The Compass

The Compass

Charting Business and Technology Litigation in North Carolina and the Fourth Circuit

Category Archives: Contracts

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Fourth Circuit Rejects Broad Reading of Arbitration Ban in Dodd-Frank

Posted in Arbitration, Contracts, Fourth Circuit, Uncategorized
In a variation on a familiar refrain, the Fourth Circuit recently upheld the enforceability of another arbitration provision under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) in Santoro v. Accenture Federal Services, LLC. This time, the plaintiff attempted to escape arbitration by relying on restrictions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”)… Continue Reading

Can You Keep a Secret? Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Agreements Are For Real

Posted in Contracts, Settlements
If a party to a confidential settlement agreement blabs about the settlement, could the party lose some of the benefits of the settlement?  A recent Florida appellate decision is a good reminder to think carefully about the confidentiality clauses in your settlement agreements both before—and after—you settle your case. (Look for some best practices at… Continue Reading

N.C. Business Court Weighs In On Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants Following Aquisition of a Company

Posted in Contracts, Trade Secrets
Your company acquires another company through merger or stock purchase.  You require the key employees of the acquired company to sign new employment agreements which provide for similar pay, benefits and job duties  – but the new agreement also imposes new non-compete obligations.  A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court reminds companies that… Continue Reading

Is The 9th Circuit’s Decision on Trial Payment Plan Promises the Prelude to a Cautionary Tale?

Posted in Contracts
The U.S. Department of Treasury, acting under the direction of Congress, launched the Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”) in 2009 to help distressed homeowners with delinquent mortgages. However, the program “seems to have created more litigation than it has happy homeowners.” These were the first words in Corvello v. Wells Fargo, issued yesterday by 9th Circuit. … Continue Reading

Non-Compete Agreements Aren’t for Everyone: The Necessity of Proving a “Legitimate Business Interest”

Posted in Contracts, Data Security
It is a longstanding tenet of North Carolina law:  A company must have a legitimate business interest to justify using non-competes in its employment agreements.    Employers often focus on specific language describing the scope of their non-competes – should it be six months, one year or two years?  Should it be citywide, statewide, or is… Continue Reading

Don’t Want To Arbitrate? Pay Attention To All Of Your Contract

Posted in Arbitration, Contracts, Fourth Circuit
You are a business.  You sign a two page purchase order contract that references additional “terms and conditions” on the “following pages,” but there are no following pages.  You believe that language is boilerplate and of no specific meaning, but you do not inquire further.  Think that an arbitration clause contained in those referenced but… Continue Reading