Monthly Archives: June 2010

South Carolina Supremes Take a Side in Blue Pencil Fight

blue pencilThe South Carolina Supreme Court has issued a new non-compete case, which overturned a lower court decision that enforced a non-compete after it modified (i.e., blue penciled) the agreement’s overly broad provisions.  The case of Poynter Investments v. Century Builders (Op. No. 26821 May 24, 2010) is skinny on the details, but on the surface, the opinion suggests that “blue-penciling” is dead in South Carolina.  However, the opinion fails to acknowledge and/or discuss language in older opinions suggesting an openness to blue penciling (discussed below) and completely ignores a federal court case permitting blue-penciling under South Carolina law (discussed below).  Accordingly, there is still some room for a stubborn employer to argue for a limited reading of Poynter. Nonetheless, this case is important precedent for those seeking to invalidate a non-compete.

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