Austin Employment Cease and Desist Lawyer
What is a cease and desist letter?
A cease and desist letter is a warning letter. The letter warns the recipient that they are engaging in what the author considers illegal behavior and penalties could occur if it continues. Companies send these letters to former employees to put them on notice that they may be violating non-compete Agreements, non-solicit agreements, no-raid provisions, or otherwise interfering with customer relations or other similar charges. Cease and desist letters are not required by law in most circumstances but companies tend to send them before taking legal action in cases like non-compete violations.
What is a cease and desist order?
While the names are very similar, a cease and desist order is very different from a cease and desist letter. Judges enter cease and desist orders and, unlike letters, they have legal force. These are usually called temporary injunctions, preliminary injunctions, or temporary restraining orders. An injunction or Texas restraining order means that the recipient must stop the restricted behavior until a trial is held. A trial could lead to a permanent injunction, which restricts the behavior for a longer period.
When are cease and desists used?
Various situations maybwarrant cease and desists. Some of these include:
- Breach of contract
- Violation of Texas non-compete agreement
- Violation of a Texas non-solicit agreement
- Character assassination, libel, slander, or defamation
What does a cease and desist letter include?
Letters typically include the following:
- The name and contact information of the sender
- The name and contact information of the recipient
- A clear statement about the actions one is ordering cease
- A demand to stop
- A warning about future legal action
- A time limit to comply
If the letter is for harassment, it may include:
- The date the harassment began
- Information about any specific instances
- A date the recipient must respond to the letter before the sender take further legal action
When do people send send a cease and desist?
A cease and desist is used as a formal warning to someone to stop what they are doing. This is usually the first step in a longer legal process. Sending a cease and desist letter is a quicker option than beginning legal proceedings.
Can anyone send a cease and desist?
In short, yes. However, sending a cease and desist under the wrong circumstances can lead to further legal issues.
What is the point of a cease and desist?
It mainly serves as a formality. It shows the sender took the necessary steps to try to stop the recipient’s behavior without court intervention. The letter shows that the sender informed the recipient that their behavior is offensive. This means the recipient cannot claim that they were unaware that what they were doing was allegedly wrong.
I received a cease and desist from my former employer, what do I do?
If you have received a cease and desist, you should neither ignore the letter nor respond without first consulting an Austin cease and desist attorney. An attorney can assess the cease and desist and figure out if the claims are legitimate. The attorney can then help you move forward in the process by issuing a response. Handling the situation on your own without consulting an attorney could lead to consequences for you including being held liable for opposing attorney’s fees or far worse.
My previous boss sent me a cease and desist, can I rant about it on Twitter?
That is not recommended. Anything you post online is potentially admissible in court. The last thing you want is your tweets or statuses used against you in court. You should not discuss the cease and desist with anyone except your attorney.
Once I contact an attorney, what will he/she do?
The attorney will review the cease and desist and figure out how best to move forward. If the attorney finds that the claims are unfounded, he/she may recommend steps up to and including filing a preemptive suit. A preemptive suit would ask the court to declare these claims unfounded, allow you work, and to legally prevent the sender from issuing anymore cease and desists toward you, the recipient. If the attorney does find the allegations legitimate, he/she may give you, the recipient, advice on how to avoid risk-creating behavior in order to avoid further legal action.
I received a cease and desist, does this mean I am being sued?
Not necessarily. A cease and desist is a warning sign issued by the sender. The cease and desist is telling the recipient if they do not stop their allegedly illegal behavior, further legal action will be taken. While it should not be taken lightly, you should also not panic if you receive one. The best thing to do is contact a Central Texas cease and desist lawyer to understand the cease and desist and figure out a plan going forward.
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