Non Compete Agreements in Texas

Free Market Capitalism in Texas and Marsh USA

January 7, 2012 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

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 opinion and the dissenting opinion which fears that…

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No Industry-Wide Texas Non-Compete Agreements

December 13, 2011 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

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 “pet supply manufacturing and distribution industry.” The employee contended that…

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Texas’ Pro-Enforcement Trend Continues

/ By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

 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, Texas restrictive covenant attorneys will have to…

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Reformation of Texas Noncompete Agreements

August 29, 2011 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

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, an employee may argue that a covenant not to compete is…

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Marsh USA: Texas Noncompete Agreements More Enforceable

August 1, 2011 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

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.  Hopefully, the word about this and other pro-enforcement decisions will get out, so that…

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Non-Compete Agreements in Texas More Enforceable

July 13, 2011 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

 The Texas Supreme Court’s long-awaited opinion in the Marsh USA case was released on June 24, 2011. As readers of this blog know, in recent years, Texas has gone from being a very anti-noncompete-agreement state to a relatively pro-enforcement state. In the Sheshunoff and Mann Frankfort cases, the court had eliminated arguments that employees had…

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The Right to Work Myth and Texas Noncompete Law

February 11, 2011 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

Texas courts continue to confirm the enforceability of some noncompete agreements here.  I routinely here from people that "Texas is a right to work state, and noncompete agreements are not enforceable here."  Five years ago, Texas courts were extremely unsympathetic to noncompete agreements.  But ever since the Sheshunoff and Mann Frankfort cases were decided, Texas courts have…

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Temporary Injunction Denied in Texas Noncompete Case

November 9, 2010 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

A recent case from the Beaumont Court of Appeals highlighted the difficulty that employers sometimes face in enforcing noncompete agreements in Texas.  In this case, a physician practice group sued one of its former physicians for violating a noncompete agreement.  The physician had left the practice and started his own practice within the proscribed 22-mile…

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Scope of Noncompete Agreements

November 8, 2010 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

The Fort Worth Court of Appeals recently issued a very interesting opinion on the geographic scope of noncompete agreements in Texas. In this case, a publishing company did business in Johnson County, Texas. The company hired the defendant to sell advertising for it. The defendant’s job duties were performed in Johnson County. The defendant resigned…

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Texas Trial Court Abused Discretion By Denying Temporary Injunction

May 18, 2010 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

In a recent case in Houston, a state trial court’s denial of an application for a temporary injunction was overturned.  In denying the requested temporary injunction, the court had failed to receive any testimony that might have supported the issuing of an injunction.  The court of appeals held that failing to receive testimnony necessitated reversal of the trial court’s ruling, for the following reasons:…

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