I love reading about cases involving partnerships and employment law. It’s the best of both worlds; commercial law and employment law. What happens when one partner leaves the partnership and takes some – maybe a lot – of the partnership’s clients? A fight, that’s what happens.
And we had a good one in a recent Connecticut Appellate Court opinion. Judge William Bright, one of the newer appellate judges, wrote this one, and did a fine job. Judge Bright litigated a lot of these types of cases and it shows.
Yes, there is, but not when compared to the loyalty of a pet. So what can you do if you discover a seriously disloyal employee? Even if you do not have a written agreement with the employee such as a non-compete agreement or non-solicit agreement (you can read up on these here), you can still protect your business from an employee that competes with you behind your back.
Why do companies have some employees sign noncompetition agreements and nonsolicitation agreements? Well, it's simple. So they can protect their business, its goodwill, income, the business owners' livelihood, and all of things that make the business valuable.
Businesses now have a good case to support recovery of attorney's fees just for scrambling to court to keep a former employee from violating a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement, even if the company has suffered no other harm. You can catch up on non-competition agreements by reading this.
I blogged last month here about a recent Connecticut Superior Court case, which showcased some typical issues with non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. Another interesting part of the decision that caught my attention was the court's discussion about the interplay between two Connecticut statutes: CUTPA and CUTSA (don't you love acronyms).
You want a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement your company can enforce, right? Stupid question, you say. Well, companies need to analyze the language in their contracts if that's their goal (some agreements I've seen make me doubt what the company's goal was, as if simply having something signed protected them.)