The laws established by California`s 1872 Primitmite Civil Code continue to reflect the state`s harsh policy of protecting its company`s right to hire employees of its choice. As a result, California`s competition bans are not permitted, with the exception of a few situations expressly provided for by law. The California Court of Appeals has ruled that even non-compete clauses that have been made in other states where it is legal are not applicable in California. Whether California is bound by the U.S. Constitution`s full and credit clause, which requires states to impose just judgments from other states` courts, has yet to be challenged and decided. Proof that the agreement is not linked to a legitimate commercial interest is the most effective way out of a non-competition clause. The objective of non-competition is to protect trade secrets. If you can prove that you didn`t need access to trade secrets in your previous role, you should be able to accept a job at any company you want. A question of ethics: alliances, not competing. Brendan Coleman developed and marketed Clinex, a billing software. Later, Retina Consultants, P.C., recruited a medical practice, Coleman as a software engineer. Together, they modified the Clinex program to create Clinex-RE.

Coleman signed an agreement that it owned Clinex, that it owned Retina Clinex-RE and that it would not market Clinex in competition with Clinex-RE. After leaving Retina, Coleman withdrew money from a Retina bank account and marketed both forms of software to other medical practices. The derogation from this rule includes a non-competition agreement which is the norm in certain business contracts for which fair protection is appropriate. Coercion or undue influence The parties must voluntarily consent to the contractual conditions. For a contract to be enforceable, a party cannot feel threatened or pressured to sign the contract. Coercion is defined as a coercive act that leaves the party with no choice but to sign the agreement. In this context, a contract could be considered unenforceable when one party threatens to take legal action, unless the other party signs. Excessive influence is a bit more subtle and focuses more on a power dynamic. Where a party is in a special relationship with the other party that impairs its ability to voluntarily opt for the signing of the contract, the agreement shall not apply.