The term "non-compete agreement" doesn't seem part of the legal vernacular in Nashville, despite the plethora of lawyers, especially partners, who have recently jumped ship for opportunities in similar-sized firms, smaller practices or even one- or two-man entrepreneurial shops. Some have even entered the financial world and are plying their trade for the benefit of the country's largest banks, often in need of top corporate counsel for obvious reasons.
After bringing up the subject with several local legal eagles, it seemed confusion reigns regarding the efficacy of non-compete agreements here. Some thought non-competes were nonexistent, while others mused that limited non-competes might be available.
To help clear some of this confusion, note Tom Shumate's blog entry about the subject. In 1991, there was some case law on the issue involving the state's Supreme Court, but recently the Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed that attorney non-compete agreements are against public policy pursuant to Rule 5.6 of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility.