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Houston Business and Family Law Blog

Is This Non-Compete Enforceable?

Is this non-compete enforceable?

The enforcement of non-compete agreements depends upon numerous factors. A non-compete will be subject to strict scrutiny by the Courts when an Employer seeks to enforce the non-compete. The agreement must be carefully drafted, and the Employer will need to be prepared to justify the reasons for the non-compete and the restrictions imposed by the non-compete.

Lennea Cannon: Board Certified Texas Family Law Attorney

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According to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, out of more than 70,000 attorneys licensed to practice law in Texas, only 7,000 are Board Certified specialists. In any given area of specialization in law, such as family law, the number of Board Certified specialists is even fewer.

Our own Lennea Cannon, a named partner with Kerr, Hendershot & Cannon, P.C., now joins the short list of Board Certified specialists in Texas family law. This is an achievement that reflects a specialization in family law cases for more than 10 years, handling hundreds of contested cases, trials, mediations, and appeals.

Medicaid/Medicare Fraud and Dental Practices

If you are a dentist or manage dental clinics in Texas, you are very likely aware of the increase in governmental regulation in the form of Medicaid/Medicare fraud prevention. In 2013, David Heath for the Center for Public Integrity wrote:

"Texas has been embroiled in a Medicaid fraud scandal for the past couple of years. The initial focus was on overbilling Medicaid for unnecessary braces on children. But the scandal has since widened. State authorities said [...] they've identified 89 dental providers they suspect of overbilling Medicaid by $154 million," (Texas tries to crack down on dental chains that put profits ahead of patients).

What to Expect When the AG/OIG Shows Up at Your Door

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If you're dodging the OIG, the theory goes, there's a reason. In other words, if you have a request for information (like a subpoena) and you ignore it, the government is only going to make it worse.

What does worse look like? More sanctions, more expense to you and your business. Sometimes, it means the AG/OIG shows up at your door and tries to shut your business down.

What's the Difference between a Restraining Order and a Protective Order?

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If you are or were in an abusive relationship, you have options to keep yourself and your children safe. You can obtain a court order that protects by keeping the abuser from contacting you or being near you. This order is called a protective order. Often, protective orders are referred to as restraining orders, but in Texas, these terms have different meanings.

Oil and Gas Drilling Surface Use Agreements

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Mineral Estate vs. Surface Estate

Texas law holds that the mineral estate is dominant over the surface estate; thus, the owner of the mineral estate has the right to freely use the surface estate to the extent reasonably necessary for the exploration, development, and production of the oil and gas under the property.

This right to freely use the surface estate for the benefit of the mineral estate may be exercised by a company or individual (generally the "lessee") who has taken a mineral lease from the actual owner of the mineral estate.

Present Pending Congressional Bills on Trade Secret Protection

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act, adopted by all states except for North Carolina and New York, serves to protect corporations and individuals who hold title to a formula, pattern or system that derives independent economic value not readily ascertainable by other persons and is subject to reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy, such as customer lists, methods of production, marketing strategies, pricing information and chemical formulae. The UTSA provides legal framework to protect a corporation against the misappropriation of a trade secret that is related to a product of service used in interstate or foreign commerce that has been adopted in 48 states, excluding New York and Massachusetts.

The Benefit of Patents, Trade Secrets and Contracts in Oil and Gas Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling down into the earth and releasing a high-pressure water mixture into the rock to unearth natural gas. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

Oil and gas companies have patented their procedures for well completion and horizontal drilling and, more commonly, the fracking fluids used. The patent right allows its owner to exclude another from making, using, selling or importing the invention for essentially any reason.

What's my medical practice worth?

You may not think much about the value of your medical practice on a day-to-day basis. But when changes happen in your professional or personal life, the value of your practice may become the most important business term you need to know.

The value of a medical practice can be at issue in many stages of a business, from a young doctor planning to buy a practice to mergers to an older professional who is ready to sell a practice and retire. The value of a practice comes up in your personal life as well, whether it's drafting an accurate premarital agreement or establishing a value during divorce.

Selecting a Series Limited Liability Company vs. Multiple Individual Corporations

One way to setup multiple corporations and isolate the legal liability of each is to setup a Series Limited Liability Company (LLC). A series LLC creates an unlimited number of sub-LLCs, each with a separate business purpose or investment objective, under an umbrella of a parent LLC.

Special language is incorporated into the certificate of formation and the company agreements that allows numerous corporations who each are a separate juridical entity. Texas business organizations code chapter 101, section 101.602 states "the debts, liabilities, obligations, and expenses incurred...with respect to a particular series shall be enforceable against the assets of that series only, and shall not be enforceable against the assets of the limited liability company generally or any other series." As well, the same holds true that the sub-series are exempt from the obligations of the parent LLC. Essentially, the parent LLC is protected from liability of the series, and each series is theoretically protected from the liabilities of the parent and other LLCs.