MBJ Partner Mark Whitney was recently quoted in the Boston Globe’s Business Section (from 2/15/07) in connection with an article concerning the unusual tactics being employed by one competitor against another in a dispute over a senior executive’s noncompete agreement. The article addressed the well-publicized and heated dispute between TJX Cos. and Pier 1 Imports, Inc., in which Pier 1 hired a senior executive of TJX despite the fact that he had signed a noncompete agreement.
At the outset of the dispute, TJX had been in the process of writing threatening (“shot across the bow”) letters to Pier 1 and the former executive warning about TJX’s intent to enforce the executive’s noncompete agreement in Massachusetts. In an unusual move, Pier 1 and the former executive filed a preemptive suit called a declaratory judgment action in a Texas court, Pier 1’s home state. Pier 1 then immediately sought and obtained a TRO (temporary restraining order) from the Texas court ordering TJX to refrain from suing its former executive.
This unusual strategy is discussed in the Globe article, a copy of which is available here.