The facts of Brown and Brown were not particularly unique. The employee was assigned by the complainant, a Florida company, to perform duties in New York. In accordance with the provisions of the employment contract, the parties agreed on a legal choice provision stipulating that disputes relating to the agreement are settled by Florida law26. The employment contract also contained non-discriminatory restrictions in the form of a non-compliance clause that prevented the employee from asking clients in Brown and Brown`s New York offices for two years after their employment with the company.27 , F.S. 542.335, regulates the applicability of competitive competitions. The law uses the word “reasonable,” or a derivative of it, 17 times. Adequacy is the primary standard to which the whole status is used to determine whether a non-competition agreement is applicable. These include the essential status requirement that non-competition prohibitions be “reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate commercial interest” of the party attempting to enforce the agreement.1 A non-competition agreement must protect a “legitimate commercial interest.” In addition, the restriction of competition used must be “reasonably necessary” to protect this legitimate commercial interest. As a general rule, non-competition agreements have often been proven to be an illegal restriction on trade. This was also the case after common law in Florida12, until Florida law established guidelines for determining whether non-competition prohibitions were too restrictive. Florida`s legal non-compete obligations have been revised and amended several times by the legislature; In 1996, there was a complete overhaul of the non-competition clause.13 No changes have been made since this description more than 20 years ago.14 For example, companies often argue that their client lists are a trade secret worth protecting by a non-compete obligation.
However, client lists are not always as secret as you might think. With the amount of information made available to the public on the internet, most of the information contained in a client list could easily be obtained from anyone else. It is up to the employer to defend the argument behind its competition prohibitions. In considering the enforceable force, the Tribunal considers that the non-competition agreement is contrary to the circumstances of the company, the current position and the work claimed by the company. Are you an employer? Learn more about what you need to know about what to keep in mind when creating and implementing employer competition contracts in Florida. Some general rules apply to all businesses, but non-competition obligations cannot be truly effective and can effectively be considered unenforceable if a uniform rule is chosen. You can (and need to) customize your agreement to protect your business. The Georgia Court of Appeals of Carson v. Obor Holding Company, LLC, 734 S.E.2d 477 (2012), also refused to comply with a law requiring that Florida law apply to a non-compete agreement. The court, in refusing to apply the Florida law, stated that, under Georgia law, the court must consider the appropriateness of the restriction and weigh the interests of both parties, including the party limited by the non-compete agreement.49 In general, I tell people to go, their non-compete agreements are enforceable, and not sign , unless they can live with the restrictions. But an employee over time, the will and resources he must fight can often restrict or remove his non-competition prohibitions.
In his analysis of public policy, Brown-Brown acknowledged that the laws in Florida and New York were similar, that restrictive agreements should be considered temporary, extensive and geographically, and that they should be linked to a legitimate commercial purpose.