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Questions and Professional Answers

Questions and Professional Answers

  • Do not compete clause

    I signed a do not compete agreement thirty years ago. I am leaving my current employer and I want to compete with my old employer's list of clients(which I developed) My question, is the do not compete clause enforceble? and for how long? and what kind of sanction would I face? Thank you
    • Re: Do not compete clause

      Without reading the agreement, I cannot comment specifically on your situation. The general rule is that they have to be reasonable as to time and location. Many companies are suing former employees over similar situations as you describe. The best advice is to seek competent counsel in your area to advise you regarding this situation. Good Luck!!!Pat Tracy

      Patrick Tracy
      Patrick J. Tracy, Esq, P.E.,
      P.O. Box 93
      Garrett Park, MD 20896
  • non compete clause

    How can I legaly break a non compete clause. I was not ask to sign a non compete clause when I was first employed. I was hired to build the business, which I did and then it was sign the agreement or lose my job. I now have another job offer which I would like to accept.
    • Re: non compete clause

      Assuming that the agreement itself is reasonable in terms of the geographic and time limitations it places on you, then the agreement is enforceable under the circumstances you described. Your best bet, then, may be to try to negotiate something different before you leave. For example, you could inform the employer that you believe the agreement is unfair since you were forced to sign it and would like to reach a compromise. You could offer not to go after any current clients of the employer as long as you can otherwise compete freely in the marketplace. Be creative and try to come up wih a fair solution that addresses both the employer's and your concerns.Of course, if you do this you are raising the red flag that you are leaving and will be competing. If the employer is hard-nosed, they can simpy stand by the original agreement and then sue you if you breach it. Beyond that, I would need to know the specifics to give you better advice. If you feel the need to hire an attorney (perhaps you want an attorney to negotiate with the employer for you), please call for a complimentary consultation to discuss the matter.Good luck.Jeff SheldonJeffrey L. Sheldon, EsquireThe Sheldon Law Firm17804 St. Lucia Isle DriveTampa, FL 33647813.986.7580(f) 813.986.7489(Admitted in Fl., MD, D.C., and Pa.)jls@sheldonlawfirm.comhttp://www.SheldonLawFirm.comDisclaimer: This posting does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. It is not confidential, nor is it privileged, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an attorney for advice specific to the facts of your case.

      Jeffrey Sheldon
      The Sheldon Law Firm
      17804 St. Lucia Isle Drive
      Tampa, FL 33647
  • non compete clause

    I went to work for a company that did not require me to sign a non compete clause as a condition of employment.The company became prosperious through my effort. After two years my employer require me to sign a non compete clause that stated even if I was dismissed I could not compete for 5 years. It appears that the company is paving the way to dismiss me.The non compete clause is with the drywall company that I work for, however I am and have always been on the payrol of a leasing company.
    • Re: non compete clause

      At most, the non-compete can only restrict you for a period of 2 years and your employer must have a legitimate business interest to protect for any agreement to be enforceable. Because each agreement varies, please feel free to contact me at (305) 755-9441 for more specific assistance.

      Keith Stern
      Shavitz Law Group
      1515 S. Federal Highway, Suite 404
      Boca Raton, FL 33432
    • Re: non compete clause

      You didn't ask a question, so I am not sure what the issue is at this point. Please re-post and let us know exactly what the problem is now.In general, the 5 years might be considered excessive by a court, depending on the other facts of the case. But the fact that you are employed by the leasing company does not necessarily invalidate the contract, although there are arguments that can be made.If you fear discharge, perhaps you should try to negotiate with your employer, including rescinding the non-compete.Good luck.Jeff SheldonJeffrey L. Sheldon, EsquireThe Sheldon Law Firm17804 St. Lucia Isle DriveTampa, FL 33647813.986.7580(f) 813.986.7489(Admitted in Fl., MD, D.C., and Pa.)jls@sheldonlawfirm.comhttp://www.SheldonLawFirm.comDisclaimer: This posting does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. It is not confidential, nor is it privileged, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an attorney for advice specific to the facts of your case.

