Forum sought $10 million during a six-week trial based on claims for breach of a confidentiality provision, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, misappropriation of trade secrets, and civil conspiracy against its former employee and a number of competing businesses.
The employee counterclaimed under the Texas Covenants Not to Compete Act, arguing that the company’s noncompete provision, non-solicitation of employees provision, and non-solicitation of customers provision were all unenforceable. The jury found in favor of defendants on all claims and awarded significant attorney fees in their favor.
The court of appeals upheld the victory in its entirety. The court held that all restrictive covenants were unenforceable as a matter of law and further found no trial error that required a new trial. The court also upheld the award of attorney’s fees, making this case a rare example of a court upholding a fee award under the difficult standard in the Texas Covenants Not to Compete Act. See Forum US, Inc. v. Musselwhite et al. (No. 14-0708; in the 14th Court of Appeals.)