An Orrick white collar team, in collaboration with Kane + Kimball, today secured a complete acquittal for our client in a federal criminal trade secrets trial closely-watched in the tech industry. After a two-week trial, a San Jose jury took less than two hours to acquit Katherine Mogal of all six charges related to allegations she took trade secrets from now-defunct fitness device maker Jawbone when she left the company to join Fitbit.
Mogal was the first of six defendants to go to trial in the case, which was brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco in 2018.
Our team, led by partners Walt Brown, Randy Luskey and Melinda Haag, and co-counsel Miranda Kane of Kane + Kimball, demonstrated that our client had no intention of taking Jawbone’s IP, and that the prosecution failed to prove a case that arose out of Jawbone’s unsuccessful civil litigation against Fitbit. Randy told Law.com that the outcome ended a “five-year nightmare” for Mogal, and American Lawyer’s Litigation Daily analyzed the trial win. Law360 also covered the verdict.
Less than two weeks after the verdict, the United States Attorney’s Office announced that it was dropping the entire case against the remaining defendants, saying the decision was “in the interest of justice.” The Washington Post, San Jose Mercury News and other outlets covered the rare DOJ action.
In addition to Walt, Randy and Melinda, the Orrick team included James Thompson, Shara Frase, Jenna Vilkin.