No solicitation agreement?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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No solicitation agreement?

I signed an agreement when I started working for a day spa that I wouldn’t take clients with me when I left. I quit to start my own spa. At first I texted a few of my regulars, but then out of a desire to have integrity decided I would only answer if texted first. Some how she got the idea that I’ve been texting

everyone and is threatening to sue me for taking clients. A lot of these people were referred directly to me and have said they want to follow me. Am I wrong? Does she have a case against me? What was I supposed to do, tell these people sorry I can’t work on you because you belong to her? What should I do?

Asked on July 15, 2017 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Whether she is wrong or right depends on *exactly* what your non-solicitation agreement says. If it states that you cannot "solicit" or initiate contact, then if the customer contacts you, you are legally in the right. (But note: being legally in the right does not mean that the other side cannot file a lawsuit and at least force you to respond and defend yourself.) But if the agreement says you cannot have or provide services to any of those customers, then you cannot, regardless of who initiates contact. As with any contract, the plain language of the agreement you signed determines legal rights. If unsure about what exactly the agreement means, take it to an attorney who can review its precise language with you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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