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Adam Israel, partner in the Birmingham office and member of the Litigation Practice, discussed the Alabama Non-Disparagement Obligations (NDO) Act, signed into law last year, with the Birmingham Business Journal in an article published on January 7, 2022. The law, which took effect on Jan. 1, lays out a structure for non-disparagement agreements to follow, potentially offering more protection for businesses from disparaging comments made by former employees.
The article notes that under the AL NDO Act, parties who violate non-disparagement agreements, namely by making disparaging statements about opposing parties, risk facing legal recourse. The real purpose of the new law is to bring more structure and certainty to the parties’ obligations under those clauses and actions for breach of those clauses.
In the article, Adam says, “The law only applies to agreements that include non-disparagement clauses. Those wishing to waive the law’s applicability may, but such a non-disparagement agreement would need to include an explicit statement that the parties involved wish to do so.”
Adam also notes that that the law brings more certainty to this area of the law, specifically what can and cannot be said and what kinds of provisions are and are not enforceable.
In March 2021, Adam was appointed to a six-year term as a Rotating Member of the Alabama Law Institute. Less than 1 percent of lawyers in the state of Alabama currently hold an ALI term membership. Adam’s election follows his prior service on multiple Alabama Law Institute Committees. As a committee member, Adam contributed to the revision of Alabama’s statute governing business restrictive covenants. Most recently, Adam’s involvement with the ALI afforded him the opportunity to participate in the drafting and implementation of the AL NDO Act.
A substantial portion of Adam’s practice is focused on complex business litigation, primarily in the areas of business torts and unfair competition and banking and financial services. Adam represents businesses and individuals in non-compete, non-solicitation, theft of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud cases in trial and appellate courts. He is also regularly involved in complex litigation on behalf of highly-regulated businesses. Additionally, Adam regularly represents nuclear utilities in ongoing litigation against the federal government arising from the Department of Energy’s delay in disposing of the nation’s commercial spent nuclear fuel.
Adam boasts a long list of awards and accolades including being named one of Birmingham’s 2021 Top 40 Under 40 and a Rising Star by the Birmingham Business Journal and, as well as being selected for the Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch list and Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Hot List.