The U.S. Supreme Court recently resolved a circuit split regarding the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), specifically weighing in on the “exceeds authorized access” provision of the statute. The CFAA subjects to criminal liability anyone who “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access.” READ MORE
Companies face risks and problems that often don't fit neatly into a single area of the law. Clients in crisis engage Caroline to manage legal risks in their response and defend them in high-stakes, complex investigations and litigation because of her commitment to her clients and her ability to draw from her experience in IP, criminal, and commercial disputes to craft creative and aggressive strategies to help clients manage reputation and risk, all while furthering their business objectives.
Caroline leads the Boston office and specializes in intellectual property litigation, with a particular emphasis on disputes involving trade secret misappropriation and trademark and trade dress infringement claims. She has handled multiple trials before judges and juries, in state and federal court, and before the International Trade Commission (ITC). In this space, she has represented and defended companies across the life sciences, pharmaceutical, materials, manufacturing, tech, and financial sectors.
Caroline also has significant expertise defending clients facing investigations or charges by state and federal prosecutors, as well as civil enforcement proceedings from regulatory agencies. She recently obtained a swift acquittal for a client charged with Hobbs Act extortion after a federal criminal trial, and has successfully defended clients against allegations of public corruption and fraud, resulting in decisions not to prosecute. Caroline has helped clients design and conduct internal investigations and navigate government investigations involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), fraud, trade secret theft, insider trading, pay-to-play securities regulations, and cybersecurity/data breach matters; she has also helped companies develop policies to manage risks in those areas.
Caroline currently co-chairs the IP Litigation Committee of the Boston Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section. In 2017, Caroline was named an Up & Coming Lawyer by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2016 - 2020. She currently serves as an ambassador in the Move the Needle initiative, a trailblazing collaboration between Orrick, Diversity Lab, leading GCs, and four other law firms to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession through ambitious goals and bold experimentation. Caroline also maintains an active pro bono practice, currently representing children and refugees in asylum proceedings in conjunction with Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) and the Political Asylum / Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project. She has drafted amicus briefs in cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines, reproductive rights, and political law.
Posts by: Caroline Simons
Last week, we examined the recent Third Circuit decision in Advanced Fluid Systems, which held that a trade secrets plaintiff did not need to be an owner or a licensee of the alleged trade secrets to bring a state law misappropriation claim under Pennsylvania’s UTSA—all that was required was that the plaintiff had “lawful possession” of the trade secrets. In so holding, the Third Circuit added to the weight of the Fourth Circuit’s similar analysis of Maryland’s UTSA in DTM Research, L.L.C. v. AT&T Corp., 245 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 2001).
An ongoing, headline-grabbing trade secret theft prosecution against a Chinese spy is also quietly presenting a, say, disquieting attempt by prosecutors to stretch the law on what it is required to plead and prove. On the civil side, when a plaintiff sues for trade secret theft, there’s almost always a hotly contested point of proof on whether the alleged stolen material is really a trade secret. It’s well-established, though, that when the government charges a defendant criminally with the inchoate forms of trade secret theft—attempt or conspiracy being the two spelled out under the Economic Espionage Act—the government has no burden to prove that the underlying information was actually a trade secret. (Loyal readers will recall our recent post on United States v. O’Rourke, where the defendant tried to argue otherwise at sentencing.) Now, in a brief filed just last week, the government seems to be taking this one step further and arguing that it has no duty even to identify the trade secrets at issue. READ MORE