How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Chris T., JD Your Own Question

Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3804
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
45002201
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Chris T., JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a local independent agent in Macon Georgia having 43 years

Customer Question

I am a local independent agent in Macon Georgia having 43 years with my agency; At age 75 I have been retired from my agency. My 38 year old contract state I can not compete for 3 years taking any business that is on the books or soliciting any person or company that I did while at the agency even though I did not sell anything to them., is this a legal contract and would it be held up in a court of law in Georgia?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

TexLawyer : Good morning. I'll be assisting you with your question.
TexLawyer : There are a few things to look at here. First off, non-compete clauses are not in-and-of-themselves illegal in Georgia. However, they can be voided, depending on how they are applied in any given situation.
Customer:

Waiting to hear from you

TexLawyer : First off, a law in Georgia passed in 2010 significantly changed the landscape of how the courts interpret non-compete clauses. Non-compete clauses under 2 years are presumed to be valid. This is important to you because, obviously, yours is longer than that.
TexLawyer : Second, the courts now have the power to enforce an agreement in part (previously, if part of the contract was void, the entire thing was voided).
Customer:

What is my next step to find out if all aspects are legal?

TexLawyer : There are a few things to look at. First off, to what extent does the contract define the geographic area you are restricted from working in?
TexLawyer : Is the conract clear on that issue?
TexLawyer : To be valid, the contract give specific limitations upon scope of activity, duration, or territory you are prohibited from working in.
TexLawyer : If it isn't, you have 30 days to request clarification. If your employer doesn't respond, the judge can consider their lack of response in determining if it is valid or not.
Customer:

There are no geographic area shown at all in the contract.

TexLawyer : You should seek claification as I've described above. If they don't respond, that will be damaging to their case if you have to bring them to court. Courts have consistently held that non-compete clauses that don't restrict a person to a certain region are invalid. That should take care of the non-compete part regarding where you can work. The second part is contacting clients on the books. That part is not subject to a geographic limitation. You may be able to get that limited to 2 years, however, since that he the presumed valid time restriction.
Customer:

I have already left the firm and at this time really do not want to go back to them for any further clafication. Please give me your best feeling at this time so I will know how to proceed with my future.

TexLawyer : You basically have two options:
TexLawyer : First, you can ignore the restriction and wait for them to bring suit. At that point, you will have the opportunity to litigate whether or not the clause is enforceable. The danger in doing so is that they could sue you for damages and recover money from you, if, for example, you took clients from them in violation of the clause.
TexLawyer : Second, you can bring suit on your own to strike down the clause, or at least clarify its restrictions. The downside to doing that is you may be bringing an issue to their attention they would have otherwise not pursued. In other words, they may have let it go if you went out and did business now, instead of waiting the three years.
TexLawyer : Your last option (I know I said there were two, but I'd like to throw this one in as well) would be to negoiate a more acceptable clause with them now. They may be willing to reduce the length of time to 18 months or two years (or less) in order to avoid potential litigation.
TexLawyer : As far as which of those to pursue, I would start with the third option and, if that doesn't work, decide what level of risk you want to take regarding the first two.
Customer:

Thank you for your apinions. This will complete my communication.

TexLawyer : Glad to help.
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3804
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
Chris T., JD and 11 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.