Nicole Druckrey practices in the firm's Commercial Litigation Group and serves as the chair of the firm's Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Team. She regularly handles disputes over noncompete agreements, trade secrets, allegations of fraud, loyalty obligations, false advertising, defamation, software development, and contract breaches. She has successfully pursued and defended against a number of injunction requests. She has represented clients in a variety of industries, including the health care, manufacturing, technology, retail and construction industries. She has litigated matters in state and federal courts, before arbitrators and before FINRA panels.
Ms. Druckrey has extensive experience drafting noncompete agreements and advising clients on software licensing and development agreements. She has also advised clients in creating trade secret protection programs.
Ms. Druckrey serves as the Milwaukee office's pro bono coordinator and regularly assists victims of domestic abuse secure injunctions against their abusers.
A sampling of Ms. Druckrey's experience includes the following:
- After client lost a number of key employees in a coordinated departure to a competitor (which included the employees’ theft of thousands of company files), assisted client in stopping the employees and competitors from using the stolen information and quickly securing a settlement which included a significant monetary component and meaningful restrictive covenants. Importantly, Ms. Druckrey was able to leverage the underlying facts into a favorable settlement without the client having to incur the costly expense of a preliminary injunction hearing or any significant litigation. Entire matter was resolved within 4 months of commencing litigation.
- In a software development dispute, obtained a finding of contempt against a defendant due to the defendant’s failure to comply with a court order concerning their e-discovery obligations.
- Assisted client in implementing new non-compete agreements. The implementation cost just 10% of what the client had spent on non-compete litigation during the prior year. Client has not had any non-compete litigation in the several years that have passed since its implementation of the new agreements.
- Represented a major manufacturer of consumer products in obtaining a temporary restraining order, enjoining the defendant (a former employee of the client) from working for any competitor, despite the fact that the individual had not signed a noncompete agreement. This was achieved by using computer forensics to examine the defendant's laptop to identify suspicious activity, indicating that the employee had taken some trade secrets with him.
- Represented a large construction industry client in a noncompete and misappropriation of trade secrets case involving multiple forums and four Quarles offices. Ms. Druckrey and the Quarles team successfully defended multiple injunction requests and a motion for contempt sanctions against our client.
- Represented a client in a noncompete and trade secrets case in which the former employer filed suit against our client after he left the plaintiff's employ to join a competitor. The plaintiff simultaneously tried to enforce two different noncompetes while arguing that its pricing, vendor contracts and bids constituted trade secrets. The judge disagreed, stating that the plaintiff's chances of success were "meager at best," and denied the request for an injunction.
- Represented a client in a Lanham Act case, in which the plaintiff argued that our client's use of certain search terms as part of its internet search campaign violated the Lanham Act. We defended on the grounds that our client's use of the plaintiff's name was permissible under the fair use defense.
- Represented information technology clients in a multisuit litigation case involving claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of noncompete agreements. This case gave Quarles the opportunity to be one of the first firms to argue about the impact of the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision in Star Direct v. Dal Pra, a significant noncompete case that addressed the issue of when restrictive covenants are divisible from each other such that they can be separately enforced. The Quarles team successfully argued that various restrictive covenants contained in a single agreement were not divisible and, accordingly, the whole agreement failed.
- Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Litigation & Dispute Resolution
- Financial Institutions Litigation
- Trade Secrets
Education and Honors
- University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2003)
- University of Minnesota (B.A., 1999)
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2010
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2007
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2005
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 2004
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2004
- U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 2003
Professional and Civic Activities
- Minnesota State Bar Association (Member)
- Wisconsin State Bar Association (Member)
- Association for Women Lawyers (Member)
- Defense Research Institute ("DRI"):
- Editor, 2nd Edition of DRI Compendium on Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Agreements (2012)
- Young Lawyers Steering Committee (2011-2012)
- Steering Committee for the Commercial Litigation Seminar (2012)
- Young Lawyer Liaison to the Employment Law Committee (2007-2009)
- Young Lawyer Liaison to the Commercial Litigation Committee (2010-2011)
- Steering Committee for the Employment Law Seminar (2010)
- E-Discovery Committee Liaison to the Commercial Litigation Committee (2011)
- Vice Chair, Webconferences, Young Lawyers Committee (2011-2012)
- University of Minnesota Law School (Writing Instructor, 2004-2005)
- City of Columbia Heights (Commissioner, 2004-2006)
- Ebenezer Child Care Centers, Inc. (President, Board of Directors)
- City of Oak Creek, Community Development Authority (Member)
- Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund (Member, Board of Directors)
- Coalition for Children, Youth and Families (Member, Board of Directors)
- Oak Creek Cares Fund (Advisory Committee, Member)
- Wisconsin Lawyer Regulation System (Member, Board of Administrative Oversight)
- Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers®-Rising Stars Edition 2006 (Litigation)