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Milwaukee employment contract attorney non-compete clauseBy Attorney Erin Strohbehn

A non-compete clause or agreement is a written contract between an employee and employer that restricts the employee from interacting with others in a way that would compete or interfere with their current employer. This type of contract serves an essential function in commercial life, lowering the risks of exposing a company’s professional secrets, client information, and other strategic tactics and business moves. Although a company cannot force an employee to sign a non-compete clause, an employer may dismiss or choose not to hire a person who declines to sign. When disputes over non-compete agreements arise, commercial litigation may be necessary.

Non-Compete Clause Requirements and Limitations

Typically, non-compete clauses must state the reason for the agreement, be effective on a certain date and for a limited period of time, and list a specific geographic area where they will apply. Some include a non-solicitation clause that restricts an employee from soliciting other employees of the company and imposes penalties if the non-compete clause is broken. Non-compete clauses cannot impose restrictions that would affect a person’s ability to earn a living, and they cannot disallow an individual from gaining employment. The terms of these contracts must be fair, just, and reasonable.

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Milwaukee contract litigation attorney By Attorney Jaclyn Kallie and Law Clerk Nathan Froemming

Contracts are important for any business, and if the terms of a contract are not followed, this can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. If a party is not meeting their contractual obligations, you might wonder what options you have. In a breach of contract case, you may be able to seek multiple types of remedies, including:

1. Liquidated Damages

Liquidated damages are available when the contract at issue has a clause setting damages in the event of a breach. While this may seem like a straightforward provision, there are often arguments that can be made that would call into question whether liquidated damages are appropriate under the specific circumstances in your case. For example, the contract may provide for liquidated damages only under certain types of breach.

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Milwaukee business contract lawyerA business is only as strong as the contracts it enters. There are many ways that a business contract can be detrimental to a company: it can favor the other side, it can be unclear from a legal perspective, it can be vague, and it can leave out key terms. Many business owners fall victim to using a template contract found online that is not properly tailored to the parties and their unique situation.

On the other hand, a well-crafted contract can be an important asset to a business, giving the business stability. It should be noted that there are many ways a business contract can be poorly constructed, and those business owners looking to enter into a contract should be aware of these areas. Contract issues that commonly affect business owners include:

  • Too much legalese. If you do not understand the terms of the contract because legal jargon is used, this does not mean the contract is a good one. A good contract should be readable and understood by the parties. There may be a term or two that will need to be explained to you by a lawyer, but on the whole, a good contract should be understandable.
  • Lack of specificity. A contract has the same effect between the parties as law. Thus, it should be clear what each party’s obligations are. Any detail known should be included. For example, if payment is to be mailed to a party, the address for the party should be written out in the contract. The entire agreement should be reduced to writing. It is dangerous for the agreement to be partially in writing and partially verbal.  
  • Failure to address the contract’s termination. All contracts will come to an end, so the contract should contemplate how that will be done and under what circumstances.
  • Omitted litigation provisions. Most contracts should include an agreement on what law will govern any disputes arising between the parties, and if a party will be liable for attorney’s fees and court costs in the event of a contractual breach.

A Milwaukee, WI Commercial Contract Lawyer Can Help

If you are considering signing a business contract, you should have an attorney on your side. The qualified Milwaukee, WI business contract attorneys at our firm will use our years of experience in representing businesses when reviewing your contracts and ensuring that they meet your business objectives. 

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