Risk management expert witness Alan F. Shirek, AFS Risk Consulting International, advises on the obligations of employed producers to their firms with respect to “non-compete” and “non-piracy” agreements. In Obligations of employed producers, Shirek writes:
Unfortunately, a contract that appeared clear to both parties when signed becomes less than clear when a dispute arises. Furthermore, the wording of many producer contracts is in direct contradiction to the laws of the state in which the contract was executed. Producer contracts often come into focus when a producer accepts a new offer of employment. In many cases, the former employer desires compensation or attempts to enforce non-compete or anti-piracy wording in the contract.
Producer compensation – Again, while the intent of the parties appeared clear when the contract was executed, those intentions may change subsequently. Practice may differ from contractual terms. Contractual terms may be verbally or informally amended for a period of time before one part or another seeks to enforce the terms of the contract as written.