there is a contract stating that, no undercutting or slandering will be permitted and handled in court, also states that they are to stay away from current customers a full 2 years from breach of contract. Hotshot company is in question.
I advise you to hire a local business attorney. This agreement sounds legally suspect and may not apply at all, at worst, or be severely limited, at best. As an initial observation, a two year nonsolicitation may not be remotely reasonable under state law, again assuming this contract is even valid.
This needs to be reviewed by a local attorney before you even think about filing suit. Good luck.
This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
It would probably be a good idea to speak with an attorney. No one could adequately answer your question without reviewing the contract. Non-competition clauses or restrictive covenants (in the context of non-competes) are very particular these days. It may depend upon the exact words used.
The above statements are provided as general information and not intended as legal advice. Each matter has its own set of unique circumstances that cannot be adequately addressed without consultation. You are strongly advised to hire an attorney licensed to practice law in your state to represent you.
The majority of Texas case law points to non-competes being enforceable for 6 months tops, not 2 years. The undercutting is allowed in a free market economy as long as there is equal access to the market by all (i.e. not a larger company selling for less than cost just to drive a smaller company out of business). Slander/libel is your most likely issue, but it is difficult to prove. You should consult an attorney for a consultation based on the specifics of your issue.
I am an attorney licensed to practice in Texas, Louisiana and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and the above may not be an accurate assessment of the laws for your area. The above should be taken as general guidance and not specific legal advice. For specific legal advice you should seek a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction practicing in the area specific to your issue. The above does not constitute or establish an attorney client relationship. If you wish to receive specific advice about your legal issue, then contact my office to schedule a personal consultation.
I respectfully disagree with my fellow attorneys. Texas used to be hostile to non-compete agreements. The recent Texas Supreme court case of Marsh USA Inc. et al. v. Cook seems to have made non-compete agreements much more relevant.
I do agree with my fellow attorneys that you should speak to a business attorney to go over the specifics of the situation. You can get a free consultation and if you do hire an attorney you might get your legal fees paid by the other side.
The above reference to the Marsh case is accurate. But I would answer the question less technically. If you believe that your business has been damaged, whether by violation of the non-compete or through slander, then you should hire an attorney to file a lawsuit. Only then will have any leverage to work out the problem, regardless of whether the non-compete is enforceable as written or whether it will be revised by the court to be enforceable (for example for lesser time period or smaller geographical area). It will be up to your lawyer to determine the actual course of action.
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