how long do employment contracts/confidentiality agreements last?

I have a friend who worked as a long-term temp for a rather unethical lawyer. She never signed a formal employment/confidentiality agreement, just signed a temporary employment agreement. Recently, she was subpoenaed by another lawyer in a suit against her former employer about the way he conducted his business and his billing practices. The judge overruled her former employers objections to her testimony, stating the employment agreement that he says he has a copy of (the name is typewritten over a whited-out name on the copy). The judge states that this wasn’t a violation of the "agreement" and she could testify. Now, this former employer is suing her for breach of contract. I worked there as an executive secretary for a week and a half, and quit asap. I signed a confid/employ agreement which I have not violated. My fear is that I will be somehow dragged into this mess being that I recommended her for the job in the first place. Is my contract still valid or can I be sued 2?
What I mean by can I be sued too, is that can I be sued by this former employer if I am subpoenaed and testify for my friend? I don’t want to get in the middle of this, and won’t voluntarily go. Does getting subpoenaed give ANY protection to the person testifing?
I worked there the end of Feb/beginning of March 2006.
After rereading my copy of the confidentiality agreement, there is no date or term of time given anywhere in the agreement.

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3 Responses to “how long do employment contracts/confidentiality agreements last?”

  1. Scotty Says:

    It is hard to see how you can be sued or how he will prevail against your friend whose actions were done in compliance with a court order.

    It seems like the Bar Association should look at this guy.

    To answer your question, a confidentiality agreement lasts for the time specified in the agreement. If no time is specified, then it lasts a reasonable time. What that means varies from state to state and judge to judge.

  2. tylernmi Says:

    How about, "I refuse to testify on the grounds that it might tend to incriminate me" Doubt if you will be involved, if Gonzales can be forgetful, and not sure, you could be too.
    If you have a copy of whatever you signed, as you should, read it carefully for dates, and presume that it is and will be valid. Best wishes

  3. Terry Says:

    As long as the contract or agreement says they last. So if it says ‘lifetime of the individual’ it would be your whole life, and if it says ‘two years after leaving our employment’ then it’s two years.

    A legal contact always has information like this in it – just read the agreement before you sign so you are sure what you are getting yourself into.

    The fifth amendment only works against self-incrimination – if this is not a criminal trial, or if there is no reason to charge you with a crime, then you can’t plead the fifth. Even if you do, the judge can give you transactional immunity, meaning you would have to testify, or risk going to jail for contempt.

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