Although we routinely see headlines about partner and group departures, especially during this time of the year, the ABA’s recent ethic’s opinion on obligations for lawyers changing firms (ABA Formal Opn. 489, December 4, 2019) received much less attention. Law firms should have taken notice, however, because the opinion represents some significant new thinking on […]
A recent legal ethics opinion from North Carolina provides interesting insight into the ethics of a non-solicitation agreement between law firms that restricts attorney mobility but not necessarily a client’s choice of counsel. The North Carolina 2017 Formal Ethics Opinion No. 5 analyzed the issue of whether two law firms could enter into a non-solicitation […]
In an important order that impacts the field of partner departures nationwide, a district court judge in the the Eastern District of Virginia held that a provision in a law firm’s operating agreement that provides that a withdrawing partner who “takes clients” forfeits up to fifty percent of his equity in the firm is void […]
Partner Departures and Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group: Does California’s Business and Professions Code § 16600 Void Any Partnership Provision that Restricts a Departing Partner’s Right to Compete?
The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision, filed April 8, 2015, in Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group (9th Circuit) Case No. 12-16514, has potentially far-reaching implications for what is deemed to be an unlawful professional restraint in violation of California’s Business and Professions Code § 16600. In closely examining the statute, the Ninth Circuit concluded that the reach of § 16600 […]
According to the California Supreme Court in Edwards v. Arthur Andersen, There is No “Narrow Restraint” Exception to General Rule Voiding Noncompetition Agreements
As a general rule under California law, contracts that restrict or penalize competition among former employees and employers are void and unenforceable under Business & Professions Code Section 16600. In Edwards v. Arthur Andersen, the California Supreme Court examined the issue of whether or not there was a “narrow restraint” exception to this general rule, which would […]