Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton
Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Trial No.
R. Butler, for Plaintiff/Third-Party Defendant-Appellee,
J. Collins and Zachary D. Bahorik, for Intervenor/Third-Party
Intervenor/third-party plaintiff-appellant Black Diamond
Casino Events, LLC ("Black Diamond") appeals the
decision of the trial court to grant plaintiff/third-party
defendant-appellee Roger Boehm, Jr.'s ("Boehm")
motion for involuntary dismissal under Civ.R. 41(B)(2). For
the following reasons, we affirm.
and Procedural History
Black Diamond operates a casino-games-themed events business
for corporate and private parties. Roger Boehm, Jr., a former
employee of Black Diamond, approached the owners about buying
two of the four members' interests in Black Diamond. In
connection with his due diligence, Boehm signed a
nondisclosure agreement to review Black Diamond's
business records. Boehm obtained Black Diamond customer
information, tax returns, financial statements, and vendor
information. Boehm elected to move forward on the purchase of
the two members' interests, but the members refused to
sell. Boehm commenced this action, alleging that the members
breached an oral agreement to sell him their membership
interests. Black Diamond intervened, asserting counterclaims
for breach of contract and violations of the Ohio Uniform
Trade Secrets Act. Boehm ultimately dismissed his complaint.
Black Diamond moved for partial summary judgment on its
breach-of-contract claim, which was granted. The trial court
held a bench trial on the trade-secrets claim and rendered an
oral judgment of dismissal under Civ.R. 41(B)(2) finding in
favor of Boehm at the conclusion of Black Diamond's case.
The dismissal of a plaintiffs case under Civ.R. 41(B)(2)
during a bench trial allows the trial court to weigh the
evidence, resolve any conflicts therein, and render judgment
for the defendant at the close of the plaintiffs case if the
plaintiff has shown no right to relief. Bank One, Dayton,
NA. v. Doughman, 59 Ohio App.3d 60, 63, 571 N.E.2d 442
(1st Dist.1988). On appeal, the dismissal will be set aside
only if erroneous as a matter of law or against the manifest
weight of the evidence. Id.
Diamond's Client List and Financial Data are Trade
Black Diamond presents three assignments of error for review.
In its first assignment of error, Black Diamond contends that
the trial court erred as a matter of law in finding that no
trade secrets existed. A trade secret is defined as
information, including the whole or any portion or phase of
any scientific or technical information, design, process,
procedure, formula, pattern, compilation, program, device,
method, technique, or improvement, or any business
information or plans, financial information, or listing of
names, addresses, or telephone numbers, that satisfies both
of the following:
(1) It 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.
(2) It is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under
the circumstances to ...