SCOTUS Reigns Supreme On Issue Of Arbitration Of Non-Compete Agreements


Some states specifically allow non-compete agreements. Of those states, some have legislation that provides guidelines to parties to a non-compete agreement regarding enforceability. Other states take the approach that agreements restricting employment are void and unenforceable as against public policy. So here’s a situation on which the United States Supreme Court recently rendered an opinion (see Nitro-Lift Technologies, L.L.C. v. Eddie Lee Howard, et al., US Supreme Court Case No. 11-1377, November 2012):

Nitro-Lift Technologies contracts with oil and gas operators to provide services that enhance production. Nitro-Lift entered into confidentiality and noncompetition agreements with its employees that contained an arbitration clause. The arbitration clause referred any dispute, difference or unresolved question to single arbitrator arbitration in Houston, Texas using AAA rules. Two of the employees subject to the confidentiality and noncompetition agreements left the company and went to work for a competitor. During their employment, the former employees had worked in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The employer served the former employees with a demand for arbitration, to which the former employees responded with a lawsuit in Oklahoma state court seeking a judicial declaration that the noncompetition agreement was null and void. The Oklahoma lower court dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the contract contained a valid arbitration clause dictating that the arbitrator, and not the trial court, should resolve the parties’ disputes.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Burr & Forman | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Burr & Forman on:

JD Supra Readers' Choice 2016 Awards
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.