Texas

  • May 22, 2015

    Texas Senate Passes Bill Raising Bar On Asbestos Claims

    The Texas State Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would require plaintiffs alleging asbestos damages against a bankrupt company to file a trust claim before lodging a suit, while giving asbestos courts more leeway to stay a trial in such a case, clearing a final hurdle before the bill is sent to the governor's desk to be signed into law.

  • May 22, 2015

    5th Circ. Pares Claims In Hurricane Ike Coverage Row

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday trimmed a couple's suit against Fidelity National Property & Casualty Insurance Co. over coverage for property damage from Hurricane Ike, holding that state-law claims relating to the insurer's claims handling are preempted by federal law, but that those pertaining to the sale of the policy are not.

  • May 22, 2015

    Citgo To Pay EPA Fine Over Texas Plant Violations

    Citgo Refining and Chemicals Co. has agreed to pay more than $380,000 after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found equipment, operation, training and other violations in a Corpus Christi, Texas, facility in 2012, the agency said Friday.

  • May 22, 2015

    Texas House OKs Bill To Punish Bad Faith Patent Demands

    The Texas House on Friday unanimously passed a bill allowing the state’s attorney general to bring suit against nonpracticing entities that send misleading demand letters, as well as creating a possible $50,000 civil penalty for bad faith patent infringement claims.

  • May 22, 2015

    Texas Man Cops To $12M Fake Oil Interests Scam

    A Texas man accused of duping investors out of nearly $12 million by selling interests in oil and gas wells he never owned pled guilty Thursday to one count of mail fraud, according to prosecutors.

  • May 22, 2015

    Hess Escapes Bid To Revive Well Pollution Suit

    A Texas federal judge on Friday denied a bid to reconsider a previous judgment in favor of Hess Corp., which had been accused of polluting competitors’ wells in the Eagle Ford Shale, ruling that the plaintiffs didn’t prove she erred by excluding their expert witness’ testimony.

  • May 22, 2015

    5th Circ. Should Hear Certain BIA Appeals, High Court Hears

    A Mexican national deported after a drug violation has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the Fifth Circuit has jurisdiction to hear appeals of decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals that are made under the board's own discretionary authority, part of his years-long effort challenging his removal.

  • May 22, 2015

    Texas Leaders Strike $3.8 Billion Tax Cut Agreement

    Texas leaders announced Thursday they have reached an agreement for $3.8 billion in tax cuts, in a package that would cut the business tax by 25 percent and is intended to cut property taxes, but without a House-proposed sales tax reduction.

  • May 22, 2015

    Cruise Co. Takes Lloyd's Collusion Row To High Court

    A Connecticut cruise company has told the U.S. Supreme Court that the Fifth Circuit wrongfully tossed its suit alleging Lloyd’s Register North America Inc. colluded with a shipbuilder to falsely represent a vessel’s compliance with maritime safety laws during a related arbitration proceeding.

  • May 22, 2015

    Brand Battles: 1-800-Flowers.com, Facebook, Texas Rangers

    In Law360's latest roundup of new actions at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, 1-800-Flowers.com and Edible Arrangements argue over whether a pineapple flower can function as a trademark, Facebook takes on “Designbook,” and the Texas Rangers go after the company behind “Dublin Dr. Pepper.”

  • May 22, 2015

    Texas High Court Sides With Doctor In Records Access Fight

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday said doctors seeking to bust a privilege that applies to peer review committee documents don’t have to assert antitrust claims, but simply must allege the hospital took anti-competitive actions, in a win for a Houston heart surgeon.

  • May 22, 2015

    Bass Pro Says EEOC Wants ‘Unlawful’ Case Setup

    Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC on Thursday labeled the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s proposed case management order for allegations that the retailer committed discriminatory hiring practices as “unmanageable” and  “fundamentally unfair.”

  • May 22, 2015

    Eatery Near Texas Biker Shootout Sues Twin Peaks

    A Waco, Texas, restaurant closed by law enforcement authorities after the deadly biker gang shootout at the neighboring Twin Peaks restaurant sued Twin Peaks on Friday for gross negligence, asking for $1 million in compensation for property damage and loss of business.

  • May 22, 2015

    5th Circ. Backs 'Waved Through' Immigrant In Removal Row

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday reversed a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling that a Mexican man, who was waved through a port of entry at age 4, was ineligible for cancellation of removal because he was not “admitted in any status” when he entered the country.

  • May 22, 2015

    McGuireWoods Snags 2 Ex-Morgan Lewis Employment Pros

    McGuireWoods LLP has continued to expand its employment law practice with the addition of two former Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP attorneys to its Dallas office, which has quadrupled in size since it opened last year, the firm announced Thursday.

  • May 21, 2015

    $1.3B Malpractice Suit Over Chevron Pollution Suit Restarts

    A malpractice trial against John O’Quinn and Associates LLP and appellate court Judge Russell T. Lloyd for allegedly mishandling a pollution suit against Chevron US Inc. officially began Thursday with testimony over a lost-profits model crucial to $1.3 billion in damages sought by Gulf Coast Asphalt Co. LLC, almost four years after the suit was initially filed.

