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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  32 years of experience practicing law and a businessman.
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I had worked for Petsmart as a groomer for the past 6 years.

Resolved Question:

I had worked for Petsmart as a groomer for the past 6 years. I signed a non-compete contract stating that I could not compete within a 5 mile range from the store. I am now employed by a grooming shop that is 7 miles away. I didn't have a copy of the contract & didn't remember that it said I could not solicit customers & I have called & sent letters telling customers where I was going. Now Petsmart has sent me a letter that I must respond to or they will sue me even though they do not know positively that I contacted my customers. I felt I needed an attorney to answer this letter but not sure where I stand legally or who to get. Any advise you can give would be greatly appreciated. I am a groomer & don't make a whole lot of money to take on corporate america
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.
Good evening. As you are probably aware, to be enforceable, a non compete agreement must be reasonable in both scope of time and area. Additionally, the court will balance the proprietary need of the employer to protect its business with the employee's ability to earn a living in his or her chosen profession. Non competes are expensive to enforce and, while they are enforceable, courts tend to look for fairly egregious behavior on the employee's part to uphold them.

 

Given your profession and the level of compensation and the disproportionate consumer power of PetSmart versus you as a groomer, in my experience the court is not going to be very sympathetic to PetSmart jamming this down your throat.

I would respond that you are outside the 5 mile limit and not violating the agreement, but that you have also consulted counsel...that being me....and been told that it is unlikely that a court will enforce this type of contract in any case given the disproportionate bargaining powers between the two of you.

 

 

I hope this has given you the guidance you were seeking. I wish you the best of luck!

 

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The information given here is not legal advice. As all states have different intricacies in their laws, the information given is general only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.

 

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I wanted to know if I should have an attorney respond to the letter since Petsmart loves to sue whether they think they are going to win or not. I would have enormous legal bills which in the non-compete states that I am responsible for whether I win or not
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

Yes, if you can get an attorney to respond at a reasonable cost, I would have them respond on your behalf because the response letter would have more gravitas and make them take you more seriously.

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