The Inbox - Twitter IPO Edition

| Jason M. Knott

Twitter’s founders are cashing in on Wall Street, and journalists are piggybacking on the news with articles like this one, which recaps 10 “surprising superstars” of the social network.  No, Suits by Suits didn’t make the cut, but you can still follow us at @suitsbysuits, where we’ll bring you 140-word tweets about news related to executive-employer disputes.  These are the kinds of stories we track:

  • The Texas Supreme Court heard argument this week in Exxon Mobil’s dispute with former executive William Drennen.  Jeremy Heallen of Law360 (subscription required), wrote that after Drennen retired from Exxon (@exxonmobil) and went to work for competitor Hess, Exxon claimed that he had forfeited his restricted stock under a “detrimental-activity provision” in his incentive plan.  Exxon is seeking reversal of the lower court’s holding that the forfeiture violated Texas law, which disfavors “unreasonable” noncompetition agreements.
  • AIG has settled a $274 million dispute with former real estate executive Kevin Fitzpatrick, reported (@nateraymond) Nate Raymond of Reuters.  The terms are confidential, but Fitzpatrick’s lawyer says that he is “very happy.”  Given the potential dollar amounts between $0 and $274 million, it’s easy to guess why.
  • Rachel Louise Ensign of the Wall Street Journal (@RachelEnsignWSJ) (subscription required) covered a developing trend this week: more whistleblowers are coming from corporate compliance departments.  As one example, Ensign described Meng-Lin Liu’s case against Siemens AG, which we covered here.  The possibility of lucrative awards under the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower program may be sparking the trend, although as Ensign points out, compliance officers are subject to additional restrictions under that program.
  • In other whistleblower news, the Senate approved a bill to prohibit companies from retaliating against whistleblowers who report violations of the antitrust laws.  Jennifer Koons of Main Justice (@jenkoons) said that the bill passed with bipartisan support.  “Bipartisan” – does anyone still remember that concept?
  • Newscaster Larry Conners is still trying to get back on television, despite a prior ruling that his noncompete agreement prohibited him from working for other TV stations in the St. Louis market for a year.  Conners’s attorney asked the judge to modify that ruling, which restricted Conners to radio work, wrote (@STLSherpa) Joe Holloman of the St. Louis Times-Dispatch.  We’ve previously examined Conners’s case here and here.