Arizona Lawyers for Drafting & Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements
Top-Rated Non-Compete Lawyers in Arizona
A company seeking out a non-compete attorney is either looking to have a non-compete drafted or enforced. At Denton Peterson PC we have in-depth experience with both. We are skilled in providing you with non-compete agreements, coupled with non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements, that will protect your valuable business interests from the inappropriate actions of current and past employees.
Law Firm For Non-Compete Agreements & Non Competition Clauses In Contracts
The reason to have Denton Peterson PC draft your non-compete agreement is simple. Too often, litigation arises from non-compete agreements because the non-compete was poorly drafted and is potentially unenforceable. This happens when companies use standard non-compete forms they have found online or when they ask a lawyer friend that doesn’t have experience with non-compete law to help them in order to save time and money. By buying an online form or using an untrained non-compete lawyer, you end up purchasing the “product” but you do not get the situation specific “advice” that a Denton Peterson PC non-compete attorney would provide to you. Court decisions regarding non-compete disputes have shown time and again the importance of drafting a non-compete agreement that is specific to each situation. If you fail to follow this advice, it is only a matter of time until that ends poorly.
Legal Advice For Making Non-Compete Agreements That Are Enforceable
To be enforceable, a non-compete agreement needs three things:
- a reasonable limitation on the type of work an employee can perform;
- a reasonable geographic limitation; and,
- a reasonable time limitation.
Too often, companies attempt to make the non-compete cover too big of a geographic area, make it last too long and make it cover job descriptions outside that of the employee. For example, if Bill is a manager for ABC Company that is in the business of selling high-end shoes online, then what would an appropriate non-compete agreement look like for Bill.
Let’s walk through the steps:
- “a reasonable limitation on the type of work an employee can perform” – This has two facets: 1) what is the company’s business and 2) what is Bill’s specific job (is he the manager of I.T., of sales, of production)? Companies get into trouble when they try to utilize a non-compete to restrict an employee from doing anything that is in competition with any part of the company’s business rather than limiting it to restricting the employee from engaging in activities related to the specific function they performed within the company.
- “a reasonable geographic limitation” – The question here is what is the geographic reach of the company and what part does Bill’s managerial position play in that? If the company is online, then it may be reasonable to restrict Bill from competing worldwide or nationwide.
- “a reasonable time limitation” – The question to ask here is how long would it take for the company to replace Bill and to isolate Bill from the company’s personnel/clients?
If any one of the three non-compete restrictions are too broad, then the non-compete agreement can be uncertain or even unenforceable. This can lead to costly litigation.
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Attorneys For Enforcing And Litigating Non-Compete Agreements & Clauses In AZ
As to enforcing a non-compete agreements, employees sometimes engage in activities that violate their non-compete agreement either knowingly or unknowingly. If you have a clear enforceable non-compete agreement, then you will feel confident in spending the money and time to enforce it. Even if you are unsure about your non-compete agreements, sometimes a company must take steps to protect its legitimate business interests. The steps to enforcing a non-compete agreement are simple:
- Make sure you have a signed copy of the non-compete agreement;
- get the document reviewed by an Arizona non-compete attorney;
- send a cease and desist letter to the employee demanding that they stop the violating behavior;
- at doesn’t work, then you will be forced to file a lawsuit and a corresponding request that the court take immediate action to temporarily stop the employee’s violation (this is called a Temporary Restraining Order); and,
- finally, you will ask the court to set a hearing quickly to order the employee to permanently cease their wrongful conduct (called a Preliminary Injunction).
With a properly drafted non-compete agreement, like the ones drafted at Denton Peterson PC, you will also be able to recover your attorneys’ fees when you prevail in the case.
A Final Word On Contracts To Limit Employees Competition
At Denton Peterson Dunn, PLLC we have extensive experience handling both the drafting and the enforcement of non-compete agreements. Let us help you protect your business with enforceable non-compete agreements from drafting them to litigating them.