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The case will be a legal precedent, said Arturo Gonzalez, partner at Morrison & Foerster and the lead attorney for TIG.
Gonzalez said that this case showed there are questions about what is and is not allowed when it comes to hiring and business secret practices.
"A lot of people out there don't know what's allowed," he said. "FusionStorm argues that everybody does it, and even claimed that TIG does the same thing. But, number one, it's not the same thing, and, number two, it's now clear that it's not allowed."
The lesson to be learned is to take care when hiring employees, especially from a competitor, Gonzalez said.
"It's important, when talking to a potential employee, and that employee helps you in any way while employed by a competitor, you know that it's wrong," he said.
Geier said it is important that solution providers understand the legal issues involved in hiring from competitors.
"Most guys don't have $8 million they can put out in a case like this," he said. "Some VARs have sent us congratulations, and thanks for starting this case. A lot of guys, and women, could never afford to make this battle. Now they have a court case they can cite. People will maybe start thinking about what's transpired."
Any individual has the right to go to work wherever they want, Geier said. "What they don't have the right to do is plot to steal the business of others," he said.
For TIG, the end of the case means a return to normalcy.
FusionStorm will make payments to TIG for about 90 days, including interest, at which time it will have a balloon payment due for the balance, Geier said.
TIG, which spend about $8 million on the lawsuit, will use the bulk of the money to recapitalize its business, giving it a net of about $3 million.
"It's all new money for us," Geier said. "TIG is looking to grow. So we will invest to grow."
FusionStorm declined to comment on this story. However, Daniel Serpico, president of FusionStorm, said in a statement that the settlement gives both companies a chance to move forward.
"This settlement closes the case, caps ours costs, gives us a predictable financial plan that meets TIG and FusionStorm's needs and ensures that we will continue to grow our business," Serpico said.
In addition to thanking TIG for its responsiveness and cooperation in the settlement, Serpico also said in the statement that FusionStorm was not aware of all the issues related to the case back when it first started. "Many of the unusual facts regarding our Tampa office's opening were unfortunate and unknown to us at the time," he said.
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