No. 1257 April Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, Equity, at No. GD78-13905
Maurice A. Nernberg, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Jerome M. Libenson, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Price, Hester and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 270 Pa. Super. Page 510]
The instant appeal arises from an Order of the lower court granting a Petition to enforce a settlement agreement involving the parties. The record shows that the underlying
[ 270 Pa. Super. Page 511]
dispute involves an attempt by the Appellee to prevent a former employee from violating a restrictive employment covenant, and to further prevent the Appellant, that employee's present employer, from disturbing the Appellee's contractual relationships with its employees and former employees, as well as its customers.
More specifically, the Appellee, Continental Coiffures, Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Continental"), filed an equity action against one Karen McGrogan for breach of a written employment agreement, which by its terms, inter alia, prohibited McGrogan from engaging in competition with Appellee within a limited area and for specific time. Continental also filed an action in equity against the Appellant, Laura Kimble, t/d/b/a Robert's Hairdressers (hereinafter referred to as "Kimble"), seeking to enjoin Kimble's conduct in causing some employees of Continental to leave Continental's employment to go to work for Kimble. Both Continental and Kimble operate beauty salons in the South Hills Village Shopping Mall, located in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh. Kimble had herself left Continental's employment to establish her own beauty salon, approximately 100 yards from Continental's facility in the same Mall.
Both Kimble and McGrogan were represented before the lower court by the same attorney. Several days of testimony had been heard by the lower court as to both cases, although the cases were never formally consolidated, before the parties reached a purported settlement on or about June 28, 1978. The lower court had been advised of the settlement negotiations and at the end of negotiations, counsel for Continental as well as counsel for McGrogan and Kimble, put the terms of the purported agreement on the record and sought the Court's approval of such terms in the form of a Consent Order. At the time of the discussion of settlement and a proposed Consent Order with the Court, all of the parties were present in the courtroom together with their respective attorneys, and the discussions which took place were made a part of the record and transcribed. Thereafter, when the formal Consent Order was prepared, Kimble
[ 270 Pa. Super. Page 512]
opposed the Order, and refused to become a party to it. Continental thereafter petitioned the lower court to enforce the settlement agreement. Kimble, through new counsel, contended that when the settlement was made, her attorney had a conflict of interest. The lower court rejected that position and ordered that the settlement be enforced. McGrogan did not oppose the settlement and her case is not before this Court on the instant appeal.
Having examined the record in its entirety, we must agree with the lower court which found that Kimble should not be excused from the settlement agreement due to any alleged conflict of interest on the part of her trial counsel. It is clear from the record that both Kimble and McGrogan sought the same end. That is, both wished to resolve the cases by having McGrogan continue to work for Kimble. This end was agreed upon and made binding in accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement, a written document which ...