Big firm experience. Small firm attention and value.

Skilled advocacy in employment law, civil and business litigation.

Big firm experience. Small firm attention and value.

Skilled advocacy in employment law, civil and business litigation.

Big firm experience. Small firm attention and value.

Skilled advocacy in employment law, civil and business litigation.

Big firm experience. Small firm attention and value.

Skilled advocacy in employment law, civil and business litigation.

Whitney Law Group, LLC was founded by Mark M. Whitney, a lawyer who spent 24 years trained by and practicing in large law firms in New York and Boston.  Mark has spent his career representing businesses, insurance companies, and executives in employment-related disputes. Mark has developed a substantial expertise in noncompete/restrictive covenant litigation on behalf of both employers and individuals, and has also handled a wide variety of complex commercial cases.

If you have a challenging employment law or business issue, WLG is here to help. WLG's approach to legal problems is practical, zealous and creative.  WLG listens to your goals, scrutinizes the facts and evidence carefully, and advises in a thoughtful and straightforward manner.  WLG seeks to tailor its approach based on the circumstances -- many problems can be resolved cooperatively,  some require a "gloves off" approach, and other need a creative alternative.  WLG will work closely with you to find the right approach to your problem. In addition, WLG has leveraged a variety of technologies and adopted a lean business model to provide services efficiently and at a reasonable price.

Burlington, MA | Marblehead, MA | Portsmouth, NH | New York, NY

Practice Areas

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Employment Law for Individuals

Mark Whitney has more than 24 years of experience representing employers and insurance companies. At WLG, Mark is able to utilize his extensive defense experience to represent individuals.

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Employment Law for Companies

WLG provides a wide variety of employment law related services to employers, including day-to-day compliance counseling and defense of employee claims before state and federal agencies and courts.  Mark also helps companies prepare and implement a broad range of employment-related contracts, including drafting, negotiation, and litigating disputes arising under contracts.

WLG has substantial experience in the area of post-employment restrictive covenants.  Mark assists companies in the design and implementation of noncompete and other restrictive covenant programs.  When disputes arise, Mark has litigated numerous cases involving restrictive covenant breaches.

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Civil and Business Litigation

In addition to its employment law services, WLG helps its clients resolve a wide variety of general business disputes.

Mark Whitney has been practicing in the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court since it was first formed, and he is an active member of the Complex Commercial Litigation Section of the Mass Bar Association.  Mark also has extensive experience litigating business disputes in state and federal courts in New England and across the country, as well as practicing before alternative dispute resolution tribunals such as the American Arbitration Association, JAMS Endispute, and other private mediators and arbitrators

WLG relies on its broad depth of commercial dispute experience right from the beginning, when WLS carefully evaluates your case with you.  Throughout the dispute resolution process, WLG remains cognizant of the "30,000 foot view" -- your business goals.  It is almost universally true that it is better to have a great business than to have a great case.  Whenever possible, WLG seeks to have clients avoid litigation so they can focus on growing their business.  However, if litigation is unavoidable, WLG considers all options and approaches with an eye toward obtaining a successful resolution in the most cost-effective and quickest way.  WLG remains closely engaged with you throughout the life of the matter, to ensure that you are always apprised of developments, strategy, and status.

Contact WLG to help you with your civil or business litigation issue.

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Trade Secrets

Prior to forming WLG, Mark led the Noncompete, Trade Secret, and Unfair Competition practice at a large Boston-based law firm. A significant part of Mark's practice involves helping companies protect their valuable trade secrets and business relationships.

Mark assists clients with prevention and strategic advice, including development and implementation of critical company policies, best practices, key agreements (noncompete, nonsolicitation, nondisclosure, inventions and developments, separation, and other employment-related agreements), hiring and other business strategy decisions. Mark regularly represents companies in court and arbitration proceedings concerning disputes over misappropriation of trade secrets, employee raiding, breaches of restrictive covenants, violations of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty and related business torts, or other methods of unfair competition. Mark is a member of the Advisory Board of Brooklyn Law School’s Trade Secrets Institute. He is an active member of the Trade Secret and Interference with Contracts Committee of the ABA’s Section of Intellectual Property Law, and authors the First Circuit Trade Secret Law Update for the ABA IP law section’s annual meeting. Mark previously served for several years as the editor of the Massachusetts chapter of the leading national treatise on noncompetition law. [Covenants Not to Compete: A State By State Survey (BNA 2004)]

Over the years, Mark has handled a wide variety of matters involving trade secret misappropriation under then-existing state statutes and related common law claims. WLG has an established network of computer forensic consultants with whom Mark has worked, to enable a rapid assessment of potential misappropriation.  With the recent passage of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, Congress has federalized much of trade secret law and provided powerful new tools to companies to protect and recover their stolen trade secrets. Let WLG apply its experience in this area to your trade secret issue.  We will work closely to evaluate your case, and if necessary, race to the courthouse to seek immediate injunctive relief to hopefully stop the damage before it happens.

Contact WLG and take the first step toward protection and recovery of your misappropriated trade secrets.

Interested in working with Whitney Law Group, LLC?
Here's just a sample of what you might expect...

Mark handled my severance negotiation. From beginning, he impressed me with his knowledge, experience and insights. He provided very thoughtful and clear advice. He was very responsive and always available for communication. Mark paid great attention to details. He is professional as well as personable. I feel very comfortable to interact with him. Because of his help, I got a very satisfying outcome from the case.

