• July 23, 2014

    Locke Lord Adds Norton Rose IP Litigator To Houston Office

    Locke Lord LLP said Wednesday it has bolstered its intellectual property department and IP litigation practice group in its Houston office with the addition of a former Norton Rose Fulbright attorney who has experience representing clients in the energy and technology industries.

  • July 23, 2014

    Kelly Hart, Beard Kultgen Beat RE Co.'s Malpractice Suit

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday tossed a real estate company's malpractice suit against Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick Dickson & Squires LLP and Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, saying the plaintiff lacked standing because it didn't properly reserve claims related to hotel foreclosures in a bankruptcy proceeding.

  • July 22, 2014

    Jury Orders Great American To Pay $40M In Fraud Claims Suit

    A Texas federal jury on Tuesday ordered Great American Insurance Co. to pay more than $40 million to Stewart Title Guaranty Co., ending a long-running dispute over coverage for claims stemming from alleged fraud by an agent of the title insurance company in real estate closings.

  • July 22, 2014

    BP, Anadarko Want 2nd Shot At 5th Circ. Deepwater Decision

    BP PLC and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. asked the Fifth Circuit on Monday for another chance to show they were not liable for Clean Water Act violations tied to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and potentially billions in penalties, arguing the rig operators were liable.

  • July 22, 2014

    Texas Court Says State Workers Can't Be Served Via AG

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday dismissed medical malpractice claims against a nurse who worked at a University of Texas-affiliated hospital, ruling the plaintiff failed to meet statutory requirements by serving an expert report on the state attorney general’s office instead of the nurse.

  • July 22, 2014

    $25M Houston RE Investment Was Induced By Scam, Suit Says

    B Choice Ltd. sued Epicentre Development Associates LLC and others in Texas federal court for breach of contract and fraud in connection with its $25 million investment in a project to develop the site of defunct theme park Six Flags AstroWorld into EpiCentre Houston.

  • July 22, 2014

    2 Get Year In Prison For Trying To Bribe Texas Federal Judge

    A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced two men allegedly linked to the Zetas drug cartel who conspired in a $1.2 million plot to bribe U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks each to a year and a day in prison, after ordering their deportation to Mexico.

  • July 22, 2014

    $3.7M Suit Claims Gen. Dynamics Unit Bankrupted Contractor

    Metal fabrication shop Elite Precision Fabricators Inc.has sued defense contractor General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with a work stoppage agreement that Elite says cost the company $3.7 million and forced it into bankruptcy.

  • July 22, 2014

    Bracewell & Giuliani Adds Energy, Finance Pro In Houston

    Bracewell & Giuliani LLP said Monday it has strengthened its Houston office with the addition of a former Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP attorney who focuses his practice on corporate, finance, bankruptcy and workout matters, predominantly in the mining and energy industries.

  • July 21, 2014

    Google Can't Shake Rockstar Search-Engine Patent Suit

    A Texas federal judge on Monday refused to toss Rockstar Consortium US LP Inc.'s suit accusing cellphone companies of infringing seven of its patents by making and selling mobile devices using Google Inc.'s Android operating system, ruling Rockstar's claims are sufficiently specific.

  • July 21, 2014

    Texas Firm Hits Client With Fee Suit Over ‘Nightmare’ Case

    Acosta & Associates PC on Friday slapped a former client with a suit in Texas state court seeking at least $500,000 in punitive damages, alleging the client refused to pay legal fees after the firm helped him escape from what a federal judge called a nightmarish bankruptcy case stemming from a contract dispute between two tech companies.

  • July 21, 2014

    Mistrial Declared In Trinity Guardrail Whistleblower Suit

    A Texas federal judge on Friday declared a mistrial in a False Claims Act suit accusing Trinity Industries Inc. of secretly changing the design of its ET-Plus guardrail end terminal, saying that “serious concerns exist” regarding Trinity’s conduct.

  • July 21, 2014

    Bass Pro Slams EEOC Investigation Before Bias Suit

    Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC on Friday urged a Texas federal court to dismiss the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's allegations that the retailer discriminated against black and Hispanic job applicants, saying the agency didn't do enough internally before filing a lawsuit.

  • July 21, 2014

    23 States Tell High Court EPA’s Mercury Regs Too Costly

    A group of 23 states and two energy industry groups have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision upholding the Obama administration's landmark rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants, arguing that the rule would drive up electricity prices and harm the coal industry.

  • July 21, 2014

    Baker Botts Hires Ex-Locke Lord Corporate Atty In Houston

    Baker Botts LLP announced it has strengthened its corporate department with the addition to its Houston office of a former Locke Lord LLP attorney who has extensive experience representing borrowers and lenders in various financings, including asset securitizations, as well as commercial transactions and banking matters.

  • July 21, 2014

    Tetra Partnership Buys CSI For $825M After Public Offering

    A Tetra Technologies Inc.-controlled natural gas compression company said Sunday it has made a “transformative” acquisition, agreeing to pay $825 million in cash to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Texas-based Compressor Systems Inc., funding the deal with two announced securities offerings.

