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Total Articles: 20

Georgia Court of Appeals Confirms Non-Solicitation of Employees Covenant Need Not Have Geographic or Material Contact Language

As previously noted in Jackson Lewis’ Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Report, Georgia adopted legislation governing restrictive covenant agreements entered into on or after May 11, 2011.

What Does it Mean to “Modify” an Unenforceable Non-Competition Covenant Under Georgia’s Restrictive Covenants Act?

Although Georgia’s Restrictive Covenants Act has been on the books since the spring of 2011, no judge has decided the exact scope of Georgia courts’ blue-penciling abilities – until now. In a case of first impression, Judge Thrash of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, in LifeBrite Laboratories, LLC v. Nina H. Cooksey, 1:15-cv-04309 (N.D. Ga. Dec. 9, 2016), held that the term “modify” in Georgia’s Restrictive Covenants Act limits blue-penciling to striking unreasonable restrictions and to narrowing overbroad, existing terms.

Non-Compete News – Georgia Court Interprets Georgia's Blue Penciling Statute

It’s time to bring back FordHarrison’s Non-Compete News! And what better way to kick off 2017 than with Lifebrite Labs, LLC v. Cooksey (N.D. Ga. December 2016), Georgia’s first-ever published decision interpreting how a Georgia court may modify a non-compete provision that is overbroad under Georgia’s Non-Compete Statute, O.C.G.A. 13-8-51 et al. a/k/a the “blue penciling” statute.

The Dearth of Restrictive Covenant Case Law in Georgia

It was five years ago this week (May 11, 2011, to be precise) that Georgia's new restrictive covenant statute went into effect. Prior to the effective date of the statute, Georgia was (surprisingly for many out-of-state lawyers and businesses) one of the hardest states in which to enforce a restrictive covenant. As the Georgia Supreme Court stated in a a self-deprecating manner in Fuller v. Kolb, "Ten Philadelphia lawyers could not draft an employer-employee restrictive covenant agreement that would pass muster under the recent rulings of this court." (No one knows why Justice Ingram selected Philadelphia as the home of the most astute lawyers in the country, but I'm sure that the lawyers in our Philadelphia office would whole-heartedly agree.) The Georgia Supreme Court made this comment in 1977, well before the case law on restrictive covenants proliferated and became difficult for all but the most experienced practitioners to navigate.

Noncompete News - Eleventh Circuit Holds That RCA Does Not Apply to Non-Competes Signed Before May 11, 2012

Executive Summary: The Eleventh Circuit recently addressed one of the most confusing questions surrounding Georgia's new Restrictive Covenant Act (RCA): did the law become effective on November 3, 2011, as the General Assembly intended, or did it become effective May 11, 2011, when the legislature reenacted the statute? In answer to this question, the Eleventh Circuit held unequivocally that the new law did not become effective until May 11, 2011. Accordingly, Georgia's pre-existing law governing restrictive covenants applies to all non-compete agreements signed during the "gap period" between November 3, 2010 and May 11, 2011.

Governor Signs New Georgia Noncompete Law

The Georgia Restrictive Covenants Act (RCA) is finally in effect. O.C.G.A. § 13-8-50, et seq. It has been a long time coming. During the 2009 legislative session, the General Assembly passed H.B. 173, which would significantly change the law of restrictive covenants in Georgia. The effective date of the bill, if at all, was contingent upon the passage of an amendment to the Georgia Constitution authorizing legislation to uphold reasonable restrictive covenants.

Governor Signs New Georgia Noncompete Law

The Georgia Restrictive Covenants Act (RCA) is finally in effect. O.C.G.A. § 13-8-50, et seq. It has been a long time coming. During the 2009 legislative session, the General Assembly passed H.B. 173, which would significantly change the law of restrictive covenants in Georgia. The effective date of the bill, if at all, was contingent upon the passage of an amendment to the Georgia Constitution authorizing legislation to uphold reasonable restrictive covenants.

Georgia Governor Signs New Immigration Law

On May 13, 2011, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed The Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011. The law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2011, requires public employers to obtain affidavits from contractors (and any subcontractors and sub-subcontractors) stating that they are enrolled in and use E-Verify or, in the case of a contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor who has no employees and does not intend to hire employees during the term of the contract, to provide a copy of a state-issued driver's license or ID card issued by a U.S. state that verifies lawful immigration status before issuing that document.

Georgia's New Non-Compete Statute – What a Long Strange Trip It's Been

On May 11, 2011, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 30, Georgia's new restrictive covenants statute. The signing by Governor Deal brings to a close a process that is accurately summarized by the words of the Grateful Dead – "what a long strange trip it's been!"

