Non-Compete Agreements

Milwaukee Non-Compete Agreements Lawyer

Many employers today force their employees to sign non-compete agreements. Then, after the employee changes jobs or the employer fires the employee, he or she receives a threatening letter or lawsuit that is aimed at stopping him or her from working. If the employee is looking for work, a prospective employer may even tell the employee to “take care of” the non-compete first. The prospective employer may want to hire the employee, but the prospective employer doesn’t want to get sued.

The employee needs someone to defeat the non-compete.

Attorney Robert Corris has more than 25 years of experience advising employees about non-compete agreements before they change jobs, responding aggressively to employers’ threatening letters and fighting successfully to defeat non-competes in court.

If you need assistance with your non-compete agreement, call the Corris Law Office today at (414) 272-8000, send us a fax (414) 755-7050 or an e-mail (rcorris@corrislaw.com), or use our convenient contact form. We represent business law clients throughout Southeastern Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Hartland, Waukesha and surrounding areas. We pledge prompt and personal attention to your case and look forward to working with you to solve your non-compete agreement dispute.

Defeat Your Non-Compete

There are three common types of restrictive covenants, which non-lawyers often refer to as “non-competes.” The three types of restrictions are:

  • Non-competition agreement: Sometimes referred to as a “business clause,” this restricts the employee from being employed or engaging in a competitive business within a defined geographic area.
  • Non-solicitation agreement: This restricts the employee from soliciting a subset or all of the employer’s customers.
  • Confidentiality agreement: Sometimes referred to as a “non-disclosure agreement” or “NDA,” this restricts the employee from using or disclosing trade secrets or confidential information.

Wisconsin is a “no-blue-pencil” state. This means that a court cannot rewrite a restriction to make it enforceable and cannot partially enforce an unreasonable restriction. The relevant statute deems any restrictive covenant that imposes an unreasonable restraint to be “illegal, void and unenforceable even as to so much of the covenant or performance as would be a reasonable restraint.”

Wisconsin courts have declared that a restrictive covenant must meet each of the following requirements if it is to be enforced:

  • The agreement must be necessary for the protection of the employer or principal;
  • It must provide a reasonable time period;
  • It must cover a reasonable territory;
  • It must not be unreasonable as to the employee; and
  • It must not be unreasonable as to the general public.

Well-established “canons of construction” provide that restrictive covenants in employment contracts are prima facie suspect and are to be construed in favor of the employee.

In 2009, however, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an opinion that undercuts both the pro-employee canons and the no-blue-pencil rule. The Court expounded on a rule of divisibility, holding that restrictive covenants are divisible when the contract contains different covenants supporting different interests that can be independently read and enforced. If the unreasonable portion is stricken, the other provision or provisions may be understood and independently enforced.

Attorney Robert Corris understands the intricacies of non-compete law and knows how to defeat both indivisible and divisible restrictions. He also has advised numerous employers on drafting non-compete agreements that will stand up to challenges.

Contact the Corris Law Office Today

Attorney Robert Corris is an experienced business litigator as well as a speaker and author on a variety of business law topics, including Wisconsin non-compete agreements. He is ready to discuss solutions to your legal problems today.

The Corris Law Office serves employees and employers dealing with non-compete agreement disputes throughout Southeastern Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Hartland, Waukesha and surrounding areas. To learn more, call us at (414) 272-8000, send us a fax (414) 755-7050 or an e-mail (rcorris@corrislaw.com), or use our convenient contact form. We pledge prompt and personal attention to your non-compete agreement case and look forward to working with you.