Monday, August 13, 2012
Should a Physician Sign a Non-Compete Agreement?
The purpose of this blog article today is "Whether a Physician Should Sign a Non-Compete Agreement?" The practical answer is yes, but a physician or doctor should understand what is a non-compete agreement and what legal rights are you given up. Generally, in Illinois, a non-compete agreement is an enforceable agreement if it is written without too broad of geographic scope and the time limitation is reasonable. In my experience, I see Physician Employment Contracts or otherwise known as Doctor Employment Contracts, written with a year or two time restriction. Normally, a time restriction under two (2) years will be viewed as reasonable in Illinois courts. My practice involves the Chicagoland Region such as Dupage County, Will County, Cook County, Kane County, and Kendall County and I have noticed that a lot of time restrictions are one (1) year. I believe that two (2) years may be okay, but too be safe, a year is much more practical. However, a well-written Physician Employment Agreement will have a provision that modifies the Employment Agreement if a court finds that the time restriction is too broad. Thus, the modification provision will allow the Circuit Court of Cook County, Circuit Court of Dupage County, Circuit Court of Will County, or other court house to limit the time scope to what the court finds as reasonable. The geographic limit restriction is often around 15 miles or 30 miles. In many cases, this protects the healthcare owner or physician whose practice wants to protect their client relationships. Unlike attorney practices, it is acceptable for a Physician to have a non-compete agreement. The benfit of a non-compete agreement for a physician practice group or physician is the ability to protect your clients or your property interests in your clients from a physician or independent contractor that wants to compete against you and steal your clients. Generally, a Physician or Doctor will be an employee or independent contractor for another physician or physician practice group or hospital. If you are an employee that is looking for an attorney, Robertson Law Group, LLC can assist you negotiate or revise the employment or independent contractor agreement. Often times, the purpose of a non-compete agreement is to protect your employer from you stealing their clients. This is completely reasonable and you will be forced to sign this agreement. However, these agreements are often times drafted in a manner to protect your employer. You should have your own legal counsel to negotiate and/or review your employment agreement. This generally involves three (3) to five (5) hours worth of attorney-time (in most cases). In conclusion, many physician practice groups or solo physicians will require an employee or independent contractor to sign a non-compete agreement. A non-compete agreement is a legal agreement that prevents a Physician or Doctor from opening up their own medical practice within a certain time frame and within a certain geographic limitation of their employeer's medical practice. Sean Robertson is an Asset Protection Attorney that concentrates in medical practice planning and healthcare planning. We understand how to draft employment and independent contractor agreements and how to properly structure your medical practices and your personal assets in a manner that protects your business and personal assets. Sean Robertson may be reached at either 312-854-7102 (Downtown Chicago) or 630-800-2033 (Western Suburbs-North Aurora and Naperville). Our website is www.RobertsonLawGroup.com. We have multiple attorneys that service physicians, surgeons, and emergency room doctors. Keywords: physician asset protection planning, Chicago asset protection attorney, Dupage County asset protection Medical, Physician Employment Agreements Dupage County, Physician Employment Agreements Chicago, Physician Employment Agreements Will County, Physician Employment Agreements Kane County, Physician Employment Agreements Naperville, Illinois, Physician Employment Agreements North Aurora, Illinois, Aurora Physician Employment Agreements Attorney, Independent Contractor Agreement Doctor, Doctor Independent Contractor Agreements, doctor asset protection lawyer, Sean Robertson Physician Attorney Illinois, Sean Robertson Physician Attorney Chicago, Sean Robertson Physician Attorney North Aurora, Sean Robertson Physician Lawyer Naperville