• July 22, 2016

    Texas Bankruptcy Courts Boom With Commodities Bust

    Bankruptcy courts in Texas are seeing more complex Chapter 11 cases than they have since the 1980s as energy companies choose to restructure on their home turf amid the ongoing commodities price bust, in what experts view as a temporary uptick wed to the fate of oil and gas markets.

  • July 22, 2016

    Trinity Pushes 5th Circ. To Reverse $663M FCA Judgment

    Trinity Industries on Thursday pushed the Fifth Circuit on Thursday to upend a $663 million False Claims Act judgment over allegedly defective guardrails, saying that newly discovered evidence of crash test results necessitates a new trial.

  • July 22, 2016

    Cotton Bledsoe Accused Of Forum Shopping Oil & Gas Claims

    A former Cotton Bledsoe Tighe & Dawson PC client has sued the firm in Houston state court, alleging firm lawyers botched an oil and gas dispute and engaged in improper forum shopping that racked up hundreds of thousands’ worth of unnecessary legal fees.

  • July 22, 2016

    Medtronic IP Expert Barred For Lack Of Mind-Reading Prowess

    An Eastern District of Texas judge has barred a former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office administrative patent judge from testifying for Medtronic in an infringement suit over a spinal device, saying his testimony is speculative and he has no expertise in "retroactive mind reading."

  • July 22, 2016

    New Offshore Shutdown Cost Regs Offer Cos. A Soft Landing

    Tougher financial requirements recently released by U.S. offshore regulators to ensure drillers can pay for shuttering their offshore operations could further squeeze companies already hurt by low oil prices, but experts say the guidelines offer enough flexibility in satisfying those requirements to keep companies from collapsing beneath their cleanup obligations.

  • July 22, 2016

    Fox Fights Comcast's Docs Bid In Network Bankruptcy Suit

    Fox Sports Net asked a Texas bankruptcy court Thursday not to make it turn over documents from contract negotiations with the MLB’s Astros and NBA’s Rockets in a suit alleging Comcast intentionally torpedoed the value of a Houston affiliate, saying this request is barred by an earlier court order in the larger proceeding. 

  • July 22, 2016

    Gilstrap Eases Filing Of Patent Summary Judgment Motions

    Federal Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas has done away with his previous rule that litigants in patent cases must get his permission before filing a motion for summary judgment, court papers show.

  • July 22, 2016

    5th Circ. Nixes Atty's Appeal Of $1.77M Fraud Judgment

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday made quick work of an appeal by a Texas attorney — in about six weeks and 16 words — who sought to reverse a federal court ruling that he pay $1.77 million for defrauding investors in a fracking-water filtration venture and other securities law violations.

  • July 22, 2016

    Lawyer Denied Texas High Court Review Of Ex-Client Row

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to review a lawyer’s argument that the receiver for one of his former clients, an insolvent insurer, must arbitrate an attempt to recoup fees allegedly paid to the attorney to represent the insurer’s management in claims that had nothing to do with the company.

  • July 22, 2016

    C&J Energy Gets OK To Begin Tapping $100M Debtor Package

    The parent of oil field services company C&J Energy Services Ltd. has received the green light to tap $25 million of a $100 million debtor-in-possession financing package in its Chapter 11 case recently filed in Texas bankruptcy court.

  • July 22, 2016

    Silver Run Buys 89% Stake In Oil And Gas Co. Centennial

    Riverstone Holdings LLC-backed Silver Run Acquisition Corp. has acquired an 89 percent stake in Texas-based crude oil producer Centennial Resource Development LLC, the companies said Friday, giving Silver Run control of a company that has significant exploration and production operations in the Southern Delaware Basin.

  • July 22, 2016

    Ex-Worker At Dallas Tech Co. Charged With Embezzling $2.4M

    A former lead systems engineer at a Dallas technology firm was arrested Thursday and charged by Texas federal prosecutors of embezzling $2.4 million from the company by causing it to place orders with fictitious businesses he created and using the funds for his own use.

  • July 22, 2016

    5th Circ. Says Coverage Of University Building To Be Split

    The Fifth Circuit held in a published decision Thursday that Southern Insurance Co. has to help cover the cost of repairing a University of Southern Mississippi building that was damaged by a tornado, but Affiliated FM Insurance Co. has to chip in as well.

  • July 21, 2016

    Ingredient Co. Hit With $7.5M Suit Over Guar Gum Factory

    A Texas chemical company in a contract dispute with Caremoli USA Inc. sued the food ingredient manufacturer in Texas federal court Thursday, claiming it is owed more than $7.5 million for loan reimbursements and unpaid purchase orders tied to Caremoli’s failed effort to produce guar gum material used in hydraulic fracturing.

  • July 21, 2016

    5th Circ. Axes Insurers' Win In Botched Oil Well Dispute

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday reversed and remanded a Louisiana federal judge's decision that a pair of insurers owed Solstice Oil & Gas I LLC no coverage for a $12 million loss after a contractor shoddily drilled an oil well.

  • July 21, 2016

    Texas Oil Surveyor Beats $3.2M IRS Bill

    A Texas surveyor of oil and gas won its challenge to $3.2 million in income tax deficiencies when the U.S. Tax Court ruled Thursday that the company does not have to actually own the natural resource interests to claim survey expenses.

