Update from Archstone Law Group

Recent Massachusetts Court Cases Interpreting Non-Competition Agreements

There has been much discussion in Massachusetts about doing away with employee non-competition agreements, and courts will generally interpret these agreements as narrowly as possible. Two recent cases in Massachusetts dealing with employee non-competition agreements are illustrative of both the state and federal courts’ desire to limit the enforceability of non-competition agreements. Lessons from these cases suggest that:

  • To avoid the unanticipated expiration of a restrictive period under a non-compete agreement, the agreement should specify that the employee’s termination of employment with either the employer or any successors or assigns of the employer is a triggering event.
  • Non-compete agreements should include a provision allowing for extension of the restrictive period in the case of litigation or employee misconduct (such as concealment of a breach of the agreement or theft of confidential information).
  • Acquiring companies should require employees to execute new non-compete agreements.

Estate Planning – It’s Not Just About Death and Taxes

When many people consider the concept of estate planning, two words generally leap to mind – death and taxes. While basic estate planning includes planning for the disposition of assets at death and minimizing estate taxes, a comprehensive estate plans takes a much broader approach, addressing a variety of personal and business issues along a time continuum beginning today and continuing well beyond one’s lifetime. In other words, estate planning is not just about planning for death, but planning for the rest of your life and for those who will survive you.

To read the full article, click here Estate Planning.

Opportunities for Commercial Tenants in Current Market

The current weakness in many districts of the Greater Boston commercial leasing market increasingly offers opportunities for savvy, established tenants. Faced with the imperative to limit vacancies (as well as brokerage commissions and tenant improvements), numerous landlords have proven flexible when approached by tenants on retroactive rent reductions for leases coming up in the next 6-18 months. Specifically, we have recently negotiated and amended leases for a number of commercial tenants who have successfully offered to extend the term on their existing premises by 12-24 months, in exchange for a retroactive reduction in Base Rent and a higher floor for Common Area Maintenance/Tax Additional Rent charges. We find these deals most common where vacancies already exist in the building, the tenant has a good record for complying with the existing lease terms, and the additional renovations to the premises required of the landlord are minimal or non-existent. While some landlords will not entertain this proposal, an increasing number will go forward in order to lower the risk of a vacancy in the near future.

Eve Horwitz Again Named a Super Lawyer

Attorney Eve Horwitz was recently named as a 2011 New England Super Lawyer for her health care expertise. Eve was selected by an independent blue ribbon panel of her peers who were asked to vote for those lawyers who represent the best of the legal profession. Only five percent of all lawyers in Massachusetts are listed as Super Lawyers.

Wishing you health and happiness this holiday season and in the New Year!

From all of us at Archstone Law Group