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Babcock Power Inc v. Kapsalis

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

December 6, 2018

BABCOCK POWER, INC. and VOGT POWER INTERNATIONAL, INC. PLAINTIFFS
v.
STEPHEN T. KAPSALIS DEFENDANT

          COURT'S INSTRUCTIONS TO THE JURY

         Ladies and Gentlemen:

         Now that you have heard all of the evidence, and the argument of the attorneys, it is my duty to give you instructions as to the law applicable in this case.

         It is your duty as jurors to follow the law as stated in the instructions, and to apply that law to the facts you find from the evidence.

         You are not to single out one instruction alone as stating the law. You must consider the instructions as a whole.

         You are not to be concerned with the wisdom of any rule of law stated by the court. You must apply the law given in these instructions whether you agree with it or not.

         It is your duty to determine the facts, and in so doing you must consider only the evidence I have admitted in the case. The term "evidence" includes the sworn testimony of the witnesses, live and by deposition, and the exhibits admitted in the record. It is your own interpretation and recollection of the evidence that controls.

         You are permitted to draw reasonable inferences, deductions, and conclusions from the testimony and exhibits which you feel are justified in light of your own common sense.

         In saying that you must consider all the evidence, I do not mean to suggest that you must necessarily accept all of the evidence as true or accurate. You are the sole judges of the credibility or believability of each witness, and the weight to be given to the testimony of each witness.

         In determining the credibility of any witness, you may properly consider the demeanor of the witness while testifying, frankness or lack of it, and his or her interest in the outcome of the case, if any.

         When knowledge of a specialized subject matter may be helpful to the jury, a person ■ having training or experience in the field is permitted to state an opinion. Merely because such a witness has expressed an opinion, however, does not mean that you must accept that opinion. The same as with any other witness, it is up to you to decide whether to rely upon it.

         Evidence may be direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence is direct proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what that witness saw or heard or did. Circumstantial evidence is proof of one or more facts from which you could find another fact. You should consider both kinds of evidence. The law makes no distinction between the weight to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. It is for you to decide how much weight to give to any evidence.

         The statements, objections, and arguments made by the lawyers are not evidence. What the lawyers have said to you is not binding upon you.

         The weight of the evidence is not necessarily determined by the number of witnesses testifying as to the existence or nonexistence of any fact. You should be guided in your deliberations by the quality and credibility of the evidence you have heard.

         The law does not require any party to call as witnesses all persons who may have been present at any time or place involved in the case, or who may appear to have some knowledge of the matters in issue at this trial. Nor does the law require any party to produce as exhibits all papers and things mentioned in the evidence in the case.

         As you have heard in this case, Babcock Power, Inc. and Vogt Power International, Inc. assert that their former employee, Stephen T. Kapsalis, (1) misappropriated their trade secrets, and (2) breached the confidentiality provision of the Employee Non-Disclosure, Non-Solicitation, Non-Competition and Assignment Agreement ("the Agreement") signed by Kapsalis. In these instructions, I will refer to the parties as "Babcock," collectively, and "Kapsalis," rather than continually repeating their names in full.

         This case should be considered and decided by you as an action between persons of equal standing in the community, holding the same or similar stations in life. A corporation is entitled to the same fair trial at your hands as an individual.

         A corporation acts through its employees.

         You should not consider the financial resources of either party in making your decision.

         A.

         TRADE SECRET MISAPPROPRIATION

         Babcock claims that Kapsalis misappropriated its trade secrets in violation of the Kentucky Uniform Trade Secrets Act ("KUTSA"). In order for Babcock to succeed on this claim, Babcock must prove that each of the following elements is more likely true than not true:

         (1) That Babcock possessed one or more trade secrets as defined by KUTSA; and

         (2) That Kapsalis misappropriated one or more of Babcock's trade secrets.

         "TRADE SECRET" DEFINED

         In considering whether Babcock possessed one or more trade secrets as defined by KUTSA, you will consider the following:

         KUTSA defines a trade secret as information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, data, device, method, technique, or process, that:

(a) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
(b) Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to ...

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