  • July 21, 2014

    Key Democrats Tell 5th Circ. To Nix GOP Donor's ACA Suit

    Democratic lawmakers urged the Fifth Circuit to reject a prominent Republican donor’s suit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, saying that Congress followed the proper legislative procedures to enact the law and that there were no such violations of the origination clause.

  • July 21, 2014

    MetroCorp Settles Shareholder Suit Over $273M Merger

    MetroCorp Bancshares Inc. has settled a proposed shareholder class action that sought to block the company's proposed $237 million acquisition by East West Bancorp Inc., according to court documents filed Friday, putting to rest months of negotiation.

  • July 18, 2014

    Texas Asbestos Ruling Holds Silver Lining For Plaintiffs

    Asbestos plaintiffs suffered a setback recently when the Texas Supreme Court raised the burden of proof for showing that a defendant's products caused mesothelioma, but they avoided losing more ground when the court rejected a controversial causation theory that attorneys say would have thwarted virtually all asbestos suits.

  • July 18, 2014

    NRG, JX Nippon Launch $1B Carbon Capture Project In Texas

    NRG Energy Inc. has begun construction on a $1 billion carbon capture and sequestration and enhanced oil recovery project near Houston — expected to be the largest of its kind in the world — in a joint venture with JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., it said Tuesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Code Trumps Contract In The 5th Circ.

    Debra McElligott

    The Fifth Circuit opinion in Goldsby v. 804 Congress suggests that even where parties agree upon foreclosure-related fees, costs and charges before a bankruptcy, Section 506(b) of the Bankruptcy Code may still trump the provisions of their contract, says Debra McElligott of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Costs And Benefits Of Opting Out Of Texas' Workers' Comp

    Janet A. Hendrick

    Because Texas' workers' compensation is a "no fault" program, employees of subscribers are rarely allowed to sue their employer for damages in connection with work-related injuries, however employees of nonsubscribing employees may bring negligence and related claims as a result of on-the-job injuries, says Janet Hendrick of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • Lines Drawn In Tesla Direct Sales Battle

    Robert A. Zinn

    Given Tesla’s current tiny share of the U.S. auto market, the debate over Tesla’s direct sales to consumers may seem like much ado about nothing. But the direct sales model is also being studied by both new Chinese automakers and mainstream U.S. and global manufacturers as they plan their future U.S. marketing strategies, says Robert Zinn of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt LLP.

  • An Inventive Way To Remove Pure State Court Claims

    Michael E. Blumenfeld

    Nondiverse state court defendants facing purely state law claims that seek to secure federal jurisdiction should determine whether a good faith basis exists to pursue a third-party action against a federal actor in order to trigger the representative U.S. Attorney’s certification and remove such claims under the Westfall Act, say Michael Blumenfeld and Jonathan Singer of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • Texas High Court Provides Certainty Over O&G Operations

    Stephanie E. Kinzel-Tapper

    The Texas Supreme Court's recent ruling in Marcia Fuller French v. Occidental Permian Ltd. upheld the settled expectations of parties to oil and gas leases and confirmed they apply even with respect to enhanced recovery operations — welcome news to lessors with such operations, say Stephanie Kinzel-Tapper and Carter Williams of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • Texas District Court Finds Out 'What The Hail Is Going On'

    Brett A. Wallingford

    Judge Jane Boyle of the Northern District of Texas in Hamilton Properties v. American Insurance Co. addressed issues common in hundreds — if not thousands — of pending Texas hail damage lawsuits, and took strong action in response to such suits, says Brett Wallingford of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Minimum Wage Mania Among Cities And States

    James S. McNeill

    The trend of indexing minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index will have significant, long-term implications for states and municipalities, telling us two things: minimum wage rates will likely continue to rise annually and will bring with them an increase in potential wage liability exposure for employers, say James McNeill and Peter Stockburger of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.

  • OPINION: Let's Financially Reward Law Firm Diversity

    Patricia K. Gillette

    It only took the threat of a 10 cent cost increase to make people bring their own bags to Bay Area grocery stores. What if we gave partners an extra $10,000 for increasing diversity in their firms? asks Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP partner Patricia Gillette.

  • Crucial Predictive Coding Case Law: Progressive V. Delaney

    Emily Cobb

    Any practitioner considering predictive coding should fully consider Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen’s reasoning in Progressive Casualty Insurance v. Delaney and the potential pitfalls associated with failure to consistently cooperate, say Emily Cobb and Annamaria Enenajor of Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • A Victory For State Anti-SLAPP Laws

    Laura Prather

    With no federal anti-SLAPP statute on the books and a circuit split on whether state anti-SLAPP statutes are procedural or substantive, a recent Southern District of Texas opinion applying the Texas Citizens Participation Act provides a boost to the effectiveness of state anti-SLAPP laws everywhere, say Laura Prather and Alicia Calzada of Haynes and Boone LLP.