Johnson Family Law, P.C., d/b/a Modern Family Law v. Bursek

515 P.3d 179 (2022)

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Johnson Family Law, P.C., d/b/a Modern Family Law v. Bursek

Colorado Court of Appeals
515 P.3d 179 (2022)

Facts

Johnson Family Law, P.C., d/b/a Modern Family Law (MFL) (plaintiff), hired Grant Bursek (defendant) as an associate attorney. Bursek signed a reimbursement agreement that required Bursek to pay MFL $1,052 per client that Bursek took with him upon leaving MFL. The $1,052 fee purportedly represented MFL’s marketing expenses. Bursek’s semimonthly base salary was approximately $2,100. Bursek later resigned and took 18 clients with him. Some of the clients who left with Bursek were clients that Bursek had brought to MFL independently of MFL’s marketing efforts. When Bursek refused to pay nearly $19,000 in accordance with the reimbursement agreement, MFL sued him. The trial court found that the $1,052 fee provision violated Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 5.6(a). That rule provided that an attorney could not enter into an agreement that restricted the attorney’s right to practice upon leaving a law firm. Accordingly, the trial court held that the entire agreement was unenforceable. MFL appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fox, J.)

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