Business and Employment Litigation
Pendergraft & Simon is dedicated to protecting businesses and their employees by helping them understand and adhere to federal and state employment laws. Our attorneys hold officers and directors accountable when corporate misconduct or fraud occurs. If you suspect a corporation or business has failed to conduct themselves in accordance with good practices, please contact our firm to discuss your case quickly and confidentially.
Below are specific complex areas of business and employment law in which we can especially help our clients.
NONCOMPETITION and TRADE SECRETS
Businesses in Texas often draft and enforce employment contracts with noncompetition language. These contracts are critical to protecting businesses from losing employees with extensive trade secret knowledge to a competitor or from forming a competing business.
Texas is one of numerous states that have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which protects information that holds significant economic value from not being readily accessible and when reasonable efforts have been made to maintain its secrecy. Examples include a formula, pattern, copyright, program, device, method, technique, financial data, or list of customers or suppliers. Businesses must protect this data from both internal and external threats.
TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE and CIVIL CONSPIRACY
In most states, including Texas, tortious interference occurs when a third party improperly interferes with the established contractual or prospective business relationships between two other parties. For example, an employer can bring a tortious interference suit against a competing business who solicits an employee to work for it in violation of a noncompetition or nondisclosure agreement.
Tortious interference cases often involve a civil conspiracy. It is defined as “the formation and operation of the conspiracy and damage resulting to plaintiff from an act or acts done in furtherance of the common design.” Civil conspiracy is often an agreement to aid and abet misappropriation of trade secrets.
SHAREHOLDER’S DERIVATIVE SUITS
A shareholder derivative suit is a lawsuit brought by a shareholder on behalf of a corporation when said corporation fails to carry out a valid cause of action or acts in an egregiously irresponsible manner. The suit is often filed against someone close to the company, such as a director or high ranking corporate officer.