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BrightPoint settles 2 suits against rival Brightstar

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Indianapolis-based BrightPoint Inc. has agreed to settle two lawsuits it brought against similarly named rival Brightstar Corp.

BrightPoint, which agreed on July 2 to be acquired by California-based Ingram Micro Inc. for about $840 million, filed the complaints against Miami-based Brightstar in December.

Both suits involved former Brightpoint executives hired by Brightstar who had access to the local firm’s innermost workings and strategies.

The lawsuits, filed in Marion Superior Court, were dismissed Wednesday. Lawyers for both sides declined to comment on the settlements, citing confidentiality agreements.

In one case, BrightPoint alleged that Miljan Milan, who served as general manager for Latin America before leaving the company in April 2011, flagrantly violated the non-compete provision of his employment agreement when he accepted a senior post with Brightstar.

BrightPoint sought an injunction against the company and Milan. The suit alleged breach of contract, breach of Indiana’s uniform trade secrets act, and tortious interference.

“Milan is in a position where the use of BrightPoint’s trade secrets will permit Milan and Brightstar to deploy an unfair competitive advantage in bidding for business against BrightPoint,” the suit alleged.

In the other suit, BrightPoint sued Brightstar over its hiring of Mitch Black, a former senior vice president in charge of BrightPoint’s North American distribution division.

Black had worked at BrightPoint for a dozen years when he left in November 2010 to become president of sales and purchasing at PCS Wireless Inc., a New Jersey firm BrightPoint did not consider a direct competitor. But less than a year later, he began discussions about returning to BrightPoint and also said he had “a very compelling offer” from another company he did not identify, according to the suit.

The BrightPoint discussions were just a ruse to extract additional confidential information Black could use against the company when he joined Brightstar, according to the suit.

In May, a Marion Superior Court judge dismissed a fraud charge against Black.

“BrightPoint is attempting to sustain a claim for fraud against Mr. Black, seeking excessive damages and fees, by attributing to Mr. Black a false statement contained in an unsigned document, which BrightPoint drafted,” lawyers for Brightstar said in their motion to dismiss.

The two firms are global heavyweights in the wireless phone industry. BrightPoint has 3,900 employees and posted 2011 revenue $5.2 billion, while Brightstar has 3,400 employees and had $5.7 billion in revenue last year.

Ingram’s acquisition of BrightPoint is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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