This blog is published by attorney Robert Wood of AmLaw 200 law firm K&L Gates. The blog provides information on a variety of topics on non-compete agreements, including non-disclosure agreements, non-solicitation agreements, theft of trade secrets, employees raiding provisions and tortious interference.
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I am frequently asked by employees about whether their covenants not to compete are enforceable, given that they had no choice but to sign them. Often, an employer will say to a newly-hired employee, "You need to sign this covenant not to compete if you want to continue working...
Not infrequently, an employee who has signed a covenant not to compete will confidently explain to me that, "Noncompete agreements are not enforceable in Texas, because Texas is a 'right to work' state." Often, the employee's conviction has been confirmed by a family member or...
Frequently in cases involving noncompete agreements, the issue arises as to whether an overly broad covenant not to compete will be held to be completely unenforceable, or whether it will be modified to make it enforceable. In some states, if a noncompetition agreement is overly broad, the...
In his excellent concurrence in the Marsh USA case, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett observed something that practitioners and trial court judges often forget or gloss over, namely, the adverse effect that unfair noncompete agreements can have on society at large. Justice Willett...
Justice Don Willett's concurrence in the Marsh USA contains a lot of economic theory and literary allusions that one typically does not see in a court opinion. For example, Justice Willett has this advice for trial court judges who handle disputes involving restrictive covenants in...
I re-read (again) the Marsh USA case this morning, including the concurring and dissenting opinions. The concurring opinion by Justice Willett is one of the most articulate and thoughtful opinions I have read in a long time. He tries to strike a balance between the pro-enforcement majority...
Texas cases dealing with the enforceability of noncompete agreements have long held that “industry-wide” restrictions are overly broad. In a recent case from the Waco Court of Appeals, the court applied that rule to a concrete situation. The covenant not to compete applied to the...
The Marsh USA case was perhaps the most important non-compete case coming out of the Texas Supreme Court since the Light case in 1994. And that's saying a lot, given the Sheshunoff (2006) and Mann Frankfort (2009) opinions which made non-competes more enforceable in Texas. After Marsh USA,...
Often in litigation involving noncompete agreeents, an employee bound by a noncompete agreement will contend that the scope of the restrictions contained in the agreement are overly broad. The employee may, for example, argue that an agreement prohibiting customer solicitation is too broad. Or,...
The Marsh USA decision, which was handed down by the Texas Supreme Court earlier this month, sent shock waves through the community of lawyers who handle matters involving noncompete agreements. The decision creates danger for employees bound by noncompete agreements here. ...