Federal Judge Upholds Verbal Settlement in Email Marketing Trade Secrets Case: A Remarkable Legal Precedent


As a legal news contributor for USA Herald, I’ve had the opportunity to cover some groundbreaking legal developments. Today, I bring you a fascinating case that demonstrates the power of verbal agreements in the complex world of trade secrets litigation.

In a recent Colorado federal court ruling, U.S. District Judge Regina M. Rodriguez upheld a verbal settlement agreement between two email marketing companies, Email on Acid LLC and 250ok Inc. This decision sided with the previous magistrate judge who presided over the settlement negotiations, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty. The crux of the dispute was whether a verbal agreement had been reached in September to end the lawsuit filed by Email on Acid, which accused 250ok of stealing email marketing quality assurance software that they had licensed.

Email on Acid disputed the existence of a verbal agreement, arguing that the scope of the release of claims was still unresolved. However, Judge Hegarty testified in March that a deal was indeed reached, despite not remembering the exact terms. In support of this assertion, Judge Rodriguez emphasized Judge Hegarty’s extensive experience, as he has handled over 1,300 settlement negotiations. She quoted Judge Hegarty’s testimony, which stated, “They had reached an agreement on all material terms. I would not have told them, ‘You have a deal,’ unless all material terms were agreed.”