18. The applicant`s employment with one or more defendants is not subject to a valid and enforceable non-competition agreement. The defendants, Rollet Bros. Trucking Company, Inc., R.B.T., Inc., E-R Lime Co., and Rollet Bros. Logistics, Inc., are made up of four companies close to their subsidiary, who generally participate in the commodities market. One of the accused, Rollet Bros. Logistics, Inc., is a freight broker who organizes the transportation of goods for customers from one point to another. The complainant, Russel S. Brown, began his activity as a distributor of one or more of the defendants in January 1999.1 As a distributor, the plaintiff was responsible for finding cargoes for trucks that were to be transported in daily contact with established and potential customers. He was also responsible for finding trucks that were available to transport a customer`s load. 8. For the duration of the applicant`s employment with the defendants, the applicant acted as a distributor. As such, he has had regular contact with the defendant`s clients and stakeholders in connection with his business.
As part of its activities, it met regularly with stakeholders and stakeholders. He regularly spoke with interested parties about the transportation of their goods. “In general, because alliances that are not in competition are considered trade restrictions, they are presumed null and void only to the extent that they are manifestly reasonable.” Easy Returns Midwest, Inc. v. Schultz, 964 S.W.2d 450, 453 (Mo.App.1998). “The issue of adequacy is a question of law that corresponds to the purpose of the agreement and the current circumstances.” West Group Broadcasting, Bell Ltd., 942 S.W.2d 934, 937 (Mo.App.1997). See also Kessler-Heasley, 90 S.W.3d to 186. “In practice, a non-compete agreement is appropriate if it is not more restrictive than is necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the employer.” Healthcare Services v. Copeland, 198 S.W.3d 604, 610 (Mo. bench 2006). To enforce an agreement, an employer must demonstrate that the agreement is appropriate in terms of both space and time.
Id.; Easy Returns, 964 S.W.2d to 453. In addition, non-competition prohibitions can only be applied to protect certain narrowly defined and recognized interests, including customer contact and trade secrets.