Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Non-Compete Agreements - A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Philadelphia Area Employment Lawyer Experienced in Fighting Non-Competition Agreements With Offices in Paoli, Exton, Radnor, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting and Center City

At the Gallagher Law Group, we represent only employees with workplace rights issues. Call 610-647-5027, e-mail me directly or send an e-mail inquiry via the "Fill Out My Form" box to the upper right of this page. We will respond promptly with an analysis of your situation, and discuss potential options going forward at no cost to you.

If you need an Experienced Non-Compete Attorney to help you, John A. Gallagher has been practicing Employment Law in Pennsylvania since 1991. You may also visit our Website for more information about our Firm..

What Should I Look or in my Non-Competition Agreement?

A few simple starting points. (we will be discussing additional principles in the future; for past blogs on non-competition agreements, just use the Search bar to the right). 

First, you need to know what state's law will govern its enforceability.  This is usually found near the end of the agreement; often times, it will be the law of the home office of the company.  Every state has different laws regarding non-compete agreements, so this is a critical starting point.

Second, you need to know where any litigation arising out of the non-compete will be held.  This is usually located in the same paragraph as the "choice of law" provision discussed above.  Often, the forum for any litigation will be in the county in which the home office of the employer is located.

Since most non-compete agreements require you to consent both to the law governing the agreement and the location where any dispute will be fought, these are important starting points to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your position.  Being sued in Chicago, and having your dispute governed by Illinois law, is a lot different to being sued in Montgomery County under Pennsylvania law!  

Third, you want to know if the prevailing party in any case will be awarded their legal fees.  Somewhere in the agreement, this is usually discussed.  There are three possibilities: 1) if there is no language about attorney fees, then each party pays its own fees, win or lose; 2) if the language says that you pay the attorney fees of the company if it prevails in any litigation against you, that will be the way it goes - you pay your own fees no matter what, and pay your ex-employer's fees if they win the case; or, 3) if the language says that the "prevailing party" in any litigation pays the other side's legal fees then, if you win, the other side must pay for your fees, and vice versa.  The latter scenario is the one that provides the greatest potential disincentive to an employer that is thinking of suing you in a "close case."

Labor Lawyer Specializing in Non-Compete Contracts Serving Employees in Locations Such as Paoli, Malvern, West Chester, Downingtown, Phoenixville, Norristown, Lansdale, Collegeville, Pottstown, Media, Newtown Square, Radnor, Villanova, Wayne and Surrounding Areas

We regularly counsel employees on complicated and important employment-related issues. Few things are more important than our job. If you have questions about your job, call us today and we will spend some time speaking with you about it at no cost to you. If we believe we can be helpful, we will discuss options for proceeding further on your behalf.

No comments: