Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Charles Martin
10 followers -
Author, Lawyer, Educator
Author, Lawyer, Educator

10 followers
About
Posts

Post has attachment
Under noncompete agreements, American employees, unless they live in California, North Dakota or Oklahoma, are where baseball players were before Curt Flood challenged the reserve clause in 1971.

Post has attachment
Like globalization and new technology, noncompete agreements can reduce employee wages and hurt regional economies. Unlike globalization and technology, the unique benefits of noncompete agreements have never been clearly identified (except for the leverage they give employers who use them). Also, unlike globalization and technology, the solution to unfair noncompete agreements is within the reach of affected workers.


In the 47 states that allow them, state contract law requires employee noncompete agreements to be reasonable in the scope of geography, time and work covered by them. Many employers and judges, however, do not seriously enforce these reasonableness requirements. Consequently, many employers are abusing noncompetes to intimidate employees and prevent fair competition.


The solution? Workers potentially affected negatively by noncompetes should demand that their state legislators ban employee noncompete agreements completely. California, North Dakota and Oklahoma already ban them. Michigan banned them from 1905 to 1985, and the auto industry boomed. Coincidence? Maybe. Silicon Valley, where noncompetes are illegal, is a magnet for technology talent from the rest of America and the world. Coincidence? Maybe.


In one of its rare bi-partisan efforts, the U.S. Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. It gives employers the right to sue in federal courts to keep trade secrets from being taken by former employees to competitors. The difficulty of enforcing trade secrets laws in multiple state courts was an employer argument for noncompete agreements. Now that excuse is eliminated.

Congress has done as much as it is likely to do to ban noncompete agreements. Now, it is up to workers to demand that their state legislatures ban employee noncompete agreements.

Post has attachment
The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a ban on mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts that take away the right to go to court. This ban was specifically authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. Now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are prohibiting federally funded nursing homes from mandating arbitration of future patient disputes before they arise. Since the authority behind the CMS ban is less specific than the CFPB's authority, it might not survive a court challenge.

Post has attachment
This is a bi-partisan action by Congress with major implications that reach far beyond the "gag clauses" in travel, restaurant and hotel contract fine print that prompted it. These are the clauses that penalize customers posting negative reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, such as by making them forfeit a deposit. The House version of the bill states that (with certain exceptions) "a provision of a form contract is void" if it restricts or penalizes a customer, because of their review or assessment of goods, services or conduct contracted for by them. The bill gives the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general power to enforce the prohibition as an unfair or deceptive trade act or practice.

Expect constitutional challenges to the proposed law on the grounds of Article I, Section 10 that "No State shall [nor the federal government through the 14th Amendment due process clause] pass any...Law impairing the Obligations of Contracts." Congress has passed many such laws, however, if it finds the public interest requires it.

The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule prohibiting mandatory arbitration in consumer financial contracts would also impair private contracts. If certain clauses perceived to be unfair in consumer "form contracts" will be prohibited by federal law, these reviewer "gag clauses" might be just the beginning.

Post has attachment
This is a big victory for Uber over its drivers, who wanted some of the rights of employees, among other claims. The federal appeals court's dismissal of the drivers' challenges to their contract arbitration clause could affect all employees, consumers and small businesses, who are increasingly bound by such contract clauses. These clauses take away the right to go to court over legal disputes.

Post has attachment
I will talk about the Nats-Os cablecasting lawsuit tomorrow at SABR "Talkin' Baseball" at 9am at Brighton Gardens, 7110 Minstrel Way, Columbia MD. All are welcome. This is the monthly Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Chesapeake Region "Talkin' Baseball" discussion. We will discuss the continuing cable profits litigation described in my book "Lawyerball - The Courtroom Battle of the Orioles Against the Nationals and MLB for the Future of Baseball".

Post has attachment
Not the kind of stealing that is allowed in baseball.

Post has attachment
A New York trial judge denied the Nationals' motion to compel a new MLB-run arbitration of their $100 million cable rights fees dispute with Orioles-owned cable channel MASN. The previous arbitration award was vacated for arbitrator "evident bias" against the Orioles, because MLB allowed the Nationals to use the same law firm that MLB uses. Even though the Nationals switched law firms, the litigation will continue through the Orioles' appeal of the earlier ruling, which they say should have disqualified MLB as a future arbitration forum.

This decision and the major case documents are on the Resources Page at www.lawyerball.com.

Post has attachment
Free Amazon Kindle Instant Book Preview of “Every1’s Guide to Electronic Contracts”

One click, one preview. See a Free Amazon Kindle Instant Book Preview of my book “Every1’s Guide to Electronic Contracts” by following this link - Free Amazon Kindle Preview of “Every1’s Guide to Electronic Contracts”

Post has attachment
Great story about how little guys can use data analysis to find "diamonds in the rough" that the big leagues miss. When independents are allowed to compete with businesses unfairly protected by legal exemptions from competition, everyone wins.
Wait while more posts are being loaded