Many employees incorrectly assume that non-competition or non-solicitation agreements they signed with their previous employer cannot be enforced, or will be very difficult to enforce. Often, employees leaving their employment will take or keep documents or information (e.g., sales records, customer information) because they do not understand or have never heard of Ohio’s trade secret laws. And many times, neither the employer nor the employee understand the circumstances under which a former employee may enter into direct competition with his former employer.While often times Ohio laws are just ignored, we have found that many disputes arising from a previous employee’s post-separation conduct could have been avoided altogether with smart and timely legal advice. It is not unusual that just a short meeting, with an experienced attorney, could have prevented thousands of dollars in legal fees and potential exposure.At Sonkin • Koberna, we regularly counsel both employers and employees regarding their respective rights and obligations in the area of trade secrets, unfair competition and non-competition agreements. If litigation becomes necessary, our trial lawyers are very experienced in obtaining immediate injunctive relief and cease and desist orders from court, in order to prevent irreparable harm before it occurs. We have also handled complex trade secret cases which require a thorough understanding of complicated technical issues.In some cases, it is important to retain a qualified forensic computer expert to assist in the investigation, or to capture electronically stored information which may have been misappropriated, or a sophisticated accounting firm to assist in the preparation of complex calculations of damages flowing from lost customers, lost sales or lost opportunities. Sonkin • Koberna has ongoing relationships with many highly qualified expert consulting firms, and works hand in hand with them to ensure the best possible results.We also have many years of experience in negotiating and drafting employment agreements containing non-competition, non-solicitation and other restrictive covenants.