This case should encourage employers and those selling their business to draft their non-competes with a more reasonable geographic scope (or else risk a court throwing the non-compete out altogether). But those who are asked to sign a non-compete should keep in mind that even if their non-compete is probably unenforceable, an employer can still sue to enforce it and cause the employee a lot of stress and attorneys’ fees.
In its first non-compete case involving a physicians, the South Carolina Court of Appeals used mostly well-trodden commercial case precedent to reverse a bench trial holding that the agreements were unenforceable
The most recent reported South Carolina case involving non-compete is Team IA, Inc. v. Lucas, 717 S.E.2d 103 (S.C. Ct. of App. Oct. 2011). The case provides only modest insight into the legal landscapes of non-compete agreements, and in some ways creates a bit of uncertainty.
The more non-compete matters I review and litigate the more certain I am that geographically based non-competition covenants should be per se unenforceable.
Many non-competes will prohibit a former employee from competing with in a certain defined radius. Drawing a circle and declaring…