,” Georgia Bar Journal, October 2020
- Featured in Atlanta Legal Aid’s “Volunteer Spotlight,” October 2018
- “Practical Law Commercial Transactions: Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreements (GA),” published by Thomson Reuters, February 2018
- “A Federal Cause of Action for Trade Secret Misappropriation,” Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Newsletter, Fall 2016
- “Defensible Deletion after Information Theft is Discovered,” Today’s General Counsel (February/March 2015)
- “Mobile Devices in the Workplace: Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information,” Attorney at Law Atlanta Magazine (Volume 3 Number 5)
- “Take Advantage of Georgia’s New Restrictive Covenants Act,” BFV E-News, July 2014
- Co-Author, “Restrictive Covenant Litigation” chapter in Georgia Business Litigation, 2013 Daily Report Books, a division of ALM Media, LLC (2013)
- “The Fair Housing Act and the Extended Stay Industry“, HospitalityLawyer.com, September 26, 2013
- “Arbitration Clauses in Non-Compete Agreement: The United States Supreme Court Chimes In”, Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Newsletter, Summer 2013
- “Extended-Stay Hotels: Are your Operations Compliant with the Fair Housing Act?” Hotel Business Magazine, September 2013
- “Reductions-in-Force: Are You Entitled to a FICA Tax Refund?” BFV E-News, April 2013
- “Passover Guide for Departing Employees,” Atlanta Jewish Times, March 2013
- “The Debut of the Blue Pencil“, Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Newsletter, Winter 2012
- “Why Are You Still Ignoring Me? Will Georgia Courts Still Disregard Choice-of-Law Provisions in Employment Agreements Containing Restrictive Covenants in Light of Georgia’s New Non-Compete Law?“, Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Newsletter, Winter 2012
- The Enforceability of Choice-of-Law Provisions in Employment Agreements in Light of Georgia’s New Restrictive Covenants Act, Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Section Newsletter (Winter 2011-2012)
- “The Times, They Are A’Changin’: Georgia’s New Restrictive Covenant Law,” BFV Business Law Perspectives, Winter 2011
- “Employers Take Heed: Responding To Garnishments Constitutes The Unauthorized Practice Of Law”, BFV Business Law Perspectives, November 2011
- “A Primer for Georgia Employers on What Litigation Under the New Restrictive Covenants Act May Look Like”, BFV Business Law Perspectives, May 2011
- “When the Office Closes: To Pay or Not to Pay?”, BFV Business Law Perspectives, May 2011
- “The Game has Changed: What will Litigation under the New Restrictive Covenants Act Look Like?”, Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Newsletter, Spring 2011
- “LinkedIn® and Restrictive Covenants: Issues and Potential Pitfalls to Consider in the Age of Social Media”, Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Newsletter, Summer 2010
- “Georgia’s New Non-Compete Statute: Is This Legislation Good for Business in Georgia?”, BFV Business Law Perspectives, Summer 2010
- “Litigation Holds and the Preservation of Relevant Information: Business Acumen and Good Management Practices in the Electronic Era”, BFV Business Law Perspectives, May 2010
- “Significant Changes to Georgia Law on Non-Competes Possibly on the Horizon”, BFV Business Law Perspectives, October 2009 ”
- Restrictive Covenants Legislation to Go into Effect Upon Passage of Constitutional Amendment in 2010 General Election,” April 2009
- Declaratory Judgment Actions: When are they Appropriate?, October 2007
- Supreme Court Upholds FLSA Exemption for Certain Home Health Care Employees, August 2007
- Employers Beware when Drafting and Proposing Severance Agreements, June 2007
- Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
- Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta