• December 17, 2014

    Nissan Gets Defective Infiniti Class Action Tentatively Trimmed

    A California judge on Wednesday tentatively pared a putative class action alleging Nissan North America Inc. deceived California and Texas consumers by selling Infiniti models with defective plastic dashboards that “bubbled” in heat or humidity, saying the Texas class representatives’ claims are barred by that state’s statute of limitations.

  • December 17, 2014

    Ponzi Investors' Claims Trimmed Against Greenberg, Hunton

    A Texas federal judge Wednesday tossed a class of investors' claims that Greenberg Traurig LLP and Hunton & Williams LLP breached fiduciary duty helping convicted Ponzi schemer Robert Allen Stanford, saying the firms' continuing legal fees weren't enough of a pecuniary interest to raise the claims.

  • December 17, 2014

    Jurors Give Ex-JP Death Sentence In Texas DA Murders

    A Texas jury on Wednesday sentenced a former justice of the peace to death after finding him guilty in the 2013 murder of the former Kaufman County District Attorney’s wife in a crime spree that allegedly included the killings of the DA and assistant DA.

  • December 17, 2014

    Westlake Sues Contractors Over Allegedly Deadly Botched Job

    A Houston construction company breached a $400 million contract by botching a Louisiana chlor-alkali plant construction job that injured dozens and killed one worker, according to a complaint filed Tuesday by Westlake Chemical Corp.

  • December 17, 2014

    5th Circ. Upholds Asset Seizure In $24M Laundering Case

    Remittances company U.S. Tours and Remittance and its law firm Nowak & Stauch LLP can't recover funds that were forfeited as part of a $24 million money laundering prosecution against the company’s owner, the Fifth Circuit said on Tuesday.

  • December 17, 2014

    Highland Seeks $172M From Credit Suisse In Refi Fight

    A Highland Capital Management-managed entity on Wednesday asked Texas jurors to award it $172 million in damages for what it says was fraudulent inducement by Credit Suisse AG brokers to invest in a $540 million loan refinance for a Las Vegas real estate property.

  • December 17, 2014

    Texas Asks DC Circ. To Nix $1M Award In Election Maps Suit

    Texas asked the D.C. Circuit on Monday to overturn a $1 million attorneys' fee award granted to the federal government in Voting Rights Act litigation, arguing that the U.S. Department of Justice did not actually win the case.

  • December 17, 2014

    Sheridan Rakes In $1.5B For US Oil, Gas Acquisitions

    Touting an expanded war chest, private equity-backed energy investor Sheridan Production Partners said Wednesday that it raised $1.5 billion through its third fund to acquire onshore U.S. oil and gas properties, hoping to seize opportunities presented by declining oil prices. 

  • December 16, 2014

    Ponzi Schemer Caught After Skipping Prison

    Texas authorities early Tuesday morning reportedly apprehended a former oilman who had run away from prison on Sunday night while serving a nine-year sentence for a $7 million Ponzi scheme.

  • December 16, 2014

    Order Impeded Arbitration Appeal In Avandia Fee Fight: Court

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday reversed a lower court's decision to set aside an order denying Branch Law Firm LLP’s motion to compel arbitration in a dispute over fees from a 2010 Avandia settlement, finding that it interfered with the firm's appeal of the order.

  • December 16, 2014

    Former Nonprofit Worker Indicted For Afghanistan Bribery

    A former International Relief and Development Inc. employee was indicted Tuesday in Texas federal court for allegedly soliciting and accepting bribes in exchange for his influence in awarding government-funded contracts in Afghanistan, prosecutors said.

  • December 16, 2014

    Regulators Say Texas Treats Life Settlements As Securities

    A group of securities regulators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico are urging the Texas Supreme Court to find Life Partners Inc. must face a putative class action for selling unregistered securities, saying in an amicus brief that to find otherwise would leave consumers vulnerable to fraud and abuse.

  • December 16, 2014

    Senate Confirms Texas Prosecutor For ICE Chief Role

    The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed a Texas U.S. Attorney to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, over the objections of GOP lawmakers who railed against her future role in overseeing contentious executive actions on federal immigration enforcement.

  • December 16, 2014

    5th Circ. Denies En Banc Hearing In Whooping Crane Ruling

    Over a dissent that called the ruling “particularly egregious,” the Fifth Circuit on Monday declined to reconsider en banc a ruling that allows a Texas agency to issue new water permits despite claims the permits caused the deaths of 23 endangered whooping cranes.

  • December 16, 2014

    Houston Wants Immunity In Payday Lender Suit Tied To Pol

    The City of Houston is requesting immunity from a lawsuit filed by a payday lender connected to Texas state Rep. Gary Elkins accusing the city of using a consumer protection ordinance to put the state-approved creditor out of business, according to a brief filed in Harris County.

  • December 16, 2014

    8th Circ. Asked To Nix Attys' Support Of Jones Day Sanctions

    Jones Day urged the Eighth Circuit on Monday to reject two Texas litigators' renewed efforts to file amicus briefs in support of sanctions levied against one of the firm's attorneys in an Abbott Laboratories lawsuit, saying the lawyers jumped the gun because there are no response briefs to support.

