Articles

Stock Options in Texas Noncompete Agreements

April 16, 2010 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

A recurring issue in Texas law is whether financial compensation can constitute sufficient consideration for a non-compete agreement.  This issue came up recently in a case from the Dallas Court of Appeals. In that case, a company that provided insurance brokerage services granted some stock options to one of its managing directors.  The options were…

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Relationship Between Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

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

In determining whether a non-compete agreement is enforceable, a Texas court will assess whether the consideration given by the employer justifies the non-compete agreement. Texas courts have held on multiple occasions that an employer’s providing of confidential information is sufficient consideration for a non-compete agreement. Even without an enforceable non-compete agreement, a Texas employer has…

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Permissible Scope of Nonsolicitation Agreements in Texas

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

Not infrequently, non-solicitation agreements that employers require their employees to sign are extremely broad. These provisions often preclude the employee from soliciting all of her former employer’s customers. Sometimes, the provisions also preclude the employee from soliciting her former employer’s potential customers. A recent case involved the following non-solicitation provision: Accordingly, the Executive understands and…

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Non-solicitation provisions must bear relation to employees’ activities

March 23, 2009 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Solicitation Agreements in Texas

A recurring issue in employee mobility cases is the extent to which a non-solicitation provision in an employment contract is enforceable. Typically, an employment agreement will contain a provision prohibiting post-employment competition, provisions prohibiting post-employment solicitation of customers and/or employees, or both. It’s not uncommon for a provision prohibiting solicitation of employees to apply to…

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Texas Non-Compete Agreements: Is A Promise to Provide Confidential Information Required Anymore?

December 22, 2008 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

 A recurring issue in non-compete cases involves how definite the employer’s promise to provide confidential information must be for the agreement to be enforceable.  Historically, disputes have focused on whether an explicit promise to provide the information was required, or whether an implied promise (e.g., language in which the employee "acknowledged" that he would receive…

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Texas Non-Compete Agreements: Confidential Information Need Not Rise to Level of Trade Secret

October 1, 2008 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

A recent case from the federal court in Dallas sheds some light on various issues involving the enforceability of non-compete agreements. In Staples, Inc. v. Sandler, No. 3:07-CV-0928-K, 2008 WL 4107656 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 29, 2008), the employee, Sandler, upon joining Staples, Inc., signed a “Proprietary and Confidential Information Agreement” and a separate “Non-Compete and…

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Texas NonCompete Agreements: Court Rules Explicit Promise Not Required

July 29, 2008 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

Almost two years ago, in the Sheshunoff case, the Texas Supreme Court rejected the notion that an employer must provide the employee with confidential information at the precise moment the non-compete agreement is signed for the agreement to be enforceable. According to the court, it is not fatal to the agreement’s enforceability if the information is…

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Texas Noncompete Agreements Enforceable? More Clarification on How Definite Promise to Provide Must Be

May 19, 2008 / By Robert Wood
Articles // Non Compete Agreements in Texas

 A recent opinion issued by the federal Southern District of Texas sheds a little light on the question of how definite a promise to provide confidential information must be for a noncompete agreement to be enforceable. In Teel v. Hospital Partners of America Inc., No. H-06-3991, 2008 WL 346377 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 6, 2008), the court,…

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