Non-Compete Agreements

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

Texas Non-Compete

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.  

On Thursday I will be speaking at the 2015 Non-Compete Camp put on by The University of Texas School of Law.  There will be a lot of great lawyers speaking on various post-employment covenant issues – https://utcle.org/conferences/NC15.

Texas Non-Compete

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”:

Hawaii

 

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:

  1. Signed Agreements – Make sure the non-compete agreements at issue are signed.  Some companies have their employees execute agreements on line

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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”

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

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