Can Parties be Excluded from the Courtroom in Trade Secrets Cases?

The Texas Supreme Court recently addressed the question of when a competitor’s corporate representative can be excluded from the courtroom in a trade secrets case. 

In In re M-1, LLC, the Court held that due process requires a trial court to balance the competing interests of the parties at stake when determining whether to exclude a party representative from the courtroom while trade secrets are being discussed. This necessarily entails factual determinations based on a fully developed record. The balancing test generally weighs the potential competitive harm of the disclosing party against the defending party’s ability to defend against the claims, which is discussed in detail in pages 6 – 9 of the Opinion.


Shawn Tuma (@shawnetuma) is a business lawyer with an internationally recognized reputation in cybersecurity, computer fraud and data privacy law. He is a Cybersecurity & Data Protection Partner at Scheef & Stone, LLP, a full-service commercial law firm in Texas that represents businesses of all sizes throughout the United States and, through its Mackrell International network, around the world.

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