• August 22, 2014

    Foreign Investors Ask High Court To Revive EnerMax Suit

    Foreign investors claiming defunct oil exploration company EnerMax stole millions of dollars from them through a joint-venture scheme told the U.S. Supreme Court in a brief made public Friday that the Fifth Circuit wrongly upheld a district judge's dismissal of their case.

  • August 22, 2014

    Texas High Court To Weigh Shell FCPA Defamation Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear Shell Oil Co.’s argument it shouldn’t have to face defamation charges from a former employee the company reported to federal authorities as potentially responsible for a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation at a Nigerian oil and gas project.

  • August 22, 2014

    Texas Bar Allowed To Use Expunged Records Against Ex-DA

    The Texas Supreme Court said Friday that the state bar can use records from an expunged criminal case to pursue a disciplinary action against a former state prosecutor accused of suppressing evidence during an armed robbery trial.

  • August 22, 2014

    Texas Justices Will Hear K&L Gates Drilling Data Dispute

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear an oil and gas company's argument that K&L Gates LLP shouldn't be allowed to access its trade secret reserve data for a drilling project in discovery in a malpractice suit between the firm and a business partner in the project.

  • August 22, 2014

    Texas High Court Takes Up Fracking Defamation Fight

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear Range Resources Corp.'s petition to reverse a decision throwing out the bulk of its defamation claims against Texas homeowners who alleged fracking contaminated their water, as well as the homeowners’ petition to toss the entire case.

  • August 22, 2014

    Texas Justices Ax $400K Award For Environmental 'Stigma'

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday reversed a $400,000 jury award compensating a ranch for the “stigma” of environmental contamination later cleaned up by a neighboring metal processing plant, rendering a take-nothing judgment without reaching the issue of whether Texas recognizes stigma damages.

  • August 22, 2014

    Rockets Arena Can't Restore $2.5M Award At Texas High Court

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday refused to reinstate a $2.5 million award the owner of the Houston Rockets’ arena won for an allegedly defective sign that was the centerpiece of its sponsorship by a Toyota dealership.

  • August 22, 2014

    Cuban Not Running Mavs Into Ground, Appeals Court Rules

    A Texas appeals court declined Friday to reopen a suit attempting to put the NBA's Dallas Mavericks into receivership, saying Texas law doesn't allow that kind of meddling as long as the team was current on its bills — despite stakeholder Hillwood Investment Properties III Ltd.'s allegations that Mark Cuban mismanaged the franchise's finances.

  • August 22, 2014

    Texas High Court Won't Rethink Union Carbide Asbestos Case

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday refused to rehear an asbestos exposure suit brought against Union Carbide Corp. by a former employee, letting stand its ruling that the claims were barred because the employee's family failed to submit sufficient medical evidence required by a law enacted shortly after he died.

  • August 22, 2014

    Texas High Court Lets $125M Tenaska Judgment Stand

    The Texas Supreme Court declined Friday to review its reversal of a $125 million judgment against Tenaska Energy Inc. over the soured sale of a power plant, after Ponderosa Pine Energy LLC argued that Tenaska had waived its right to contest the judgment.

  • August 22, 2014

    Plains All American Partners With Valero On $900M Pipeline

    Plains All American Pipeline LP said Thursday that it will partner up with Valero Energy Corp. to construct a 440-mile, 20-inch crude oil pipeline for the roughly $900 million Diamond Pipeline project, which will provide up to 200,000 barrels per day of domestic sweet crude oil.

  • August 22, 2014

    Texas High Court Snubs ETP Appeal Of $162M Gas Valuation

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear an appeal from an Energy Transfer Partners LP subsidiary trying to avoid coughing up property taxes on a disputed $162 million appraisal of natural gas it stored in Harris County.

  • August 22, 2014

    Academy Wins Copyright Row Over Fake Oscars

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday was awarded a $375,000 verdict in Texas federal court in its copyright and trademark infringement suit against a man who was allegedly making and selling "trophy prop replicas" of the famed Oscar statuette.

  • August 22, 2014

    SpaceX Strikes 10-Year Tax Savings Deal With Texas County

    Space Exploration Technologies Corp. will not pay taxes for 10 years under an agreement drawn up Thursday between the company and Cameron County, Texas, commissioners as part of its plan to build a commercial rocket launch facility in the county.

  • August 22, 2014

    Korean Co. Says Contractor’s Lies Cost It Bidding Rights

    Aircraft parts supplier ACR Systems Inc. was hit Thursday with suit by Woong Kook Co. Ltd. in Texas federal court, accusing it of failing to deliver on a Korean military supply contract, costing the South Korean company its ability to enter into similar future military contracts.

  • August 22, 2014

    Texas Real Estate Exec Faces IRS Suit Over $1.73M Tax Bill

    The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday sued an executive at real estate firm NAI Robert Lynn and his wife in Texas federal court for $1.73 million in unpaid taxes over 11 years, seeking to recover the tab through the sale of the couple’s Dallas-area real estate.

  • August 22, 2014

    Schlumberger Drops Ex-Employee Breach Of Contract Suit

    A Texas state judge has tossed Schlumberger Technology Corp.'s breach of contract suit against a former high-level employee who had been accused of stealing trade secrets and bolting to rival company Baker Hughes Inc., after the two sides reached a settlement agreement.

  • August 22, 2014

    Quantum Energy, Tug Hill Launch $450M Exploration Venture

    Global private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners outlined plans on Friday for a $450 million venture alongside oil and gas operator Tug Hill Inc. aimed at snapping up and developing energy assets in North America's resource-rich basins.

  • August 22, 2014

    Dynegy Embarks On $6.25B Power Plant Buying Spree

    Dynegy Inc. will nearly double its electricity generating capacity in a pair of deals announced Friday, buying Duke Energy Corp.'s Midwest merchant generation and retail businesses for $2.8 billion and 10 power plants owned by private equity firm Energy Capital Partners for $3.45 billion.

  • August 21, 2014

    BP Freed From $266B FCA Suit Claiming Gulf Plant Unsafe

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday tossed a former BP PLC contractor's $266 billion False Claims Act suit alleging safety problems at the energy giant’s Atlantis facility in the Gulf of Mexico, ruling the plaintiffs don't have standing and otherwise haven't presented any evidence that BP made misrepresentations to the government.

Expert Analysis

  • Solvency Drives Dismissal Of Fraudulent Transfer Suit

    Michael L. Cook

    In U.S. Bank National Association v. Verizon Communications, the Fifth Circuit found competing valuations helpful in dismissing a litigation trustee’s $2.5 billion fraudulent transfer suit against a Chapter 11 debtor’s corporate parent. An adversarial system, therefore, not ideology, worked for the defendants, says Michael Cook of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

  • Texas' Progressive Claim Affliction Is Treatable

    Lindsey P. Bruning

    The recent case of USAA Texas Lloyd’s Co. v. Menchaca exemplifies a prevalent concern in Texas first-party property insurance claims today — the “Progressive Claim Syndrome” — as well as its most effective treatment, says Lindsey Bruning of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • An In-House Lawyer's Top 10 Tips For Outside Counsel

    Francis M. Drelling

    To this day, I have yet to see a litigation hold letter that was written by someone who understands the realities of how a business is actually run. In-house counsel cannot issue decrees to business units that read like they are issued by the king to his subjects, says Francis Drelling, in-house counsel at Specialty Restaurants Corp.

  • A Different Claim Aggregation Method To Avoid SLUSA

    Benjamin P. Edwards

    As the securities class action continues to experience death by a thousand cuts, we may soon see increasing numbers of the "disaggregated class" — a new tactic some plaintiff attorneys have begun to deploy to work around the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act by filing duplicative state court cases, says Benjamin Edwards of Michigan State University College of Law.

  • Stay A Step Ahead Of State Data Breach Laws

    Rebecca S. Eisner

    Businesses should consider encrypting all personal information — not just the information currently required by data breach notification laws, since these laws are constantly being updated to include more elements of personal information within their scope, say Rebecca Eisner and Lei Shen of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Compliance Reigns Supreme As In-House Demographics Shift

    James A. Merklinger

    With more and more traditionalists and baby boomers retiring, the pendulum in corporate law departments will continue to swing toward younger generations. The demographic shift underscores the shift in the skills that different generations prioritize — notably, nonlegal skills, says James Merklinger of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

  • Instant Racing Is Catching On

    Charles W. Galbraith

    The concept of instant racing has been sold politically to legislative bodies in many states as an economic opportunity to revive a struggling horse racing industry, but it could also become direct competition for tribal gaming, say attorneys with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • Nationwide 'Water Crunch' Poses Threat To Fracking

    Thomas D. Goslin

    With over a third of the U.S. suffering moderate to exceptional drought conditions, the risk of litigation over water rights and newly proposed regulations over water use — some specific to the oil and gas industry — have companies exploring alternatives to using freshwater when hydraulically fracturing a well, says Thomas Goslin of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • 'Vicarious Liability' Suits In Vain After 5th Circ. Case

    Patricia T. Barmeyer

    The Fifth Circuit's ruling in The Aransas Project v. Shaw will make it harder for environmental groups to hold state and local regulatory agencies "vicariously liable" for failing to use their authorities to prevent harm to federally protected species, say attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.

  • Public Adjusters Do Not Have Free Pass To The Stand

    Shannon O'Malley

    The Western District of Texas’ recent decision in Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds is a reminder that licensed public adjusters do not automatically qualify as experts on insurance bad faith — which aligns with the U.S. Supreme Court’s view that trial court judges must act as “gatekeepers” who keep unqualified public adjusters off the stand, say Shannon O'Malley and Tyler McGuire of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.