I'm seeking opinions, preferably from lawyers as I cannot afford my own lawyer at the moment. Last month, I left my employer of 12 years to start my own graphic design business. On my new company website, I'd like to show some marketing pieces, such as email marketing, sales slicks, ads, etc., I created during my tenure there as proof of my skills.
When I published them on my website, I got a "cease and desist" letter even though I am nowhere near competing for the same business (they are a construction company), the pieces are not confidential and I never indicate on my website that the company is a current client of mine. I would have those these pieces were fair use and my employer and I had a great relationship so I was surprised to receive the letter. Of course I immediately obliged and removed them.
Since almost my entire career was at the company, however, I don't have much else to show in my online portfolio. If I recreate each piece with similar structure/layout/theme (such as a poster promoting a contest to win World Series tickets), but reword the content, remove the logo and remove any identifying info tracking that piece back to that company, will that safeguard me from any unlawful behavior?
Thanks for your opinion.