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Non-Compete Law

Non-Compete Law

What Happens When Radio Talent Goes Online?

The radio industry is sensitive to the issue of losing talented broadcasters and for good reason:  a particular personality may be the only reason listeners pick one channel over another during their commute.

Typically, most radio stations require their broadcasting talent to sign non-compete agreements that prevent employees from moving across town and setting up the same radio program for a rival.

Do non-compete contracts at radio stations apply to Internet radio? Commercial radio stations are likely different from online radio, which can reach a national audience through a website or a podcast via iTunes.

An Ohio judge said in a recent case, Deluca v. WDJQ (ht: Ohio attorney John Marsh) that traditional radio non-compete contracts do not apply online, unless the non-compete contract was carefully worded by the employer to cover online activities and Internet radio broadcasting.

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Right to Privacy at Your Desk in Virginia

I just love true or false quizzes. Seriously. LOVE. THEM. So here is one for a spring Monday afternoon:

POP QUIZ

1. You have a right to privacy at work. Which protects your personal email if accessed on company phone / computer / etc.

TRUE OR FALSE

ANSWER: FALSE

2. You have a right to access personal information at work during work time on your phone / computer / email etc.

TRUE OR FALSE

ANSWER: TRUE MAYBE depending on company policy but when you do it’s not personal anymore.

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IT Consultants’ Non-Compete Contract Held Unenforceable

This decision (and it’s a good one) comes from the great state of Massachusetts. The court’s decision in Grace Hunt IT Solutions, LLC v. SIS Software, LLC, et al., should be followed by every judge in the country.

Plaintiff Grace Hunt IT Solutions, LLC (“Grace Hunt”) provides software management consulting services. Pursuant to an Asset Purchase Agreement, Grace Hunt became the successor and assignee of Grace Hunt, LLC, of which defendants John Joyce, George Olsen, and Robert Remick were all employees. Pursuant to the purchase, defendants became employees of Grace Hunt.  Joyce and Olsen had previously signed non-compete agreements with Grace Hunt, LLC.

After the purchase, Grace Hunt sent the individual defendants offer letters outlining the terms of their employment, each of which included a provision stating that they would be required to sign a new non-compete agreement. They were also told that the Grace Hunt planned to implement a different compensation structure and change eligibility for fringe benefits.

Here is where things get interesting!

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What Does “We” or “Us” Mean in a Virginia Contract – and Should You Care?

I spent the morning arguing (I know, no surprise) that the words “us” and “we” had very specific meanings in a contract. I went so far as to argue that “the parties,” or “disputants” may not include “us” and “we.”

Sound confusing? Or at least non-sensical? Boring? Maybe.

It would be but for the fact my arguments were based on a specific contract, and under Virginia law, contract terms have the meanings that we give them. So “us” and “we” means what the contracts says it means.

And if the contract does not explain these terms, then the court must give them the plain meaning of the terms.

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Steve Jobs, Apple and Non-Compete Agreements

I am currently reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It is a fascinating account of the driven life of Steve Jobs and how he pushed Apple to become the giant it is today.  Let’s face it: we love our iDevices and Steve Jobs gets most of the credit for these wonderful gadgets.

The book, however, makes it clear that Jobs was not a computer genius or gifted engineer. His technical skills were average.  He acquired the necessary talent to build Apple by hiring away talented employees from XeroxAtariHewlett Packard, and others.

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Injunction: Often Sought, Not Often Granted

Injunction is a great word. It is quite popular these days, for attorneys to draft language into an employment agreement that says something like the following: EMPLOYEE agrees that should he or she leave the employ of COMPANY and violate any of the covenants outlined above (namely Non-competition / non-solicitation provisions) that COMPANY will suffer…[Read More]

New Year: Great Time for a Lawsuit?

Last night at a Christmas gathering I asked friends and family if they had a New Years resolution. The reply was the same. No resolution. Not yet. Despite my group’s non committal response, I believe many of us are making resolutions. To take more time for family. To learn to sew. To lose weight. To…[Read More]

How I Left Microsoft

On this blog, Lauren and I share our thoughts on the legal issues and available strategies when dealing with non-compete and non-solicitation contracts. I just read an article from Business Insider titled, “How I Left Microsoft And Started A Competing Company Without Violating My Non-Compete.” No one could write it better. I strongly urge you…[Read More]