September 10, 2019 Articles

Death by a Thousand Cuts—Using Pretrial Motions to Gain Trial Advantage in Trade Secrets Litigation

In trade secret misappropriation cases, parties should consider using pretrial motions as a tool to advance their case through favorable rulings.

By Travis S. Hunter and Alexandra M. Ewing

In the English language, the phrase “death by a thousand cuts” is an idiom that refers to a series of bad events, none of which is devastating on its own but, when added together, result in disaster. In many large trials, this idiom is an appropriate metaphor for the use of pretrial motions. This is particularly true in trade secrets cases, which are often high-stakes or bet-the-company litigation involving numerous witnesses and mountains of evidence. Although pretrial motions are often overlooked as the last step before a big trial, pretrial motions such as motions in limine and Daubert motions can offer parties a chance to streamline the trial, limit evidence, and perhaps win the case.

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