Non-Competition Agreements

Non-competition agreements or "restrictive covenants" encompass a range of contracts that generally attempt to prevent person from working in a business similar to that of their former employer. Because your ability to work might be greatly affected by a non-compete agreement, it is usually a good idea to review any contracts with an experienced employment lawyer.

More and more businesses are using non-competes and, often times, for positions that have not traditionally been subject to non-compete agreements. This trend is leading to an increased number of disputes arising from non-compete issues.

When it comes to non-compete agreements, clients typically come to me in three circumstances:

  • For advice before signing a non-compete agreement
  • To evaluate their rights after signing an agreement (often at the conclusion of the client's employment)
  • After a dispute has arisen under the non-compete agreement

I can assist you in any of these circumstances or anything in between.

Before signing the non-compete agreement

Of course, the best time (and generally the least expensive) to contact the firm is before signing a non-compete agreement. At that point, I can advise you on your rights and responsibilities under the agreement and answer your most pressing question: "Should I sign this?" In some cases, I (or you with your lawyer's advice) can negotiate better terms in the agreement.

Before you sign a non-compete agreement or anything else your employer puts in front of you, you owe it to yourself to call an attorney to talk about the document. In most cases, your employer had an attorney draft the agreement. Shouldn't you be on the same footing and have your own lawyer look at it?

After signing the agreement, but before a dispute

If you have already signed a non-compete agreement and are now thinking about a new job, you should certainly consult with a lawyer before moving forward. If you call my office, I can evaluate your agreement and provide a legal opinion regarding whether your new job will conflict with your current non-compete agreement.

If your potential new job might breach your non-compete, I can help you determine your options and plan an appropriate strategy for you. Although not possible in every case, I have been successful in obtaining waivers of non-competes. Please call to find out where you stand and whether you should accept your new job.

After your employer has disputed your right to work under a non-compete

Once your employer formally disputes your right to work (or has already filed a lawsuit against you) under the non-compete agreement, you absolutely should seek legal representation immediately. If you do not do so, you could lose your new job and even be required to pay damages to your former employer.

The bad news is that, if you have reached this stage, it will probably be expensive to protect your rights. The good news is that I have experience battling against employers trying to enforce non-compete agreements. While I cannot promise you will get out of the ordeal unscathed, I can and will aggressively litigate on your behalf. When your livelihood and ability to work are on the line, you need someone who will fight for you.

Note: As of January 1, 2015, I have joined Markovits, Stock & DeMarco as Of Counsel. I am still available to assist you with any non-compete agreement issues you may have. My direct number is 614-604-8759.