The enforceability of restrictive covenants, particularly non-compete agreements, can be very difficult for employers to navigate, especially for companies in their “start-up” phase. Technology companies in particular face challenges in
Continue Reading A Non-Compete Law Roadmap for Tech Start-Ups in Key Jurisdictions

As companies grow and expand into multiple U.S. states, particularly in our increasingly knowledge and relationship-based economy, determining the applicable law for companywide restrictive covenants can be puzzling. Determining which
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Clarifies and Complicates Choice of Law Analysis of Interstate Restrictive Covenants

Drafting an effective employment agreement or release has become a challenging endeavor for a new reason. In Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit added another source of concern to those employers who deploy “no re-hire” provisions in releases. Following Golden, a fact-intensive inquiry may be required into the particular provision to determine if it constitutes “a restraint of a substantial character,” — here, whether or not there was a restraint of a substantial character of Dr. Golden’s medical practice. And, given the Ninth Circuit’s reading of California law, Golden may also have implications well beyond the employment context, possibly extending to certain commercial contracts as well, to the extent they can be said to restrain anyone from engaging in a lawful profession, trade or business.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Broadens California Rule Against Non-Competes

In California, it is well established that non-compete provisions are unenforceable, subject to certain statutory exceptions. But what about non-compete provisions that are ambiguous as to their protection of confidential information or trade secrets? Recently, when faced with such a provision, one California federal court narrowly construed the provision to find it enforceable.
Continue Reading Are Restrictive Covenants Enforceable in California? It Depends.