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  As the New Year begins a couple of things to consider: Is the company employee manual up to date – any changes necessary? – The beginning of the year is always a good time to review those policies and procedures and see how they worked in 2018.  Often the year will show some deficiencies or problems with policies as they are applied. Are employee files up to date?  Make sure all employees have acknowledged…
  I remember when I was a younger lawyer the difficulty I had with clients settling lawsuits that factually and legally had little merit.  I remember the partner I worked for telling me that was the cost of doing business.  While I knew he was right that comment still bothers me to this day.  But the reality is lawyers cost money and the time and expense defending lawsuits can be distracting, especially when a company…
    For some time Texas has been a hot market for lawyers.  Big firms from other parts of the country who want to shop here not surprisingly will hire lawyers from other big firms that are already here.  Many of the partners in these firms have notice provisions in their partnership agreements that require them to provide notice to their firm of their departure.  A recent Texas Lawyer article highlighted the issue: Shearman &
  Non-compete cases that are well lawyered should be resolved early in the litigation process.  Why do I say that?  If the plaintiff is an aggressive former employer it will in most instances move for a temporary restraining order followed by an application for a temporary injunction in Texas state court.  In that process a lot of things can happen.  First, the parties will have appeared before a judge and gotten a flavor for how…
  Tomorrow, I have the privilege of speaking to the Executive Search Owners Association. Over the years I have had the privilege of representing placement professionals in a number of circumstances. Some tips: Make sure your engagement agreements/contracts make sense and are enforceable; Remember that non-competes and non-solicitation agreements in Texas can be enforceable; Screen your candidates to determine if they have entered into a non-compete or non-solicit; Remember that if someone you placed…
  Whenever I draft or review an employment agreement (or for that matter any contract) one of the first things I look for is a venue provision.  Usually there is one, but if not you fall back on the laws of the state the party would like to bring suit in to see if venue works.  There is nothing that will take the steam out of a lawsuit then the contention it was filed in…
For whatever reason an employee leaves, the exit interview (if that’s what the company calls it) or instance when the HR person in charge collects the employees building badge and any company property is an excellent time to remind the employee of their post-employment covenants.  We talked about agreements at the end of employment during the last post.  Let’s assume here that the employee has signed some type of post-employment covenant.  What should be on…
  Strictly speaking under Texas law it is hard to make a non-compete stick when it is first introduced at the end of employment.  Assume a situation where an employee signed a confidentiality agreement and non-disclosure agreement but didn’t sign a non-compete, non-solicit (customers), or anti-raid (employees).  Is the employer out of luck?  Maybe not. For purposes of this discussion, assume that what I am about to suggest is not legally enforceable under the Texas…
Happy New Year! As we move into 2018 get ready for some employee movement.  We usually see less employee movement at the end of year because many employers pay out bonuses and other metric related compensation as the year ends.  The same also holds true for a company making a hiring decision – they wait.  Because less folks are likely to move (see above) there is less hiring.  Of course there are always exceptions to…
  I usually don’t dive into the weeds of particular cases here because it can be tedious and boring.  That said, a recent case from the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston caught my eye.  First, the employer at issue is none other than Buc-ee’s.  If you’ve ever driven the highways of Texas there is a good chance you went by one and may have even stopped for gas or Buc-ee’s red velvet fudge (not…