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I live and work in Bellevue, WA. I recently resigned my position at technology-centric professional services company and went to work at a competitor. Since starting my new position, I've received several threatening emails from my former employer basically being told to "watch my step" in my new business development efforts because of my non-compete / non-solicitation agreement. Upon leaving my former position, the (former) HR Manager confided in me that the company executives never had the language of the non-compete / non-solicitation reviewed by a lawyer, and she suspected it wouldn't stand up in court.
Basically, I'd like to have the non-compete / non-solicitation agreement reviewed by an attorney who can tell a) this is legitimate and I should comply because I would lose in court; b) the agreement is basically worthless and would never stand up in court or c) somewhere in between.
My questions are 2:
1) Should I see a "contracts / agreements" attorney or an "employment / labor" attorney? Or are there attorneys who do both?
2) How much should something like this cost? One hour worth of billing? Are there such things as "free consultations?"