In-House Texas

The Renaissance of Noncompetition Agreement

By Patrick J. Maher |

In Texas, the enforceability of noncompetition agreements ("noncompetes") has widely varied. By the end of the 1980s, noncompetes were highly disfavored by Texas courts. The Texas Legislature responded with the Texas Covenants Not to Compete Act. (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 15.50-52), which was intended to favor noncompetes. That Act required enforcement of noncompetes so long as they are (1) ancillary to an otherwise enforceable agreement, (2) serve a legitimate business purpose, and (3) contain reasonable limits as to time, and geography and scope of activity restricted.

Oil Rebound Demands Preventive Maintenance for Contracts

By Michael J. Wray and Jacob C. Esparza |

As the recent Permian Basin buying spree and increased offshore capital expenditures by super majors reveal, the energy industry downturn of recent years may be turning a corner.

Pipeline Safety Regs Remain in Limbo Under Trump

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Operators of pipelines transporting hazardous liquids are waiting to see if President Trump makes good on his promise to reduce regulation by 75 percent, including amendments to rules enforced by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Rankin Gasaway, SVP, GC and Secretary, 7-Eleven.

Meet the GC of 7-Eleven, Rankin Gasaway

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Covering corporate law departments and in-house attorneys for Texas Lawyer and other ALM publications, reporter Kristen Rasmussen profiles Rankin Gasaway, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at 7-Eleven Inc.

Yvette Ostolaza and Penny Reid.

Tips for Being Successful in Your New Role as Partner

By Yvette Ostolaza and Penny Reid |

Most young lawyers dream of the day they will make partner. It's a monumental milestone in your career that represents years of hard work, determination and dedication.

Eve Burton, senior vice president and general counsel of the Hearst Corp.

Eve Burton: Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Hearst Corp.

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Hearst's legal department has about 100 lawyers and professionals globally.

A Day in the Life of an Immigrant in Detention: Rights, Wrongs and Release

By Diego Rodriguez |

What an ICE hold is like from a detainee's perspective and what rights you have against lengthy detention.

Waco district attorney Abel Reyna walks off the stage during an announcement concerning the West explosion May 2016.

Biker-Defendant Looks to Remove Waco DA Abel Reyna From the Case

By Miriam Rozen |

In the mandamus petition, Broden, who represents one of the indicted bikers, argues that his client will be denied due process unless Reyna is removed from the case. He alleges that the DA has a "huge" financial interest in the bikers' prosecutions.

Michael Maslanka.

Take it From Shakespeare—the Words 'Fair Play' Mean a lot More Than 'Don't Cheat'

By Michael P. Maslanka |

There is a lot more there. When you watch the movie, you will see the time clock in the Hickory High School gym. Two words, one concept, are printed on it: "Fair Play." Know where the concept comes from? The very first to use it? Shakespeare.

How to Assist Clients with Estimating Expenses in Annual Budgets and Corporate Transactions

By Julie Machal-Fulks |

For many corporations, the end of the year signifies that it is time to look to the coming year and identify a corporate or department budget for technology expenditures.

Jack Balagia.

Starting a New Chapter

By Kristen Rasmussen |

After 18 years at the energy giant, Jack Balagia retires as general counsel with respect and admiration.

Legal Tech Skills Are No Longer Optional

By Steve Thomas |

If you are relying on your teenager to help you, the time is now to learn.

Michael P. Maslanka

Recent Cases Moves Sexual Orientation Closer Than Ever to Protected Classification Status Under Title VII


Is sexual orientation a protected classification under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? The answer was once a "no." But there were two November surprises that will likely start to change the answer to "yes."

U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.

Self-Reporting of FCPA Violations on the Rise

By Kristen Rasmussen |

The DOJ's new one-year pilot enforcement program, announced in April, encourages companies to self-report illegal payments under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Fate of Obama's Clean Power Plan Pits Climate Goals Against Administrative Law

By Michael Nasi |

On Aug. 3, 2015, President Obama unveiled his Clean Power Plan, an EPA regulation imposing carbon dioxide limits on existing coal- and gas-fired power plants. It is likely the most impactful and most contentious rule ever issued by the EPA.

Tracy Preston, general counsel for the Neiman Marcus Group.

