Adam E. Wagmeister’s practice focuses on trade secret, restrictive covenant, and unfair competition disputes arising when individuals change employment, including prosecuting and defending claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, intentional interference, unfair competition, and breach of fiduciary duties. Adam also represents clients in a variety of employment matters, including allegations of discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
Additionally, Adam counsels employers on various aspects of employment law compliance and risk avoidance, including drafting personnel policies and employment agreements; hiring and terminating employees; and understanding federal, state, and local employment statutes and ordinances.
Obtained a complete defense verdict on behalf of an insurance brokerage firm and 10 individuals after a two-month jury trial concerning claims for breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the duty of loyalty, intentional interference with contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets. The court also determined that the opposing party’s noncompete agreements were unenforceable and ultimately awarded the clients $6.1 million in attorney fees, both on affirmative claims for declaratory relief and unfair competition and the opposing parties’ failed tort causes of action that were submitted to the jury based on the prevailing-party’s attorney fee provisions in the clients’ contracts. This case arose from the 2014 departures of 75 employees from a competitor’s offices in Fresno, Salinas, and Walnut Creek, California.
Obtained a favorable ruling by the Delaware Court of Chancery that California law must be applied to a client’s employment agreement despite a Delaware choice-of-law provision, and denying a request for an injunction against the client on the ground that enforcing the noncompete provision would contravene California public policy favoring open competition.
Obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of an insurance brokerage professional in a noncompete dispute after a two-week bench trial. The court concluded that California law governed the agreements at issue and that the noncompete provisions and Illinois choice-of-law and forum selection provisions were unenforceable, and the court awarded client fees and costs as the prevailing party.
Successfully defeated contemporaneous applications for temporary restraining orders in Florida, Georgia, and Minnesota in cases arising from the departures of more than 10 employees from one insurance brokerage firm to a competitor in multiple states.
Successfully defeated multiple applications for temporary restraining orders and motions for preliminary injunction for an insurance industry client in noncompete/nonsolicitation litigation.
New York University School of Law, 2012, Juris Doctor
University of Southern California, 2009, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude
US District Court for the Central District of California
US District Court for the Eastern District of California
Awards and Affiliations
Recommended, Intellectual property: Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters), The Legal 500 US (2020, 2021)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017, 2019)
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Article Editor, Journal of Legislation and Public Policy (2011–2012)