      Jeffrey Sheldon
      The Sheldon Law Firm
      17804 St. Lucia Isle Drive
      Tampa, FL 33647
  • Non-compete clause

    As in independent contractor, can a company require me to sign a non-compete clause which also limits me from working for a client (even in a different line of work), and not compete for 1 year after I leave? I'm assuming this would also include contracting with other companies. Thanks.
    • Re: Non-compete clause

      Non-competition agreements are for the most part not enforceable in California. However, they are for limited purposes. As such, without actually seeing the agreement, the language of the agreement, and having more detail about the type of work you are doing, I could not advise if your current situation is enforcable or not. If you wish to discuss further, you are welcome to contact our office or an attorney in your area. Be prepared to provided more detail, your independent contractor agreement and the non-compete clause. Best of luck, Beth Mora

      Beth Mora
      Cooper & Mora, A Professional Corporation
      18 Crow Canyon Court, Suite 145
      San Ramon, CA 94583
    • Re: Non-compete clause

      If you want to play with them, you get to follow their rules. You don't have to sign, but they don't have to hire you. If you chose to sign and give your word, then break it later, you may get to sort out who's right in court. They may not prevail in such suit, depending upon the facts at that time, but there is no guarantee of outcome to either side. If the agreement calls for attorney fees upon suit, then the loser of that case pays the winners attorney. The choice is yours. Feel free to contact me to defend you if you end up sued.

      Terry A. Nelson
      Nelson & Lawless
      2134 Main St., #130
      Huntington Beach, CA 92648
  • Non-compete clause

    An OR tech signed a non-compete clause. Employee was terminated during maternity leave. Is the clause enforceable?
    • Re: Non-compete clause

      The enforceability depends on whether the employer has a "legitimate business interest" to protect within the meaning of the Florida Statute governing non-competes. The termination & circumstances thereof will not, most likely, have any impact on the non-compete.

      Keith Stern
      Shavitz Law Group
      1515 S. Federal Highway, Suite 404
      Boca Raton, FL 33432
  • No-compete clause

    I signed a non- compete clause. My company has been purchased by another company and is moving almost all operations out-of-state. I have a retention/severance package because my position has been eliminated. Is the non-compete still enforcable?
    • Re: No-compete clause

      You need to get a legal opinion right away. You'll need someone who can sit down and read the agreement (and the severance agreement) and give you an opinion on the validity. There are simply too many variables to answer this one on the internet.If you need a referral to an attorney, let me know and I will try to help you.

      Anthony DeWitt
      Bartimus, Frickleton Robertson & Gorny, PC
      715 Swifts Highway
      Jefferson City, MO 65109
    • Re: No-compete clause

      Generally speaking, it would be standard for the company buying your former employer to buy all existing contracts together with the other assets. An attorney would have to review your specific non-compete agreement before being able to advise you. Under the circumstances, it may very well be that the new company has no interest in enforcing the old agreement and would agree to sign a release so that you would be protected from being sued for breach of the agreement at some later date. I would strongly advise you to consult with an attorney.

      Michael R. Nack
      Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
      200 South Bemiston (307)
      St. Louis, MO 63105
  • no compete clause

    If you are laid off from a company and your severance package has a no compete clause in it: then a company that you have worked on their equipment contacts you about working for them full time as their sevice contract is about to expire. Can you take the job offer or are you bound not to compete in this area?
    • Re: no compete clause

      Depends upon the exact language of the no compete clause. If the company is not prepared to renew their contract, whether you work for them or not, your taking a job with them arguably is not competing with your previous employer.

      Peter Bradie
      Bradie, Bradie & Bradie
      6606 FM 1488, Suite 148-363
      Magnolia, TX 77354-2544
  • Question about no compete clause of business I purchased

    I recently purchased a business and the seller signed a contract that includes a no compete clause. The no compete states the seller will not compete against me for 10 years. I was recently informed that 10 years is an unreasonable legnth of time by GA law. I believe the seller is now competeing against me and I know that he thinks the no compete is void due to the 10 year statement. Is the no compete void?
    • Re: Question about no compete clause of business I purchased

      Not necessarily, although ten years is a long time. There are three factors a court considers when enforcing a non-compete: 1) length of time, 2) scope, and 3) geographic location. Remember, that courts do not generally like to limit a personís ability to make a living.If you would like to discuss any issues further, please feel free to contact my office. My contact information is below. Thank you.The foregoing is general information only, not specific legal advice. No attorney/client relation has been created or should be implied.Glenn M. Lyon, EsqMacGregor Lyon, LLCPromenade II1230 Peachtree Street NESuite 1900Atlanta Georgia 30309Phone 404.942.3545Fax 404.795.0993glyon@macgregorlyon.comwww.macgregorlyon.com Confidentiality NoticeThis message is being sent by or on behalf of a lawyer. It is intended exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information that is proprietary, privileged or confidential or otherwise legally exempt from disclosure. If you are not the named addressee, you are not authorized to read, print, retain, copy or disseminate this message or any part of it. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and delete all copies of the message.

