Stinson Leonard Street Successfully Represents Hallmark Cards Before The U.S. Court Of Appeals For The Eighth Circuit
Stinson Leonard Street LLP successfully represented Hallmark Cards Inc. before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which affirmed a $31.3 million jury verdict in favor of Hallmark in a trade secret dispute against Monitor Clipper Partners LLC, a private equity firm.
In its decision, which was issued on July 15, the Eighth Circuit upheld the verdict reached in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, holding that the jury had ample evidence to find Hallmark's presentations constituted trade secrets.
Hallmark Cards had hired Monitor Co. Group, a consulting firm related to Clipper, to research the greeting cards market. Hallmark later asserted that Monitor provided the confidential market research to Clipper, which it used to acquire Recycled Paper Greetings Inc., a Hallmark competitor.
In November 2012, following a trial that centered on Hallmark's claims that Clipper misappropriated Hallmark's trade secrets, the jury ruled in Hallmark’s favor on all claims, awarding Hallmark $31.3 million, including $10 million in punitive damages.
John Aisenbrey, partner in Stinson Leonard Street's Business Litigation Division, led the firm's team of attorneys representing Hallmark Cards before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Aisenbrey also led the firm's team representing Hallmark at trial before the U.S. District Court. George Verschelden, also a partner with Stinson Leonard Street, was significantly involved in the case. Other attorneys on the team included Sean Colligan, Mark Shaiken, Ben Hobert, Christina Arnone and William Vandivort. The document review team included attorneys Zach Hemenway and Megan McCurdy. The practice support and paralegal team assisting in the case included John Benson, Cindy Cusimano, Joyce Hart, Leisa Stevens and Patsy Whalen.
With headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., privately-held Hallmark Cards, Inc. creates products sold in more than 40,000 retail stores across the U.S. and in 100 countries worldwide.