Q&A With Neiman Marcus GC Tracy Preston

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Q&A with Tracy Preston, general counsel of Neiman Marcus.

Mike Maslanka

The Goal for 2017? Practice the 'Big G'


Want to feel grateful at work? It is the place where we spend the most time other than being with loved ones. Ask not whether you are "happy" with your job but rather, as did the ancient Greeks, ask whether you are fulfilled in it.

Tracy Preston, general counsel for the Neiman Marcus Group.

Neiman Marcus GC Helps Bring 'The Christmas Book' to Life

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Tracy Preston is one of very few people who knows what Neiman Marcus will offer as "fantasy gifts" in The Christmas Book long before the catalogue comes out.

To Self-Report or Not to Self-Report?

By Jason Varnado and David Woodcock |

This article examines key pros and cons to self-reporting potentially unlawful behavior to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Marguerite Woung-Chapman, senior VP and GC for EP Energy Corp..Sept 27, 2016

Q&A With the GC of EP Energy Corp

Texas Lawyer spoke with Marguerite Woung-Chapman senior vice president of land administration and computer assisted drawing services, general counsel and corporate secretary of EP Energy Corp.

The Continuing Struggle Over Mandatory Vaccination of Health Care Workers

By Charles S. Johnson III |

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has long recommended that all health care workers receive an annual influenza vaccination. Throughout the United States, employers in the health care industry have experimented with strategies to encourage voluntary influenza vaccinations of health care workers. However, voluntary immunization policies have not had a significant impact on the overall coverage rate. During the 2010-2011 flu season, for example, the CDC found that 95 percent of health care workers received the flu shot when their employer required it but, when vaccinations were made voluntary, the rate of immunization fell to less than 64 percent.

Marguerite Woung-Chapman, senior VP and GC for EP Energy Corp..Sept 27, 2016

Lawyer Takes on Many Roles as GC of Energy Company

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Marguerite Woung-Chapman helped effectuate private equity firms' acquisition of oil and gas exploration and production assets of one corporation and the use of those assets to create a new stand-alone entity that became her current employer.

Texas ADR Trailblazers

By Miriam Rozen |

Two established veteran arbitrators discuss fixing the industry gender gap.

Tips for Effective Management of Insurance Industry Arbitrations

By Mark Whittington |

There's been an uptick in insurance industry arbitrations in recent years. These proceedings involving corporate insureds can raise complex and time-consuming issues. But early and focused efforts by the insurer and the insured can help provide for a fair and efficient process.

Michael P. Maslanka, Assistant Professor of Law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

Deceit: Damaging, Dangerous and Dumb

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Thinking about putting a private investigator on opposing counsel? Think again.

Navigating the First Deepwater Joint Venture with Pemex in Mexico

By Glenn Pinkerton and Eduardo Marquez Certucha |

While the story is not yet fully written on Mexico's energy reform, a key new chapter is about to begin with its auction process.

Challenges of Preserving Cross-Border Attorney-Client Privilege

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Texas Lawyer spoke to Cowman and other practitioners about in-house privilege and cross-border issues and what corporate legal departments can do to help preserve it in a multinational legal landscape.

Elaine Flud Rodriguez.

Q&A With the GC of One of the Country's Busiest Airports

By Mary Alice Robbins |

A Q&A with Elaine Flud Rodriguez, general counsel for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Mexican Energy Reform, Three Years Later

By Gabriel Salinas and Rodrigo Dominguez Sotomayor |

Almost three years after passing the reform, Mexico has successfully developed a new energy regulatory framework, which has created a brand-new energy play in the North American region.

Elaine Flud Rodriguez.

GC of DFW International Airport Handled Initial Turbulence With Ease

By Mary Alice Robbins |

As general counsel for Dallas/
Fort Worth International Airport, Elaine Flud Rodriguez often gets asked unusual questions, like whether employees in the airport's Wildlife Management Department need hunting licenses. "You get those kinds of questions you would never get in other environments," said Rodriguez, who is responsible for managing and directing all legal functions at the airport.

Michael P. Maslanka.

6 Advice Clichés to Avoid Like the Plague

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Bad advice floats. Why? Because it is repeated so often, and stated with such conviction, that we think "Surely, this advice is righteous and good and wise." Think again. My goal: Sight it, sink it.