Judges are humans, and most humans don’t usually like jerks.
There is a recent case out of Fairfax County Virginia where a former employee and shareholder of a company, formed a competing business while still employed by his original company.
Do you hear what I am saying?
He had a non-compete. A shareholder agreement (likely). He also knew about this fiduciary duty thing where you cannot intentionally take business away from your employer for self-gain.
And when he formed this competing business, while still collecting salary and dividends from the other business, despite legal and contractual duties not to, the judge found he had to pay actual damages (meaning the amount reflective of the harm he caused) and punitive damages (meaning an amount calculated to be a punishment and discourage this type of future behavior).
See what I mean about judges being human? Spiteful breaches of agreements are not welcome in Virginia courts. No judge is going to let you slip past with that kind of stuff.
So friends, employees, future clients – lend me your ears:
DO NOT START A COMPETING BUSINESS WHILE EMPLOYED
DO NOT BAD MOUTH YOUR EMPLOYERS
DO NOT BE SPITEFUL AND JERKY
Because judges are humans too – and don’t like jerks.