U.S. - Florida

2020.01.20  "Thou Shalt Presume Irreparable Harm (when construing non-compete agreements)" ... this blog begins as follows:

  • When a current or former employee violates a non-competition agreement, the first stop for the litigation train is usually preliminary injunctive relief.  To secure that relief in a Florida Court, the plaintiff-employer needs to prove (among other things) irreparable harm, which generally means harm that cannot be adequately compensated with a monetary award.
  • Satisfiying this standard in Florida is made easier by jurisprudence that presumes irreparable harm if the plaintiff-employer can show that the defendant-employee violated an enforceable non-competition agreement.  In a recent opinion, a Florida appellate court reversed the trial court’s denial of a motion for preliminary injunction after concluding that the trial court had not properly applied the presumption of irreparable harm.  The appellate court summarized its conclusions: “Because the trial court failed to properly apply the presumption of irreparable harm flowing from violations of the agreement and improperly determined that evidence in support of a fraudulent inducement affirmative defense precluded a temporary injunction, we reverse and remand for the entry of a temporary injunction.”  Picture It Sold Photography, LLC v. Bunkelman, — So. 3d —, 2020 WL 88815 *1, Case No. 4D19-1427 (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 8, 2020).

2019.09.04  Florida Court Likens State’s New Non-Compete Restriction to Swamp Monster.  This alert summarizes Florida non-compete law, highlighting its controlling state statute and a special rule applicable to physicians.

2017.09.15  Referral Sources are Protectible Interests.  The Florida Supreme Court held that though Florida Statute 542.335, which governs noncompete agreements, does not specifically list referral sources as subject to protection, they can be protects. The statute, which lists only five kinds of protected business interests, is not meant to be exhaustive, and trial courts are equipped to make case-by-case determinations depending on the facts of specific cases and the industries involved, the court said.

2013.April.17  Florida Decision re Term of Non-compete vs Trade Secret Protection
From Law360, Miami -- "A Florida appeals court on Wednesday reversed an injunction enforcing a noncompete agreement signed by a former Choice Environmental Services consultant, ruling that the company could not enforce the agreement [for a term exceeding two years, which FL allows for noncompetes] under a stricter trade secrets standard [which FL allows for terms up to five years] without having to prove the misappropriation of trade secrets."