SAN FRANCISCO, July 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today unanimously threw out an order requiring David Nosal, one of the nation's leading executive recruiters, to pay restitution to his former employer, Korn/Ferry.
The deeply divided panel affirmed, however, Mr. Nosal's convictions for trade secret and CFAA (computer-related) offenses. Mr. Nosal's counsel, Dennis Riordan, announced that he would seek rehearing en banc before the full Circuit and, if necessary, a review by the United States Supreme Court.
The appellate decision stems from a 10-year legal battle over the downloading and possession of Korn/Ferry source lists by associates of Mr. Nosal in a new executive recruiting venture that he was organizing after leaving Korn/Ferry. Almost all of the original charges against Mr. Nosal were dismissed as baseless in prior proceedings, including an earlier en banc Ninth Circuit decision.
In voting to vacate Mr. Nosal's convictions in this second appeal, Judge Steven Reinhardt found the majority's ruling today inconsistent with the Court's earlier Nosal decision, as the majority would criminalize password sharing, and turn "millions of people who engage in this ubiquitous, useful, and generally harmless conduct into unwitting federal criminals."
Mr. Riordan commented that "Because cloud computing depends on password sharing, the panel's opinion threatens to upend the entire cloud computing industry. For that reason, the position taken by the majority was opposed by BSA - The Software Alliance, whose members include Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM."
"This was, at most, a civil dispute," Riordan stated. He agreed with Judge Reinhardt's comments that "Korn/Ferry and its counsel's employment of their overwhelming resources to persuade prosecutors to bring charges against an economic competitor has unhealthy ramifications for the legal system."
Riordan added that, "We look forward to the opportunity to present this matter to the full Court, and are confident that today's opinion will not be the final word on these important issues. The progress that Mr. Nosal has made thus far in his fight leads us to believe that we will be successful in our quest to have all remaining charges thrown out."
Contact: Sam Singer
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SOURCE Singer Associates, Inc.