Howard County Non-Compete Agreements Lawyer
While courts may not always enforce the provisions of a non-compete agreement in Howard County, it is still crucial to understand the terms of such a contract before signing one. In addition, it may be a good idea to retain qualified legal counsel to help determine the enforceability of your agreement under your circumstances.
A Howard County non-compete agreements lawyer could help explain the terms of your agreement and negotiate more favorable terms if necessary. One of our skilled employment attorneys at the Spiggle Law Firm could also help you contest the applicability of an unfair or unreasonable non-compete agreement.
The Advantages of Consulting an Attorney Before Signing
While reading a document thoroughly before signing it is always good practice, it may not yield the clarity you need to make an educated decision about signing. In particular, this is often the case for non-compete clauses and agreements.
A consultation with a dedicated Howard County non-compete agreements attorney could help you understand what you are being asked to agree to and provide you with examples of how these agreements have been enforced, as well as the potential long-term consequences. Consulting our lawyers before signing could also provide an opportunity to negotiate terms that are fair to both parties and include provisions that work for everyone involved.
Determining Enforceability of a Non-Compete Clause
Enforceability of the terms of a non-compete clause is determined on a case-by-case basis by the courts, which typically seek to balance the needs of the parties involved. Employers have a right to protect trade secrets and legitimate business interests, but employees have a right to earn a living in the fields they have trained for and gained experience in.
Courts may look at the geographic scope and duration of an agreement to determine whether it is reasonable or overly restrictive, and they are usually less likely to enforce an agreement that is drawn in very broad terms. For example, a seasoned non-compete agreements lawyer in Howard County would understand that a restriction against working for a competitor in adjoining counties would be more enforceable than a restriction against working for competitor anywhere in the country.
If there is no geographic area or duration specified in the agreement, that could be deemed as an overly broad restriction and ultimately unenforceable. Additionally, the courts may consider whether an agreement is necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests, such as trade secrets and customer relationships.
Enforcing a Non-Compete Agreement
If an employer takes a former employee to court to enforce a non-compete agreement and the court finds the terms enforceable, the employer may seek various remedies against the employee. The agreement itself usually specifies damages the employee may be required to pay in the event of a breach of contract.
Besides monetary damages, an employer may seek an injunction against an employee. However, the court may not enforce a damage clause if the amount is so great that it may be considered a penalty rather than reasonable compensation for unfair competition.
Talk to a Howard County Non-Compete Agreements Attorney
Given the competitive atmosphere of modern business, non-compete agreements are not likely to go away any time soon. It is wise for those dealing with non-compete agreements to enlist the help of an experienced attorney so they can understand as much as possible about when and how these agreements may be enforced.
Representation from a knowledgeable Howard County non-compete agreements lawyer could enable you to negotiate terms that may prevent difficulties in the future, give you information about the potential enforcement of an agreement you have already signed, and protect your rights and interests if you are engaged in a legal action involving a non-compete agreement. Call the Spiggle Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and learn more.