  • December 16, 2014

    Insurers Want Adjuster's $12M Hurricane Ike Claims Bounced

    Two insurance companies on Tuesday urged a Pennsylvania state judge to toss a public adjuster's $12 million suit that claimed they improperly pressured the city of Houston to sideline its work on Hurricane Ike claims.

  • December 16, 2014

    Sabre Braces For Big Hit On LastMinute.com In $120M Sale

    Sabre Corp., the private equity-backed parent of Travelocity, outlined plans Tuesday to sell its Lastminute.com unit to online travel agency Bravofly Rumbo Group NV for $120 million, a huge discount to the $1.2 billion it paid to acquire the site almost a decade go.

  • December 16, 2014

    RE Rumor Mill: Mercedes-Benz, Trammel Crow, Stone Street

    Mercedes-Benz is reportedly mulling moving its U.S. headquarters to Atlanta, while Trammel Crow Co. is said to be planning a $60 million mixed-use tower in Dallas and Stone Street Properties reportedly sold its last five New York City properties for $61 million.

  • December 15, 2014

    Willis Group Still On The Hook In Stanford Investors Suit

    A Texas federal judge has refused to dismiss a suit against insurance broker Willis Ltd. over its alleged role in Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme, finding Monday in a mixed ruling that many of the allegations were plausible enough to survive a motion to dismiss after the U.S. Supreme Court helped revive the suit.

Expert Analysis

  • Top 10 Trade Secrets Developments Of 2014: Part 1

    Kerry Bundy

    Trends we saw in trade secret law this year — including the growing importance of specifically identifying trade secrets early in litigation and the continuing trend toward large damages awards and settlements in trade secrets cases — promise to shape developments in the years ahead, say attorneys with Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Year In Review: 2014 State And Local Employment Laws

    Susan Gross Sholinsky

    In 2014, states, cities, counties and other localities have been busy picking up Congress' slack on employment law by introducing bills and enacting laws on issues such as ban the box, sick leave and pregnancy accommodation, say Susan Gross Sholinsky and Nancy Gunzenhauser of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Do Fracking Bans Trigger Civil Authority Coverage?

    Micah Skidmore

    Civil authority coverage may be available in the context of municipal hydraulic fracturing bans, such as those recently passed in Texas and California, as the issue is judicially untested — depending on the specific terms of the policy and given the stated purpose of the ballot measure a fracking ban may trigger coverage in the commercial property policies of affected lessees, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Risks And Opportunities Amid Falling Oil Prices

    Thomas Howley

    Oil producers and oilfield services companies will be most directly affected by the current slump in oil prices — as the viability of new drilling programs decreases and oil producers are forced to trim capital expenditure budgets, both oil producers and oilfield service providers will become ripe targets for consolidation, say attorneys at Jones Day.

  • A Tale Of 2 Circ. Court Whistleblower Cases

    Alexis H. Ronickher

    While Halliburton Co. v. Administrative Review Board continues the clear trend of compensatory damages being available in Sarbanes-Oxley Act and False Claims Act cases, Vander Boegh v. EnergySolutions Inc. stands in sharp contrast and limits the legal protections to whistleblowers who suffer retaliation when applying for jobs, say Alexis Ronickher and Debra Katz of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • Tips For Managing E-Discovery In State Courts

    Ethan Hastert

    The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended in 2006 to provide a uniform set of rules across the federal courts to govern the preservation, collection and production of electronically stored information, and most companies that regularly litigate complex disputes are familiar with them. At the state level, however, counsel must navigate an often unfamiliar and disparate legal landscape, say Ethan Hastert and Corwin Carr of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • May State And Local Gov'ts Control Low-Flying Drones?

    William O’Connor

    While most of the attention paid to drones has focused on issues of Federal Aviation Administration authority, state and local governments are increasingly asserting regulatory authority over drones and citing the need to protect the health and safety, including privacy, of residents. Do they have this authority? This question will only become more critical, say attorneys with Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Post-Nautilus, Post-Interval: Indefiniteness In November

    Melissa Nott Davis

    Last month, two federal courts in California and one in Texas evaluated subjective terms of degree for indefiniteness under the Federal Circuit's recent Interval decision. These courts looked at the intrinsic and extrinsic evidence in an effort to determine if the claims pass Nautilus’ “reasonable certainty” test and provide the “objective boundaries” described in Interval, says Melissa Nott Davis of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: End Of An Era

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to Charleston, South Carolina, for its Dec. 4 hearing, let's take a moment to acknowledge a changing of the guard as Judge John Heyburn II, panel chairman for the past seven years, passes the torch. The panel also welcomes its newest member, from the Eastern District of Missouri, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • 5th Circ. Limits 'Value’ In Fraudulent Transfer Defense

    Michael L. Cook

    A recent Fifth Circuit decision in Williams v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is troubling because it eliminates “indirect economic benefits” from being counted as “value” when asserted by a transferee under Section 548(c) of the Bankruptcy Code, a holding that is inconsistent with the established body of appellate cases, say Michael Cook and David Hillman of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.