As noted in "Why Restraining Orders Are So Important in a New York Non-Compete Case," the threat posed to a newly former employee by a signed TRO is potentially devastating: it can force him out of a job before it even begins, and deprive him of a deperately needed paycheck until a further order of the court.

In most circumstances, however, the company will be obliged to provide the employee with notice that it will be filing the application with the court for the temporary restraining order, in order to afford the employee a chance to oppose their application - even before it is signed.

This opportunity to be heard on the company's application should not be taken lightly - and here's why:

Since the company is seeking extraordinary relief, in that they are seeking a court order barring someone from going to work, the court will not sign off on such an order lightly. To the contrary, the court is obliged to closely scrutinize their application before granting their application.

Therefore, it is often a good idea to retain an attorney that is knowledgeable about this area of the law (i.e., non-compete agreements) to analyze your particular contract to ascertain whether there are any glaring holes in the agreement that might persuade the court to decline to sign off on the company's application in the first instance.

And the value in that should be apparent: if the court denies the company's application, you may well be able to continue working in your present capacity pending the outcome of the case. And, at worst, your attorney can push the court to leave the order in place for a shorter time period pending a further hearing.