Texas

  • March 26, 2015

    States Block FMLA Same-Sex Spouse Rule Change

    A group of state attorneys general on Thursday won their bid to block the U.S. Department of Labor from enacting a new rule under the Family and Medical Leave Act that would extend protections to same-sex couples when a Texas federal judge granted a preliminary injunction.

  • March 26, 2015

    Royston Rayzor Defends Fee Agreement In Texas High Court

    Royston Rayzor Vickery & Williams LLP on Thursday defended its right to require clients to arbitrate fee disputes while retaining the chance to itself file suit in fee disputes, in two Texas Supreme Court cases that question the ethics of that practice.

  • March 26, 2015

    Conoco Secured In Oil Contamination Suit, Texas Court Says

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday held that a lower court was wrong to grant summary judgment against ConocoPhillips Co. in an indemnity suit over oil contamination in Louisiana, finding that Noble Energy Inc. instead owes the company a duty of defense and indemnity.

  • March 26, 2015

    Anadarko Asks High Court To Mull Deepwater Horizon Liability

    Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit’s definition of “discharge” in finding it potentially liable for more than $4 billion in penalties for Clean Water Act violations tied to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

  • March 26, 2015

    Texas Court Says Lloyd's Off Hook For $5M Rita Repairs

    A Texas appeals court ruled Lloyd's of London could withhold nearly $5 million in coverage from an oil and gas operator, finding Thursday that policy insuring offshore drilling assets damaged during 2005's Hurricane Rita did not cover platform repair or debris cleanup costs.

  • March 26, 2015

    Texas Senate Passes $4.6B In Business, Property Tax Cuts

    The Texas Senate approved a package of bills Wednesday that would cut an estimated $4.6 billion in property and business taxes over the next two years and amend the state constitution to eliminate taxes on real estate sales.

  • March 26, 2015

    Texas Justices Urged To Rehear Med Mal Arbitration Row

    The Texas Association of Defense Counsel on Wednesday filed an amicus brief to the Texas Supreme Court in support of a deceased nursing home patient's family, asking the high court to reconsider its decision that a state medical malpractice law isn’t an insurance law that would be shielded from the Federal Arbitration Act.

  • March 26, 2015

    Six Charged In Texas Marriage Fraud, Immigration Scam

    Six people in Texas have been charged with orchestrating sham marriages between U.S. citizens and Nigerian nationals, in the country on tourist visas, to allow the immigrants to gain permanent residency, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday.

  • March 25, 2015

    Plagiarism Alone Didn't Prompt Jackson Lewis Sanction

    Lawyers who borrow freely from other people's work in court filings are rarely accused of plagiarism absent other perceived lawyer screw-ups, a dynamic that legal ethics experts said was likely at play when an administrative law judge in Texas sanctioned Jackson Lewis PC lawyers for a verbatim ripoff of a government document.

  • March 25, 2015

    Christie Takes Heat For Backing States’ Immigration Suit

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was criticized by immigrant rights supporters Wednesday who said he betrayed them by quietly signing onto an amicus brief with three other state governors urging the Fifth Circuit to uphold an injunction against President Barack Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration.

  • March 25, 2015

    Ariz. Sheriff OK’d To File Doc In States’ Immigration Suit

    A Texas federal judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by 26 states over the president’s executive actions on immigration on Tuesday granted a bid by Sheriff Joe Arpaio to file as an amicus brief an “important” transcript in which he says the U.S. Department of Justice lied in his own suit over the immigration order.

  • March 25, 2015

    Texas Court Does About-Face In Retail Tax Audit Ruling

    A Texas appeals court affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action in which retailers challenged tax audit guidance issued by the state comptroller's office, changing course Wednesday from an earlier ruling that the office had improperly promulgated administrative rules.

  • March 25, 2015

    Firm Escapes Revival Of FCA Suit Over LSU Hospital Deal

    Roedel Parsons Koch Blache Balhoff & McCollister on Wednesday avoided the potential resurrection of a False Claims Act suit accusing the firm of inflating its billings on a federal hospital project after the Fifth Circuit booted the case for lack of prosecution.

  • March 25, 2015

    Opponents Of Houston Equality Law Say Signatures Are Valid

    A former local Republican Party chairman and three fellow plaintiffs late Tuesday told a Harris County judge that there was no legal basis to disqualify more than 7,000 voter signatures asking to repeal a Houston equal rights ordinance aimed at banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

  • March 25, 2015

    Whistleblower Fights Omnicare Sanction Request In FCA Suit

    A whistleblower in a False Claims Act suit over an alleged kickback scheme urged a Texas federal judge on Tuesday to deny Omnicare Inc.’s request for sanctions, among a slew of briefs filed in an ongoing discovery battle.

