Image: Eli Christman/Creative Commons
I was recently involved in a case which involved a dispute between a former employer and employee over whether he had violated his non-compete agreement, and if so, what damages, if any, his former employer was entitled to recover.
There was an unusual wrinkle to this case, however:
The employee's non-compete agreement never really defined what activities constituted wrongful competition, and since his employer was a huge, global company with varied lines of business, pretty much anything could be considered "competition."
Here's the part that wasn't that unusual:
He really didn't have the money to fight a prolonged battle with his former employer.
Unfortunately, the employee's financial situation didn't only play a bit role in the trajectory of the case; this circumstance dictated the entire path of the case.
Indeed, it prevented the employee from appealing an adverse court ruling that, truth be told, should have been appealed, because it could have led to the early dismissal of his former employer's case.
But he couldn't afford it.
I'm not sure what, if any, solution there may be to this problem, but it is clear to me that the first, most critical, step is recognizing that there is a problem.