Symposium on Bills Affecting Employee Non-Compete Agreements

by Darius Kazemi on July 9, 2009

in Event announcements

Please consider attending this important upcoming event hosted by the Boston Bar Association. It’s not expressly a game industry event, but it’s a symposium on bills affecting non-competition agreements, including House Bill 1794, which the Boston Post Mortem supports.

Name: A Symposium on Bills Affecting Employee Non-Compete Agreements

Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Time: 4:00 PM


A Symposium on Bills Affecting Employee Non-Compete Agreements

It is argued that employee non-compete agreements have chilled the spawning of new enterprises in Massachusetts compared to California where such agreements are generally unenforceable under a statute first enacted in 1872. It is countered that businesses large and small need these agreements enforced to protect their investments and that failure to do so will give rise to protracted trade secret litigation.

State Representative William N. Brownsberger, with 25 co-sponsors, filed H. 1794, which would institute a rule similar to the California statute.

State Representative Lori Ehrlich, with seven co-sponsors, filed H. 1799, which would require, among other things, establish minimum thresholds for the enforceability of noncompetes, including advance notice of noncompetes to new employees, and provide a presumption of enforceability where “garden leave” compensation is paid to certain employees restricted by non-competition agreements.

Under Anglo-American common law, servitudes were disfavored and non-competition agreements were enforceable only to protect goodwill in the sale of a business or trade secrets. Massachusetts has extended enforceability to protect “confidential information” that does not meet the restrictive requirements for a trade secret under the 1939 Restatement of Torts. The Massachusetts Uniform Law Commission filed H. 87, and State Representative Daniel E. Bosley and State Senator John A. Hart, Jr., filed H. 329, which would expand Massachusetts protection for trade secrets as more broadly defined under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act adopted by 45 other states and the District of Columbia.

Please join proponents of these bills and the alternative status quo in a discussion of law and policy:

William N. Brownsberger, Esq., Sponsor of H. 1794

Russell Beck, Esq., Foley & Lardner, LLP, Drafter of H. 1799

Stephen Y. Chow, Esq., Burns & Levinson LLP, Massachusetts Uniform Law Commission, Drafter of H. 87, Symposium organizer

Michael L. Rosen, Esq., Foley Hoag LLP, Author of the Massachusetts Noncompete Law Blog, Speaking for the status quo

Hon. Gordon L. Doerfer (Ret.), JAMS, Moderator

Dr. Matthew Marx, MIT Sloan School, Investigator on longitudinal study of electrical engineer parties to non-compete agreements

We will also be joined by Mr. Scott Kirsner, “Innovation Economy” columnist, Boston Globe, who recently wrote on this issue. See

Full details and sign up information here.



Liz Surette July 10, 2009 at 9:39 pm

I’d love to go, but the link implies that you have to be a paying member of the BBA to RSVP. I’m trying to contact someone there to see if you can attend if you’re not, but so far no dice…

Darius Kazemi July 10, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Liz, it looks like you just need to sign up for a free web account to register. The “new user” form has a bunch of BBA stuff, but the only required bits are your email and name.

Liz Surette July 13, 2009 at 9:46 am

Got it

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