Respondent sued Petitioner for providing deficient geotechnical engineering services. Respondent attached to its petition an affidavit it believed complied with Tex Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 150.002, which required that Respondent in this case file an affidavit attesting to the claim's merit. The trial court denied Petitioner's motion for dismissal on the ground that the affidavit was deficient, and Petitioner appealed. Before the appeal could be decided, Respondent nonsuited its claims against Petitioner. The court of appeals held that the nonsuit mooted the appeal. Petitioner brought a petition for review. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Respondent's nonsuit did not moot Petitioner's appeal. Remanded. View "CTL/Thompson Tex., LLC v. Starwood Homeowner's Ass'n" on Justia Law
Justia Professional Malpractice & Ethics Opinion Summaries
Petitioner filed suit against respondent for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Respondent had been employed by petitioner since 1983 and rose to become a managing director. In 2005, respondent signed a Non-Solicitation Agreement and notice form stating that he wanted to exercise a stock option to acquire 3000 shares of stock of petitioner's parent company. At issue was whether a covenant not to compete signed by a valued employee in consideration for stock options, designed to give the employee a greater stake in the company's performance, was unenforceable as a matter of law because the stock options did not give rise to an interest in restraining competition. The court held that, under the terms of the Covenants Not to Compete Act (Act), Tex. Bus. & Com. Code 15.50, 52, the consideration for the noncompete agreement (stock options) was reasonably related to the company's interest in protecting its goodwill, a business interest the Act recognized as worthy of protection. Therefore, the noncompete was not unenforceable on that basis. Accordingly, the court reversed the court of appeal's judgment and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.