Mark Romeo is a partner with the firm and a member of the Labor & Employment Group, the firm's Litigation & Trial Department, and its Trade Secrets Working Group.
Mr. Romeo has extensive experience, including several trials, representing companies in litigation, including class actions, in the areas of:
- Trade secrets/Lanham Act/Computer Fraud and Abuse Act/State unfair competition, including Electronically Stored Information and related discovery issues
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty/Duty of Loyalty, including suits against directors and employees for employment issues surrounding a transaction and from failed transactions
- Misclassification of employees/independent contractors
- Wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment
- Whistleblower/retaliation/Qui Tam
- Reductions-in-force (including advice regarding regression testing/modeling)
- Executive compensation (including stock option/restrictive/phantom stock grants, bonus plans, and commission plans)
Mr. Romeo's representative clients have included:
- AT&T Mobility, LLC and Cingular Wireless, LLC
- Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCO) (f/k/a SFX Entertainment, Inc.)
- The Western Union Company
- Los Angeles Clippers basketball team (following departure of D. Sterling)
- Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: SKWKS)
- Fidelity National Financial, Inc.(NYSE: FNF)
- Men's Wearhouse, Inc. (NYSE: MW)
- LG Electronics MobileComm USA, Inc.
Some of Mr. Romeo's recent successes are as follows:
- Successfully won motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in trade secrets case after five-day evidentiary hearing, with direct and cross-examination of key witnesses on both sides.
- Achieved summary judgment dismissing entire trade secrets case on statute of limitations grounds.
- Won motion for judgment on the pleadings on grounds of preemption by the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
- Successfully negotiated resolution of usurpation of corporate opportunity case involving former fiduciary of client who left to start up a competing business.
- Achieved "no hire" agreement for client in context of key competitors soliciting client's employees.
- Achieved seven figure settlement on behalf of plaintiff in a trade secret and breach of fiduciary case on the "courthouse" steps two days from trial in federal court in Orange County, California.
- Mr. Romeo also has substantial experience in government data rights issues (arising under the FAR and DFARS) arising in connection with trade secret and related tort litigation.
Mergers & Acquisitions
- Provides due diligence-related advice and counseling regarding employment-based matters.
- Analyzes and advises on the permissible scope of restrictive covenant agreements, including, but not limited to, non-compete and non-solicit agreements, as well as proprietary information agreements, and works with entities to draft such agreements across all states.
- Defeated collective action alleging violations of California wage and hour laws for government contracting client by raising the "federal enclave doctrine;" the determination that the property on which the alleged violations of California wage and hour law occurred was a fact-intensive inquiry, and was achieved through unconventional research from scratch; the doctrine was utilized not only as a basis on which to remove the action to federal court (from Los Angeles Superior Court), but also to dismiss the entire collective action. Client avoided millions of dollars in alleged back pay and other liability.
- Achieved full dismissal full dismissal of putative wage and hour class action case by convincing the opposing sets of lawyers that there were no meal and/or rest break allegations that could be pursued as a class action given the strength of existing company policies, and given existence of an internal taskforce that ensures meal and rest breaks are taken within the various retail stores. The dismissal was achieved within only a few weeks of the case being filed.
- Successfully moved to preclude Plaintiff from seeking class certification due to failure to abide by local rules regarding timing of class certification motions.
- Represented employer doing business in all states in wage and hour class action. Successfully moved to compel "trial plan" which ultimately proved to Court that case could not be tried as a class action. Case settled shortly thereafter on very favorable terms to employer.
- Achieved dismissal of nationwide putative discrimination class action after putting in place plan to curb discovery to plaintiff's particular worksite, which resulted in the named plaintiffs' inability to establish a nationwide policy of discrimination; case was voluntarily dismissed shortly thereafter for a mutual waiver of fees and costs.
DOL/DLSE/Wage & Hour/Investigations:
- Extensive experience in representing clients before the DOL, before both DOL investigators and negotiations with Solicitors; recently, represented government contractor in case brought by DOL (and investigated in several regional offices), achieving a nominal settlement after extensive investigation by DOL. Exposure was in the low seven figures.
- Achieved a withdrawal of investigation of company-wide operations on exemption classifications before California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, after working with client to lay out detailed basis for position to demonstrate compliance with state law.
- Achieved successful end to discrimination/harassment case after extensive investigation and written report in case brought against key executive of client.
Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Mr. Romeo was a partner at Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw Pittman, LLC, and an attorney with Brobeck Phleger & Harrison LLP and Littler Mendelson, P.C.