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Posted May 12th, 2014 in Legal Insights

Non-competes Become More Competitive

As the rates of economic recovery and job mobility both accelerate, so too are disputes over a simple piece of paper – the non-compete agreement. Katie Connolly and Sarah Riskin, Nilan Johnson Lewis labor and employment attorneys, have been firsthand witnesses to an increasing number of disputes around defections as they represent both companies and individuals over post-employment restrictive covenant challenges. “The aggressiveness of the disputes is definitely stronger; I’ve seen employers act more regularly towards recently exited employees, and at the same time, I’ve even had cases where the employee, backed by their new employer, preemptively initiates the dispute.” Connolly adds that the speed and rules of engagement are also fundamentally changing. Instead of filing for a declaratory judgment, some individuals are having success by being more aggressive ­– simultaneously filing for injunctive relief along with their lawsuit to quickly prevent the TRO. In one recent case in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, Gavaras v Greenspring Media LLC, the judge issued the employee plaintiff a declaratory judgment, despite the fact that the employee had only moved for a TRO on its declaratory judgment claim. The judge additionally declined to “blue pencil” (amend) the non-compete beyond tweaking a few basic details, providing additional guidance regarding the role of the courts in modifying non-competes. Contact Katie Connolly at (612) 305-7546 or, or Sarah Riskin at (612) 305-7713 or

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