Transfer granted in case involving solicitation agreements

The Indiana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case involving a noncompete and solicitation agreement ruled to be overly broad.

Justices first granted transfer in Heraeus Medical, LLC, et al. v. Zimmer, Inc., et al, 19S-PL-471. In that case, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a noncompete and nonsolicitation agreement between Robert Kolbe and his former employer, Zimmer Inc., was not unenforceable due to its lack of a defined geographic scope. The appellate court also found its covenant to not solicit customers of active contacts was not overbroad.

However, the COA also found, among other things, that Kolbe’s agreement covenant not to solicit Zimmer Biomet employees was overbroad. The appellate court thus reformed that agreement to limit the scope of Kolbe’s obligation not to solicit Zimmer Biomet employees to those in which it had a legitimate protectable interest.

Justices also agreed to grant transfer and ruled last week in the case of Troy R. Shaw v. State of Indiana19S-PC-466. Troy Shaw was convicted of murder after a deadly fight with a hotel employee during a work-related trip. Shaw’s 60-year sentence was affirmed on direct appeal and he later filed his first petition for post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. The appellate court denied his petition and later affirmed his conviction on a second direct appeal.

In an Aug. 21 per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court concluded Shaw’s petition could proceed without prior appellate authorization. It found that the Public Defender of Indiana could represent Shaw under the circumstances and remanded the case for further proceedings.

The high court declined to hear the remaining 26 cases in which transfer petitions were decided during the week ending August 23. The list can be found here. 

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