Let’s be clear, I represent employees, not companies in non-compete contract disputes. I also help employees defend themselves against Trade Secret, Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Duty claims etc.

I think as a general principal that non-competes stifle healthy competition…. but Trade Secrets, those are a different matter. Please, dear employee, take my advice: When you leave a company, Virginia Company Inc. LLC, you shouldn’t download client lists. Even if your new company could use them, such an act is clearly in violation of Virginia law. Don’t do it. Don’t even think about doing it. Just don’t.

Nor should you tell all of your old clients you are leaving and ask then to go too… This type of behavior leads to litigation.

Now, why is litigation bad? Because it costs you money and time you probably don’t have.

To defend a breach of contract / Virginia Trade Secret action in Court, could take 1-2 years, and cost you $40,000 in attorneys fees.

Do you have $40,000? Not to mention the fact that Virginia Company Inc. LLC could win and prove you took stuff that was valuable. Then you owe more money – lots of money.

So, the simple lesson here is think before you download, email, or blab about your new job. An ounce of precaution is worth a pound of cure as they say.

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