How does a business stop a former employee from poaching the business’ employees after the employee has left employment of the business? Generally, to achieve this goal, employers have entered into a contract with the employee that includes a restriction called a “non-solicitation provision”. In a recent case, The Manitowoc Company, Inc., v. Lanning,

For many business owners, retaining key employees is a paramount concern of running their business. Employers often have invested a significant amount of training, heavily rely upon their key employees for revenue and business operations, and, in many cases, the employee is a likely candidate to take over the business. Beyond these reasons, a business

In the spirit of Labor Day, I thought both employees and business owners in Wisconsin should know about a recent decision on restrictive covenants from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. The case is important for you or your business because it affects whether certain employer-employee agreements are actually enforceable.

Many Wisconsin employer-employee relationships are governed

top secretA long awaited Federal Law on trade secret misappropriation was signed into effect last month. The new law, titled the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, or “DTSA”, creates a Federal cause of action for businesses who own trade secrets against individuals who have misappropriated the business’ confidential information. The law creates a uniform definition of

The Wisconsin Senate recently passed a bill that would yet again fundamentally change the current state of Labor & Employment law in Wisconsin. The bill still requires Assembly approval and the Governor’s signature.

Senate Bill 69 repeals current Wisconsin Statute section 103.465, which governs the enforceability of non-compete agreements in employment contracts. The bill

Noncompetes are generally thought of as unique agreements given the varying way states view the restrictive covenants imposed on employees by such agreements. The U.S. Supreme Court recently clarified that that Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U. S. C. §1 et seq., requires arbitration, not litigation, as the proper dispute resolution method for determining enforceability

The general rule in Wisconsin is: (a)  Courts will literally interpret unambiguous contracts; and (b) extrinsic evidence will be used to interpret ambiguous contracts. A recent appellate court decision applied this general rule with respect to noncompete agreements holding that the trial court’s finding that the noncompete was ambiguous was, without additional findings, not enough to find

             In these tough times, lots of businesses have been closing. In fact, for the fist time in our many years of practice, we’re hearing clients tell us that there is not enough business for both them and their direct competition – that if things continue as they are, they will both go out of business. In fact, they’ve become somewhat friends talking about it. Then the idea comes to one of them: could I pay my competition something to get them to shut down? The answer generally lies in the federal antitrust


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For over 50 years, Wisconsin has been deciding cases related to covenants not to compete in working relationships under Wisconsin Stat. § 103.465. On July 14, 2009, in an opinion authored by Justice Michael J. Gableman, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court changed the way that statute will work, much to the benefit of employers. Here’s what they did.


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