Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reported last month on a Massachusetts federal court decision that barred former employees from suing their former employer for unpaid overtime, commissions, and bonuses after a trial over the employees’ noncompete agreements because the claims either should have been brought against the employer in the first lawsuit or were litigated as defenses at the trial. I offer some analysis in the article, and would only add that the procedural doctrines of collateral estoppel and compulsory counterclaims that the judge relied on are not new, so what’s interesting about this case is the judge’s application of these doctrines in a noncompete context. The judge didn’t address any decisions that are quite like his decision in this regard. For this reason alone, his decision will likely be cited in many noncompete decisions in the future that address these doctrines.
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