Should I reply to "non-compete violation" letter myself or hire an attorney?

I was an employee of a software consulting firm A and was placed as a consultant on firm B for a few months. I was subsequently taken out of B and placed at another client C due to a better rate. After the assignment at C ended, I applied for a job in firm B and was accepted. I resigned from A and joined B.

B is not a software consulting firm. It is a manufacturing firm. The work I am doing at B is totally different from the work I did as a consultant at A. There is no non-compete agreement between A and B.

Now, my former employer A, has sent me a letter stating that I am in violation of the non-compete which was part of my employment agreement. They have asked for monetary compensation for damages.

The non-compete agreement that I signed is only applicable if I do something that is competitive with the services provided by A. To be specific, it would be only applicable if I join another consulting firm and am placed by that consulting firm at B, thereby depriving A of business. That is clearly not applicable in this case.

Now, the question I have is: should I reply to this letter myself or should I hire an attorney? Should I rather wait and see if A initiates any legal action before I hire an attorney? I am trying to minimize my expenses because the non-compete is clearly not applicable in this case.
I have already asked attorneys at B to reply to this letter. But they would be writing on behalf of B and not representing me.
What would it cost for an attorney to draft a response letter on my behalf?


1 answer  |  asked Mar 9, 2011 09:50 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Unlock Non-Compete Agreements: Keys to Escape

Answers (1)

Bruce Elfvin
The short answer is get an employment attorney to respond to the letter. You can only dig your own holes to fall into. The attorney can test the resolve of Company A without picking a fight that you will not be able to avoid if you do the response. Hiring counsel now will allow you to shape your response while preserving defenses to any claims.

You can select an employment attorney near you at:

posted by Bruce Elfvin  |  Mar 9, 2011 11:06 AM [EST]

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