When it comes to physician employment agreements, non-compete provisions can be controversial and tricky. The use of these agreements is nonetheless increasing and evolving as hospitals and other groups try to protect their investments in successful medical practices, especially those that they helped launch and nurture. After assuming the risks and costs of building a medical practice, they obviously do not want to see employed doctors move their practices (and patients) to a competitor.
A recent case from the Colorado Supreme Court underscores the importance of covering all bases in proving that information actually constitutes trade secrets or other confidential information. Litigants who fail to do so risk broad disclosure of their protectable information.
As with any contract, to be enforceable, a non-compete must be supported by consideration. The Colorado Supreme Court recently fell in line with the clear majority position by finding that continued employment alone is sufficient consideration.