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Total Articles: 3

Colorado Supreme Court Ruling May Result in Disclosure of Trade Secrets

Earlier this month, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a party in litigation seeking to prevent responsive discoverable information from disclosure under a protective order must first demonstrate that the information in fact constitutes trade secrets or other confidential information before a protective order can be entered. This seemingly obvious requirement illustrates the dangers that can be posed by cutting corners early on in litigation.

Colorado Joins Majority of Courts in Holding that Continued Employment Suffices As Consideration to Support a Non-Compete

As with any contract, to be enforceable, a post-employment restrictive covenant must be supported by consideration. In some states, if a restrictive covenant is signed by an at-will employee after the inception of employment, the covenant must be supported by new and independent consideration (such as a promotion or a raise in salary). In other states, the promise of continued employment—even to an at-will employee—constitutes sufficient consideration.

Colorado Supreme Court Issues Employer-Friendly Decision in Important Non-Compete Case

On May 31, 2011, the Colorado Supreme Court (sitting en banc) answered an open question in Colorado – whether continued at-will employment is sufficient consideration for a noncompetition agreement entered into after hire. In Lucht’s Concrete Pumping, Inc. v. Horner, the Court reversed the Colorado Court of Appeals and held that continued at-will employment, alone, is sufficient. Because a Colorado employer has a legal right to terminate an at-will employee at any time, the Court held, an employer’s forbearance of termination of at-will employment is adequate consideration for a noncompetition agreement executed after employment has commenced. Lucht’s Concrete Pumping, Inc. v. Horner, No. 09SC627, Colorado Supreme Court (May 31, 2011).