All or Nothing: Obtaining a Preliminary Injunction

All or Nothing: Obtaining a Preliminary Injunction

This post is useful for both employers and employees, and discusses what the legal standards are for obtaining a preliminary injunction in a non-compete case in Michigan, and generally throughout the remaining jurisdictions in the United States. A preliminary injunction is an injunction that the employer petitions the court for at the initial stages of the case to prevent the employee from violating the non-compete agreement. It usually requests that the employee cease working for a competitor during the pendency of the case.

A court must consider four factors in determining whether to issue a preliminary injunction: 1. harm to the public interest if the injunction issues; 2. whether the harm to the applicant for the preliminary injunction in the absence of the relief outweighs the harm to the opposing party if the relief is granted; 3. the likelihood that the applicant for the preliminary injunction will prevail on the merits; 4. a demonstration that the applicant will suffer from irreparable injury if the relief is not granted. These are general enough standards but oftentimes it boils down to the courts assessment of the relative strength of the employers non-compete under the specific circumstances of the case and the harm that the employer may suffer in the absence of the injunction. Both employers and employees must be cognizant of the standards in assessing the merits of their claims and defenses in the event of litigation over a non-compete agreement where a preliminary injunction is issued.

Oftentimes the case is won or lost on the issuance of the preliminary injunction on the outset of the case. Many times the employer who fails to obtain a preliminary injunction loses its incentive to litigate the case to its conclusion. In the event that the court issues the preliminary injunction an employee often loses his incentive to continue to defend the claims.

In assessing either your claim for a preliminary injunction or your defenses to a preliminary injunction it is important to consult with an experienced non-compete attorney. The experienced non-compete attorneys at Traverse Legal can provide you that assistance.