Peter Steinmeyer Quoted in Article, “Courts Willing to Enforce Worker Noncompetes, 2012 Shows”

Employment Law360

Peter Steinmeyer, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice and the Managing Shareholder of the firm's Chicago office, was quoted in an article titled "Courts Willing to Enforce Worker Noncompetes, 2012 Shows." (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Courts around the U.S. showed in 2012 that they were willing to side with employers looking to enforce noncompete agreements, lawyers said, pointing to five appellate decisions that shed light on the pacts' enforceability as well as strategies to help them stand up to challenges.

Last year's noteworthy decisions included a rare foray by the U.S. Supreme Court into a dispute over a noncompete and a Second Circuit ruling that touched on the enforceability of a noncompete against a fired employee.

The Ohio Supreme Court also addressed post-merger noncompete enforceability, the Virginia Supreme Court tackled damages stemming from a breach that led to the loss of a future contract and a New York appeals court handed down an enforcement-friendly ruling on when the clock starts to tick on tolling provisions in noncompetes. ?...
"It's really rare for the U.S. Supreme Court to tiptoe into the noncompete arena," noted Peter Steinmeyer. ?...

Regarding the Ohio case: "The first decision seemed to conflict with basic principles of mergers and acquisitions law," Steinmeyer said. "There was a significant outcry by the business and legal community in Ohio." ?...

Regarding the New York case: Tolling provisions are being used more and more frequently, and the March 21 decision is a positive development for employers looking to enforce such a clause, according to Steinmeyer.

"These tolling provisions are becoming increasingly common in noncompetes, and the reason why is because litigation can take so long," Steinmeyer said.