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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. 

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

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