Can I help clients I used to assist when working for my former employer?

This is sort of a follow-up concerning my last question:

I signed a non-compete agreement with a former employer. No where in the agreement does it say I cannot start my own company.

First paragraph simply states I cannot work in a competitive fashion while emplyed for the company.

Second is more complicated and where I need some clarification:

"Employee must agree that, in the vent that his/her employment terminates for any reason, for a 2 year period, the employee will not, directly, or indirectly, either for himself/herself or through any kind of ownership as a director, agent, employee, or consultant, for any other person or firm, or corporation, call on, solicit, take away, or cause the loss of clients of TKS on whom the employee called or with whom he/she became acquainted during his/her employment immedicately preceeding the termination of eomployment.

It is expressly agreed and understood that the remedy at law for breach of covenant is inadequate and that injunctive relief shall be available to prevent the breach thereof."

I have since started my own company and was wondering if I am allowed to advertise to his target audience? Such as, placing flyers in the local newspaper? I have no desire to call up clients from his known customer lists.

Also, if one of his customers comes to me without any solicitation on my part, can I do work for that customer?

Paragraph 3 states I won't use information (such as client list, technical data, and partnerships) about the former company and/or reveal that information to a competitor.

No where does it say after my employment is terminated I cannot work for myself or a competitor...

Is it assumed I am not allowed to work for a competitor or would it have to say it in some form on the agreement?

2 answers  |  asked Dec 20, 2011 12:41 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Scott Leah
As noted in my previous answer, I really would need to see the agreement in order to advise you. Please contact me at the number I gave you and I would be happy to discuss with you.

posted by Scott Leah  |  Dec 20, 2011 1:03 PM [EST]
Christopher Ezold
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, upon seeing the partial language from the document, it appears that you can work in a competitive fashion, but cannot work for your former employer's customers (to the extent that you provided services to them on the employer's behalf, or know about them from your employment). If a customer decides not to work with your former employer for reasons unrelated to you, then it is likely that you can work for them.

This economy has caused a number of employers to be quick on the draw when it comes to noncompete litigation, so I'd stay well on the bright side of the line. You should have the document and your specific factual circumstances reviewed by an attorney.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Dec 20, 2011 12:51 PM [EST]

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