Professor Carney Discusses Noncompete Clauses, Upstart CompaniesBy: Beverly James
Professor William Carney is quoted in a December 21 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article on a startup company founder's battle with a restaurant supply’s Goliath's noncompete clause. Kirk Halpern was president of Sysco Food Services before leaving to form his own company in 2005.
The conflict hinged on a noncompete clause, an accepted business practice: If you part ways with one employer, you cannot immediately go to work for a competitor. Most publicized cases tend to surface in media, such as a TV anchor or radio personality jumping ship. The clauses commonly are applied to salespeople, marketers, scientists, research-and-developers and physicians. With such a hire, "you are buying goodwill," explained Carney, a law professor at Emory University specializing in corporate law. "For that person to leave and start competing right away, it destroys goodwill." Georgia, however, “has taken a fairly hostile attitude toward them,” Carney says.
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