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Appeals court tosses injunction tied to non-compete clause

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Terms of a non-compete clause in an agreement between an IT recruiter and his former employer are unreasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday in throwing out an injunction that barred the recruiter from similar employment.

An appellate panel reversed and remanded an order from Tippecanoe Circuit Judge Donald L. Daniel granting a preliminary injunction for a West Lafayette firm that specializes in recruiting information technology executives.

In a 27-page opinion, Judge Elaine Brown reiterated the state’s general disfavor of non-compete clauses in employment contracts, the second such opinion handed down by the appeals panel in recent days. In Daniel B. Buffkin v. Glacier Group, 79A02-1302-PL-141, Glacier won a preliminary injunction from the trial court that barred Buffkin, a contract recruiter who had been terminated, from recruiting a range of IT professionals for any company with offices in the United States.  

Terms of the non-compete clause are “certainly excessive to protect Glacier’s legitimate interests,” Brown wrote in the opinion joined by judges Edward Najam and Paul Mathias.

“Based upon the language of the Agreement and the record, and keeping in mind that non-competition agreements are strictly construed against the employer … we conclude that Paragraph 6 of the Agreement, to the extent that it protects a legitimate interest of Glacier, is unreasonable in terms of the activities it prohibits and its geographic restraints. Accordingly, the non-competition covenant in the Agreement was unenforceable,” Brown wrote.

“Glacier failed to meet its burden of showing a reasonable likelihood of success at trial. As a result, the court erred in granting its request for a preliminary injunction.”

Last Monday, the same panel ruled that summary judgment was erroneously granted in favor of a former employer that sought to exercise the non-compete clause in the contract of a former airline mechanic who went to work for another company.

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  1. Please I need help with my class action lawsuits, im currently in pro-se and im having hard time findiNG A LAWYER TO ASSIST ME

  2. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  3. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

  4. I've been denied I appeal court date took a year my court date was Nov 9,2016 and have not received a answer yet

  5. Warsaw indiana dcs lying on our case. We already proved that in our first and most recent court appearance i need people to contact me who have evidence of dcs malpractice please email or facebook nathaniel hollett thank you

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