PRESS YOUR LUCK (& your employment agreement)

I vaguely recall a game show from the 1980’s called Press your Luck. Something on the game show required contestants to press a button and I recall many older women jumping wildly screaming “no whammies no whammies no whammies.”
A whammy, was some kind of cartoon monster that made you lose a turn (and looked like this).

Anyway. I am beginning to think that show was really on to something.

Life always has risk. And so does working in your industry with a non-compete agreement from your prior employer.

When folks call here, I always provide advice on what they can and cannot do under the terms of their Agreement. I also explain the chances of their Agreement being upheld. Then I tell them they can always be sued, even if they are not breaching… but the chances of getting sued sure do increase if you breach the Agreement at issue.

Some clients, who don’t mind risk, ignore me and compete.

These individuals are pressing their luck, waiting to get through the non-compete statute of limitations without getting sued. Some succeed. Many do not.

Problem is, when they do get served with a lawsuit, cease and desist etc., (a Whammy) the question is really going to be “Why were you working for X? Didn’t you know it was a breach?”

And their only honest answer will be, “Well, I was hoping not to get caught.”

Sadly, judges and juries don’t like this. Not at all.

So please. Remember. Life is not a game show. Pressing your luck in the business, contract world is rarely advisable. And please get legal help so you don’t end up with a whammy.

Lauren Ellerman

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at