Category: Texas Legal News

Is it a Crime to Take Employers’ Trade Secrets?

Few employees realize that when they take their employers’ trade secrets with them prior to leaving their job they may be exposing themselves to criminal liability under the Economic Espionage Act, which makes it a crime to steal trade secrets when (1) the information relates to a product in interstate or foreign commerce (which is virtually any product now days) or (2) the intended beneficiary is a foreign power. 

The Fifth Circuit Rules Industry-Wide Noncompete Agreements Are Not Enforceable

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered whether a travel agency’s noncompete agreement with its employee was enforceable under Texas law.  It concluded that because the agreement did not have geographic limits, was not limited to the travel agency’s customers with whom the employee actually worked during her employment, and included entire travel agency industry, the non-compete was unenforceable.

2018 Mid-Year Non-Compete Laws Update

More and more states are amending their non-compete statutes to make them more employee-friendly.  This trend, spurred by the White House report on the effect of non-compete agreements on competition and the revelation that some of the largest  employers, like Jimmy John’s and Amazon, were requiring their sandwich-makers and warehouse employees to sign non-compete agreements, has continued into 2018. 

What Are Acceptable Non-Solicitation Restraints for Sales Employees?

While a non-solicitation clause that prohibits a sales employee from soliciting all company customers may sometimes be justified, most of the time it is much more reasonable to limit the non-solicitation restraint only to the customers and prospective customers with whom the sales employee directly interacted rather than every customer in the company’s database.

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies When Employers are Responsible for Employees’ Negligence

In Texas, an employer can be held liable for its employees’ negligence if, at the time of the accident, the worker was an employee (not an independent contractor) and was acting in the course and scope of his employment.

Why Stormy Daniels May be on the Hook for $1,000,000 – A Look Beyond the Headlines

Last Tuesday, Stormy Daniels, a porn star, sued President Trump seeking to declare her 2016 confidentiality agreement with him unenforceable and void so that she can tell the world about her affair with the President back in 2006. Here’s why she may lose.

A Texas Court of Appeals Explains Employees’ Fiduciary Duties in Texas

Employees owe a duty of loyalty to their employer and may not: (1) appropriate company trade secrets; (2) solicit away the employer’s customers while working for the employer; (3) solicit the departure of other employees while still working for the employer; (4) carry away confidential information.

An Injunction in a Theft-of-Trade-Secrets Case Cannot Prohibit a Party From Using Publicly Available Information

A court order prohibiting defendant from using trade secrets must be broad enough to cover all possible circumstances while narrow enough to include only the illegal activities.  Where that line lies depends on the circumstances of each particular case. 

Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements in Texas with an Injunction Requires Proper Timing

What a lot of companies do not realize, however, is that if they wait too long to ask for an injunction after finding out about the employee’s competitive activities, a court may deny their request simply because they waited too long

5 Tips for Minimizing Trade Secrets Theft by Clients, Contractors and Vendors

The business world is littered with the carcasses of companies which, after they shared their confidential information and trade secrets with a non-competitor, such as their client, supplier, or vendor, were undercut by that party, who all of a sudden realized that they could profit from the information by cutting out the middle-man. 

Trump’s Tax Reform Affects Settlements of Sexual Harassment Claims, But Training Remains the Best Answer

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act prohibits companies from claiming tax deduction for confidential settlements paid for sexual harassment and abuse and the related lawyer’s fees.

Texas Companies Should Update Non-Compete Agreements with California Employees in Light of a New Statute

Any Texas companies that have employees who primarily work and reside in California, should update their non-compete agreements with such employees to meet the requirements of the California Labor Code Section 925. 

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