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A court properly held a non-competition clause in an employment contract to be unreasonable and over-broad

Holding that the noncompetition clause in the plaintiff-employer's employee handbook was unreasonable, the court limited the injunction against "'obtaining employment, either directly or indirectly, from any current or previously contracted client of [plaintiff]'" to a period of 12 months, but did not impose a geographical limitation. Plaintiff sued the defendant-former employee for breach of contract based on noncompetition provisions in its employee handbook and her employment agreement, alleging she violated the terms of the provisions "by performing medical billing out of her home, by contacting and soliciting the business of plaintiff's clients, by performing 'medical billing for one of [p]laintiff's current clients,' by employing one or two former employees of plaintiff, and by inducing others to terminate their employment with plaintiff." The trial court enjoined defendant from "(1) 'engaging in any conduct . . . competitive with a service provided by Plaintiff . . . within 50 miles of Plaintiff's principal place of business . . . for a period of one year' from the entry of the" interim order, and "(2) 'from obtaining employment, either directly or indirectly, from any current or previously contracted client of [plaintiff],' regardless of geographic distance or duration." The court agreed with defendant that the noncompetition provision in the handbook was unreasonable. Plaintiff "does not have an unlimited right to restrict the business choices" of its clients, and "a provision that prohibits a former employee from acquiring employment from a former or current client of plaintiff encompasses an ever-growing number of potential clients and could extend" 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, "or more beyond the contractual relationship between the former or current client and plaintiff. Such a clause is patently unreasonable." Thus, to the extent the handbook "permanently prohibits a former employee from obtaining employment from any current or previously contracted client of plaintiff, that restriction is an unreasonable restraint on trade and unenforceable as written." However, "[b]ecause plaintiff's employment agreement contains a comparable provision that precludes former employees from soliciting plaintiff's clients for a period of 12 months after leaving plaintiff's employment," it was "appropriate to modify the applicable provision here to incorporate a corresponding 12-month period during which defendant is prohibited from obtaining employment from any current or previously contracted client of plaintiff." Affirmed in part, but remanded. 

DIVORCE 45: Federal law preempts state law such that the parties’ consent judgment is unenforceable to the extent that it required defendant to reimburse plaintiff for the reduction in the amount payable to her due to his election to receive CRSC

BACKGROUND This case involves a dispute between former spouses who entered into a consent judgment of divorce (the consent judgment), which provided that defendant would pay plaintiff 50% of his military retirement benefits. Beyond that, the...

How to Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer for a DUI

No one wants to be arrested, and if you are, especially for the first time, you can be very confused. Being arrested for Drunk Driving, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) - formerly Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)...

What does Client and Attorney Privilege Mean?

How much should you tell your lawyer? The fifth amendment protects U.S. citizens from incriminating themselves, but how does that work with your attorney. We get this question all the time. Many people have heard about attorney confidentiality,...

FAMILY LAW 50: A Michigan Court has jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination when it is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding or within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY  Plaintiff and defendant have twin sons, but never married.  On August 13, 2008, the Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division in Montgomery County, Ohio established plaintiff as the legal father of the children and...

When You Should Contest a Will?

Wills usually go through without a problem. Well over 90% of wills have no issue making it through probate. However, there are several grounds you may have to contest a will. As a beneficiary, or someone who would gain from a will, there are legal...

What You Need to Know About Distracted Driving

A great U.S. freedom is the ability to drive the open roads. However, every year there are more than 20,000 car accidents in Michigan. Many of these accidents come from distracted driving and could have been avoided. Distracted driving is such a...

Reasons Your Will or Trust Could be Contested

Everyone reacts in their own way when a family member passes away. Emotions can run high, and people can react more strongly than they normally would. Some family members may feel cheated by what a will or trust grants them leading them to contest...

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