Is this covenant not to compete considered unreasonable?

I am a veterinarian and was employed for more than three years before being fired. The reason for firing was because I told my boss I was opening my own practice in 6 months. My non compete clause states that I cannot practice within five miles of his clinic for one year, which I am not. But it also states that I cannot practice veterinary medicine on any current patient of his clinic for that same time period. So basically if a current patient of my former employer walks through my door, do I have to turn them away or does this infringe on the public's right to choose a veterinarian?

2 answers  |  asked Jan 31, 2010 07:01 AM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

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Answers (2)

Archibald Thomas
If your agreement only prohibits solicitation of your former employer's patients, you may be okay if they came to you in the absence of any solicitation, but the language you quoted indicates a broader prohibition than just non-solicitation. This can be problematic for you and may prevent you from performing any services for the one year period.

posted by Archibald Thomas  |  Jan 31, 2010 7:16 PM [EST]
David Goldman
You question deals with the non-solicitation portion of your non-compete agreement. Generally non-solicitation agreements are easier to uphold than non-compete agreements. You need to have your document reviewed by a Florida Non-compete lawyer to see how the terms are defined and what must be in the circumstances you describe.

It sounds like that if they were a "current patient of his clinic" then you would not be able to service them. At times these agreements are not valid because the other party may have breached their agreements to you.

David Goldman
Apple Law Firm PLLC
331 East Monroe Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Tel (904) 685-1200 Fax (904) 212-0678

posted by David Goldman  |  Jan 31, 2010 07:49 AM [EST]

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