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Corporate Technologies, Inc. v. Harnett, No. 13-1706 (August 23, 2013)

Articles Discussing Case:

First Circuit Holds Massachusetts Salesman Violated Nonsolicitation Covenant, Even Though Customer Made “Initial Contact”

Ogletree Deakins • September 26, 2013
On September 23, 2013, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Massachusetts law, upheld a preliminary injunction in a nonsolicitation covenant case, and discussed the often-murky line between “soliciting” and “accepting business” from a former customer. The court affirmed the district court’s preliminary finding that the employer was likely to succeed in establishing that its former salesman and his new employer crossed that line in breach of his non-solicitation covenant. The First Circuit held that, although there was no authoritative Massachusetts law on this topic, the Massachusetts courts would likely find that there should be no per se rule that a customer’s initial contact with the former employee foreclosed a finding of solicitation—particularly when, as is often the case, that customer was prompted to contact the employee by a targeted announcement of the salesman’s new affiliation. Corporate Technologies, Inc. v. Harnett, No. 13-1706 (1st Cir. Sep. 23, 2013).