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Signed non-compete for 3 years. Decided to compete. Now getting sued. Clause too broad? they request relief for 6 months. Why?

New York, NY |

I signed a non - compete when I first started working as an independent contractor . The industry is INTERNET services . The clause states that for 3 years I cannot " compete , solicit , or - accept - business from any customer or - potential - customer " of company ( emphasis added by myself ) . I decided to compete anyway , and I got served with a non - compete breach of contract . From reading NY law , 3 years is often too long , especially in the on line space . And one could argue that potential client's without geographic restrictions ( since it's INTERNET , doesn't matter where the client is located ) is too broad as well . Am I correct ? In the end , I did get sued , and they request relief only for 6 months . Is this their attempt at making the N . C . less broad ? Can they win this ? I'll be talking to an atty .

Attorney Answers 4


  1. They are attempting to narrow the scope of the Non-compete because they have been told that a three year non compete is too broad. They can win, but more information is necessary. You need to meet with an attorney asap.

    If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com


  2. Seems over road to me. NY Courts can limit an overbroad noncompete and enforce to the extent necessary to protect legitimate business interests, but, only where the employer acted in good-faith and did not overreach when implementing the noncompete. One of the cases to look at is the Scott Stackrow case from a few years back. Best of luck.

    Ryan Finn * 518.213.0115 * Rfinn@hackermurphy.com * Referrals are the highest form of compliment * Hacker Murphy serves clients throughout New York State and always pays referring attorneys a reasonable referral fee in contingency cases


  3. Hire an attorney.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  4. I have been litigating these types of clauses since 1974. You shouldn't be trying to figure out whether it's enforceable or not, or to what extent; you should be retaining a law firm like mine to defend you in the litigation before your time to respond to the complaint expires.

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