I have been working for the same company for 8 years. After being hired, on my first day they had me sign a non-compete agreement. The agreement has many flaws that would make the agreement invalid. A lawyer has looked at it and his response was that he would not be afraid to go to court against this agreement. I work for a software company and because of my experience on our particular package, if I was to leave I would be limited to going to work for one of our customers if I wanted to utilize my expertise. Several of my co-workers and myself disagree with the direction the company is going and wish to form our own company which would directly compete with our current employer. Our fear is that even if the non-compete agreement will in the end be ruled invalid, is there the possibility that our current employer could get a ruling that would prevent us from doing business until the validity of the non-compete agreement has been settled. If they are able to shut us down for a 6 months to a year we would probable have a hard time surviving.

2 answers  |  asked Jun 17, 2003 09:41 AM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (2)

Margaret A. Harris
Explore Agreement Now

You are right to be concerned about how your plans could be put on hold during litigation. Have you heard the phrase, "You can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride?" Sounds like you have. I suggest that first you get legal advice. Then, I suggest some up front negotiations with your employer. Almost all cases settle -- eventually. The trick is to try to avoid litigation by making all good faith efforts to resolve the matter now. I doubt that, when asked to think about it, your current employer would want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on litigation either.

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Jun 17, 2003 10:09 AM [EST]
Trey Henderson

You need to seek the opinion of an attorney. There is not a simple answer to your question. If the company pursues the non-compete, it will probably seek a temporary restraining order to prevent you from competing in the short term. You need an attorney opinion on the odds of this being successful.

posted by Trey Henderson  |  Jun 17, 2003 09:48 AM [EST]

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