Elisaveta “Leiza” Dolghih is a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, where she handles complex commercial, employment, non-competition, and trade secrets litigation in state and federal courts around the country.
She has extensive courtroom experience, including multiple jury trials, bench trials, and injunction evidentiary hearings, in person and via Zoom.
Leiza is a Co-Chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Trade Secrets Practice Area, and is often called upon by the clients to assist with key employee moves between competitors. She advises clients on the best protection measures for their trade secrets, and, when necessary, litigates trade secrets misappropriation, non-competition, non-solicitation and other claims that are frequently brought when employees move between competing employers.
Leiza has extensive experience in conducting forensic investigations when a theft of intellectual property is suspected or detected, and swiftly obtaining TROs and injunctions to prevent the dissemination or use of such information by departed employees and their new employers. Leiza has also defended many companies, sometimes on just a two-hour notice, against temporary restraining orders and injunctions that unfairly sought to enforce non-competition, non-solicitation or confidentiality agreements.
Leiza has first-chaired multiple evidentiary injunction hearings and has logged hundreds of hours in courtrooms around the country putting on evidence and cross-examining witnesses in trade secrets and non-competition lawsuits, resulting in favorable outcomes for her clients.
She currently serves on the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act Working Group of the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property and Business Law Section, and as part of her work on that committee, helped draft the 2017 amendments to the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
Being Board Certified in Labor and Employment by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization – a distinction earned by less than 8% of attorneys in Texas – she has extensive experience representing employers in administrative proceedings, litigation and arbitrations over claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, medical leave disputes, FLSA collective actions, breach of employment agreements and other employment disputes.
Leiza has been selected to The Best Lawyers Under 40 in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and The Best Lawyers in Dallas in 2017, 2019 and 2020 by D Magazine, Dallas Top 50 Women Lawyers in 2018, by Texas Diversity Council, and “Rising Stars” in 2017- 2021 by Texas Lawyer.
Leiza’s most recent representative experience in trade secrets and non-competition disputes includes:
- Obtained two back-to-back injunctions in Texas and Florida enforcing an insurance company’s employee and customer non-solicitation agreements with sales employees.
- Successfully defended a software company in a lawsuit involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement related to an ERP software application.
- Within 11 days of filing the lawsuit, obtained a declaration on behalf the physician that his non-competition agreement with a medical practice was invalid and unenforceable, ultimately resulting in a dismissal of the lawsuit.
- Obtained an injunction for a software technology company enforcing a non-competition agreement with a former employee and a return of employer’s confidential information from the employee and partial payment of the employer’s attorney’s fees.
- Obtained an injunction for a speech and occupational therapy clinic against former employees who former a competing business in violation of their non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.
- Obtained injunctions on behalf of multiple staffing companies enforcing employee’s non-competition and non-solicitation agreements with their employees who started competing businesses or joined competitors.
- Obtained an injunction for a media advertising company enforcing its former employee’s non-competition and non-solicitation agreement.
- Successfully defended former employees of a private aviation company and their new business against an injunction that sought to enforce their non-competition and non-disclosure agreements, resulting in the ultimate dismissal of the case against them.
- Successfully defended former employees of a tax consulting company and their new business against an injunction order that sought to enforced their non-competition agreements.
- Successfully defended a physician in a lawsuit seeking to enforce his non-compete and non-solicitation agreement with a medical practice, resulting in a monetary award to the client.
- Obtained multiple injunctions against former employees of a medical spa franchise enforcing their non-competition and non-solicitation agreements with their former employer.
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Labor & Employment
- Complex Business & Commercial Litigation
- Trade Secrets & Non-Compete Disputes
- COVID-19: Labor & Employment
- COVID-19: Commercial & Contractual Litigation Disputes
Northern District of Texas
Southern District of Texas
Eastern District of Texas
- Texas Bar Association
- Intellectual Property Section, Trade Secrets Committee
- Dallas Bar Association
- Science and Technology Committee, Council Member, Chair of Education Committee
- Publication Committee, Vice-Chair
- International Bar Association
- Intellectual Property Section
- Labor and Employment Section
- Attorneys Serving the Community
- CLM (Claims & Litigation Management Alliance) Member
- Lifetime Member of the Baylor Law School Alumni Association
- Junior Achievement – Past Board Member
- Aging Mind Foundation - Past Board Member
- Turtle Creek Conservancy – Past Board Member
Awards & Honors
- Best Lawyer Under 40 by D Magazine (2018 - 2020)
- "Best Lawyers in Dallas" by D Magazine (2017, 2019, 2020)
- Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star (2018 - 2021)
- Dallas Top 50 Women Lawyers, Texas Diversity Council (2018)
- "10 Best Client Satisfaction" Award, Labor and Employment Division, American Institute of Legal Counsel (2016, 2017)
- Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center Rising Star Award (2017)
- Executive Editor for Texas, Lewis Brisbois Client Alert Editorial Board
- Emerging COVID-19 Challenges for Staffing Agencies, National Association of Personnel Services (September 2020)
- Employment Issues in Healthcare (March 2020)
- Employment Law During Covid-19, Ask Me MD (April 2020)
- Protecting Your Best Ideas: Patents or Trade Secrets or Both? Lewis Brisbois IP Webinar, November 2019
- Trade Secrets and Non-Competes: A Texas-Sized Problem, Advanced Business Law Seminar, State Bar of Texas, November 2019
- Protecting Business Secrets, University of Texas at Dallas’, Women’s Summit, October 2019
- Proceed with Caution: Artificial Intelligence Ahead!, HR Southwest Conference, October 2019
- Artificial intelligence Algorithms: Protection of Business Secrets and IP/AI is Gaining Popularity and Business Value, International Bar Association Annual Conference, September 2019
- Warning! Artificial Intelligence Ahead: Proceed with Caution, Global HR Conference, September 2019
- ABC's of Employment Agreements...Avoiding Common Employment Traps, Collin-Fannin County Medical Association, August 2019
- Protecting IP Through a Combination of Patents and Trade Secrets – The Strategy for Achieving the Best Results, Stopafkes.Gov Roadshow, June 2019
- Drafting Severance and Confidentiality Agreements Amid Continued SEC, EEOC and NLRB Scrutiny, Stafford Webinar, June 2019
- To Accommodate or Not to Accommodate? Americans with Disabilities Act Update, Association of Corporate Counsel, DFW Chapter, April 2019
- Your Best Ideas: Should You Patent Them or Keep Them as Trade Secrets?, Dallas Startup Week, April 2019
- The Role of HR in Protecting Trade Secrets, Dallas HR Legal Exchange, February 2019
- The Blame Game: When Staffing Agencies are Involved, Who is Responsible?, CLM Restaurant Hospitality Retail Conference, February 2019
- The Rise in Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants Litigation, Advanced Labor & Employment Annual Symposium, State Bar of Texas, January 2019
- The Role of HR in Protecting Trade Secrets, HR Southwest Conference, 2018
- The Rise in Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Litigation – What Does It Mean for Texas Employers?, First Annual Dallas Employment Law Briefing, 2018
- The Role of HR Professionals in Protecting Trade Secrets, Dallas HR Summit, September 2018
- Intellectual Property Considerations in Artificial Intelligence, Lewis Brisbois Webinar, July 2018
- Google and Amazon: A Look at How Tech Giants Protects Their Trade Secrets, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, June 2018
- Challenges of Trade Secrets Protection in the Oil & Gas Industry, Dallas Bar Association, Oil & Gas Section, June 2018
- Maintaining Your Competitive Edge: Litigation Lessons from 2017, Association of Corporate Counsel, DFW Chapter, Annual Symposium, April 2018
- Obtaining Evidence from Social Media and Mobile Devices, LBBS Associate Training, February 2018
- Everything You Wanted to Know About Employment Agreements But Did Not Know to Ask, Young Professionals in Energy, Dallas Chapter, November 2017
- Best Practices with Trade Secrets Protection and Litigation: a Primer for General Counsel, Lewis Brisbois Webinar, October 25, 2017
- Competitive Advantage: Using Corporate and IP Counsels to Creatively Navigate Corporate and IP Pitfalls in a Family Law Setting” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, June 22, 2017
- One Year of Defend Trade Secrets Act Litigation, Texas Bar CLE, May, 2017
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Firing Employees for Social Media Misbehavior, Dallas Bar Association, North Dallas Clinic, May 12, 2017
- Commission Pay for Employees: Structuring Agreements and Defending Claims Absent a Contract, Stafford Webinar, March 7, 2017
- Perception of Discrimination, Phil Hullet and Friends Show Podcast, 2016
- Texas Gym Tests the Limits of Unfair Competition, Guest Expert, Legally Sound/Smart Business podcast, 2016
- Electronic Discovery, Including Social Media, Preservation and Sanctions, Dallas Bar Association, Business Litigation Section, May 2016
- Forum Selection…Choice of Law…and a Tale of Stipulations, UT CLE Non-Compete Camp, 2015
- Using Corporate Counsel to Creatively Navigate Corporate Structures, Annette Stewart Inn of Court, 2015
Baylor University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2006
- Baylor Law Review, Notes and Comments Editor
- Order of Barristers
- Outstanding Record in the Field of Commercial Law Award
- Administrative Law Moot Court Team Member
University of North Texas
Bachelors of Business Administration, magna cum laude, 2002
- Moot Court Team Captain 2001-2002
- Protecting Business Secrets, Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, January 2020
- Top 5 Employment Law Cases from 2018, Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, February 2019
- Brokers Try to Protect Client Relationships," Business Insurance, December 2016
- First Amendment Protects Public Workers' Rights for Perceived Protected Activity, Westlaw Journal Employment, May 2016
- After Scalia's Death, Outlook Unclear for Some Employment Cases, Westlaw Employment Journal, March 2016
- Employers Walk a Fine Line in Accommodating Alcoholic Workers, Business Insurance, January 2016
- Major Questions that the DTSA Brings, Today's General Counsel, June/July 2017
- How to Fire Employees Without Being Sued, Dallas Medical Journal, May 2017
- Ethical Concerns in Ex Parte Communications with Adverse Employer's Employees, American Bar Association, 2016
- Federal DTSA: A New Avenue for Trade Secret Enforcement, Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, October, 2016
- The Days of Spilling Trade Secrets in Litigation Could be Numbered, Texas Lawyer, March 2016
- Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act…Where Are We Now?", News for the Bar – Texas State Bar Litigation Section, Winter Edition, 2016
- Nuts and Bolts of Employment Litigation for General Practitioner, News for the Bar- Texas State Bar Litigation Section, Fall Edition, 2015
- Ms. Dolghih publishes frequent updates on her blog, the North Texas Legal News Blog