Trial Court Found That Employer Did Not File Action in Bad Faith.
Bad faith trade secret claims allow the court to discretionarily award reasonable fees and costs to the prevailing party, although the claimant has to prove both objective speciousness of the plaintiff’s claim and subjective bad faith in bringing/maintaining the claim. (Civ. Code, § 3426.4; Gemini Aluminum Corp. v. California Custom Shapes, Inc., 95 Cal.App.4th 1249, 1262 (2002).)
In Rusnak Auto Group v. McTaggart, Case No. B224239 (2d Dist., Div. 2 Oct. 12, 2011) (unpublished), the trial court denied an employee’s request for section 3426.4 fees after employer voluntarily dismissed a trade secrets claim, finding no bad faith. Employee appealed, but did not win at the appellate stage either. Conflicting declarations had been submitted before the lower court, so the appellate court assumed that the trial judge accepted the dismissing plaintiff’s version of the facts and reasons that showed why its prosecution of the action was proper.