Ben went to work as a computer programmer for a software firm in Dallas, Texas, in 2000. This firm specialized in software for dental offices. The employment contract that he was required to sign provided that if he left the employment of the software firm, whether initiated by Ben or the firm, he would not work for “another software firm specializing in software for dental offices, or as a consultant doing programming for such firm, for two years, within a hundred mile radius of Dallas.” Ben had been heavily recruited for this position, and the signing of this agreement, had occurred after a reception where Ben had consumed a number of alcoholic beverages. Ben was definitely feeling the effects of the drinks when he signed the agreement, but understood its terms and general nature.
In 2008, Ben began to have difficulties with his boss, and in June quit his job. Three months later, Ben accepted a position as a software engineer with a firm in Houston. This firm specialized in software for small and medium-sized dental offices. In late 2008, Ben’s former employer notified Ben that he was in breach of the agreement he had signed in 2000 before starting work. Ben then offered to provide trade secrets of his new employer to the former employer in exchange for the former employer not enforcing the agreement and paying him $5,000 for the trade secrets. Discuss three legal issues presented by this fact situation and state the probable outcome of each issue.