C-Level Executive, International Retail Company

EXCELLENT, KNOWLEDGEABLE COUNSELOR -- We hired Mark to help us with some employment law and contract issues. He was extremely knowledgeable and detailed, and he was very responsive - even on weekends! Mark was an excellent investment. We saved far more money by hiring him than if we'd undertaken the process on our own. I fully endorse Mark and would recommend him to anyone with similar needs.

Educator, North Shore Private School

I hired Mark to handle my discrimination and non compete case. Before hiring Mark I consulted with three big law firms in the New England area but was not convinced with them and decided to go with Mark. Best decision i ever made. Mark did a spectacular job handling my case and got it sorted out in less than 4 months. He is a great guy to deal with as well. You will never get the feeling you are dealing with a lawyer, you will really feel like you are dealing with a friend. He is always very patient and friendly and will give you the exact facts. He is not out to get your money and is always looking out for your best interests. He is tough and super smart and really knows what he is doing. The best damn lawyer around. Don't waste your time and money with the big firms. I would highly recommend Mark he is a rock star.

Shipping Executive

Recent Blog Posts

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Employees Can Still Be Fired for Legal Recreational Marijuna Use

As a recent Boston Globe article highlights, the impact of laws legalizing the use of recreational marijuana on the workplace remain unsettled. The Globe article discusses a woman who regularly -- and legally -- used marijuana outside of work, but tested positive for marijuana after she suffered a fall at work. 

It is important to remember that marijuana is still illegal under U.S. law, so many employers still prohibit the use, possession, or working under the influence of marijuana in their company policies.  A complicating factor is that marijuana stays in the user's bloodstream much longer than alcohol, sometimes for several days or longer depending on the user's amount and frequency of use.  This creates problems with regard to testing and policy enforcement because the employee could have THC in their bloodstream but not be impaired or "high."  

This also puts companies in a tough position with regard to their testing policies, as they may be at risk of losing good employees to other companies that don't test for marijuana.  This is an especially significant quandary in this very tight job market.

Until legislators or the courts provide more clarity, employees who wish to use marijuana outside of work should remain cognizant of their employer's policies on drug use. Employees should understand whether the employers conduct random testing or not, and employees who work in safety-specific jobs (such as forklift operators, air traffic controllers, etc.) need to appreciate that they are most likely to be subject to testing.

Finally, it is important to note that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has already ruled that employees who use medical marijuana cannot be automatically fired for flunking a drug test.  See Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC.  The Court held that employers need to consider medical marijuana as a prescribed drug and evaluate necessary reasonable accommodations surrounding its use. Employers can still take action against a medical marijuana user, but they have to show that they cannot accommodate medical marijuana patients because their cannabis use impairs their ability to do required work, endangers public safety, or otherwise demonstrably endangers the business. In some situations, this will be a difficult burden to meet.

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Whitney Law Group Opens New York Office!

We are pleased to announce that Whitney Law Group, LLC has opened a new office in New York City!

As a result of an increasing number of referrals and new clients emanating from New York, WLG has opened an office at 48 Wall Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY  10005.  Mark began his legal practice and attended both law school and his undergraduate studies in New York.  He has been a member of the New York Bar since 1994.

If you are facing an employment law issue or need a commercial litigator in New York, please think of WLG!  We welcome and value your referrals in New York.

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$28 Mil. Retaliation Verdict is the Largest in Mass. History

A Suffolk County Superior Court jury just handed a $28 Million award to a former nurse who claimed she had suffered discrimination because of her race and was retaliated against by Brigham & Womens Hospital. This is the largest award in Massachusetts history for an employment law case.  A Boston Globe article discussing the verdict can be found here.

This is especially compelling, where the jury ruled against the plaintiff on her underlying race discrimination claim.  The jury based its entire award on the plaintiff's retaliation claim.  

Retaliation is still one of the fastest growing claims in employment law cases, and it is not uncommon for a plaintiff to lose on their underlying discrimination claim but still prevail on their retaliation claim. Retaliation occurs when an employee exercises their legally protected right, such as complaining about mistreatment, supporting another who complains, or objecting to what the employee believes is unlawful conduct. Importantly, the law does not require the employee to be "right" about their complaint.  They need only have a good faith belief that they are making a legitimate complaint. Employers and their managers regularly fail to appreciate this nuanced definition of retaliation. They also routinely fail to watch for and prevent the subsequent mistreatment of the person who exercised their protected right, most often because the employer believes the complaint to be frivolous or unfounded. As this case demonstrates, that failure can come with a heavy price tag.

The award included a lost wages award of $463,000 and an emotional distress award of $2,750,000. After deliberating for 3 days, the jury issued a punitive damages award of $25 Million! Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for its misconduct.

This case demonstrates the importance of having a strong policy that both defines retaliation and prohibits it.  After a complaint is made, in addition to investigating it employers need to monitor the work environment surrounding the complaining employee, as well as others who may support the employee or participate in interviews for the investigation. 

Employees who feel they have been subjected to retaliatory conduct in the wake of a complaint should notify the appropriate persons within the employer, such as Human Resources. Most importantly, however, those who suffer retaliation should be sure to document it and keep close track of the misconduct.  It is the employer's responsibility to police and prevent it, and failing to do so creates potential liability. 

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Contact Whitney Law Group to schedule a consultation with Mark Whitney.  Take the first step toward protecting your rights, resolving your dispute, and achieving RESULTS.