from a district court order granting a preliminary injunction
in an employment matter. Eighth Judicial District Court,
Clark County; Mark R. Denton, Judge.
Jones & Coulthard, LLP, and Mark M. Jones and Madison
Zornes-Vela, Las Vegas, for Appellant.
Urga Woodbury & Little and David J. Malley and William R.
Urga, Las Vegas, for Respondent.
CHERRY and STIGLICH, JJ., and SAITTA, Sr. J. 
appeal, we consider a preliminary injunction enforcing a
noncompete agreement against a former employee. The question
presented to this court is whether respondent Global
Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) demonstrated a likelihood
of success on the merits sufficient to warrant temporarily
upholding the agreement with a preliminary injunction, where
the noncompete agreement geographically covers the entire
United States, but the evidence presented demonstrated that
GES had business contacts in a limited number of
jurisdictions. To be upheld as reasonable, a noncompete
agreement must be limited to geographical areas in which the
employer has particular business interests. While an employer
claiming breach of a noncompete agreement need not prove its
case in order to obtain a preliminary injunction, it must
make a prima facie showing that the noncompete agreement is
reasonable in scope in order to establish a likelihood of
success on the merits of such a claim. As that was not done
here, we reverse.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Landon Shores worked as a sales associate for GES from June
2013 to September 2016. In September 2016, GES promoted
Shores to sales manager, where his duties involved soliciting
trade shows and conventions to contract with GES to build
show floors and exhibits. As a condition of his promotion,
Shores was required to sign a Confidentiality and
Non-Competition Agreement (NCA).
stated, in relevant part, that Shores would be unable to
compete with GES directly or indirectly, or work in a similar
capacity for any of GES's competitors, for the 12 months
following the end of his employment. It indicated that these
restrictions would apply throughout the United States.
January 2017, Shores informed GES that he had taken a
position with one of GES's competitors in Southern
California in a position that was the same or substantially
similar to his position at GES. He moved to Southern
California shortly thereafter and began working for the
competitor, but he states that he has made no attempts to
solicit the clients he solicited on behalf of GES, undisputed
by GES to this point.
filed a complaint against Shores, alleging breach of
contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing, and unjust enrichment, and seeking damages and
injunctive relief. GES moved for a preliminary injunction,
seeking to enforce the terms of the NCA against Shores.
Shores opposed the motion, arguing that, in order to make the
requisite showing of a likelihood of success on the merits,
GES was required to provide evidence that the restrictions in
the NCA were reasonable. He asserted that, because GES had
not provided the court with evidence of protectable business
interests across the United States, it had not made a prima
facie showing of reasonableness and thus failed to
demonstrate a likelihood of success. GES replied by providing
a spreadsheet showing that over the last two years it had
conducted business with clients in at least one city in 33
states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
district court granted the preliminary injunction, enjoining
Shores from performing services "that are competitive
with and/or similar to the services he performed for
GES." The court concluded that (1) GES's contracts
in 33 states established that it had a national client base
and Shores had interacted with clients on behalf of GES in a
number of major American cities; (2) by actively marketing to
customers in competition with GES, Shores obtained an unfair
advantage and GES suffered a corresponding unfair
disadvantage; (3) the geographic scope of the NCA was
reasonable given GES's nationwide dealings; (4) if Shores
was knowingly and intentionally accepting competing
employment in violation of the NCA, the balance of hardships
would weigh in favor of GES based on GES's potential loss
of clients; and (5) Shores' competitive conduct created
an unreasonable interference with GES's business. The
court concluded that compensatory damages would be an
inadequate remedy, such that GES met the irreparable harm
element for preliminary injunctive relief. Shores now appeals