When you are asked to sign a non-compete (or flip side if you ask your staff to sign a non-compete) consider what state you want to govern the contract. I have had folks call me from Washington State with contracts that had Virginia Choice of law provisions, and Virginia employees call with Michigan, North Carolina, etc.

Most contracts contain the language CHOICE OF LAW PROVISION or will state something like “The laws of Virginia will govern this contract.” That matters, because every state is different when it comes to Non-competes. It also matters, because you may be less likely to break a non-compete in Oregon, if you know the litigation will occur in Virginia – or vice a versa, if you have a favorable choice of law state, then you may be able to gamble.

The bottom line is each state is different, so find an attorney in the state where the contract is governed, and ask them….

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