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Non-Compete Law

Non-Compete Law

Lightbulb jokes and non-competes

Do you remember all the great light bulb jokes of the late 1990’s? You could directly insult any kind of person in just a few sentences – blondes, engineers, lawyers, doctors, etc. The beauty of these terrible jokes was that the hyperbole was often based on some element of truth (** BUT FOR BLOND JOKES which are…[Read More]

The law, it is a changing

Take a moment to access this Bob Dylan Cover of The Times they are a changing. Press Play. Now, with that well known folk sound in the background I will make my brief but important point about Virginia Non-Compete law or rather Virginia Business Tort law: The law, it is a changing.   A few weeks ago…[Read More]

The other Commonwealth gets it right!

I just read a great article on a movement in Massachusetts where Governor Patrick is recommending the state outlaw (I just love using that word though it is not correctly used here) non-competition agreements in the Commonwealth. According to the author, Attorney Michael Bunis, Governor Patrick proposed a legislative package that would eliminate non-compete agreements, on…[Read More]

Once again, the Court surprises me in a non-compete case

I recently learned of a case out of Eastern Virginia  – Depuy Synthes Sales Inc. v. Jones – where employees of one medical device manufacturer (Depuy), left to join a competing company (Sky Surgical) and were quickly sued by their former employers. In the lawsuit, it was alleged the employees violated their contracts, (non-compete and non-solicitation…[Read More]

“narrowly tailored to protect a legitimate business interest”

Question we are often asked: Is your non-compete reasonable and enforceable under Virginia law? Answer we most often give: Yes, if it is narrowly tailored to protect the legitimate business interest of the company… What does that really mean? This week, a Fairfax Virginia Judge http://valawyersweekly.com/2014/03/17/over-broad-geographic-limits-sink-noncompete/ held that it was not likely reasonable for a business…[Read More]

Do restrictive covenants stifle employee productivity?

If you get paid by the hour, and not the task, is there an incentive to work any harder? Some would say, No. If you can’t take clients with you when you leave a job, or even contact them, is there any incentive to really fostering those great connections and relationships with those folks? Some…[Read More]

Why your “smartphone” keeps me in business

Dear Virginia Employee: I wanted to thank you for being glued to your smart phone. I wanted to thank you for treating that small device, owned by your employer, like it is your own. Checking your personal email, texting clients at all hours, and making disparaging remarks about your co-workers and boss in these text…[Read More]

Choice of law provision in an employment contract

I ran across a well done article for HR professionals today on choice of law provisions in employment contracts. Imagine this scenario – COKE (yes, I mean the company getting all of the negative press for their Superbowl ad (which I didn’t see, but really people, who cares)) has salesmen and women across the country….[Read More]

No secrets in non-compete litigation

I just read the 5th Circuit’s opinion in a fascinating business tort case, Wall v. Alcon labs. Normally, I don’t spend much time with opinions written by Federal courts outside of the 4th Circuit, simply because they rarely apply to my Virginia cases and clients. But Wall is different. Mr. Wall left his employer after many…[Read More]

House of Lies = House of Litigation

So I had to keep watching Showtime’s House of Lies to see what happened with Marty Kaan’s threats to open his own consulting firm in LA, in competition with his long time employer Galweather Stern. And maybe I also had to keep watching because I think Kristen Bell’s character has the best work wardrobe I…[Read More]