Signing-Contract.jpgCompanies commonly rely on non-compete restrictions to protect their competitive business interests. But if such post-employment restrictions are not properly drafted, those agreements may not be enforceable if challenged in court.

Overview of Non-compete Restrictions

Briefly, non-competition restrictions prohibit an employee from going to work for a competitor of a former employer. Such post-employment restrictions

noncompete agreementAbraham Lincoln once noted that if he had six hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first four sharpening the axe. For employers, that sort of up-front attention to details is especially important when it comes to non-compete agreements. Otherwise, as a recent Michigan Court of Appeals illustrates, the only thing likely

Non-compete agreementSticking feathers up your butt, does not make you a chicken.

Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Under Michigan law, one required element for having an enforceable non-compete agreement is a “reasonable competitive business interest.” But, like the chicken quote, business owners can’t expect to just stick the phrase “reasonable competitive business interest” into an

JokerOne of the most common questions I get asked by both business clients and individuals is whether their non-compete agreement is enforceable. As explained below, a number of points will determine the answer, but none are more important than what essentially amounts to a “wild card” — the judge deciding your case.

Attorney Brett Snider

Trade secret protectionTrade secret theft continues to be a major concern (or it should be) for businesses. And the numbers back up this conclusion; In an article by  by Will Yakowicz, appearing in Inc., “How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Trade Secret Theft,” it’s noted that:

Criminal theft of corporate trade secrets is reaching epidemic levels, experts say … the number of trade secret cases in U.S. federal courts doubled between 1988 and 1995, doubled again from 1995 to 2004, and is projected to double again by 2017.

Mr. Yakowicz’s article goes on to provide business owners with great advice on how to reduce trade secret thefts in your business. Having recently wrapped a trade secret misappropriation trial filed in Michigan state court, I can definitely say that the article is worth reading and the recommendations should be meaningfully considered by any business with information worth protecting.

What happens when a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit falls apart.

For background purposes, I represented a company and its executives who were sued for claims involving trade secret misappropriation, breach of a non-compete agreement, and other business related claims. One problem with any sort of lawsuit is that often times the facts get in the way.

This became clear as two days after the trial began, the lawsuit settled on terms very favorable to my clients (Plaintiff had requested over $860,000 at Michigan’s case evaluation procedure, which resulted in the evaluation panel awarding $175,000 against my clients). However, the parties settled the lawsuit for $8,500.00 payable over time.


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Key.jpgA recent Michigan trial court decision from the Oakland County Circuit Court illustrates the significance that noncompete agreements can have for employers and individuals who sign such agreements. 

Specifically, Crain’s Detroit Business reported that an Oakland County Circuit court entered a judgment in excess of $2 million against Matt Prentice, a former employee and a well-known Metro

Stone Balanced.jpg

In a previous post (Noncompete Agreements – A Hurdle to Employment and Innovation?), we discussed research that suggested noncompete agreements hinder innovation.

Expanding on why innovation is hindered, in any context in which a noncompete agreement is entered into e.g., an employment relationship, a founder whose start-up is being acquired, or an owner selling his