As Chair of the firm's Restrictive Covenants & Trade Secrets practice, Eric Packel is a trial lawyer who represents local and national businesses in complex employment litigation, particularly claims brought under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and a variety of employee and shareholder related claims. For many of these clients, Eric also oversees and directs their general legal needs and consults them in their overall business strategies. Over the course of 20 years, Eric has tried cases to juries in five states, including:
- Violations of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act
- Claims brought under Federal and State anti-discrimination statutes
- Breach of Operating Agreements
- Breach of Employment Agreements
- Breach of fiduciary duties
- First Amendment
In September 2016, Eric obtained a $3.3 million jury verdict, representing a company in a case brought for violations of the Missouri Trade Secrets Act, against a competing company and its principals. He also recently received three defense verdicts from juries in Jackson County, Missouri Circuit Courts on discrimination cases brought under the Missouri Human Rights Act. One of the cases was based upon race discrimination; one was based upon pregnancy discrimination; and one was based upon age discrimination. One of those cases was a month long trial involving a claim of age discrimination against the Kansas City Chiefs, in which Eric and his partner obtained a defense verdict.
Regularly leading a team that handles all of the employment discrimination allegations brought against a large healthcare institution, which employs more than 7,000 employees, Eric has defended the institution in multiple Charges of Discrimination before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a state Human Rights Commission for the last 5 years. To date, none of those Charges has resulted in a “Cause” Determination.
In addition to his health care clients, Eric has represented employers in the following industries:
- Information technology and security
- Food and ingredient manufacturing
- Construction and building supply
- Financial services
Eric has also handled several collective actions brought pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, including a seminal case involving 742 satellite installation technicians. In addition, he has also arbitrated in front of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the Kansas Public Employer-Employee Relations Board.