  • July 21, 2016

    JPMorgan Gets Claims Booted In Texas Soccer Club Suit

    A Texas federal judge trimmed a suit by a girls’ soccer club alleging JPMorgan Chase Bank NA wrongly closed the organization's accounts after its CEO was targeted in a federal sports betting investigation, saying Wednesday several claims are time barred and others are blocked by a rule barring tort claims in contract disputes.

  • July 21, 2016

    Houston Energy Co. Embezzler Gets 36 Months In Prison

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday sentenced an ex-Southwestern Energy Co. employee who pled guilty to embezzling nearly half a million dollars to 36 months in prison, rejecting her pleas for a more lenient sentence after government investigators said she faked a report claiming she had terminal breast cancer.

  • July 21, 2016

    Virtual Bitcoin Bank Founder Gets 18 Months For Ponzi Fraud

    A Manhattan federal judge on Thursday sentenced a Texas man who founded and operated virtual bank Bitcoin Savings and Trust to 18 months in prison for operating a bitcoin-related Ponzi scheme through online currency exchanges.

  • July 21, 2016

    Atty Wants Sanctions For 'Outrageous' Racial Slur Allegations

    A Texas civil rights attorney accused of directing a racial slur at another lawyer called the allegations an “outrageous personal attack” on Wednesday, telling a federal judge the claims are worthy of sanctions.

Expert Analysis

  • Workplace Video Monitoring: What Employers Need To Know

    Barbara E. Hoey

    Given the availability and effectiveness of inexpensive video equipment, many companies use video to monitor their entire operations for safety, security and quality control. But video surveillance can have unintended consequences well beyond its intended purpose, say Mark Konkel and Barbara Hoey at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

  • OPINION: It's Time To Radically Rethink Immigration Reform

    John W. Lawit

    The antiquated Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 has outlived its usefulness. It is time for a completely new law, based not on conditions from more than 60 years ago, but rather focused on the nation’s needs going forward into the 21st century, says John Lawit of John W. Lawit LLC.

  • When A Shareholder Oppression Remedy Is No More

    Michael Moehlman

    Since a 2014 Texas Supreme Court decision ending the minority shareholder oppression doctrine in the state, little has occurred to affect its outcome. Long-term strategic planning has therefore become increasingly important for Texas closely held corporations, says Michael Moehlman of Strasburger & Price LLP.

  • A State-By-State Guide To Driverless Car Regulations

    Michael W. Reynolds

    In the absence of federal regulation, only nine states and the District of Columbia have passed laws addressing autonomous vehicles, leaving the other states to wrestle with the complexity and uncertainty of interpreting existing state laws, which presume human drivers, to permit the operation of AVs, say Michael Reynolds and Jason Orr at O'Melveny & Myers LLP.

  • Trade Secret Forum Shopping: DTSA Vs. Texas UTSA

    Michael Barbee

    Although the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act and the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act are both modeled after the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, there are several key differences between the two that should be taken into consideration when deciding whether to bring a state or federal claim, or both, says Michael Barbee of Griffith Bates Champion & Harper LLP.

  • How States Are Reacting To EPA's CAA Mandate

    Allison B. Rumsey

    States' responses to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action calling for revision of their Clean Air Act implementation plans suggest that while they are working to comply with the EPA mandate, at the same time many are attempting to build in some flexibility where there are excess emissions as a result of startup, shutdown or malfunction, say Allison Rumsey and Erika Norman at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • How Law Firms Can Create Next-Generation Office Spaces

    Tere Blanca headshot (1).jpg

    Law firms today are recognizing that the process of creating a next-generation workplace is far more complex than relocating to a more modern space in a trendier part of town. The challenge is more significant for larger firms with multiple generations represented within their executive teams, says Tere Blanca, founder of Miami-based Blanca Commercial Real Estate Inc.

  • NHTSA Autonomous Vehicle Rules Take An Unexpected Turn

    Todd B. Benoff

    In recent discussions about guidelines for autonomous vehicles, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator Mark Rosekind noted that states will be allowed to develop some of their own rules. However, auto manufacturers and technology companies are understandably concerned about a patchwork quilt of different state laws, which could impact not only how AVs evolve, but also when, says Todd Benoff at Alston & Bird LLP.

  • DC Circ. Offers Clarity On GHG Emissions In NEPA Studies

    Roger R. Martella

    Two recent decisions from the D.C. Circuit upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s treatment of indirect and cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act are important because they provide a further delineation for when so-called upstream and downstream effects should be excluded from analysis as indirect or cumulative impacts in NEPA reviews, say attorneys at Sidley Austin LLP.

  • The Rising Pressure Against DOL's Persuader Rule

    Shar Bahmani

    Tension surrounding the U.S. Department of Labor's persuader rule is not just limited to courthouse challenges. However, it's possible that a court of appeals decision overturning the Texas federal court's injunction will effectively restore the new regulations, meaning employers faced with union organizing campaigns should continue to proceed with caution, says Shar Bahmani at Squire Patton Boggs.