Assertions made solely on “information and belief” are insufficient support for a preliminary-injunction motion. That’s the key takeaway from Judge Salinger’s decision in Governo Law Firm LLC v. CMBG3 Law LLC.
The Governo Law Firm alleged that six former partners, who left to start another firm, misappropriated proprietary databases and electronic files. Judge Salinger denied the Governo Law Firm’s preliminary-injunction motion, which sought the return of the databases and files.
The motion’s main weakness: the allegations that the defendants stole electronic material were grounded on “information and belief.” Those allegations, Judge Salinger pointed out, amounted to inadmissible hearsay. Judge Salinger further pointed out (quoting binding precedent) that allegations “made on ‘information and belief’ that are not supported by any other evidence do ‘not supply an adequate factual basis for the granting of a preliminary injunction.’”
Judge Salinger ultimately denied the plaintiffs’ motion. “Given the lack of evidentiary support for Plaintiffs’ assertion that Defendants took additional electronic materials, Defendants have no obligation at this stage to prove that they did not do so. Instead, . . . the burden is on the Governo Firm to prove that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims.”
Governo Law Firm LLC v. CMBG3 Law LLC
January 11, 2017
Full decision here.
- Senior Editor, Co-Chair, Business Litigation Practice Group