RELENT – RELAX – RELEASE 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

Do you remember that scene in Steve Martin’s Father of the Bride remake when Steve is meeting the inlaw’s at their Beverly Hills mansion and is screaming at the two growling dobermans – “Relent, Relax, Release?” Of course you don’t. Anyway, watch the movie and you will know where I am going.

Stevo doesn’t know which word will get the dogs to back down but he knows there is one word they will respond to.

Non-competes are very similar. Sometimes, what you name something will effect the response you get.

You ask your employer for a Release from your non-compete, and they may say no, and explain why it is so important you not compete.

Or, you could take a less aggressive approach, tell the employer where you are going and if it is not really competition, you could ask them to let you work at that firm – but keep the non-compete in place. No release – just turning a blind eye.

Even better, you could tell them you will be happy to not breach the release, but would like to give them a little something for their troubles and offer a buyout. Still not a “Release” but everyone wins.

Only you know your employer and what word, what approach will help in this circumstances. When you call our firm to discuss your non-compete, also share details about the personalities on the otherside. Afterall, the right word or name and you may be able to move on.

About the author

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

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