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Theus Law Offices is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 5 review(s).

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Most people have many questions about estate planning but never make a move to go see an attorney. Before Theus' free seminar I did not even know their were attorneys that specialized in only estate planning. Thank goodness I attended...as I did not even know what asset protection was, even though I had assets. Most people think a written will is fine and pass away thinking that things will be as they wished/stated. Most times that is not the case. I urge you to go Theus Law Offices for consultation. They are friendly and down to earth with your wishes being #1. I cannot say enough good things about them. Now that I have gone to Theus I rest so much easier knowing that my wishes...are going to be held up...just as I wanted...no doubt about it....Thanks to the Theus family !

- Peyton Guillory

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The Theus Law Offices’ Family Estate Planning is a must from my perspective. I had recently lost my dad when I decide to attend the in-person Workshop at the time. My dad and I had attended a similar workshop some four (4) years prior but my dad didn’t elect at the time to move forward. I so wished that he (my dad) had done so because now I am helping my mom go through the Succession/Probate steps with a lawyer currently. If you or your loved ones haven’t made this decision with Estate Planning, I would strongly encourage you to attend this web-based workshop/webinar. Graves Theus is a great attorney to go with for this important step in you and your family’s planning for the future in many, many ways!!!

- Mark Johnson

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The Theus Law Offices’ Family Estate Planning is a must from my perspective. I had recently lost my dad when I decide to attend the in-person Workshop at the time. My dad and I had attended a similar workshop some four (4) years prior but my dad didn’t elect at the time to move forward. I so wished that he (my dad) had done so because now I am helping my mom go through the Succession/Probate steps with a lawyer currently. If you or your loved ones haven’t made this decision with Estate Planning, I would strongly encourage you to attend this web-based workshop/webinar. Graves Theus is a great attorney to go with for this important step in you and your family’s planning for the future in many, many ways!!!

- Mark Johnson

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They are a wonderful Team!

- Jessica Cole

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Estate planning is a complicated process, but my wife and I feel it is valuable and necessary. We started by attending an Estate Planning workshop offered by the Theus Law Offices and led by Jim Theus. That was about the wisest decision we have made in some time. We engaged the services of Theus Law Offices and have benefitted enormously from the direct working relationship with Jim Theus. They did not sign us up and then pass us off to a staff member. We worked with Jim Theus personally. When it was time to work with others of the staff, we found them friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. Jim Theus is exceptionally competent and patiently answers questions. His due diligence is admirable. We found their fees for estate planning reasonable and fair. You would be wise to consider using the services of Theus Law Offices if you are interested in estate planning. We are grateful for their help and recommend them to you without reservations. Our loved ones will also be the beneficiaries of a comprehensive plan, as are we. Doyle L Bailey

- Doyle Bailey

Blog

PHYSICIAN NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENTS


13 August, 2016

"Cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, 
begins where competition leaves off."  
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
In 2005, the Tennessee Supreme Court declared the non-competition agreement between internist Dr. David Udom and his former employer Murfreesboro Medical Clinic ("MMC") invalid. In ending a two and a half year legal battle, the court ruled that a patient's need to receive continued care from a preferred physician far outweighed an employer's interests. "The right to choose the physician that one believes is best able to provide care is fundamental. The court cannot allow it to be denied owing to an employer's restrictive covenant," read a statement from the court. As a result, non-competition agreements are generally unenforceable against physicians in Tennessee, who are effectively afforded a "favored nation" status in Tennessee.

This is not the case in Louisiana where attorneys are the only professional group to be afforded favored nation status. According to the Louisiana legislature, the right to choose counsel is deemed fundamental. Hence, non-competition agreements are not enforceable against attorneys in Louisiana.

While this same reasoning could be applied to physicians in Louisiana, as it stands today, non-competition agreements are generally enforceable against physicians in Louisiana. Accordingly, medical employers must consider and weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of such restrictive agreements.

Scope of Non-competition Agreements in the Medical Field

A non-competition agreement typically bars a physician from:

1.  Practicing medicine within a certain distance of the current employer's locations for a defined period of time; and

2. Encouraging or soliciting patients to follow him or her to the new practice.

Advantages to Medical Employers of Non-competition Restrictions:

  • Physicians gain new knowledge, learn new skills, and build their reputation while in practice. Turnover can be expensive for an employer. Non-competition agreements encourage retention and deter employed physicians from leaving their current practices.
  • Non-competition agreements prevent physician employees from becoming direct competitors by typically prohibiting physicians from taking employers' patients elsewhere.
  • Non-competition policies, along with other restrictive covenants, alleviate concerns about stability and retention, while allowing employers to focus on patient services.
  • Non-competition agreements may protect an employer from disparaging remarks or ill practices following an acrimonious departure by requiring a physician to practice outside the protected area of competition.

Disadvantages to Physician Employees of Non-competition Agreements:

  • Non-competition agreements can cause employed physicians stress and hardship. For instance, a required move from a restricted area of competition following termination of employment substantially alters life.
  • Non-competition policies can result in less than ideal workplace dynamics. Employers who believe that employed physicians cannot leave to start their own practices may be less concerned about employee satisfaction and quality of the work environment.
  • Patients may be adversely affected if discouraged or denied the opportunity to continue a preferred patient relationship with an employed physician.

Drafting Enforceable Non-competition Agreements

Though non-competition agreements may not be popular with physician employees, there is certainly a place for them in employment contracts and agreements. Severability clauses can be used to enhance the enforceability of non-competition agreements. These provisions suggest alternative time and location restrictions, allowing practices to move from broad restrictions to site specific and individual specific restrictions. With properly drafted provisions, an employer can balance the needs of a practice with reasonable demands of a potential physician employee, thus supporting the expectations of both business and personal agendas.

Protecting the Best Interest of the Practice While Protecting the “‘Best Practices” of the Physician

Complexities of non-competition agreements expose both employers and employees to pertinent practice and career issues.  Accordingly, it is important to be well advised when negotiating, drafting, defending or challenging non-competition agreements.  Agreements that arise from cooperation, collaboration and clear communication are ultimately more defensible should the need ever arise.

Fortunately, for individuals and medical businesses in Louisiana, Theus Law Offices provides a complete range of business services.  If you are facing an issue with a non-competition agreement and need a Louisiana business attorney in Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport, Monroe or elsewhere, let our business attorneys help you and your business.

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