PLEASE NOTE: EVERY CASE IS UNIQUE AND DEPENDS ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS, INCLUDING THE FACTS, PARTIES, ISSUES, AND JURISDICTION. ALTHOUGH FRITH & ELLERMAN LAW FIRM, P.C. WAS SUCCESSFUL IN THESE CASES, WE CANNOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT ON ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY OUR FIRM.
Human Resources Executive Wins Non-Compete Case Against Employer
Our client, a successful recruiter, was sued in 2008 for over $300,000 in alleged damages by her prior employer. The employer said she breached her contract and non-compete when she started her own recruiting business within a 50-mile radius of her old office. In addition, it was alleged she misappropriated trade secret information and proprietary information.
As the contract required arbitration, the case was heard and decided by an arbitrator rather than the local circuit court. The contract was held to be an unreasonable restriction on our client’s right to make a living as well as being overly broad and not limited to protect the employer’s legitimate business interest. Lastly, the arbitrator held the franchise owner failed to show proof of financial loss. Legally speaking, this means he could not provide he suffered damages as a result of the employee’s actions.
Our client kept her new job and paid nothing to her former employer.
Virginia Judge Holds Non-Compete Contract Unenforceable
On September 28, 2008, Judge Grubbs of the Floyd County Circuit Court held that a five-year, non-compete agreement was an unreasonable restriction on employee’s right to earn a living. Although the court did not rule whether the 90 mile geographic scope was reasonable, the court held the employer failed to meet his burden of proof. Basically, he lacked evidence to support his claim that the restriction was reasonable. Without any proof that five years was necessary to protect the employer’s business interest, the court struck down the agreement as unreasonable and under Virginia law, unenforceable.
Here is the citation to the case: Ridgerunner, LLC v. Pace, Floyd Co. CL08-07-00 (2008).
Northern Virginia Trade Secret Lawsuit Favorably Resolved
Sometimes a win for a client means having a lawsuit dropped or a settlement reached. Dan and Lauren defended a 200-paragraph, ten-count lawsuit filed in Northern Virginia on behalf of an ex-employee. The lawsuit sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and alleged intentional acts were committed by the employee to damage the reputation of his prior company.
Not only is our client satisfied with the result, but he was able to participate in the terms of settlement rather than have a local jury decide if he was liable. Terms of settlement are confidential by agreement.