  • May 21, 2015

    Texas Court Won't Rehear Valero Refinery Appraisal Appeal

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday denied a request by Valero Energy Corp. to rehear a March decision that a jury improperly reduced a $527 million appraised value assigned to the company's Texas City refinery in determining its equal and uniform value.

  • May 21, 2015

    Levee Board Asks 5th Circ. To Revive Coastal Damage Suit

    A Louisiana state levee board on Wednesday asked the Fifth Circuit to overturn a federal judge's February decision to toss its multibillion-dollar suit against 88 energy companies including BP PLC, Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips Co. over alleged oil and gas drilling damage to coastal ecosystems.

  • May 21, 2015

    United Airlines Beats Class Action Over Low Fare Promise

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday tossed a putative class action accusing United Airlines Inc. of violating terms of its online “low fare guarantee” for passengers buying multiple tickets at the same time, ruling that the plaintiff never even tried to call the company to make a claim.

  • May 21, 2015

    Hospital Admin Gets 40 Years For $116M Medicare Scam

    A Texas federal court on Wednesday sentenced an assistant administrator at a Houston hospital to 40 years in prison and ordered him to pay $31 million in restitution for his role in a scheme that fraudulently charged Medicare $116 million for mental health and substance abuse treatments.

Expert Analysis

  • Blurred Lines Remain On Health Care Liability In Texas

    David M. Walsh IV

    The Supreme Court of Texas' ruling in Ross v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital leaves unanswered questions surrounding the nonexclusive, seven-factor test analyzing the relationship between health care liability claims and the provision of care, and does not create a “bright red line” clearly defining state tort law, says David Walsh IV of Chamblee Ryan Kershaw & Anderson PC.

  • In Wisconsin, FCA Liability May Apply To E-Rate Program

    Jessica Sharron

    The peace of mind enjoyed by E-Rate service providers following the Fifth Circuit’s decision that the False Claims Act does not apply to the E-Rate program may be fleeting. A case pending in the Eastern District of Wisconsin — U.S. v. Wisconsin Bell Inc. — is poised to challenge the Fifth Circuit’s ruling, and the possibility of a circuit split is looming, say attorneys with Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Texas Contractors, With Immunity And Liability For Some

    John R. Hawkins

    In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court's refusal to extend sovereign immunity to a private engineering company in Brown & Gay Engineering Inc. v. Olivares is a reminder that the principle's rationale is to guard against unforeseen government expenditures incurred in defending lawsuits and paying judgments that divert public funds from their allocated purposes, says John Hawkins of Porter Hedges LLP.

  • Use Of Biometric Information As A Basis For Civil Liability

    Derek Sarafa

    Despite the proliferation of the use of biometrics, there are very few state statutes and no federal statutes that create civil remedies based on the capture and disclosure of biometric data by private businesses. But enterprising plaintiffs lawyers are attempting to use those that do exist to create a potential new sphere of liability, say attorneys with Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • Tread Lightly Texas: Defining 'Spouse' Under The FMLA

    August E. Huelle

    Until Texas v. U.S. is resolved — possibly by the U.S. Supreme Court's forthcoming decision in Obergefell v. Hodges — companies with employees in the plaintiff states must tread carefully to ensure that the DOL's same-sex spouse rule under the Family and Medical Leave Act is applied correctly, say Nathaniel Glasser and August Huelle of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • How Are Texas Oil And Gas Cos. Faring In China?

    Greg Krafka

    The sheer size and growth in China’s energy sector over the past few decades demands attention, as do the energy policies of the country's government to influence development. Greg Krafka of Winstead PC explores how Texas-based oil and gas companies are faring in China and discusses the major challenges and opportunities in the years ahead.

  • OPINION: Pro Bono Lawyers Can Close Debtors' Prisons

    Lisa W. Borden

    The damning U.S. Department of Justice report on municipal court practices in Ferguson, Missouri, recently put a spotlight on the re-emergence of debtors' prisons. These practices are by no means limited to Ferguson. As tax revenue and other sources of operating income have declined, many cities and towns throughout the country have looked to municipal court operations as a primary source of revenue, says Lisa Borden of the Associa... (continued)

  • Induced Seismicity Legal Issues Break New Ground

    Barclay R. Nicholson

    The U.S. Geological Survey, Oklahoma Geological Survey and a recent Texas study all raise a variety of potential issues surrounding induced seismicity for the energy industry and may shape emerging regulatory trends and liability theories, say Barclay Nicholson and Emery Richards of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.

  • LLCs Not Subject To Texas Attorney Fee Statute ... For Now

    James Holbrook

    A Texas federal court's recent ruling in Hoffman v. L & M Arts LLC makes clear that Texas law authorizes the award of attorneys' fees against only a single form of business entity — the corporation. Change may be on the horizon, however, says James Holbrook of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Who Owns Likes, Posts, Pages And Tweets In Bankruptcy?

    Jackie Ford

    A Texas bankruptcy court's ruling in the matter of CTLI Inc. that the use of social media to advertise company sales and inventory, link to company web pages and post phrases relating to a business all supported the conclusion that social media accounts were company — not employee — property in bankruptcy, says Jackie Ford of Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP.