Non-Competes Are Bad For The Little Guy and Bad for the Larger Economy

Not my title but my sentiments exactly.  This title comes from an article recently published in Fortune magazine. Non-competes are employment contracts that prevent a departing employee (departing voluntarily or involuntarily) from working for a competitor for one year…or two years…or even three years.  The agreements are not only bad for individual workers but they are bad…[Read More]

The feds chime in on non-competes – part II – White House Report Podcast

Just a few days ago my partner Dan and I were discussing the Dept. of Treasury luke warm report on non-compete agreements.. and Dan asked, why are they doing this? It was a fair question. Why is Treasury spending time and money looking into the economic impact of restrictive covenants, and why be so luke…[Read More]

Dept. of Treasury Office of Economic Policy – Position paper on Non-Compete Agreements. My two cents.

So there is a new Report out on the economic costs of non-compete agreements. It upsets me a little. Okay, so it upsets me more than a little. It would be like a report, funded by tax payer dollars, that has the following conclusion: People who make and sell video games think they enhance brain…[Read More]

Let’s Move to the United Kingdom

Let’s go.  Right now! The British government is investigating banning or severely restricting the use of non-compete clauses that specify where and how employees can work when they leave a business.  A government official is quoted as saying, “I am clear that I want to see more enterprising start-ups and greater productivity in a free and…[Read More]

Blue Pencil Provisions in Virginia Contracts

Lawyers come up with some strange names for things. It’s true. We plead. We allege. We say things like Notwithstanding, and aforementioned. We like funny words.  One name I am constantly explaining to clients is the working definition of ‘blue pencil provision.’ In contracts, a blue pencil provision allows the court, as a third party,…[Read More]

Trade Secrets and Inevitable Disclosure: A Disturbing Trend

I am seeing a disturbing trend where an ex-employee, who never signed a non-compete agreement with his/her ex-employer, is faced with an attempt by the ex-employer to prevent the ex-employee from competing in the business world.  How?  By claiming the ex-employee is using “trade secrets” from the previous job to further their career with the…[Read More]

What does your Non-Compete really mean?

Imagine this: CALLER: “Dear attorney, my contract says I can sell Christmas trees within a 150 miles from my old Christmas tree stand. Does that mean 150 miles by road, or as the crow flies?” ATTORNEY: “Well, that depends. Does the contract specify? No? Then it means what the parties thought it meant when they…[Read More]

Emails: You might as well hand your ex-employer a gun!

We represent employees is disputes against employers.  The cases may involve alleged violations of non-compete contracts, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, etc.  One of the first things we tell new clients is not to destroy or delete existing emails (whether on the employer’s server or the employee’s home or spouses’s computer).  The…[Read More]