Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - October 16, 2012

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Fillpoint, LLC v. Maas (2012) 208 Cal.App.4th 1170.  The defendant in this case had a stock interest in a company called Crave Entertainment, Inc. which he sold to Handleman Company.  At the time he signed the stock purchase agreement he also signed a three year covenant not to compete, and also entered into an employment agreement with Handleman which contained an additional one year covenant not to compete.  The employment agreement contained a clause that provided in the event of any conflicts between the two agreements, the terms of the purchase agreement would prevail.

After working with Handleman for three years, Maas left that employment and less than a year later began working for a competitor of Handleman's.  Handleman sued to enforce the noncompetition provisions in both the purchase agreement and the employment agreement.

The court held that the three years had run in the enforceable noncompete provision in the stock purchase agreement and it had to be read in combination with the noncompete in the employment agreement because of the integration clause.  The noncompete in the employment agreement the court found to be unenforceable as well because it would have limited Mr. Maas's ability to engage in a profession and was overbroad, and the case was dismissed with the court noting that the three years in the enforceable covenant form the purchase agreement had already run out.

People v. Dunbar (2012) 209 Cal.App.4th 114.  This was a case in which forgery complaints were filed against the defendant for falsifying entries in the record of a private business in violation of Penal Code §471.  The trial court construed §471 as applying only to the forgery of public records and dismissed 24 felony forgery counts.  The court of appeal reversed, holding that the use of the word "any" in Penal Code §471 describing the type of records which are covered by the statute shows that it was intended to apply to the forgery of both public and private books of account.

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