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Non-Compete Law

Non-Compete Law

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]

Finding truth in a House of Lies subplot

Admittedly, I am late to the dance. As usual. I just watched my first episode of Showtime’s House of Lies this past weekend. I think I started with Season 1 or 2 – where Marty and the gang of super dressed consultants learn their firm has just been sold to a new company. This means…[Read More]

Knock Knock. Who’s There? The Truth.

Lawyer jokes are sometimes funny, and sometimes true. But any joke where the punchline confuses “lawyer and liar” is not funny to me. Not funny at all. I believe telling the truth is actually my job, and I expect my clients will take the same approach to truth telling.   

In fact, the few times I have had civil clients lie about something – to me, or the other side, even about something small – and when I found out, I have withdrawn from the case.

There are many reasons to have a zero-tolerance policy for clients that shade the truth. But one amazing fact I have learned during my litigation career is that liars never do well in the civil justice system.

Continue reading “Knock Knock. Who’s There? The Truth.” »

Please, Do Not Trust Your New Employer to Interpret Your Non-Compete Clause

We hear this too often:

“If I had known I wouldn’t be able to call my old customers, I would never have taken this new job. I told them when they offered me the job I had a non-compete and they told me it wasn’t a problem. And now,  I may get sued, or lose my job, or both!”

The reality is that switching jobs is filled with risks. Trusting your well-meaning new employer to give you legal advice about your non-compete contract is a quick detour down the wrong path.

Yet, we hear it all the time from otherwise  thoughtful, hard-working Virginians who change jobs with non-compete contracts.

They do the right thing and share the non-compete with their new boss. Rather than get legal advice from a lawyer who can advise them on the enforceability of the contract, they mistakenly rely on their new employer’s representations that their contract allows them to keep their book of business – and often, they’re wrong and it’s the new employee who is left cleaning up the mess.

Here is how Virginia employees can protect themselves during a job change. Continue reading “Please, Do Not Trust Your New Employer to Interpret Your Non-Compete Clause” »

A Checklist for Hiring a Competitor’s Employees

Coca Cola hires Pepsi’s top-notch public relations manager. Dunkin’ Donuts snags Starbucks’s chief financial officer. Yahoo steals away Google’s vice president for search products.

Fictional or not, doesn’t it sound kind of fun to consider hiring the star employee of your competitor? The mere suggestion of poaching a rival’s talent pool is both thrilling and scary. Thrilling because there is a great potential to boost business. Scary because if you approach a competitor’s employee the wrong way, you could find yourself embroiled in expensive litigation that keeps you occupied for years.

If you want to hire a competitor’s employees, here’s a quick checklist.

Continue reading “A Checklist for Hiring a Competitor’s Employees” »

Small Business Owners Fuel Economy – But What About Non-Competes?

Just this week, I was speaking to a Virginia resident who wanted to open his own business. He has the time. The money. The talent. But he he can’t open the business.

He can’t because he signed a contract that says for a period of time he will not open a business, or work for a competitor within 15 miles of his current office.

He could (a) create jobs; (b) feed his family; and, (c) serve the public – all of this without harming his old employer or using their secret or trade secret information. So really, isn’t capitalism in favor of this kind of growth? Isn’t our unsteady economy reliant on it? 

Continue reading “Small Business Owners Fuel Economy – But What About Non-Competes?” »

What is a Non-Compete Lawyer?

I am a non-compete lawyer.

What does that mean? I proudly represent individuals, not businesses, in the evaluation and analysis of non-competition (think non-solicitation, confidentiality, etc) employment agreements. There are those who think my job is to stir up trouble or harm small businesses; rather cartoonish, but popular culture often misses how attorneys help individuals transition to a new job or avoid conflict.

So let me introduce you to a few of our clients.

Continue reading “What is a Non-Compete Lawyer?” »

VIRGINIA NON-SOLICITATION AGREEMENT

It is Fall.The leaves are red, orange yellow – crisp. The air is clean and the sky bright blue.It is my favorite season. So lets talk about something else that is my favorite. (Note – for those who liked the movie Elf, Smiling was his favorite). NON -SOLICITATION AGREEMENTS are my favorite. There are typically…[Read More]

PLEASE DON’T

post your new business on Linked In within months of leaving your old job or Friend your old customers on facebook or Create a new website that talks about all the work you can do or Email old clients your new Contact Information or Have a meeting and tell your old colleagues you are leaving…[Read More]