At The Reha Law Firm LLC, we take pride in protecting our clients’ interests and assets through creatively drafting business agreements of all kinds. With more than 30 years of experience in trade secret disputes, unfair competition claims and other types of business litigation, attorney John F. Reha is able to craft business contracts with an eye to issues that a lawyer who engages in a transactional practice only may not be able to identify or address. Here, we not only build the car, we are certified mechanics who know how to trouble-shoot in advance.
Taking the time to protect your company’s tangible and intangible assets is key in any type of transaction, from corporate formation to business sales or acquisitions. However, not any contract will do. The way an agreement is written — even the particular words that are used — can spell the difference between an enforceable and non-enforceable contract. When the terms of the agreement are not clear and comprehensive, a simple transaction may quickly escalate to litigation.
Various state laws exist for protecting intangible assets such as trade secrets and other information, and The Reha Law Firm LLC stands ready to provide its clients with highly knowledgeable representation regarding this vital component of today’s business environment.
Protection against competition, and hence protection of existing lines of business and customer base, may also be protected by covenants not to compete. The restrictions in these agreements may range from a prohibition against post-termination solicitation of certain customers or co-employees, to a broad form, across-the-board bar against post-termination competition of all types.
Such agreements are often used by employers and can serve as a valuable tool in protecting good will, future business and client relationships.
Restrictions, Part I: Time and Geographic Reasonableness — Care must be taken, however, in drafting such non-compete contracts. First, in all or virtually all states, such agreements must be reasonable both as to time and geographic scope.
What is reasonable for one employer or industry may not be reasonable for another, however, and the business owner or management should seek legal advice on this issue. For instance, a large geographic territory for a non-compete between general practice dentists might not be reasonable since most patients of most dental practices come from a geographic area that is close to the practice. On the other hand, a broad geographic zone might be reasonable for a non-compete entered into to protect a software developer with a worldwide market.
Restrictions, Part II: Colorado’s Statutory Prohibition, C.R.S. §8-2-113(2) — Second, in Colorado, a statute exists that prohibits many non-competes and which requires extra care in drafting to ensure enforceability. When drafting, enforcing and defending against non-competes, The Reha Law Firm LLC routinely takes this statute into account.
C.R.S. §8-2-113(2) provides that all restrictions on a person’s post-employment competitive activity are “void” unless they fit into one of three categories:
Restrictions, Part III: Physicians, C.R.S. §8-2-113(3) — A special rule exists under the Colorado statute for non-compete agreements between physicians. Provisions which prevent “physicians” from practicing in any specific location are void in Colorado. Instead, physicians can agree to certain damages provisions in the event a physician leaves a practice to engage in a competing practice.
There are specific restrictions on how such damages can be calculated, however, and it is absolutely critical that competent legal counsel be retained prior to drafting covenants not to compete involving physicians. The Reha Law Firm LLC has a wealth of experience in designing, enforcing and defending contracts not to compete between physicians, and we have successfully represented doctors in court regarding these special covenants.
To schedule a consultation with our seasoned Denver contract attorney, call The Reha Law Firm LLC at (303) 717-3632(303) 717-3632, or contact us online. From our office in Littleton, we represent clients in Denver and statewide.
DISCLAIMER: This information is being provided as a public service, and by doing so, neither The Reha Law Firm LLC nor any attorney associated with The Reha Law Firm LLC is providing any legal advice of any nature to any person or firm, whatsoever. If the reader believes that he or she is in need of legal advice as to the issues discussed herein or for any other reason, he or she is advised to retain an attorney of choice to provide appropriate legal representation.
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$4.2 Million Unfair Competition Award Upheld on Appeal. John was lead counsel in Optimus Corp. v. Synergetics, Inc., Colorado Court of Appeals No. 12CA1910. On March 6, 2014, the Court of Appeals issued its Opinion unanimously affirming a decision in which $2,238,042 actual damages... Read more
Auto-Bicycle Collision Generates Two Limits Settlements. In 2012-2013, John represented a bicyclist who was struck by a pickup truck while riding. The cyclist incurred significant long-term cognitive injuries. John obtained a settlement against the driver at fault for the large limits of that driver's auto policy... Read more
Another Auto-Bicycle Collision Generates Limits Settlement. In 2012-2013, John represented another bicyclist who was struck by a car while riding. The cyclist incurred severe neuromuscular, nerve and spinal injuries. John obtained a limits settlement against the insurance policy... Read more