• January 27, 2015

    Sam Wyly's Ex-Wife Sues For Cut Of Disputed Stock Holdings

    The ex-wife of Sam Wyly on Monday sued the former Michael’s Stores Inc. chairman in Texas bankruptcy court, saying the former billionaire concealed the amount of stock he controlled during their divorce proceedings.

  • January 27, 2015

    Court Square Picks Up Research Now Stake From TA-Led Group

    Dechert LLP guided long-term private equity client Court Square Capital Partners on Monday to a deal to acquire a stake in Texas-based digital data collection company Research Now Group Inc. from a consortium of existing PE-backers for an undisclosed amount.

  • January 26, 2015

    26 States Now Challenging Obama's Immigration Action

    Tennessee and Nevada on Friday joined the Texas-led group of states attempting to block President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration, making 26 states now claiming the policies would cost them millions of dollars and preempt their police powers.    

  • January 26, 2015

    Texas Corp. Tells Court Stock Buyout Off The Table

    Courts cannot order the buyout of a minority shareholder’s stake in a corporation when a shareholder oppression claim is recast as a breach of fiduciary duty claim, a Texas company argued last week in a case remanded after a landmark Texas Supreme Court ruling.

  • January 26, 2015

    BP's Deepwater Response Was 'Extraordinary,' Witnesses Say

    Witnesses for BP Exploration and Production Inc. on Monday called the company’s response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster “extraordinary,” as the oil giant began its case in the penalty phase over its responsibility for the 2010 well blowout.

  • January 26, 2015

    Justices Reject Asylum Appeal Over Eritrean Conscription

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a decision that denied asylum to an Eritrean national who said the country’s military conscription rules were actually human trafficking and that he faced forced labor camps and worse if he returned.

  • January 26, 2015

    NiSource Pipeline MLP Aims For $800M IPO As Oil Prices Fall

    Columbia Pipeline Partners LP, which spun off from utility giant NiSource Inc. last fall, set terms Monday for an $800 million initial public offering, making it the latest master limited partnership to join in the IPO frenzy amid plunging oil prices.

  • January 26, 2015

    Joe's Crab Shack Owner Settles With Investors Over 2012 IPO

    Ignite Restaurant Group Inc., the owner of restaurant chains including Joe's Crab Shack and Romano's Macaroni Grill, on Friday reached a $1.8 million settlement in a putative investor class action that alleged the company botched its $80 million initial public offering in 2012.

  • January 26, 2015

    Pillsbury Adds 10 In Austin With Bracewell IP Team

    Four Bracewell & Giuliani LLP intellectual property partners on Monday joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s fledgling Austin office, and are expected to bring six associates focused on patent prosecution, litigation and technology transactions.

  • January 26, 2015

    AmeriFirst Con Man Asks High Court To Review His Sentence

    Convicted securities fraudster Jeffrey Charles Bruteyn has asked the nation's top court to review his 25-year prison sentence for bilking investors out of $50 million, pointing out that the “leader” of the AmeriFirst Funding Corp. scam, the defunct company's owner Dennis Woods Bowden, received a sentence nine years shorter.

  • January 26, 2015

    Visa Contends Its Stiffer Merchant Fees Breed Competition

    Visa Inc. asked a Texas federal judge to throw out Pulse Network LLC’s antitrust suit for failing to state any claims that show Visa holds a monopoly on a network of debit services, arguing Friday that its fee increases are in fact competitive.

  • January 26, 2015

    Diamond McCarthy Ex-Partner Can't Escape Texas Court

    A Texas district judge on Friday rejected a former Diamond McCarthy LLP partner’s bid to dodge Texas jurisdiction in a $1.4 million breach of contract suit over fees she generated as Dreier LLP’s Chapter 11 trustee.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Denies River Shipper's Oil Pollution Act Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition brought by river shipping company American Commercial Lines LLC on whether the Oil Pollution Act trumps general maritime law in a suit seeking to recover payments the U.S. made to two oil cleanup companies after a 2008 accident.

  • January 26, 2015

    Signal Can't Kill Human Trafficking Suit, Judge Says

    A Texas federal judge on Monday ruled that Signal International LLC cannot kill claims under federal human trafficking laws accusing the shipbuilder of coercing Indian citizens to pay for temporary work visas, saying the workers ended up in the U.S. and the fact that they were recruited from outside the country is irrelevant.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Rejects Ex-BP Exec's Appeal In Obstruction Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday summarily refused to hear an appeal by a former BP PLC executive accused of lying about how much oil was spilling after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, letting stand a Fifth Circuit ruling that revived a criminal obstruction of Congress charge against him.

  • January 26, 2015

    Investors Reject KBR Claims In Earnings Fraud Class Action

    A group of investors on Friday urged a Texas federal judge to deny KBR Inc.'s bid to nix a class action alleging securities fraud over its restated 2013 earnings, rejecting the contractor's claim that it did not intentionally mislead investors.

