When does a non-disparagement clause end?
8.2 Continuing Obligations of Contractor. The provisions of Sections 1.3, 1.4, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7.2, and 8 shall survive expiration or termination of this Agreement for any reason. 9. Additional Provisions. 9.1 Non-Disparagement. Both Parties agree that they shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in any conduct or make any statement, whether in commercial or noncommercial speech, disparaging or criticizing in any way of the other Party, or any of its affiliates or clients or any of their respective owners, officers, employees or agents or services offered by any of them, nor shall either Party engage in any other conduct or make any other statement whether in writing, verbally or on-line, that could be reasonably expected to impair the goodwill or reputation of the other Party or any of its affiliates or clients. 9.2 Non-Solicitation. During the term of this Agreement, and for a period of twelve (12) months following termination of this Agreement, Contractor shall not, without the prior written consent of Company, directly or indirectly solicit for employment, employ or otherwise engage the services of employees or individual consultants of the Company. This subsection shall not apply to general solicitations, public job postings, or newspaper advertisements for employment opportunities.
1 Attorney answer
Since Section 9, Non-Disparagement, is not listed as one of the sections that "survives termination of this Agreement" it is arguable that once the Agreement terminates pursuant to the termination clause of the Agreement then the Non-Disparagement restriction will terminate as well. If no term is stated in a written agreement then presumably the restriction on disparaging that the parties agree to is not terminated, since the contract did not specify one, and therefore is a continuing obligation of both parties. Damages is another issue though. If the contract does not specify damages if one party breaches the agreement by disparaging the other, then what are the damages? Courts hate to guess at damages so the non-breaching party would have to prove "actual damages". If the non-breaching party cannot prove a loss of business or a lost contract with a client as a "direct result" of the disparaging comment, then the court will not guess at damages so the most the non-breaching party may hope to gain is an injunction against future disparaging comments and an order that such comments be removed from the internet, if that is where the comments appear.