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MRR Attorneys named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America® list

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., LPA (MRR) is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have been named to the 2019 Edition of Best Lawyers®, the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession. Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in America© list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise.

MRR would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© list:

Todd M. Raskin (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law

John T. McLandrich (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law

Thomas S. Mazanec (Cleveland), Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Joseph F. Nicholas, Jr. (Cleveland), Transportation Law

George V. Pilat (Cleveland), Insurance Law

Elisabeth “Lisa” Gentile (Columbus), Medical Malpractice – Defendants

Stacy V. Pollock (Columbus), Education Law

 

About Best Lawyers®

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Over 79,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, and we have received more than 12 million votes to date on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 6.7 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 55,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” For more information, visit bestlawyers.com.

Six MRR Attorneys named Best Lawyers in America 2018

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., LPA (MRR) is pleased to announce that six attorneys have been named to the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers®, the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession. Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in America© list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise.

MRR would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© list:

Todd M. Raskin (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law

John T. McLandrich (Cleveland), Civil Rights Law

Thomas S. Mazanec (Cleveland), Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Joseph F. Nicholas, Jr. (Cleveland), Transportation Law

George V. Pilat (Cleveland), Insurance Law

Stacy V. Pollock (Columbus), Education Law

 

About Best Lawyers®

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Over 79,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, and we have received more than 12 million votes to date on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 6.7 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 55,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” For more information, visit bestlawyers.com.

George Pilat to present “Can Common E&O Traps Also Be Marketing Opportunities?” at Insurance Board of Northern Ohio on January 14, 2016

George V. PilatOn Thursday, January 14, 2016,  George V. Pilat will present a 1-hour CE credit presentation focusing on the basic duties of an agent and common error and omission traps turned into marketing opportunities. He is the Co-Chair of MRR’s Insurance Agents & Brokers practice, in addition to the Business & Commercial Law practice group.  For over 25 years, George has represented and advised insurance agents, brokers, agencies, insurers, businesses, and entrepreneurs in all areas of insurance and business law. He is a member of the Insurance Board of Northern Ohio (IBNO) and regularly provides seminars to various insurance and legal groups.

The IBNO program will take place on Thursday, January 14, 2016 from 6-8 pm at Sterle’s Slovenian Country House in Cleveland. For more information, visit www.ibno.org.

 

MRR Article: Can You Keep A Secret? What Businesses Need to Know about Ohio’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act

By: George V. Pilat, Esq.
Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., LPA

Every business has valuable information that it wants to keep secret. Whether that information is a “trade secret” entitled to the benefits under Ohio’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act is not always an easy question to answer, and requires effort on the part of the company to keep the secret.

Colonel Sander’s Secret Recipe. The formula for Coca-Cola. Google’s original “search” algorithm. These are a few examples of what we commonly know as company “trade secrets,” and there are many others in every size and type of organization. But there are often misconceptions of what actually qualifies as a “trade secret” under the law and what someone has to do to qualify for legal protection.

Ohio adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in 1994 to achieve uniformity in that area of the law with all other states enacting those statutes. But what exactly is a “trade secret”?

The Act defines a “trade secret” as:

…information, including the whole or any portion or phase of any scientific or technical information, design, process, procedure, formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or improvement, or any business information or plans, financial information, or listing of names, addresses, or telephone numbers, that satisfies both of the following:

(1) It derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use.

(2) It is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.

As you can see, a very wide scope of information can potentially qualify as a “trade secret.” Focusing on just one item, there is often a misunderstanding whether customer or client lists are trade secrets. Although such lists are specifically mentioned in the statute, they do not always qualify as a trade secret.

How is that? Well, if they are simply a list of information that could be readily obtained from public information sources (company names, addresses, telephone numbers, etc.), that often does not qualify as something of value for not generally being known, and being valuable to others who could not readily ascertain the information by proper means. So while certain non-public information contained in customer or client lists might qualify as a trade secret, such lists do not always, automatically qualify as a trade secret protected under the Act.

The second part of the definition, being “…subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy” is what causes the most problems for businesses claiming trade secret protection for their valuable information. Material that could qualify as a trade secret is often not afforded that status because a business did not take adequate, or any, steps to safeguard and protect the information from dissemination or disclosure. Just a few examples of reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy include:

  1. Marking drawings, plans, or documents as “Confidential”
  2. Restricting access to those with a “need-to-know”
  3. Password protection on computer files
  4. Encrypting information
  5. Locking documents in file cabinets
  6. Having employees and others sign confidentiality and/or non-disclosure agreements

It certainly is preferable to employ as many safeguards as are reasonably possible, and something is always better than nothing. But not employing any, or enough, safeguards to maintain secrecy could mean the difference between having and not having statutory legal protection for your trade secrets.

Ohio’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act provides protection and benefits to business owners. However, it is not always clear exactly what qualifies as a “trade secret.” More important, even if information is a trade secret, the owner must take steps to protect and safeguard the information from disclosure, or the statutory protection is lost. So whether or not you can “keep a secret” is not as easy as it might sound.


For more information or if you have any questions, contact George Pilat at 440.424.0007 or via email at gpilat@mrrlaw.com.

About the Author: George V. Pilat is a Partner with Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder. He focuses his practice on business and commercial law, and insurance defense. He is a Co-Chair of the firm’s newly expanded Business & Commercial Law and Insurance Agents & Brokers practice groups. His experience and unique blend of skills includes significant work handling agent errors & omissions (E&O) coverage and litigation, coverage analysis, corporate compliance, commercial transactions, and employment litigation and counseling. He represents national and regional insurance agencies, agents/brokers, and Fortune 500 clients in both state and federal courts.

Pilat & Williams: 9 Ways to Handle P&C Claims Fairly ~ Featured on PropertyCasualty360.com/Claims magazine

The balance9 Ways to Handle Property & Casualty Claims Fairly

By George V. Pilat & Terry L. Williams

Every claims representative likely considers the insurer’s general duty of good faith and fair dealing when they receive notice of a new claim, or at least they should. But what is “fair” when it comes to handling property and casualty claims? Unfortunately, the answer could be different in each of the 50 states…

Click here to view the full article on PropertyCasualty360.com/Claims magazine OR click here to download the PDF.