411 East Wisconsin Avenue
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, 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 also has extensive experience drafting noncompete agreements (including noncompete agreements entered into under Wisconsin law as well as the law of a number of other states).
A sampling of Ms. Druckrey’s experience includes the following:
- 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.
Education and Honors
- University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2003)
- University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts (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
Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers®
–Rising Stars Edition 2006 (Litigation).
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).
- Presenter, “Effectively Drafting & Litigating Non-Compete Agreements,” The Rossdale Group Teleconference, January 15, 2014.
- Presenter, “Effective Use of Non-Compete Agreements to Protect Your Business Interests,” Milwaukee Bar Association, January 9, 2014.
- Co-Author (with Natalie R. Remington), “The employer’s perfect checklist to prevent loss of electronically-stored information,” Inside Counsel, December 9, 2013.
- Author, "Quick steps to an effective non-compete agreement," BizTimes Blog, December 4, 2013.
- Quoted, “Quarles & Brady Forms New Unfair Competition Practice,” Law360, October 3, 2013.
- Presenter, “The Ins and Outs of Trade Secrets and Noncompete Agreements,” DRI Commercial Litigation Committee Webcast, October 10, 2012.
- Presenter, “Using Restrictive Covenants to Protect Your Client’s Interests,” DRI Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Seminar, New York, NY, May 16-18, 2012.
- Editor, “Trade Secrets and Agreements Not to Compete,” Defense Research Institute, 2012, 2nd Ed.
- Author, “Trade Secrets and Agreements Not to Compete,” Defense Research Institute (Alabama, Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Montana and New Mexico Chapters), 2012, 2nd Ed.
- Author, “When Does a Non-Compete Agreement Raise Antitrust Concerns?” DRI Commercial Litigation publication The Business Suit, December 2011.
- Author, “Non-compete Laws: State Q&A,” Wisconsin Chapter, Practical Law Company, December 6, 2011.
- Author, “Putting Their Feet to the Fire: Strategies for Getting Plaintiffs to Shed Light on the Basis of Their Trade Secrets Claim,” DRI Commercial Litigation Committee publication The Business Suit, March 1, 2011.
- Presenter, “Recent Developments Under the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law,” Milwaukee Bar Association, January 13, 2011.
- Presenter, “Distribution & Franchise Law,” 34th Annual Corporate Practice Institute, December 8, 2010.
- Presenter, “Mobile Employees in the Digital Age: A Threat to Company Secrets and Fair Competition,” 2010 Annual Ethics Seminar, November 12, 2010.
- Author, “Effective December 1, 2010, Draft Expert Reports and Expert Communications Are No Longer Discoverable,” DRI Commercial Litigation Committee publication The Business Suit, October 2010.
- Author, “Wisconsin Court Finds That Traditional Limits on Restrictive Covenants Do Not Apply to Employee Stock Option Agreement,” September 2010.
- Author, “The Seventh Circuit’s Electronic Discovery Pilot Program: One Court’s Attempt to Add Clarity to a Party’s Obligations With Respect to E-Discovery,” DRI Commercial Litigation Committee publication The Business Suit,
June 7, 2010.
- Co-presenter, “Using Restrictive Covenants to Protect Business Interests: A Primer and an Update,”
November 12, 2009.
- Author, “FRCP Rule Changes Effective December 1, 2009,” DRI Commercial Litigation Committee publication
The Business Suit, January 4, 2010.
- Author, “A Primer on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as a Tool for Aggrieved Employers,” DRI Commercial Litigation Committee publication The Business Suit, December 28, 2009; and DRI The Voice, February 10, 2010.
- Co-author (with Jeffrey O. Davis), “Wisconsin Supreme Court Alters Legal Landscape for Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts,” August 2009.
- Author, “Catch Me If You Can: Preventing and Dealing with an Employee's Theft of Electronically Stored Information,” Wisconsin State Bar publication Inside Track, February 18, 2009.
- Co-author, “Trade Secrets and Agreements Not to Compete,” Defense Research Institute (Wisconsin Chapter), 2009, 1st Ed.
- Author, “A Year in Review: Non-Compete Agreements,” September 2008.
- Author, “Beware New Minnesota Employment Law Practitioners: When assisting a client with an employment law question in neighboring Wisconsin, do not assume that the states’ similarities extend to employment policy,” Minnesota State Bar Association New Lawyers Section publication Hearsay, Winter 2007.
- Author, “Successfully Navigating State Laws Governing the Creation and Use of Criminal Background Check Policies,” DRI Employment Law Committee publication The Job Description, Summer 2007.
- Co-author (with Mark J. Girouard), “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Avoiding Ethical and Professional Pitfalls When a Shareholder Leaves,” DRI Young Lawyer publication The Whisper, September 2006.
- Author, “Navigating the Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Part I,” DRI Commercial Litigation Committee publication The Business Suit, August 2006.
- Quoted (Author: H.J. Cummins), “Students’ Facebook faces adult invasion,” Star Tribune, March 30, 2006.
- Quoted (Author: H.J. Cummins), “State making it safer to swap job references,” Star Tribune, March 31, 2005.
- Author, “Safe Harbor From Sanctions Proposed to Deal With Electronic Discovery Issues,” DRI Young Lawyer publication The Whisper, February 2005.
- Author, “A Case for One More Chance: Recent Court Decisions Honoring Last-Chance Agreements Give New Options,” Minnesota Business, December 2004.