Maryland Non-Solicitation Agreements Lawyer
To prevent employees from taking advantage of their relationships, many employers insist their employees sign non-solicitation agreements. Non-solicitation agreements are drafted to prevent employees from using their knowledge of an employer’s proprietary and confidential information to solicit their clients and employees. These agreements are widely used in the sales and services industries.
A Maryland non-solicitation agreement lawyer knows how to handle these contracts. We have several years of experience helping people who need to prepare a non-solicitation agreement as well as people considering whether to sign one. When necessary, the experienced lawyers at the Spiggle Law Firm can also assist those who wish to enforce or contest an existing non-solicitation agreement.
The Scope of a Non-Solicitation Agreement
The terms contained within a non-solicitation agreement may fundamentally determine its scope. Although all agreements to not solicit serve a similar purpose, precise terms may vary among contracts. Most non-solicitation agreements contain provisions regarding how long the agreement may remain enforceable.
The terms of a non-solicitation agreement may or may not be enforceable as they are drafted. The enforcement of non-solicitation agreements in Maryland is similar to the enforcement of other covenants not to compete including non-disclosure agreements and non-compete agreements. The court generally disfavors agreements that restrict trade and commerce and may not enforce unreasonable non-solicitation agreements.
The enforceability of non-solicitation agreements is very fact specific. To be enforceable, non-solicitation agreements in Maryland must be valid employment contracts that are reasonable to protect the employer’s business and consistent with public policy. If the court finds that a non-solicitation agreement may be unduly burdensome to the employee or is not necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interest, it may be invalidated.
Direct and Indirect Solicitation
Direct solicitations include communications intended to solicit business. Non-solicitation agreements may define prohibited communications as oral, regular mail, electronic mail, phone, fax, or communication through social media.
Indirect solicitation can be any form of solicitation other than directly asking someone for their business. Indirect solicitation may be more difficult to identify and prove than direct solicitation. If an employee caters to a client by publicly donating to a charity or cause they support this could be construed as solicitation. Indirect solicitation may also include putting out a general advertisement or announcing a new business to the public. Although it is not targeted toward any one client, it may violate a non-solicitation agreement.
Other Ways to Violate an Agreement in Maryland
While most people think of solicitation as applying to clients of an employer, it may also include soliciting other employees. When an employee leaves their employer and tries to take their team or assistants with them, this may violate a non-solicitation agreement.
Issues often arise when clients or employees voluntarily elect to leave an employer to do business with an employee who leaves the organization. Establishing solicitation in this situation may be difficult. A Maryland non-solicitation agreements attorney could help answer your ask questions about if your situation violates an agreement.
Injunctions to Enforce Agreements
If an employer believes an employee or former employee violated the terms of a non-solicitation agreement, they may seek an injunction. Injunctions may be temporary or permanent and may require an individual to stop what they are doing. Damages may also be available in addition to an injunction.
Consult with a Maryland Non-Solicitation Agreement Attorney Today
You want to make sure you are in the best position possible before signing any contract. Prior to entering into a non-solicitation agreement, you may want to consult with a lawyer. An attorney may be able to negotiate on your behalf to make the terms more favorable to you prior to your signing.
You should not assume that a non-solicitation is invalid. More likely than not, it may be enforceable fully or at least partially. Our Maryland non-solicitation agreement lawyers can advise you regarding your rights and obligations in your situation. To find out how much your non-solicitation agreement case could be worth, click here for our Case Assessment Calculator. To learn more about how the Spiggle Law Firm may be able to help you, speak with us.