View Full Version : In a law bind (reseach issues)

07-24-2008, 07:20 AM
In my WIP I am having my MC and friends start up their own company after they are outsourced from their jobs, they do this by getting their old clients to transfer their accounts to them, instead of having their advertisements worked on outside of the country.

In the 2nd WIP (which hasn't been started yet, want to finish the first) I want them to get into a bit of a legal bind over this.

I was originally going to put this in the first WIP, but thought it would make for too much plot going on, and I wouldn't be able to fully get into it without the WIP becoming far too long.

Now, I have a friend who is a lawyer and was going to try and help me out best she can, but she's in CT, and I'm currently in AZ.
Where else can I go for some research to find out say
1.) what they can be sued for
2.) what the arguments would be
3.) etc.

Do law libraries just let everyday folks in?
Has anyone ever had to research something like this?


kct webber
07-24-2008, 08:44 AM
I'm no lawer, but it's not uncommon for a company to make employees sign a no-competition thingy. Basically it means that you can't leave the company and use anything you learned there for another company.

Like I said, I'm not a lawer, but I have had to sign one of these things. I had a pretty technical job with a military contractor that used proprietary computer systems and software. The technology was not classified, but, for five years, I can't work for another company who does the same type of work--or more specifically, competes with the company that I worked for.

I don't know if this helps, but it was the first thing that came to mind. :)

07-24-2008, 08:56 AM
[drunk posting]
Shannon, with a bit of work you can find a law library that legally HAS to allow you to enter, and honestly, a lot of law librarians are really awesome and interesting people who would be more than willing to help you if you tell them very plainly that you are an author doing research for a novel.

(The reason law librarians are usually dour and unhelpful to most people doing research to represent themselves is because if they are seen as giving legal advice and have not passed the bar in the state where they're working as law librarians, there's a big nasty ordeal to be had. So go in, make sure that they know you are not a Pro Se patron but are instead doing research for a novel and I guarantee you that they will be friendlier and more helpful, or you can towel whip me at my next derby bout.)

How to tell if you are legally allowed to enter a law library: google either "full federal respository" or "public at large" and the law library you'd like to visit. If they are receiving sudoc publications (otherwise known as government documents) and are a depository library, they are legally required to be open to the public. If their mission statement includes serving the public at large, then you've found yourself another ready source.

(Arizona state is a full repository AND their mission statement includes public service. Don't know if this is your part of AZ, but check it out: http://cip.lib.az.us/index.cfm?event=ViewRepository&oid=370&cid=0)

[/drunk posting]

07-24-2008, 06:22 PM
Webber has it. Most companies will make you sign an agreement that you will not compete. That includes stealing their client list. If your characters left and were minimally successful, their old company might not bother with them, but if they become successful using the old company's clients, then they would go after them.

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-24-2008, 07:18 PM
In my WIP I am having my MC and friends start up their own company after they are outsourced from their jobs, they do this by getting their old clients to transfer their accounts to them, instead of having their advertisements worked on outside of the country.

tortius interference
violating their employment contract
and if they took the contact lists from the old employer ... theft of trade secrets

07-24-2008, 09:27 PM
thanks guys!!!

07-26-2008, 04:29 AM
Google "Tortious interference in a contract", for one thing--if these people had signed an agreement not to compete with their old employer for a number of years after they left employment, or if they'd signed an agreement to encourage clients to stay with their former employer, and the clients are aware of that contract, the clients could get hit for "tortious interference" and the employees could get hit for breach of contract, even if the old contracts have expired.

(The non-compete clause of a good contract, like the confidentiality clause, will generally not expire with the regular termination of the contract.)

That being said, keep in mind that your readers probably won't take too kindly to being inundated with everything you learn. :) It's important to translate from Lawyer to English.

(This is not legal advice.)

07-31-2008, 04:44 AM
there are a whole bunch of business related torts. YOu'll have to research the elements because i couldnt understand what the characters in your story were doing. Were they stealing former clients?

see these links: