I signed a non compete thinking it meant I couldn't open a similar business. I then quit my job and started working for a similar company and my former employer sued me and my current employer. My current employer agreed to have me work at a different location. My former employer kept the case going for months and now they are suing me for legal fees. Can they sue me for legal fees and win?
If the noncompete, or any other contract you had with the employer, provides that you pay attorneys' fees in a lawsuit against you by the employer, then you'll have to pay. It's a bit more complicated than that - whether you have to pay all of the fees, etc., are questions that an attorney would answer for you after review of the litigation and the contract itself.
I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies.
Depends on the non-compete agreement and how the case unfolded. Hopefully you had an employment lawyer represent you in the suit against you who advised you of the ramifications.
An attorney/client relationship has not been established by this communication. The legal opinion expressed is not definitive and further facts and legal research will be necessary to give a more conclusive and definitive opinion.
If the non-compete agreement provided that they can receive attorney's fees if they win then they can definitely seek their fees. Some judges may be reluctant to award fees, if the contract was one-sided, i.e. they get fees if they win but you don't get fees if they lose. You should have your agreement and the lawsuit reviewed by an experienced employment attorney who has handled these types of matters.
This information is provided for informational purposes only. This is not legal advice and this response does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should retain and consult with a local attorney.
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