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Next Week at the Court

January 18, 2013

After observing Monday’s holiday recognizing the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Supreme Court of Georgia will hold a half-day of argument on Tuesday, January 22. The Court will hear four cases, only one of which is within the scope of our coverage. A brief summary of the issues and case is below.

S13A0012 Holton v. Physician Oncology Services, LP et al.

This case is an appeal regarding the propriety of an injunction issued by a trial court related to a non-compete provision in an employment agreement. Holton was hired in 2009 as Vice President of Operations and COO of Physician Oncology Services and signed an employment agreement that included a covenant not to compete with a geographic limitation based on the location of the company’s treatment centers. Physician Oncology Services provides treatment to cancer patients in Georgia and other areas. Holton eventually became President and COO of the company, but after it merged with Vantage Oncology, LLC in January 2011, he was demoted to a divisional president position. Ten months later, he was fired without cause, and was soon offered the position of CEO of Radiation Oncology Services of America (ROSA). ROSA is headquartered in Tennessee but has four centers within the territory covered by Holton’s non-compete.

Vantage sued and sought an injunction prohibiting Holton from becoming CEO, based on an alleged breaches of the non-compete,  confidentiality, and trade secret provisions of his employment agreement. The trial court entered an injunction prohibiting Holton from working in “any executive capacity” without any geographic limitation, prohibited him from providing any services similar to what he provided Vantage for one year, and prohibited him from disclosing trade secret information for two years. Holton appealed.

The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on January 22, 2013.

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