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 […]

What Clients Need to Understand About Litigation


Sometimes at the end of a lawsuit I’ll tell my client, “congratulations, you’ve earned your Masters in litigation!” Or sometimes, if it’s a long, complicated lawsuit, a Ph.D. Usually the client is not excited. I don’t understand this. Why aren’t they happy to learn so much about how litigation works? Oh, yeah. There’s the time, money, and energy they expended to win that knowledge. But what if you could learn all those lessons, just without the lawsuit part? That was the inspiration for this blog post. I’m going to tell you the things you need to know about litigation ahead […]

Groove Crimes: A Practicing Litigator and Amateur Musician Explains “This Song Sounds Like That Song” Lawsuits


Before we get into copyright infringement, first let me do you a favor. If you haven’t watched the video of Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes,” you have to check it out on YouTube. Weird Al has been churning out great song parodies since the 80s, but Word Crimes may be his magnum opus. It’s so good. Word Crimes is a parody of “Blurred Lines,” a song by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams that generated controversy from the start. First there was the music video, which was a little, uh . . . PG-13? Then people started scrutinizing the cringey lyrics. […]

What is the right measure of damages for breaking a non-compete?


Checking in on our favorite non-compete fact pattern You might be wondering what happened to our friend Dawn Davis. Well, with the housing market booming, the window business is doing well. Dawn just had her best year of sales at Paula Payne Windows. But Dawn felt like she wasn’t getting a big enough cut of the profits. So she jumped ship and went to work for Real Cheap Windows. Trouble is, Dawn had a two-year non-compete with Payne, and Payne sued, asking for an injunction and damages. The judge denied the injunction, but the case is about to go to […]