Crazy Non-Compete Contracts?
I have heard of some non-competes being tossed out because the basicly left the person without employment opertunities in their profesional market.
Here in Ohio we have a law called The Blue Pencil Rule. If a person can show that a non-compete clause is preventing them from finding employment a judge can rewrite the clause as he sees fit. There's probably something similar in many states.
Most of the non-competes I've been asked to sign have a term of about one year. They usually specify that they only apply to working for a competitor, although on one occasion I had to get the contract amended to specify what the comapny's area of business was because the clause was so sloppily (or possibly intentionally) written that taking almost any other job could run afoul of it.