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No, contrary to what you may have heard, President Biden did not issue an executive order banning non-competes nationwide. More about that later. His Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy did get me thinking, though. Should Texas follow the Biden administration’s lead and abolish the Texas hiring tax? You didn’t know Texas had a hiring tax? Let me explain. Comparative Non-Compete Law Texas law is relatively pro non-compete. I say “pro” because the Texas law allows non-compete agreements with at-will employees, provided the scope of the non-compete is reasonable, and if the employer messes up and makes…
Editor’s note: On June 29, 2021, the ABA Journal published Are women lawyers paying enough attention to upward mobility? by lawyer and author Susan Smith Blakely. The following column addresses the same issue from the lawyer dad perspective. The column reflects the opinions of the author, and not the views of Five Minute Law – or the American Law Blogger Association. Five Minute Law is committed to covering all issues of importance to serious people in the law, and we acknowledge the many concerns expressed to us by those offended by this piece. The number of men graduating from law…
When you say “recruitment,” it brings up painful memories of law school. But hey, at least we had free pizza (sometimes). Speaking of recruiting, the Wall Street journal recently reported that employee mobility is at a two-decade high. That means a lot of employees are quitting their jobs and going to work for competitors. Anecdotal evidence from my own law practice suggests the same. There are a lot of departing employee disputes and lawsuits in Texas right now, and I suspect the same is true in other states. In many cases, when those employees leave their employers, they will have…
Man, I miss Dijonnaise. It was revolutionary. Dijon mustard. Mayonnaise. Mixed together. In one bottle! And the best part was the theme song, to the tune of Duke of Earl. Dij, dij, dij, dij-o-naise, naise, naise . . . Bet you can’t get that out of your head now. Sadly, Dijonnaise was a flash in the pan. Maybe too many people asked, why not just put Dijon mustard and mayo separately, then put them together on the same sandwich?[1] My response would be similar to that of Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist for Spinal Tap. After showing off his…
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…