  • January 23, 2015

    Saks, EEOC Transgender Cases To Inspire More Worker Suits

    A sex bias suit by a transgender former Saks Fifth Avenue worker and similar litigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are focusing attention on the question of whether the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on gender expression, and lawyers say these cases will likely set off a torrent of new lawsuits by transgender workers.

  • January 23, 2015

    Ex-Schlumberger Atty Backs Anti-SLAPP Law's Use In IP Suit

    A former Schlumberger Ltd. chief intellectual property lawyer told a Texas appeals court that the state's anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation statute was properly used to dismiss the majority of a lawsuit alleging she masterminded a rival company’s patent infringement suit.

  • January 23, 2015

    Feds Say BP, Anadarko Can Handle Max Deepwater Penalties

    The federal government on Friday wrapped up its case against BP Exploration and Production Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in the penalty phase trial over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, closing with testimony that the companies won’t suffer long-term harm if they’re hit with the maximum penalties.

  • January 23, 2015

    Ex-PilePro CFO Gets Former Firm DQ'd In IP Theft Case

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday ruled Shumway Van & Hansen can’t represent PilePro LLC in a suit alleging its former chief financial officer stole millions in intellectual property, saying the firm’s previous work for the executive while he was still a PilePro employee was a “clear conflict of interest.”

Expert Analysis

  • When Scientific Research Becomes False Advertising

    Sandra Edelman

    Publicizing the results of scientific research in advertising or promotional material may enhance a company’s reputation or increase product sales, but it is important to do so carefully. The Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Eastman Chem. Co. v. PlastiPure Inc. demonstrates that the use of scientific research can lead to liability for false advertising under the Lanham Act, says Sandra Edelman of Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • 10 Tips For Downsizing Workforces In An Energy Crunch

    Steve Shardonofsky

    While the energy sector is no stranger to the employment effects of cyclical oil prices, small and midsized oil field services companies that grew up during the recent U.S. energy boom will likely bear the brunt of falling oil prices. Further, these companies face new legal risks and obligations when downsizing that were nonexistent during the oil bust of the 1980s, say Steve Shardonofsky and Brian Wadsworth of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • American Needle In A Haystack: The Cloned Horses Case

    Zachary Caplan

    Although the Fifth Circuit technically based its recent decision in Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture v. American Quarter Horse Association on insufficient evidence of conspiracy, the opinion really seemed to turn on the single entity analysis under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in American Needle Inc. v. NFL, says Zachary Caplan of Berger & Montague PC.

  • 6 Ways Technology Hobbles Attorney Efforts To Recruit Clients

    Howard Breuer

    While empowering attorneys to blog, host sophisticated websites and share news via social media, technology has also brought new challenges. There are six key areas where technology — or the discord between technology and state rules on attorney advertising — has created client-recruitment problems that lawyers didn’t have a decade ago, says Howard Breuer of legal industry consulting firm ONE400.

  • Fracking Bans May Trigger Civil Authority Coverage After All

    Walter J. Andrews

    A recent Law360 guest article suggests a number of reasons why civil authority coverage will not be implicated by local fracking bans. The article does not, however, fully address three important issues that will impact the question of whether civil authority coverage is, in fact, triggered, say attorneys with Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Texas Transmission Line Cases Are Growing In Complexity

    Todd F. Kimbrough

    Recent Public Utility Commission of Texas dockets suggest that the commission is reclaiming a more significant role in analyzing and determining the “need” for new transmission lines. If this trend continues, electric transmission utilities and PUCT practitioners will likely see a return to the highly quantitative scrutiny of transmission projects as part of the certificate of convenience and necessity analysis in dockets, says Tod... (continued)

  • 5th Circ. Highlights Importance Of Claim Investigation

    Kristen C. Cummings

    Based on the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Santacruz v. Allstate Texas Lloyd’s Inc., an insurer that “reasonably believes” it has a basis to deny coverage should still make sure it conducts a sufficient investigation into the basis supporting its belief. Failure to do so could result in a finding that the insurer breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing, says Kristin Cummings of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Law Schools Are (Finally) Teaching 'The Biz' Of Lawyering

    Howard Breuer

    Educators across the country say law schools are now more aggressively teaching the business side of being a lawyer — spurred on by a shifting market that continues to provide fewer and fewer associate opportunities for recent grads, and feedback from students and new lawyers eager to learn how to bring in clients once they hang out a shingle, according to legal industry consultant and journalist Howard Breuer.

  • The Year Ahead In Pro Bono, US And Abroad

    Kevin J. Curnin

    In 2015, look for the real story in pro bono legal services beneath the numbers. There is specific evidence that pro bono is on the rise in nations not traditionally associated with legal aid. And in the U.S., with the continuing evolution of state rules governing in-house pro bono practice, we expect corporate legal departments to further expand the depth and reach of their pro bono programs, say members of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.