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Houston Business Litigation Law Blog

How an NDA may help your business

If you are the owner, manager or executive of a company in Texas you will likely be interested in knowing how you can ensure your business' confidential information can be secured and protected. There may well be data that your competitors would love to have access to that you need to keep secret. You may also have regulatory requirements on what you can share with who, when and why. These are just some of the reasons you may want to develop and use nondisclosure agreements in a variety of situations including with some of your employees.

As the name implies, nondisclosure agreements include provisions about keeping certain information private. They are also often called confidentiality agreements for this reason. However, as explained by Forbes, the requirement to hold secret or not disclose certain information is only one part of what a good NDA may do for your business.

What is commercial disparagement?

When you work to build your business, it can be frustrating when someone can undermine your profitability with a few negligent words. If those words are, essentially, a smear campaign with no basis in fact, you may wonder what recourse you have to not only combat this issue, but recover damages from economic losses caused by a person, persons or entity making disparaging remarks about your business. So what are your options to pursue this in Texas courts?

You may have the potential to bring a case for commercial disparagement, also known as business disparagement. Disparagement is not to be confused with defamation; defamation involves affecting your reputation. Disparagement involves having a substantial economic impact on your business through derogatory marks.

What purpose does a non-compete agreement serve?

Navigating the legalities of running a business can be enough to give anyone a stressful time. This is why certain documents, laws, or aids exist to help you avoid some of the biggest pitfalls in business. Non-compete agreements can fall under useful tools, and when used properly, it might even protect your business in the future.

The Legal Dictionary defines non-compete agreements as contractual obligations signed by an employee that disallows them from acting in a way that would aid any competing business. The parameters of the contract can vary vastly from job to job. In some, for example, a worker might be disallowed from doing any other paid work in their current field. This might mean a photographer is unable to do paid photoshoots if they aren't sponsored by their company, or that a content creator can't work for two companies doing the same kind of content at the same time.

Understanding Texas noncompete clauses

It can be hard to sort out what’s valid and invalid amid the clatter about noncompete agreements. The facts say that nearly one-in-five Americans is party to such a contract, but many of those contracts don’t hold up in court. Employers want to protect their interests, and they are allowed to under the law in most situations. But employees, too, have rights, and sometimes it infringes upon the employee’s right to earn a living.

State law defines the terms

The basics of fraudulent misrepresentation

When you run a business in Texas, making contracts is just one important aspect of your work. Sometimes, though, you may encounter a situation when you established a contract based on information you later leaned was wrong. We at Massey Law Firm, PLLC, understand how important it is for you to know what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

Fraudulent misrepresentation concerns any type of falsehood involved in a business deal. FindLaw says that this misrepresentation can include situations when someone remains silent when you discuss a business arrangement, leading you to think that you both have the same understanding about the arrangement. This can also include times when someone says or writes wrong information. When you realize that someone misrepresented a business deal, you sometimes may simply choose to end the contract. While you might want the other company to compensate your business, this may not always be possible. You typically need to prove that your business was harmed because you trusted the other company's representation of a situation.

Have you been a victim of deceptive business practices?

Texan business owners just like you may sometimes rely on other companies to ensure that your business needs are consistently met. Unfortunately, this also means that you're sometimes at the mercy of third parties. Massey Law Firm is here to help you if you've been a victim of deceptive or fraudulent trade practices because of a business partner or supplier.

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, or DTPA, keeps both small businesses and consumers safe from harmful and deceitful business practices. If your business has fewer assets than $25 million, then the DTPA applies to you.

A look at the basics of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act

Texan business owners all aim to make a living off of their work. When that livelihood is threatened by the deceptive trade practices of another company, it's only natural to fight to maintain the success of their own business, as well as the business integrity and balance in the area.

FindLaw discusses the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (DTPA), which is one of the tools that can be used when a business is trying to protect itself from unfair competition with underhanded advantages. It's the primary choice when it comes to consumer protection, and it can be construed and applied somewhat liberally. Unlawful acts under the DTPA include:

  • Deceptive, misleading, or false acts
  • Breach of warranty
  • Unconscionable acts

Understanding the DTPA and avoiding deceptive trade practices

Enacted on May 21, 1973, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) focuses on protecting consumers from deceptive business actions. Prohibited practices include false and misleading practices along with unconscionable actions and breaches of warranty.

What types of transactions are covered?

Common types of business fraud

When Texas residents think about business fraud, they may first think of illegal activities performed at large corporations. However, fraud can occur at a business of any size. It is important for business owners to understand what this kind of fraud is, as well as the different forms it comes in.

A company might commit fraud while appearing to conduct business in a normal manner. FBI.gov says that business fraud usually falls into several categories. A company might send goods to another company without paying for them or accept payment for merchandise without sending it to a customer. Business fraud can also include posing as a legitimate charity.

Where do contract disputes arise from?

Texan contracting laws can be finicky and difficult to read or navigate. For that reason, contract disputes often happen despite how much care you may take to avoid it. This is where Massey Law Firm can step in to help you out, even in the most complex of contracting situations.

Let's take a look at the most common reasons for contract disputes, first and foremost. They can include:

  • Failure to fulfill the contract terms
  • Failure to honor non-compete agreements
  • Breach of loan payment or failure to make payments
  • Breach of fiduciary duty or credit obligations
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Houston, TX 77007

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