I was a divorce attorney for years. Sad as it is for me to admit it, non-compete litigation reminds me a great deal of domestic law.

Two people, who used to have mutual respect for one another, bound in a single goal / partnership, now do not trust a single word the other utters. Good will, is over. Revenge and making the other side feel your pain is the new daily goal.

And with that evolving goal to make someone suffer, comes a love for Internet stalking.

If and EHarmony are ways to stalk your ex- in the dating world, LinkedIn is the same for the business community.

Is she dating already?
Is he working for the competition?
Is she stealing our customers?
Are more of our vendors linked to her than I?

Sometimes all you need is the help of Google to find the answers every stalker wants to know.

And so my advice to newly separated couples, those in love or employment is simply:

I don’t care if you want customers to know about your new job… or that you are being invited to link to your new colleagues. Just don’t do it. Take an Internet vacation for a few months. No updates. No status changes. No posts. No new connections. No Internet updates on your life, Period.

More and More I am seeing suspicious employers assume ex-employees are in breach of an agreement, only for the rumor to be confirmed online. Or, a seemingly harmless enterprise looks bad and competition like because it appeared in your inbox the same day someone left your employ.

So please. For those newly separated, in marriage or in business, consider whether you really want the whole world to read what you just posted. And consider if it is worth the risk.

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