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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5146
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Hello, I live and work in the State of California and recently

Customer Question

Hello, I live and work in the State of California and recently resigned my position to start up my own company in the same business as my previous employment. I work for a national company based in Maryland. My non-compete agreement states "it shall be governed by the internal laws, but not the conflicts of laws doctrines, of the State of Delaware".
I have a couple of questions, please.
Can someone please tell me which State I will be bound by this agreement? Do you have an opinion on my specific situation?
With my business start-up...it will require approximately 4 months before I can open my doors. I have former customers lined up wanting to help me with my start-up company by offering service contracts. In no way did I solicit them in any way, they have each stepped up wanting to help me.

Additional notes:
Position- Regional Manager
Years w/company- 20
Severance package included stock sell, severance pay...purchase agreement to "not solicit" for two years.

Thank you sincerely XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

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

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Since you were employed in California and are starting up a new business in California the agreement is governed by California law not Delaware law.

California law specifically prohibits all non-compete agreements in employment agreements per Business and Professions Code Section 16600, so the agreement that you signed is completely invalid and unenforceable against you in California.

California courts have held this to be true in cases with choice of law provisions involving non-compete agreements, so the agreement would definitely not be enforceable.

Client lists, however, are protected by trade secret law, but it is only illegal if you were to make initial contact with the customers. As long as they are contacting you on their own accord, you are not doing anything illegal and have nothing to worry about.


Since my goal is to provide you with the best service today, please don’t hesitate to ask me any follow up questions you may have.

If you don’t have any, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!


Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5146
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for your positive rating of my service and your generous bonus!

Please contact me on JustAnswer should you have any further legal issues.

You can contact me by placing ‘To Joseph’ at the beginning of your question and/or requesting me directly in the California Employment Law category.

Thanks again and best of luck!

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Joseph
Joseph
California Employment Lawyer
5146 Satisfied Customers
Extensive experience representing employees and management