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Re: Non Compete Agreements: I am a Life Insurance agent who

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Re: Non Compete Agreements:
I am a Life Insurance agent who set up 403b accounts for school district employees for 13 years, about 1700 of them in the San Francisco Bay area.
I sent my paperwork into an organization in Cincinnati OH, who double-checked it and forwarded it to the Life Insurance company.
The way I was able to sit down with the client happened like this. The OH firm told me to put an informational postcard into all teacher's mailboxes (no specific teacher names were given to me), so I, or I hired someone to do this, I spent about $1000.- $1500. a month on this. The OH firm gave me the postcards, their cost- $60.00 a box of 5000 cards. Then I'd call the people who sent in the cards, tell them about the program and meet with them and they would sign the paperwork. Out of 1700 clients, about 30 came from names they gave me, all the rest came from my efforts through the above process. These cards are a marketing practice used in every metro area in the country by different agencies.
Now, I've left this OH firm and they are telling me that all these people I signed up are not my clients but theirs, and they will take me to court and get a judgement against me if I contact them within a 2 year time frame. The OH firm did cutoff my residual income upon finding out I was leaving them, approximately $2000-2500.00 per month.
I did sign a noncompete agreement.
I'd like to contact my clients. I've heard that noncompete agreements are illegal in CA.
I'd appreciate your feedback. Thank you.
Doug
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

You were informed correctly that non-compete agreements are unenforcible in California, under California Business nad Professions Code Section 16600, which states:

"[E]very contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void."

Due to the California law regarding non-compete agreements, your employer would be unable to enforce an agreement against you,
preventing you from contacting the clients that you obtained while working for the Ohio firm.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5274
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
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