Smooth Transitions

Smooth Transitions

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

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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

My Attorneys’ Fees Please (Texas Trade Secrets)

Posted in Trade Secrets, Trial and Pre-Trial Procedure, Uncategorized
  Inevitably whenever I talk with a client there is always the discussion about attorneys’ fees and how to get the other side to pay them.  The unfortunate reality is there are very limited circumstances where attorneys’ fees are recoverable.  The US has the “American Rule” which generally means that each party pays their fees.… Continue Reading

2016 Arbitration Clause Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized
  I spent most of last week in a construction arbitration.  It got me to thinking about drafting arbitration clauses, be it in the employment or any context.  A few years ago I wrote an article on what I would consider in preparing an agreement.  The suggestions included: A requirement that the case be disposed… Continue Reading

You want to exclude my client from the courtroom?

Posted in Injunction, Recent Cases, Trade Secrets, Trial and Pre-Trial Procedure, Uncategorized
Imagine you are int he courtroom with your lawyer in a trade secret lawsuit.  Your company is accused of stealing trade secrets from a competitor.  Then imagine the Judge tells you you have to leave the courtroom because the other side does not want yout to hear what its trade secrets are.  This issue (though… Continue Reading

Texas Hand Gun Talk

Posted in HR Issues, Uncategorized
  A few months ago I highlighted the ins and outs of the new Texas Open Carry law here.  The short of it is Texas’ businesses need to strictly follow the open carry and conceal carry notice provisions if they want to prevent folks from bringing guns into their place of business.  That means two… Continue Reading

Sarkisian Sues USC

Posted in Hiring and Firing, HR Issues, Uncategorized
  A few weeks ago we discussed the firing of former USC football coach Steve Sarkisian.  Since then Sarkisan has filed his own lawsuit in California state court.  Deadspin has a great breakdown of the lawsuit and the lawsuit itself.  Sarkisian asserts he is an alcholic and USC failed to work with him with respect… Continue Reading

The Fan Duel Update

Posted in Injunction, Recent Cases, Uncategorized
A few weeks ago we touched on the “insider trading” that was going on at the fantasy sites Fan Duel and Draft Kings.  It ended up being the subject of a Republican Debate and then the  the New York Attorney General got involved.  He claims the websites are nothing but betting and it trying to… Continue Reading

The Fifth Circuit Chimes In on Inevitable Disclosure

Posted in Recent Cases, Trade Secrets, Trial and Pre-Trial Procedure, Uncategorized
We’ve discussed the inevitable disclosure doctrine in previous posts.  It’s a powerful claim and whether adoption of the uniform trade secrets act makes it viable in Texas remains to be seen.   What is it?  Assume that in your prior job you were exposed to certain trade secrets of your employer that you would “inevitably” use in… Continue Reading

Sarkisian’s Last Chance

Posted in HR Issues, Uncategorized
  Yesterday, we wrote about the alchohol related firing of USC Head Coach Steve Sarkisian.  Since that time some more details have come out about the firing, including reports that Sarkisian’s latest alcohol incidents constituted a breach of an agreement he entered into in August with USC. My guess would be Sarkisian signed a “last… Continue Reading

Sports Employment Law Issues 3

Posted in HR Issues, Uncategorized
A number of interesting employment law related stories in the world of sports: 1.  Steve Sarkisian – Sarkisian was a star quarterback at BYU and former coach of the University of Washington until taking over the helm of USC.  Reports are that he has an alcohol problem and appeared at work under the influence.  USC… 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

Packing Heat in Texas – What employers can do.

Posted in HR Issues, Uncategorized
  This past legislative seesion Texas joined other states in passing open carry legislation for gun owners.  In short, as of January 1, 2016, qualified individual will be permitted to openly carry firearms.  The qualifications of gun owners and other frequently asked questions are addressed here.  Just like for concealed carry, businesses/employers can restrict individuals from… Continue Reading

Non-Compete legislation – New Mexico limits medical non-competes.

Posted in Uncategorized
  Though non-comepte legislation always seems to be in the news, signed legislation is rare.  Last week, however, the governor of New Mexico signed a non-compete bill that limits post-employment covenants in the medical profession.  Here is the New Mexico Medical Society’s take on the new law: Governor Martinez signed SB325 which limits enforceability of… 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

So, is non-compete litigation on the rise?

Posted in Uncategorized
  Determining whether non-compete litigation is on the rise or declining is a tough question to answer.  There is certainly anecdotal information – a lot of people have called me about enforcing a non-compete, but that’s not accurate.  A lawyer from Boston named Russell Beck puts together a nationwide chart every year that addresses this… Continue Reading

Protecting Your Client from the Departing Employee

Posted in Uncategorized
    On February 18 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

FitBit Data, Apple watches, what’s next in terms of possible evidence?

Posted in Trial and Pre-Trial Procedure, Uncategorized
  A few years ago there was much discussion about the use of social media evidence in lawsuits.  The use continues and ranges from criminal prosecutions through non-compete disputes.  It’s amazing what will people will put in the public domain and gives social media can provide strong, sometimes permanent, information about whereabouts, communications, and even… Continue Reading

But I didn’t sign that non-compete.

Posted in Uncategorized
  In Cameron International Corp. v. Guillory, a case very similar to the Drennen opinion we discussed last week, the Houston Court of Appeals examined a trial court’s denial of a temporary injunction involving an oil field services employee.  Jeremy Guillory, like the Exxon employee in Drennen, was a participant in a restricted stock program… 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
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