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Non-Compete Law

Non-Compete Law

Does your employer think you are a risk or threat when you leave? Umm, yes.

In many ways, employment litigation is like family law (now, keep reading – I have a point!).  When things end badly, people don’t trust each-other. They assume one party intends to cause harm and that no one is telling the whole truth.  When a good employee leaves to work for a competitor, or to start…[Read More]

Why Virginia Courts will not re-draft your contract to be reasonable

Virginia is a wonderful place. It is for lovers. It has mountains and oceans and delightful seasons. We have both urban and rural, crowded and vast spaces. It is a Commonwealth, and when I read a contract that states Virginia is a State (and doesn’t reference the fact it is a Commonwealth) I presume the…[Read More]

Noncompete agreements for governmental contractors – what those big legal words actually mean!

Over the last nine years, we have represented hundreds (yes, I think I can say that fairly) of individuals that serve as a contractor to some governmental agency. No, they are no employees of DOD, or DHS, or the FDA, they are hired by third parties to staff projects, or work for these agencies. And,…[Read More]

What you should know about LinkedIn when you change jobs

“Hey, congratulations on making partner,” someone says to me in the gym. I wonder how on earth they know that and then I realize they probably got an email from LinkedIn notifying them of my promotion (albeit 6 months after the fact because I didn’t rush to change the title). As most of us in the…[Read More]

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 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]

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]