Houston court rules in favor of company’s non-compete action

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2020 | Commercial Litigation |

Companies in Dallas typically recognize that one of their greatest resources is their employees. On the other hand, an employee can often be viewed as a potential liability when they leave the company (especially if they choose to go work for a competitor). It is for this very reason that businesses are often so strict in enforcing non-compete agreements, Former employees not only know insider information about an organization, but they also often have established relationships with a company’s clients. One of the functions of a non-compete agreement is to protect against an employee taking all of the clients whose business they helped to secure away when they choose to leave. 

Yet many may question how far non-compete agreements go in this regard? If a recent ruling in a lawsuit heard in a Houston district court is any indication, that answer is quite far. A local company sued a former sales executive for engaging his clients in conversations at social functions, with the purpose (at least according to the company’s allegations) of luring them over to his new business. The Texas Citizens Protection Act allows for a person that has become the target of legal action to move to have such action dismissed if it infringes on their right to free speech. However, there is a commercial exemption which does not cover speech intended to engage in or solicit business. Thus, the court hearing the case ruled against the man’s petition for a dismissal. 

Given all that is riding on both a company’s vital business data as well as its relationships with its clientele, it should reasonably be expected that an organization should fight to have those assets protected. Having an experienced attorney on its side may increase the chances of a company’s fight being successful.