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BIG WIN: Non-Compete Unenforceable after Delegal & Poindexter defeats Motion for Temporary Injunction

BIG WIN: Non-Compete Unenforceable after Delegal & Poindexter defeats Motion for Temporary Injunction

D&P Win for Hair Stylist at Non-Compete Injunction Hearing

The attorneys of Delegal & Poindexter recently had a big win for a client, defeating a motion for temporary injunction seeking to prevent the client from continuing to provide hair stylist services.

After D&P’s client, a hair stylist, left the salon she was employed at following dramatic price increases, the salon asked a court to bar the client from providing hair stylist services, citing a noncompete agreement.

Tad Delegal, an expert on noncompete law in Florida, successfully argued that his client was not competing with her former salon based on the extreme difference in pricing between the two salons. D&P’s client charged approximately half the price of her former salon’s price for a haircut. The extreme increase in price led the majority of D&P’s clients to tell her that they would no longer be able to afford her services, prompting D&P’s client to go out on her own to continue providing much needed services to her client. If she stayed at her former salon, she would not have been able to make a living because she would have lost nearly all, if not all, of her clients.

The court first ruled in D&P’s favor when it determined that because D&P’s client’s pricing for stylist services was significantly less than her former salon, the two salons were not in competition with each other. Several courts across the country have recognized that two businesses who provide similar products or services but at significantly different price points, i.e., Walmart versus Nordstrom, are not competing, as they target different groups of customers.

The court also ruled that the former salon did not establish the existence of a legitimate business interest based on the training provided to D&P’s client. Witness testimony stated that the salon no longer provided the training it relied on in its argument. Additionally, D&P’s client received significantly more training at a school before working for her former employer. Additional witness testimony indicated that D&P’s client’s extraordinary skill was acquired from her schooling and her independent research, rather than from any training received from her former employer.

In Florida, a noncompete agreement is not valid unless it is supported by a legitimate business interest, such as training, substantial client relationships, trade secrets, and goodwill. If the party seeking to enforce a noncompete agreement is unable to establish the existence of a legitimate business interest, the noncompete agreement is unenforceable.

If you need legal advice regarding the enforceability of a noncompete agreement, contact Delegal & Poindexter to schedule time to meet with one of our attorneys.

To read the full order in Johnston v. Cortello Salon, Inc., click here