Bet the Company Litigation

Temporary Restraining Orders save companies everyday.

Time was truly of the essence when we met with our soon-to-be client one morning around 9:30 a.m. Sitting across the table, he told us the incredible story of how his company’s payroll had been hijacked by an employee who was demanding $60,000. This was literally a “bet the company” situation.

The problem arose when the employee, a manager, made sure that he alone had access to an administrative software program that processed the company’s payroll. He then changed all the passwords only two days before payroll was due and issued his illegal demand for cash.

After attempting a workaround by contacting the software provider, the company’s shareholders learned that it would take at least two weeks to implement a new program so employees could be paid. With the clock already ticking, our client told us that his company would collapse if he didn’t meet payroll.

Based on our experience in similar cases, we set out with the single-minded goal of convincing a judge to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would force the manager to reset the passwords before payroll was due.

The labor-intensive process kicked off when we immediately began collecting affidavits to include in our TRO application. It was all hands on deck since we needed to get in front of a judge that afternoon.

After several hours of focused work to develop our case, we submitted the TRO request by 3:30 p.m. and were soon on our way to see the judge. After hearing our arguments, the judge granted the TRO in our favor. By 5:30 p.m., the manager had complied with the judge’s order and our client had rightful access to their software once again.

Later that night, I received an email from our new client, who I’d known for less than a day. It read:

[The defendant] nearly cost my family, extended family and my marriage everything. Your firm pulled my chestnuts out of the fire today. 65 families will continue on because of it.

It’s days like this that remind me and our entire team that we have the greatest job in the world.

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