Non-Compete Agreements: What Are They?
In Massachusetts, non-compete agreements are still, generally speaking, enforceable. In recent years, there has been a grass-roots campaign to eliminate or to impose restrictions on non-compete agreements in Massachusetts. Many people are aware that the state of California takes a very dim view of non-compete agreements and many Massachusetts residents and plaintiff-side employment law attorneys believe that we should follow suit. Davis & Davis, P.C., will continue to update its blog to educate our clients and prospective clients on any developments.
Most people are willing to sign a non-compete agreement when they start a new job because they are anxious to start a new chapter in their professional lives. Most people do not want to consider the prospect that this new, exciting opportunity will someday come to an end. And some people are unfortunately so desperate for a paycheck that they have no choice but to execute an agreement that imposes serious restrictions after the employment relationship is over.
It is extremely rare for a corporation to immediately file a lawsuit against a former employee who allegedly is in violation of a non-compete agreement. Companies that ‘jump the gun’ can be sanctioned by the courts if the company lacked a good-faith basis to initiate litigation. As such, almost every time, the company will have its lawyers send the former employee a “cease and desist” letter reminding the employee of his/her obligations and seeking assurances that the former employee will comply with the contractual obligations.
If you receive a “cease and desist” letter, it is extremely important that you call your lawyer immediately. There are many different ways that a talented, experienced lawyer can destroy a non-compete agreement. John Davis has represented hundreds of individuals with non-compete agreements in his career and taught business law subjects at the New England School of Law and in other continuing education seminars.
John has enjoyed success in the courtroom, but most of his successes come from keeping his clients out of the courtroom.
John can often convince the company’s attorneys that the non-compete agreement is unenforceable for any number of reasons, and therefore the company risks sanctions for bringing a lawsuit that lacks a good faith basis in fact and law.
John Davis also consults with small to mid-size companies about what types of restrictive covenants, if any, are necessary and appropriate to protect a company’s legitimate business interests. Sometimes a non-compete is necessary because a company needs to protect proprietary information, trade secrets, or good will; however, sometimes a non-compete agreement is overkill and the company’s needs would be best served with a non-solicitation agreement, a non-disclosure agreement, or a confidentiality agreement, all of which are easier to enforce in the Massachusetts Superior Court.
Contact Us With Questions About Non-Solicitation Agreements
If you are an individual or a business owner with questions or concerns regarding non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, give Davis & Davis, P.C., a call today at 978-276-9051. You can also send us your information, and we will contact you.