  • March 25, 2015

    Ex-Texas Tech Coach Asks State Justices To Hear ESPN Suit

    Former Texas Tech University head football coach Mike Leach on Monday asked the Texas Supreme Court to review an appellate decision that rejected his claims that ESPN Inc., an ESPN analyst and a public relations firm are liable for his ouster.

  • March 25, 2015

    Stanford-Related Fraud Class Sees Some Claims Trimmed

    A Texas federal judge on Monday trimmed back class claims stemming from Allen Stanford’s $7 billion Ponzi scheme against attorneys and directors accused of aiding and abetting in a breach of fiduciary duty and a fraudulent scheme, among other allegations, saying that some of the claims were time-barred.

  • March 25, 2015

    Schlumberger Unit To Pay $233M Over Iran, Sudan Sanctions

    A Texas-based Schlumberger Ltd. unit has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $232.7 million fine for violating U.S. sanctions in Iran and Sudan, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

  • March 25, 2015

    DuPont Wants Houston Chemical Deaths Cases Consolidated

    DuPont Co. on Tuesday asked a Harris County judge to consolidate three cases brought by the families of four workers who died after a chemical release at the company's La Porte, Texas, plant in November, arguing that the claims are all related and would require the company to defend the same case three times.

  • March 24, 2015

    Court Misconstrued Gas Contract, Texas High Court Hears

    A Texas appeals court didn't properly view the whole contract between Kachina Pipeline Co. and an energy developer over the cost of compression that helped transport his natural gas to a processing plant, the company's lawyer told the Texas high court on Tuesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Can Employers Record Employee Phone Conversations?

    James M. McCabe

    Although no court has fully addressed the lawfulness of employers using voice over Internet protocol services to record all employee phone calls under federal and state laws, courts will likely apply the same framework used to examine the lawfulness of traditional telephone recordings, says James McCabe of Troutman Sanders LLP.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Just Say No (To MDLs)?

    Alan E. Rothman

    What will spring bring for the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation? Will it continue to close the door on new MDL proceedings? Will it decide to throw the baby out with the bathwater and decline to create a baby wipe MDL? asks Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • A Texas Court’s Broad Reading Of FCA Public Disclosure Bar

    Allyson Singel Aldous

    A Texas federal court's recent decision in U.S. v. Solvay SA curtails whistleblowers’ ability to bring successful False Claims Act claims by expanding the scope of the public disclosure bar and the parameters of voluntary disclosure, says Allyson Singel Aldous of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • This Week In Congress: Bicameral Coincidence, Vote-A-Rama

    Richard A. Hertling

    This week both chambers begin the annual congressional budget debate, a process that will set the budget rules and spending limits for the congressional appropriations committees in funding federal agencies for fiscal year 2016. And on Thursday, the Senate will begin its famed “Vote-a-rama,” say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Looking At Appraisal Rights Outside Delaware

    Daniel E. Wolf

    Even as the Delaware appraisal rights landscape continues to evolve, deal makers should avoid assuming that the issues and outcomes will be the same in transactions involving companies incorporated in other states. The relevant statutory regime, as well as the judicial fair-value exercise, may produce unexpected results, say attorneys with Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

  • We've Got Spirit — And It's Trademarked

    Briana Emerson

    School colors are more than a way to tell if a stranger deserves a high five or heckling on game day — they, along with traditional trademarks, are part of university licensing portfolios, which brought in total royalty revenues of $209 million in 2013, say Briana Emerson and Michael Spink of Brinks Gilson & Lione.

  • OPINION: Not All That Is Public Should Be Publicized

    Adam C. Sherman

    Although court decisions are public records, that doesn’t mean they should be publicized by the courts on search engines, such as Google. Access alone isn’t the problem. The issue is that these decisions appear prominently atop search results — even when browsing parties are not looking for them. Courts have opened their doors, but they need not remove them entirely, says Adam Sherman of Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP.

  • Up The Irish: St. Paddy’s Is For Celebrating Pro Bono, Too

    Kevin J. Curnin

    Just in time for St Patrick’s Day, Ireland has released the results of its first-ever survey on pro bono legal work. As befits a day that is mostly about celebrating, the results are encouraging. The results also mirror a lot of our experience in the United States regarding how and why — or why not — lawyers are contributing to the common good, says Kevin Curnin of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Making Sense Of Apportionment In Patent Damages: Part 2

    Matthew Holohan

    It appears, for now, that in all cases involving a multicomponent product, the plaintiff must apportion value or satisfy the entire market value rule to prove that no apportionment is necessary. Given the exacting requirements of the entire market value rule, an assumption that no apportionment is necessary is incorrect, says Matthew Holohan of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • States Taking A Larger Role In Transportation Funding

    Paul J. Epstein

    Fiscal constraints on state budgets coupled with continued uncertainty with respect to future levels of federal surface transportation funding have led states to diversify the funding sources for their transportation projects, and states seem likely to continue their development of new revenue-raising tools and to increase private sector involvement in transportation projects, say attorneys with Shearman & Sterling LLP.