Restraining Orders: When You Need to Protect Your Business

Like all business owners, you’re concerned about your company’s reputation. You may have learned that a departing employee has absconded with customer lists or that a partner is trying to start his own company or take company opportunities. You also need to guard trade secrets that may be at risk. These are just some of the reasons you might need a temporary restraining order (TRO) to protect your business interests.

It might not stop there. What happens if a competitor decides to spread false rumors about your company? Obviously, their intent is to take away your business. What other fears do you have that someone is revealing confidential information that might affect your livelihood?

There are more formal terms for many of these concerns. For example, you may be suspect of a breach of covenant or a misappropriation of trade secrets. You could be potentially embroiled in a dispute over a non-compete agreement or one that involves shareholders or a partnership.

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, it makes sense to speak with an experienced commercial litigation attorney. In particular, it would be helpful to seek legal advice from a lawyer whose practice includes flat rate TROs ( not all cases qualify). This is generally considered the most cost-effective means of dealing with the urgency associated with this type of situation.

Temporary Restraining Orders and Your Business

First and foremost, the purpose of a temporary restraining order is to obtain immediate relief. You need to convince the court that time is of the essence when it comes to protecting your business. The law regarding temporary restraining orders is found at Tex. R. Civ. P. 680. Here is a summation of some valuable information:

  • Notice of the TRO application must be given to the adverse party, with exceptions.
  • Notice requirements may be waived if it appears that your business will suffer “irreparable injury, loss, or damage” before notice of the application and hearing takes place.
  • Temporary restraining orders contain specific language regarding the injury to your business and the reason it is irreparable.
  • A TRO expires after fourteen days, although an extension may be granted if the adverse party consents.
  • If the temporary restraining order was issued without notice to the adverse party, a hearing date would be set as soon as possible.
  • An adverse party served with a TRO is only required to give two days’ notice seeking dissolution or modification of the order.

As you can see, there is some complexity in obtaining a temporary restraining order that protects your business. At the hearing, the court will evaluate whether an injunction should be issued against the adverse party. Depending on the circumstances, you may move from a preliminary injunction to a permanent one. We’ll go into more detail on injunctions in our next article.

Could Your Business Need a TRO?

Does your business need the protection of a TRO? At Manfred Sternberg and Associates, we offer legal representation for business temporary restraining orders at a flat rate. Contact our office to see how we can assist you.

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