Non-Compete Clauses in Contracts Governed by Other State’s Laws

SANTA CLARA, CA – A California sales representative is suing his former employer, an Illinois company, for declaratory relief. The plaintiff says the non-compete clause in his employment contract is unenforceable. Jeffrey Blaisdell v. EVO Exhibits LLC.

The employment contract is, however, governed by Illinois law, which does not have the same restrictions as California. The contract also has a forum selection clause requiring all disputes be litigated in Illinois.

Blaisdell is likely trying to beat EVO to the punch by suing here in California, where California judges are more likely to invalidate the non-compete clause. If EVO sues in Illinois and gets a judgment before Blaisdell, California judges may give full faith and credit to the Illinois judgment regardless of California’s policy against non-competes.

If you are in a similar situation, your employment contract is governed by another state’s law and the contract requires disputes be litigated there, be aware of the issues and prepared to sue. Consider sticking to declaratory relief and not bogging your action down asking for damages, as Blaisdell has done. Timing might be everything.

This blog reports on cases filed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The statements made are based on the allegations in court-filed documents. Allegations are just accusations, and may or may not be true.
The authors of the blog are attorneys at the San Francisco litigation firm, Wood Robbins, LLP. If you have a legal issue, send them an email. If they cannot help you, they will try and point you in the right direction.


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