Because non-compete agreements by their nature conflict with the “natural and inherent” right of individuals to pursue their livelihoods and with the right of the “general public . . . to have the energy, industry, skill and talents of all individuals freely offered upon the market,” they are closely scrutinized and narrowly enforced by Maryland's courts . . .
Furthermore, to be enforceable a non-compete agreement must protect a legitimate interest. With regard to salespeople generally the only legitimate interest is preventing a former employee from using a list of unique customers. Non-competition agreements are not enforceable against a relatively unskilled worker who does not actually solicit his or her former employer’s customers. . .
Friday, July 20, 2007
A Non-Compete Success Story
I recently defended an individual salesperson accused of violating a non-compete agreement. (The individual, the companies involved, and the result are confidential.) What I believe played a major role in the favorable result was establishing who can and who cannot be subject to a non-compete in Maryland. Here are two paragraphs (slightly modified) from the papers in the case: