Texas

  • February 12, 2016

    IRS Blasts Wyly Args In $2.2B IRS Fight

    The IRS on Friday told a Texas bankruptcy court judge that an argument by business tycoon Sam Wyly and his sister-in-law that it’s too late for the agency to raise new legal theories in a $2.2 billion dispute over alleged tax evasion schemes is misleading.

  • February 12, 2016

    Texas, Miss., La. Seek Injunction To Block Clean Water Rule

    The states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi asked a Texas federal judge on Friday for a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial Clean Water Rule, citing a likelihood to succeed on the merits and concern that a nationwide stay could soon be dissolved.

  • February 12, 2016

    High Court Urged To Take Up Houston Cop Retaliation Row

    A handful of government attorney and municipal groups voiced support for the city of Houston this week and filed briefs urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a police officer's retaliation case they claim could have broad and unintended consequences on longstanding internal review processes, leaving them vulnerable to litigation.

  • February 12, 2016

    Texas AG's Gay Marriage Ethics Row Breaks New Ground

    The ethics investigation into advice that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark gay marriage ruling raises never-before-seen applications of Texas disciplinary rules that could make it difficult for a sanction to stick, experts said.

  • February 12, 2016

    DFB Pharma Wants S&N To Cough Up $26.7M In Dispute

    A Texas-based private investment company has accused med-tech giant Smith & Nephew Inc. of wrongly withholding $26.7 million from a $782 million asset-purchase escrow account in a contract breach dispute now before Delaware’s Chancery Court.

  • February 12, 2016

    Apotex, Lupin Settle Paxil Infringement Fight

    Apotex Inc. and rival Lupin Ltd. have settled their patent infringement suit over the antidepressant drug Paxil pursuant to undisclosed terms, according to a Texas federal judge who dismissed the suit Friday.

  • February 12, 2016

    Texas DOT Shielded From Driver's Suit By Sovereign Immunity

    The Texas Department of Transportation is shielded from a suit brought against it by a motorist who was injured when he crashed into a guardrail on a state highway because of its sovereign immunity, the state's Eleventh Court of Appeals found Thursday in dismissing the claims against it.

  • February 12, 2016

    Oil Slump Puts Energy Co. Disclosures Under Microscope

    With cratering oil prices wreaking havoc on energy companies' financial health, increased scrutiny from both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and potentially litigious investors is turning up the heat on firms to ensure they're adequately disclosing how much danger they're actually in, attorneys say.

  • February 12, 2016

    Whistleblower Must Produce Info On Witness Deal, Court Told

    A hospice care provider asked a Texas federal court Thursday to order a whistleblower to release an alleged agreement to share any money awarded in the case with two witnesses, saying the deal would be relevant to the dispute and should be shared amid the discovery phase of the False Claims Act dispute.

  • February 12, 2016

    BigLaw Leader Clinches 2 Pro Bono Wins In 1 Day

    "All in a day's work" took on a new meaning for Susman Godfrey LLP co-managing partner Neal Manne when he served up not one, but two pro bono victories in one day, the first on behalf of a humanitarian organization working to place Syrian refugees in the U.S. and another for a client who was exonerated after spending more than 18 years on death row.

  • February 12, 2016

    Texas Appeals Court Finds Affair Testimony Wasn't 'Ambush'

    A real estate company claiming it was “ambushed” at trial by its bookkeeper’s allegations that the firm's president told her to take company money in exchange for sexual favors lost an appeal Thursday when a Texas court held she had properly disclosed her defense to embezzlement claims and wasn't liable for taking the funds.

  • February 11, 2016

    Texas AG Under Investigation For Response To Obergefell

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is under investigation by the state bar association for telling county clerks they could decline to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last year legalizing gay marriage, attorneys who filed the grievance told Law360.

  • February 11, 2016

    Tesoro Petroleum Wins Name Fight In Texas Appeals Court

    A split Texas appeals court on Thursday affirmed a lower court’s decision favoring Tesoro Petroleum Corp. in a name infringement suit brought by a commercial sign vendor called Tesoro Corp., holding that the petitioner failed to show irreparable injury.

  • February 11, 2016

    Feds Say Wylys Knew The Score In $2.2B IRS Fight

    The IRS told a Texas bankruptcy court on Wednesday that business tycoon Sam Wyly and his late brother’s widow can’t escape fraud allegations in a $2.2 billion dispute over alleged tax evasion schemes because the pair had direct knowledge of the conduct at issue.

  • February 11, 2016

    MoneyGram To Pay $13M To Settle Nationwide Fraud Claims

    Dallas-based MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc. has agreed to pay $13 million to settle claims from 49 states and Washington, D.C., that it transferred money to third parties that were defrauding customers, several attorneys general offices announced on Thursday.

  • February 11, 2016

    Texas A&M Construction Worker's Family Gets $54M Verdict

    After two years of litigation, the family of a construction worker who was killed on the job during the expansion and renovation of Texas A&M University's Kyle Field was awarded nearly $54 million by a Harris County jury on Wednesday.

  • February 11, 2016

    First Reserve Buys $350M Texas Wind Project

    First Reserve Corp., an energy-focused private equity and infrastructure investment firm, announced on Thursday that it has purchased the $350 million Mariah North Wind project in northern Texas from Mariah Acquisition LLC for undisclosed terms.

  • February 11, 2016

    TransCanada Gas Pipeline Rate Hike Draws Fire At FERC

    Consumer advocates, utilities and customers of TransCanada Corp.'s U.S. natural gas pipeline arm urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday to halt a proposed increase in gas transportation rates, claiming the company is seeking an unreasonable, multimillion-dollar windfall after not raising rates for 20 years.

  • February 11, 2016

    Texas Atty Scores $100K In Movie Theater Consulting Fight

    A Texas appellate court on Wednesday said a Dallas attorney didn’t have to also be a licensed real estate broker to collect a $100,000 consulting fee for helping select a site for the movie theater chain Studio Movie Grill, saying his Texas law license was enough.

  • February 11, 2016

    Insurer Rips $12M Claim Over Botched Oil Well In 5th Circ.

    Seneca Insurance Co. urged the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday to affirm that a policy it issued to a drilling contractor doesn’t cover $12 million that Solstice Oil & Gas I LLC wants for the contractor’s failure to drill accurately, claiming that an unusable, zig-zagged well doesn’t qualify as “property damage.”

Expert Analysis

  • Amended Rule 26’s Proportionality Standard: The First 60 Days

    Gregory Brown

    While the removal of the familiar “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence” standard suggests a departure from prior practice, the first opinions from the federal courts implementing amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) suggest otherwise, says Gregory Brown of Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP.

  • Employer Tips For Handling Office Romances

    Robert Dolinko

    While some office romances end unremarkably, others could form the basis for sexual harassment lawsuits with the potential to cost employers millions of dollars. With Valentine's Day approaching, there's no better time of year for employers to be proactive about mitigating the potential liability, disruption or embarrassment that can arise from sexual harassment claims, say attorneys at Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • How Does Skadden Stay No. 1?

    Elizabeth Duffy

    Analyzing the reasons why clients choose certain firms reveals a great deal about what is important and valued in the marketplace. Based on interviews with a random sample of over 600 heads of legal in the largest U.S. organizations, Elizabeth Duffy, vice president of Acritas US Inc., identifies the core brand drivers of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • OPINION: The Road To Partnership Must Keep Evolving

    Daniel L. Butcher

    In a recent Law360 article it was suggested that promotion to partner was a competition between associates and that taking maternity, paternity or family medical leave could impact an associate's chances at promotion. But this sort of ethos — which may have contributed to law firms’ success in the past — is not the best way to secure the industry's future, says Daniel Butcher, managing partner of Strasburger & Price LLP.

  • Rodeo Associations Fail To Rein In Each Other In Round 1

    Bruce D. Sokler

    Last week, a Texas federal court denied the Elite Rodeo Association’s preliminary injunction motion to block the enforcement of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's bylaws, and also denied the PRCA’s motion to dismiss on the ERA’s Section 2 claim. In reaching that conclusion, the court had to address and distinguish a host of arguably applicable sports antitrust cases, say Bruce Sokler and Farrah Short of Mintz Levin Cohn F... (continued)

  • Has Gene By Gene Unzipped TCPA Insurance Exclusions?

    Joshua A. Mooney

    Evanston Insurance v. Gene By Gene Ltd. in Texas district court addresses a new twist on an insurer's Telephone Consumer Protection Act exclusion, in effect limiting it to underlying marketing claims involving junk faxes or spam email. Some might herald this decision as a judicial scaling back of the exclusion, but such proclamations would be premature, says Joshua Mooney at White and Williams LLP.

  • Man Vs. Machine: The New Era Of Self-Driven Cars

    Kimberly L. Wald

    Although self-driven cars are a very new development, many different companies, like Google, Tesla and Nissan are scrambling to develop a foothold in this arena. Self-driving cars have already raised a host of legal issues, and states are already introducing new legislation to try and keep up with the fast pace of progress, says Kimberly Wald at Kelley Uustal PLC.

  • Restrictive Covenants: The Law In Flux

    Nicholas J. Boyle

    The rules for testing the legality of restrictive covenants vary greatly among states, and recent decisions from several courts illustrate the point, both with respect to the framework for considering such covenants, and specifically regarding the reformation of overbroad covenants. As a result, employers should be wary of boilerplate contract language that has been successful in the past, say attorneys at Williams & Connolly LLP.

  • Patent Venue Wars: Episode 5 — 5th Circ.

    Robert M. Isackson

    Despite the relatively low success rate for venue transfer motions in the Fifth Circuit, where plausible, it generally appears worth the effort to pursue transfer, say attorneys with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • De Facto Patent Reform In The Eastern District Of Texas

    Lionel M. Lavenue

    Although Congress has not changed the patent laws recently, things are definitely changing in the Eastern District of Texas, with movement in Section 101 challenges and attorneys' fees, and on stays pending validity challenges at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, say attorneys with Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP.