Smooth Transitions

Smooth Transitions

addressing the Legal issues arising from the departure of employees & Business breakups

Category Archives: Non-Compete Agreements

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The Non-Compete Buyout

Posted in Hiring and Firing, HR Issues, Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Trade Secrets
  One option we’ve never spent much time discussing here as it relates to non-competes is the buyout option – on both sides.  Buying out a non-compete is neither new nor novel.  Physician non-competes in Texas require that the non-compete provision include a buyout option.   The statute provides: the covenant must provide for a… Continue Reading

NY Times Non-Compete Article

Posted in Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Trade Secrets
I don’t think I’ve ever dedicated a post to a newspaper article but a recent New York Times article entitled “How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In” does a great job addressing the human toll of non-competes.  Here is a link to the article.  The article is generally anti-non-compete when it comes to lower paid… Continue Reading

Trade Secret Theft – By Lawyers

Posted in Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Recent Cases, Uncategorized
    A couple of weeks ago we wrote about the rationale behind why Texas lawyers aren’t subject to non-compete agreements.  That said, generally lawyers aren’t permitted to compete with their current law firm/employer while still employed.  That seems pretty basic.  Imagine this fact pattern pulled from the allegations from the above lawsuit: Lawyer works… Continue Reading

Why Texas lawyers aren’t subject to non-competes.

Posted in Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements
  Quite often I have lawyer friends ask me why Texas lawyers (and lawyers from other states) aren’t the subject of non-competes?  There aren’t really any cases that I’ve run across on the subject, which sometimes is an indicator that law firms aren’t trying to enforce them.  The answer is not that complicated. Queue Texas… Continue Reading

Texas Non-Competes Without Geographical Restrictions

Posted in Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Trade Secrets
A Texas non-compete must satisfy two main components to be enforceable. The non-compete has to be ancillary to an otherwise enforceable agreement and be reasonable in time and scope. Before the Texas Supreme Court this week was a case where the court was asked to consider a non-compete without a geographical restriction and consider whether such an… Continue Reading

Nothing Like A Hair Stylist Non-Compete Case

Posted in HR Issues, Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Recent Cases, Uncategorized
The details are slim from a recent article from the New York Post about a $3 million dollar non-compete/breach of contract case against a New York City hair stylist.  What we know: Stylist Annie Rush worked at the salon for 6 years; Apparently she is alleged to have signed a 1 year non-compete (that is… Continue Reading

President Obama and Non-Competes

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secrets
  Nobody likes non-competes except business owners/leaders trying to use them to protect their business.  It is the proverbial political softball that some legislatures attempt to address every session.  In May the Obama Administration took on non-competes and released a report entitled  “Non-Compete Agreement: Analysis of the Usage, Potential Issues, and State Responses”.  The report is… Continue Reading

Utah Leads the Way on Non-Compete Legislation

Posted in Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Uncategorized
  I went to school in Utah and manage to ski up there every so often.  That’s a picture of my son and I in December.  Recently I ran accross an article  breaking down changes to Utah’s and Idaho’s non-compete laws.  The Utah statute really grabbed my attention.  The highlights: (1) non-competes can only last… Continue Reading

Breaking Down the Texas Non-Compete Case

Posted in Executive Compensation, Hiring and Firing, Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Recent Cases
  There is a good article from the Houston Chronicle this week outlining a non-compete dispute between two former compensation consultants and their former employer.  The facts are pretty standard fare for this type of dispute: professionals have some type of non-compete agreement with former employer; former employer finds out professionals are leaving in violation… Continue Reading

Top 10 From Texas Non-Compete Camp

Posted in Arbitration, Confidentiality, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Presentations, Trade Secrets, Trial and Pre-Trial Procedure
Last week I had the privilege of speaking and attending the Texas Non-Compete Camp put on by UT LAW CLE and Mike Maslanka.  There were a number of great lawyers there addressing topics ranging from whether to sue the new employer of a former employee to ethical considerations of representing both the employee and employer.… Continue Reading

Hawaii Non-Compete Legislation

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Trade Secrets, Uncategorized
It’s always interesting to take a look at other states to see how they deal with non-compete legislation.  We’ve discussed Masschusetts and most recently doctor non-competes in New Mexico.  Hawaii is the latest state to enact new noncompete legislation targeting workers in a “technology business”.  This is how the Hawaii legislature defined “technology business”:  … Continue Reading

5 Injunction Non-Compete Lessons

Posted in Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Trade Secrets, Trial and Pre-Trial Procedure, Uncategorized
For the last few months I’ve been involved in a number of temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction cases in state and federal courts in a number of different industries/professions. Some general reminders/lessons from non-compete/non-solicit fights: Signed Agreements – Make sure the non-compete agreements at issue are signed.  Some companies have their employees execute agreements on line… Continue Reading

Non-Compete Legislation – The Jimmy John’s Backlash

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements
When news of the Jimmy John’s non-compete came out last October my concern was the impact it would have on businesses with legitimate non-competes.  There is always a populist theme that is anti-non-compete.  Employees should be able to come and go as they please and a non-compete agreement prevents that.  “Bad” non-competes undermine “good” non-competes.  There… Continue Reading

Mad Men Non-Competes

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements, Shareholder Disputes
The much acclaimed Mad Men AMC television series is coming to an end with only a few episodes left.  The partners and employees of the New York advertising firm Sterling Cooper have given us a number of employment, partnership, negotiating, and other lessons over the years.  Times have changed with the firm as we have followed its… Continue Reading

Another bad non-compete bites the dust.

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements
  A few months ago we considered the Jimmy Johns non-compete that received national attention and was even the subject of a class-action lawsuit.  The short of it was the non-compete applied to the nice sandwich maker that filled your order and most folks didn’t think a non-compete for those folks made sense. Up to… Continue Reading

Texas Non-Competes – The More Things Change…

Posted in Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements
It’s been 3 and a half  years since the Marsh opinion that redefined what could constitute consideration for a Texas non-compete and courts have bee relatively quiet on non-competes since then.   That’s not surprising from the Texas Supreme Court as Marsh was the third of a trilogy of opinions dealing with the subject.  Appellate courts… Continue Reading

Some Good Non-Compete Stories

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements, Uncategorized
A little light reading for everyone: Here’s an analysis of a recent Nike/Adidas dispute.  Nope, not over signing the latest basketball phenom to a shoe contract.  Instead, a lawsuit against several Nike designers who bolted for Adidas.  Nice breakdown by Florida lawyer Jonathan Pollard.  The link. A quick blurb on a Kentucky court’s refusal to… Continue Reading

Presentation – Tuesday, December 16th

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements
    This Tuesday at noon central I will be presenting on “Protecting Your Client from the Departing Employee”.  The presentation is through West LegalEdCenter and can be streamed after the presentation date.  Here is a link – https://westlegaledcenter.com/program_guide/course_detail.jsf?videoCourseId=100042157.… Continue Reading

Respect for a Well Written Non-Compete

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements
I really enjoyed an article about Madison, Wisconsin based Epic Systems’s non-compete agreement and the comments of those former employees who were abiding by it.  There was some scuttlebutt about whether Epic was going to extend the term from 1 to 2 years.  Epic is big in the healthcare IT world and its ex-employees go… Continue Reading

A new tool for the Texas employer? The Exxon Incentive Plan

Posted in HR Issues, Non-Compete Agreements, Uncategorized
  From the employer’s perspective it’s always nice to have something new to use to prevent an employee from competing or using proprietary/confidential information once the employment relationship ends.  Of course we talk all the time here about the standard post-employment covenants like the non-compete and non-solicitation provision. One item we haven’t addressed previously is… Continue Reading

Shawk & Awe In Non-Compete Enforcement?

Posted in Non-Compete Agreements
  Remember when the US employed “shawk and awe” to start the war against Iraq?  Do the same type tactics work in non-compete cases? One issue that typically arises in non-compete enforcement actions is who to sue.  Of course the lawsuit will name the former employee who is violating their post-employment covenant but what about… Continue Reading

Amazon on the Prowl

Posted in Injunction, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements
In Seattle, former Amazon Web Services Strategic Partnership Manager Zoltan Szabadi was sued by Amazon for violation of his non-compete agreement.  Szabadi is now with Google in their cloud platform business.  The lawsuit alleges: Szabadi was directly and integrally involved with the marketing of Amazon’s cloud computing business to its partners and resellers, and played… Continue Reading
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