      Glenn M. Lyon, Esq.
      MacGREGOR LYON, LLC
      7 Lenox Pointe, NE, Building Seven
      Atlanta, GA 30324
  • Non-Compete

    If I signed a non-compete and then left that job and started my own business then came back six months later, sold my assets to my employer and signed bill of sale with the clause that my no compete would begin again. Would that Non-compete still be valid since she didnt have me sign a new non compete?
    • Re: Non-Compete

      Sounds like you breached the original agreement and the sale of your business could be considered settlement of the breach. But that wouldn't on its own terminate the original agreement. Of course, I haven't read the agreements.

      David W. Nance
      DWNance.com founding member of NanceGroup.com
      5700 Magazine Street
      New Orleans, LA 70115
    • Re: Non-Compete

      NOTE: This communication is not intended as and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Rather, it is intended solely as a general discussion of legal principles. You should not rely on or take action based on this communication without first presenting ALL relevant details to a competent attorney in your jurisdiction and then receiving the attorney's individualized advice for you. By reading the "Response" to your question or comment, you agree that the opinion expressed is not intended to, nor does it, create any attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. If you do not agree, then stop right here, and do not read any further.Absolutely. By signing the agreement stating your non compete would begin again, you have reaffirmed it in writing. If properly worded, this would have the same effect as if you had signed a new non compete agreement. Scott R. Jay, Esq.

      Scott R. Jay
      Law Offices of Scott R. Jay
      1575 Northeast 205th Street
      Miami, FL 33179-2133
  • Non-compete clause without signature

    My former employer presented me a contract (10/01) which included a short non-compete clause. I have never signed said employment contract to date and was dismissed without warning or cause (verbal or written)Feb.2003. I now am starting my own competing business (driving school)and have been threatened with legal action from said former employer for violating this non-compete clause. I was with this company for 10+ years total.Does he have any legal rights to pursue this?
    • Re: Non-compete clause without signature

      As you may already have been told, it is highly doubtful an employer can enforce an unsigned non-compete agreement. If you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to telephone me. I have handled several non-compete cases in the past.

      Michael Zusman
      Evans & Zusman, P.C.
      5331 SW Macadam Avenue, Suite 350
      Portland, OR 97239
    • Re: Non-compete clause without signature

      Your former employer probably does not have an enforceable convenant not to compete. To be valid the contract containing the non-compete clause would have to had been entered into between you and the former employer at the start of employment or as a condition of a bona fide advancement. In your question you stated that you had been working there for more than ten years yet the contract was presented a little more than two year ago. If however the contract was presented at a time that your former employer was offering you a raise and a managerial position (presumable with acess to proprietary information) then this fact would weigh in favor of enforcability. The fact that the employment contract was not signed in important but by itself it is not determinintive. Contracts can be accepted by acquiescence (i.e. you accepted the raise and the managerial position but just didn't sign the contract). The second factor to consider is that non compete clause has to be limited in duration and geographic scope. It has been seven months since you left. A six month restriction would be enforceable; one year maybe; more than one year probably not. Also I don't know where your new driving school is in relationship to your old employer. Right next door or on the other side of town. The further away you are the less likely a court would enforce such a restriction. Finally, your question ask does your former employer have a legal right to pursue this. Anyone has a legal "right" to pursue litigation, but he probably won't prevail if he does. The question then becomes can you recover attorney fees and cost if he does. The employment contract may provide that the prevailing party gets attorney fees and cost, but this is a little tricky since you are arguing that there is no contract. You will be entitled to cost under the Oregon rules of civil procedure, but probably not attorney fees.

      Noel Snyder
      Law Office of Noel Snyder
      2223 NE 47th
      Portland, OR 97213