Zach Wolfe

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Remember Dawn Davis, the paralegal? She left her job at a Dallas law firm and moved to the Austin suburbs with her two kids, hoping she would eventually make more money as a sales person for Paula Payne Windows. I wrote about this typical scenario in The Problem With Non-Competes. But I need to update it. My original fact pattern had Dawn’s boss giving her a stack of documents to sign on her first day. But that’s so, like, GenX. You can’t expect Gen Y to sign documents on paper. And Gen Z? You might as well expect them…
If you’re a Texas litigator, like me, then you probably already know that filing documents in state court under seal can be kind of a pain. There’s this pesky Rule 76a of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 76a reads like it was written by some real do-gooder types: Court records are “presumed to be open to the general public.” Sealing court records requires showing a “specific, serious and substantial interest” that outweighs both the “presumption of openness” and “any probable adverse effect that sealing will have upon the general public health or safety.” You have to file a…
Welcome to the final exam in Advanced Remedies: Departing Employee Litigation. Before we get to the exam question, let me remind you what we learned this semester about Texas law on expert witness fees: “It is the general rule in Texas that expenses incurred in prosecuting or defending a suit are not recoverable as costs or damages unless recovery of those items is expressly provided for by statute, is available under equitable principles, or is expressly provided for by contract. The rule [applies] to attorney’s fees, costs of experts, and other expenses in preparation for trial.” Shenandoah Assocs. v. J&K
This is an edited transcript of my interview with appellate lawyer Kendyl Hanks about lessons for lawyers (and others) from fly fishing. You can watch the video of the interview here. Z: I’m Zach Wolfe. I’m here with Kendyl Hanks. Kendyl, welcome. K: Thank you for having me. Z: Thanks for joining us on the show. So, a lot of viewers probably already know Kendyl Hanks, the outstanding appellate practitioner in Texas, greenhouse gardener, dog lover, and all those good things. But you are also a fly-fisher. K: I am. Yeah. Z: We’re going to talk a little bit…
On April 9, 2021, Taylor Swift released the album Fearless (Taylor’s Version), her re-recording of her second album, originally released in 2008 when she was 18. This was a big deal. I’m not really a huge Taylor Swift fan, but she’s undeniably talented, and my daughter was seven when the original Fearless album came out. So you do the math. I also love the fact that the origin story of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is found in the nuances of U.S. copyright law. If you want to understand why, check out this excellent lawsplainer thread from law school student “Mauv”…
Predicting the cost of litigation Litigators usually wince when clients ask how much a lawsuit is going to cost. It’s kind of like asking “how much will it cost to invade Iraq?” You can’t control what other people do, and you don’t know how long the project will drag on. For this reason, I’m going to start telling clients “on average, a lawsuit will cost you $10,000 a month until you settle.” I think this gets the point across better than hemming and hawing about how the total expense is hard to predict. Of course, the $10,000 is just a…
I had a dream. I had everything I wanted. But it wasn’t a Billie Eilish song. It was finishing and publishing my non-compete paper, Wolfe on Texas Non-Compete Litigation -or- My Big Fat Texas Non-Compete Paper. And now the dream is a reality. I released the “beta” version in connection with my webcast for UT Law CLE, Non-Compete Essentials in February 2021. (You can register to watch that great webcast here, by the way.) Since then, I’ve cleaned up some errors (gasp!), inserted a short new section, and added some recent case cites. The result is Version 1.1, which…
This week’s post is my interview of Karen Kaplowitz, who I first knew as a business development coach for lawyers. Turns out she was also a real trailblazer for women in law practice, as you will see. If you prefer to watch the interview in convenient video format, you can find it here on my YouTube channel, That Non-Compete Lawyer. Z: I’m Zach Wolfe. I’m here with my friend, Karen Kaplowitz. Karen, welcome. K: Thank you, Zach. Thanks for inviting me to have this conversation with you. Z: You’re welcome. So, let’s start with what you do today, and that…
When electric bills hit mailboxes next month, many Texans may wonder, does the law allow a consumer to get out of a contract if the result of enforcing the contract terms turns out to be really unfair? The short answer is no. But what if the result of the contract is really, really, really unfair? Then the short answer is maybe. In that case the contract might be considered “unconscionable,” and therefore unenforceable. Texas law recognizes the common-law defense of unconscionability, at least in theory. But how does Texas law define “unconscionable,” how do Texas courts apply that definition in…
Fixing a hole . . . Why would you redo a masterpiece? In the case of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, perhaps the most famous rock album of all time, it was mainly because of the technology available when the Beatles originally recorded the record in 1967. Giles Martin, son of famed Beatles producer George Martin, explained this in an interview with NPR. He identified at least four important limitations of the recording and mixing technology available at the time. First, stereo was still a new thing, and the Beatles had released most of their albums in mono.…