Lobbying

Tech groups settle lawsuit

handshake

The two IT lobbying groups that had been locked in a bitter legal battle for the past half year have settled their $5 million dispute.

TechAmerica sued the Information Technology Industry Council and three former employees in November 2013, alleging those employees  had breached their contracts and taken proprietary information with them when they left.

TechAmerica's suit, filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, followed the Nov. 4 resignations of four senior public procurement lobbyists -- Trey Hodgkins, Erica McCann, Pam Walker and Carol Henton. On Nov. 5, ITI announced that those four would be the core of its new venture, the Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS).

TechAmerica named Hodgkins, Walker and Henton in its suit, but not McCann. The group sought $5 million in damages, a temporary restraining order barring disclosure of trade secrets, a permanent injunction, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and court costs.

In short statements issued May 2, both groups said they had agreed to a satisfactory resolution, but provided little detail. Spokespeople for both organizations declined further comment on the agreement.

"ITI is committed to focusing on the vibrancy of the technology sector and the dynamic future that ICT innovation brings to consumers around the world. To ensure continued success in achieving this vision, ITI and TechAmerica have agreed to the resolution of pending litigation between them and have entered into a confidential agreement to resolve all claims, without any admission of wrongdoing," ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield said in the statement.

TechAmerica’s CEO sounded a similar note.

“TechAmerica’s top priority is always the success of our members, and the larger U.S. technology industry, and all actions we take are to serve that goal, including the settlement between ITI and TechAmerica. This resolution is in the best interests of our members,” said Shawn Osborne, TechAmerica president and CEO.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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