The Mavrick Law Firm has successfully represented clients in many non-competition covenant cases. Most cases involved representing the new business, employer, and former employee threatened with a lawsuit. Non-competition covenants often can be successfully challenged on the grounds that they are invalid or overbroad.
Non-compete contracts contravene Florida’s general public and statutory policy encouraging free enterprise and competition. They are allowed as an exception to that policy under certain circumstances. They can be enforced lawfully and bar former employees from competing or working for a competitor. Whether a particular non-compete covenant is enforceable requires examination of the wording of the non-compete contract, the background and details of the employment relationship leading to the departure of the employee, and the legal basis for the non-competition contract under Florida statutory and case law. To learn about developments in Florida non-compete law, please click here.
Non-compete cases arise in several contexts. Former employers often file cases against former employees and their new employers alleging breach of non-competition covenants, and the Mavrick Law Firm has successfully defended the new business or new employer. These cases are often on short-notice and require a rapid understanding of the case facts and legal analysis and an appearance in court at a temporary injunction hearing on whether the court should order immediate closure of the new business or termination of the former employee by his or her new employer. Cases arise in other contexts too. Sometimes former employees have started their own business in competition with the former employer, and then they receive a threatening letter from a law firm demanding that the new business stop competing. Sometimes the former employer interferes with the business relationships of the new business formed by the former employees. The Mavrick Law Firm has successfully represented many start-up businesses by initiating litigation against the former employer and asking the court to determine that the non-competition contract is invalid and stop the interference with business relationships of the new business. Finally, The Mavrick Law Firm also has successfully represented employers by preparing non-competition contracts and enforcing non-competition contracts.How Non-Compete Cases Are Handled
Legal representation begins fundamentally with listening to the client. It is the client’s objective that needs to be satisfied. Attorney Peter Mavrick begins by reviewing the non-compete contract carefully along with any other related employment or business contracts. Mr. Mavrick meets with the client to ascertain all case facts and determine what further additional documents and witnesses will be needed or helpful to the representation. It is critical to the representation to understand the statutory and case law governing enforcement of non-competition contracts. Non-compete cases present mixed questions of facts and law. In many cases, non-compete contracts can be invalidated because other laws have been violated. For example, in a recent case in the health-care industry, Mr. Mavrick was able to prove violations of health-care and insurance statutes that invalidated the non-compete contract. In other cases, Mr. Mavrick was able to prove highly relevant violations of labor laws that invalidated the non-compete contract and formed the basis of a counterclaim. For this same reason, when Mr. Mavrick represents clients seeking to enforce non-compete contracts, he carefully examines the facts to ensure enforceability and then prepares the case to stop the unlawful competition.Sample Case Results
- Mr. Mavrick successfully defended a business and its owner in a lawsuit alleging breach of a non-competition covenant. At the end of the case, the non-competition covenant was invalidated and Mr. Mavrick’s client was reimbursed its legal expense.
- Represented company and its owners sued by former employer corporation for breach of non-competition contract and hiring an employee of the former employer. At end of the emergency hearing the former employer set with the Judge to obtain a temporary injunction against my clients, the Judge indicated that he would rule in favor of my clients and invalidate the non-competition contract. The case later settled where the former employer corporation paid my clients’ fees and costs and an additional amount as damages.
- Represented company and its owner who were sued by former employer corporation for breach of non-competition contract and theft of trade secrets. My client counterclaimed. While motions were pending with the Judge, the former employer corporation settled by dismissing its case, agreeing in writing that its non-competition contact was invalid and that no trade secrets were ever stolen by my clients, and reimbursing the attorney’s fees and costs of my clients.
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