Non-Compete Agreements

Posted on : March 31, 2015

An Arlington Business Attorney on Non-Compete Agreements

Beginning a new job is a time of optimism and excitement for most, and the last thing under consideration is what happens if the opportunity doesn’t work out. However, if the employer requires the new hire to sign a non-compete agreement before he or she can start work, it is important to understand the ramifications of signing that agreement when the employment relationship ultimately ends.

Initial Considerations

Generally speaking, Virginia law disfavors restrictions on trade, and thus, restrictions on competition are subject to close scrutiny by the courts. Nonetheless, many employers include such non-compete agreements as part of an employment contract or as a stand-alone document. Typically, by signing the agreement, the employee agrees not to work for a competitor of the employer for a certain period of time post-employment.

Violating the Agreement

If the employee does subsequently gain employment with a competitor, the former employer may seek a legal remedy by filing a lawsuit against the individual for breach of contract and also against the new employer for tortious interference. In some cases, the new employer will simply terminate the employee rather than risk the uncertainty of litigation.

Reasonableness

If the case is litigated, the courts will generally look to the reasonableness of the non-compete agreement. Recognizing that there are legitimate interests of the employer to protect such as client lists and specialized information, an agreement that is limited in duration and geographic area may be enforceable by the court. The specific facts of each case are important in the court’s analysis.

Contact an Arlington Business Attorney for Legal Advice

It is best to fully understand the implications of an employment agreement before you enter into it. If you have already signed one that includes post-employment restrictions, you should consult with counsel before you leave the job. For any questions, call Schleifman Law, PLC, an Arlington business lawyer, at 703-528-1021.

Risks of Electronic Communication

Posted on : March 14, 2015

Washington D.C. business lawyers are accustomed to sifting through emails, text messages and other electronic communications. Therefore, they know the dangers of these types of communications. Here are a few key rules to be informed of before litigating your case.

Electronic Communications Are Forever

Washington D.C. business lawyers can warn you that electronic messages are often permanent. This includes digitalized communications like emails and also audio recordings such as voicemails. Even if a person deletes the communications from his or her own server or account, there are generally other servers that still hold this information. One way that these types of communications live in perpetuity is when they are sent or forwarded to multiple individuals.

Someone Is Watching

In many cases, a party’s case is unraveled due to someone sifting through his or her messages. The culprit may be a disgruntled employee or a partner who is wanting to take over.

Innocent Messages Can Still Harm You

Washington D.C. civil litigation lawyers can warn you that even innocent messages can harm you if they are taken out of context. When a person writes an email or text, he or she may have only one fact scenario in mind. However, messages can be misconstrued to apply to a completely different scenario. Before sending a message, a party may want to consider picturing being on the witness stand months or years after the fact. He or she may envision having to explain what the specific words in the message meant and the surrounding circumstances. Business lawyers may recommend keeping electronic communication to a minimum if there is the slightest risk of litigation or a message being misconstrued.

Legal Assistance

If you would like more information about other risks of electronic communications, contact Schleifman Law, PLC for assistance. Call (703) 528-1021 at your convenience.

All About Consideration

Posted on : March 9, 2015

An Arlington business lawyer can explain the various terms that may affect your business contract. One such term that is of grave importance is “consideration.”

Definition

Consideration is something of value that can be transferred in exchange for something else of value. An Arlington business lawyer can explain that this may be something tangible or intangible. For example, it may be a promise made by one party for a promise by the other party. This is sometimes explained as being something of benefit to the recipient or something of detriment to the person giving the consideration.

Legal Requirement

In order for a contract to be enforceable, there must be consideration by both parties. After the contract is executed, the item or promise of value must be exchanged. A contract is not enforceable if it is made only out of goodwill. For example, if one person has done many nice things for another person and the recipient promises to give him a large sum of money, this “contract” is not enforceable because the two things were not exchanged for each other. The first person did nice things out of goodwill and not for compensation.

Mutual Agreement

Additionally, an Arlington contract attorney can point out that the consideration that is offered by both parties must be agreed upon by both of them. This is usually explained under the legal terms of “offer” and “acceptance.”

Modifications

If a party modifies the contract, new consideration is usually required. Therefore, if one party unilaterally changed the contract and did not provide something of value to the other party, such a modification would not be enforceable by law.

Legal Assistance

If you would like to learn more about consideration and if there was technically any consideration in your case, contact Schleifman Law, PLC by calling (703) 528-1021.

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