It’s Official! Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act Signed by Governor Deal

On May 11, 2011, Governor Deal signed House Bill 30, Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act. For those that have been following this issue, you understand “what a long strange trip it’s been.” If you are late to the game, please see prior posts to get up to speed.

Almost There - Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act on Governor’s Desk

The enactment of Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act is inching closer to a reality. As many have widely observed, the statutory framework that everyone thought was going to be effective after the election in November of 2010 has been clouded with uncertainty because of an effective date issue.

One Down, Two to Go – Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act Moves Closer to Certainty.

As we have written previously, the enactment of Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act has been stained with uncertainty as to its effective date. While Georgia voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment in November of 2010 which was intended to pave the way for the Act to become effective the day after the election, glitches in the framework of the amendment caused doubt to set in as to whether the Act would be effective on January 1, 2011 – or ever.

Georgia Non-Compete Statute: House of Representatives Aims to End Debate Over Effective Date.

As discussed in an earlier post, the effective date of Georgia’s recently enacted non-compete legislation is in doubt. Some believe that it was not and never can be effective. Others believe that it was effective as of January 1, 2011, and that it would survive constitutional challenges.

Important Notification Regarding the Effective Date of the New Georgia Restrictive Covenant Statute

Employers should be aware of the following important issue regarding the new Georgia restrictive covenant statute (O.C.G.A. §13-8-50 et seq.). On November 10, 2010, the Chairman of the Georgia House Judiciary Committee published an article in the Fulton County Daily Report recognizing concerns with certain issues surrounding the effective date of this new statute. As noted in our previous Georgia eAuthority, the restrictive covenant statute expressly states that it was to become effective the day following the November 2, 2010 ratification vote and that it was to apply to all restrictive covenant agreements entered into on or after that date. However, since then, issues have been raised regarding the nature of the wording of the House Resolution, the Constitutional Amendment and the Georgia Constitution in regard to the effective date of the constitutional amendment and thus, the statute. As a result, it is possible that this new statute actually will not become effective until January 1, 2011. If this happens, restrictive covenants executed between November 2, 2010 and January 2, 2011 will still be governed by the former common law.

Georgia's New Non-Compete Law: Growing Questions Emerge

As noted in an earlier post, in the election on November 2, 2010, Georgia voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment authorizing a new statutory framework for enforcement of restrictive covenants. But a question has quickly emerged as to when the new law is effective.

Georgia Voters Approve Dramatic Changes To Employment Restrictive Covenant Laws

The long-awaited and often debated results are in! On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, Georgia voters decided (quite convincingly) to amend the Georgia Constitution, which allowed for the previously passed House Bill 173 to become law (now O.C.G.A. §13-8-50, et seq.). This new statute dramatically alters the law as it pertains to employee non-compete, customer non-solicitation, confidential information and similar contractual provisions between Georgia employers and their employees. The new law became effective on November 3, 2010 and as such, is deserving of prompt attention by Georgia employers.

A New Day Dawns For Georgia Non-Compete Law

In a landslide victory with 68% of the votes, the constitutional amendment authorizing a new statutory framework for enforcement of restrictive covenants in Georgia was passed by Georgia voters on November 2, 2010. The new framework goes into effect immediately, but it will only be applied to restrictive covenants that are signed today (November 3, 2010) or hereafter.

Dose of Sugar and Spice: Georgia Court Reminds Businesses How They Can Guard Against Unfair Competition

Georgia law has become somewhat notorious in the area of non-compete, non-solicit, non-recruitment, and confidentiality agreements - generally referred to as restrictive covenants. The nuisances from various court decisions over the years has made Georgia a tough, but not impossible, place to get restrictive covenants enforced.

Georgia Court Limits Non-Solicitation Agreements.

A recent decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals concerning restrictive covenant agreements (such as non-compete agreements and non-solicitation of customer agreements), may make enforcement of even recently drafted agreements much more difficult. In light of this decision, it may be wise to consider revising your restrictive covenant agreements which apply to Georgia employees.

Georgia Court Rules On Enforceability Of Non-Compete.

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently held that a covenant not to compete included in an employment agreement was unenforceable because it failed to specifically identify the post-employment activities in which the former employee could not engage. The court ruled that another provision of the employment agreement prohibiting the employee from terminating her employment for one year was valid, however, even though the agreement also specified that her employment was at-will. Avion Systems, Inc. v. Thompson, No. A07A1488, Georgia Court of Appeals (July 10, 2007).
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