Judges Must Police Ex Parte TROs Better


This post may ruffle some feathers, but I’ll get right to the point: Texas judges are granting too many TROs in civil litigation, and they’re not doing enough to police the requirements for an ex parte TRO, i.e. a Temporary Restraining Order granted without anyone present for the responding party. Admittedly, I base this on anecdotal evidence from my own practice, but I don’t think my experience is unusual. And to clear away one potential objection right off the bat, let me stress that I am not talking about TROs addressing domestic violence. If there was ever an appropriate case […]

NLRB Abolishes Employee Non-Competes?


I recently saw the summer blockbuster Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, so new characters are on my mind. Nothing against Paula Payne and Dawn Davis, but I thought it was time to introduce some new characters to the FMLU (the Five Minute Law Universe). So, meet Bobby Bluecollar. Bobby works for Vinny’s Valves, which started as a mom-and-pop operation but now has offices throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast, providing equipment to hundreds of customers in the oilfield exploration and production industry. Vinny himself doesn’t work much anymore. His daughter Vanessa now runs the […]

What Clients Need to Know About Mediation


What do clients need to know about mediation? I’ve narrowed it down to five key practical points. Five Minute Law. Five key points. Get it? But before my five key things clients need to know, some basics. Mediation is not arbitration. A lot of non-lawyers get confused about mediation versus arbitration. I will now dispel that confusion and allow you to wow your friends by explaining the difference. Just remember this: Arbitration = binding, more formal Mediation = non-binding, less formal Think of going to arbitration as going to court, but with an arbitrator (or sometimes three arbitrators) instead of […]

Should You Pay a Lawyer for Non-Compete Advice?


Ok, I know what you’re thinking. “Don’t you have a vested interest in the answer, Wolfe?” Yes, clients often pay me for advice about non-competes. It would only be a slight exaggeration to say I’ve paid for my daughter’s college by charging people for advice about non-competes. So it would be somewhat self-serving for me to say “yes, of course, you should always get advice about a non-compete from an experienced attorney.” But look, I’m going to give it to you straight. And you might be surprised by my answer. As you’ll see, I’m going to explain why sometimes you […]

Trial Lawyer Lessons From Serving on a Jury


“Wait, you were on a jury? I thought lawyers always get struck from the jury.” That’s a common misconception. Truth is, lawyers can and do serve on juries. Sometimes. In Texas, where I have a civil litigation practice focused on non-compete and trade secret cases, there is no rule prohibiting lawyers from serving on a jury. Even judges can serve on juries. But won’t the lawyers who are trying the case use their peremptory strikes to keep other lawyers off the jury? Often they do. That probably explains why it’s rare for lawyers to get on juries. But why do […]

Amarillo By Morning: Tortious Interference with At-Will Employment


One proposition that is not controversial in the law is that lower courts are bound to follow the decisions of higher courts. So, for example, an intermediate Court of Appeals in Texas must follow the precedents handed down by the Texas Supreme Court. A more controversial topic: footnotes. Yes, there’s a perennial, raging debate in the legal world about whether citations to case law should go in the body of a brief or in the footnotes. It gets pretty heated. Really. I tend to side with the citations-in-the-body camp, but a recent Texas case has me rethinking the value of […]

What Everybody’s Missing About the FTC’s Proposed Non-Compete Ban


In the words of Joe Biden, the FTC’s proposed ban on employee non-competes is a big f***ing deal. Bear in mind, it is only a proposed rule, and it is sure to face constitutional challenges. I’m no con law scholar, but I have a hunch the conservative 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court is not going to be psyched about a Democratic administration sweeping aside state non-compete law with the stroke of an administrative pen. But just for grins, let’s put aside the original public meaning of the Sherman Act and assume the FTC’s proposed rule is enacted and survives legal […]

I Want to Quit my Job, But I Have a Non-Compete


As I write this, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For a non-compete lawyer, that is. Part of my law practice is counseling people who have signed non-competes with their employers. I’ve done this dozens of times in the past five years alone. And I’ve learned a lot about what’s important in such cases. I know what you’re thinking. “The most important thing is to hire a lawyer to review the non-compete!” I mean, yes, that’s a good idea, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Or you’re thinking “is the non-compete enforceable?” Again, an important question. I […]

Lessons Learned from 1 Year of Solo Law Practice


I had big plans for my one-year solo law practice anniversary, which came on August 16, 2022. I had the perfect blog post planned to coincide with it. Unfortunately, I was too busy with client work to write the blog post in time. And that kind of tells you how the first year of Zach Wolfe Law Firm 2.0 went. Business development was largely a success. I mean, it could always be better, but I had no shortage of paying client work to do. The only problem I really had was keeping up with all the work. More about that […]

Does the TCPA apply to a petition for a pre-suit deposition?


Is a petition a “petition”? That’s the question raised in the recent case Florez v. Olibas, No. 08-19-00302-CV (Tex. App.—El Paso July 26, 2022, no pet. h.). Let me explain. The Texas Citizens Participation Act (the “TCPA”) is the Texas “anti-SLAPP” statute. I used to write a lot of blog posts about the TCPA, and then I stopped when it became less relevant to my practice. You can read a recap at Shrinkage: TX Legislature and 5th Circuit Cut the TCPA Down to Size. In a nutshell, if the TCPA applies to a lawsuit, then it gives the defendant an […]