Texas

  • April 29, 2016

    EFH Has Few Good Options After Big Bet On Oncor Deal Sours

    Energy Future Holdings Corp. has few immediate options to regroup after its innovative $20 billion gamble to reorganize its electricity transmission unit Oncor into a real estate investment trust appears to be history, leaving the mega-Chapter 11 in a state of costly and uncomfortable uncertainty, experts say.

  • April 29, 2016

    Punished Atty Asks High Court To Find Conflict Of Interest

    An attorney punished for his behavior during a trial has asked the Supreme Court to decide whether it's fair that opposing counsel — obviously interested in the trial's outcome and in possible monetary sanctions in favor of their client — was also responsible for prosecuting his suspension, saying it's a conflict of interest.

  • April 29, 2016

    5th Circuit Affirms Slashed Atty Fees In Hospital FCA Suit

    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Friday upheld a Texas federal judge's ruling awarding just over a third of the $2.08 million in attorneys' fees requested in a whistleblower's False Claims Act suit accusing a hospital of overbilling, finding that the attorneys' billable hours failed to adequately break down their work.

  • April 29, 2016

    Texas Jury Rules Against School Board In Retaliation Suit

    A Texas federal jury on Thursday recommended awarding a combined $3.18 million to six current and former employees of the Donna Independent School District who claimed they were demoted and had their pay reduced in retaliation for opposing certain board of trustee members during a 2014 election. 

  • April 29, 2016

    Treasury Fights Bankers' Challenge To Info-Sharing Law

    The U.S. government is fighting a bid by Florida and Texas banking associations to revive their challenge of an Internal Revenue Service rule requiring disclosures of accounts held by foreigners, telling the U.S. Supreme Court the D.C. Circuit correctly ruled the Anti-Injunction Act bars the suit.

  • April 29, 2016

    Fed. Circ.'s Pass On Patent Venue Sends Fight To Congress

    The Federal Circuit's resounding rejection Friday of a call for tighter venue rules in patent cases will definitely not be the last word on the contentious issue, but those seeking to keep patent suits out of the Eastern District of Texas must now set their sights on Congress, attorneys say.

  • April 29, 2016

    Akin Gump Reaches Deal In Fired Staffer's Race Bias Dispute

    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has resolved racial discrimination claims brought by a black former employee who alleged she was fired for using the wrong parking garage, according to a Friday filing in Texas federal court.

  • April 29, 2016

    EPA Says Texas-Okla. Haze Plan Fight Belongs In DC Circ.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the Fifth Circuit on Friday that its rulemaking over Texas and Oklahoma’s regional haze plans had nationwide implications, meaning the D.C. Circuit is the only place Texas and other parties can challenge the rule.

  • April 29, 2016

    Blank Check Co. Files $345M IPO To Buy Hospitality Biz

    Blank check company Landcadia Holdings Inc. filed an initial public offering of stock on Thursday at a maximum price of $345 million to acquire a hospitality enterprise, the latest in a string of such companies to go public this year.

  • April 29, 2016

    Atty Says Prosecutors' Bad Behavior Warrants Axing Charges

    A Texas attorney recently sentenced to 16 years in prison for a money laundering scheme demanded the dismissal of separate charges Friday, saying governmental misconduct should end claims he bilked a Nevada contractor out of $32 million, but if not, the local U.S. Attorney’s Office should be disqualified.

  • April 29, 2016

    Texas Law Firm Says Ex-Client Can't Show Malpractice

    Texas firm Burt Barr & Associates LLP asked a federal judge on Friday to permanently dismiss a former client’s malpractice suit accusing the firm of failing to take the necessary steps for her to collect on a $3 million sexual harassment suit judgment, saying she has failed to show the ability to collect.

  • April 29, 2016

    Carriers Aim To Wring Fees From Level 3 After Massive MDL

    Local telephone providers are suing telecommunications company Level 3 Communications in Texas federal court for withholding fees for some long-distance wireless calls, arguing that a judge's previous decision in related multidistrict litigation requires those fees to be paid.

  • April 29, 2016

    Honduran Child Must Be Returned To Father, 5th Circ. Says

    An child abducted by his mother must return to Honduras under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction because it is unclear that the 6-year-old is “well settled” in New Orleans, a Fifth Circuit panel ruled Thursday.

  • April 29, 2016

    Supreme Court Won't Block Texas Voter ID Law For Now

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday denied a bid by Texas voters to vacate a stay enacted by the Fifth Circuit in October 2014 that kept a controversial voter identification law on the books, giving the circuit court more time to make a ruling in the pending case.

  • April 29, 2016

    FERC Floats $225M Penalty For Total Gas Manipulation Charge

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday proposed $225 million in civil penalties and disgorgement for a Total SA unit and two of its employees for allegedly devising a scheme to manipulate natural gas prices in the southwestern U.S. between June 2009 and June 2012.

  • April 29, 2016

    5th Circ. Vacates Fraudster's Sentence For Gov't Contracts Plot

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday affirmed a retired U.S. Army colonel’s conviction for a scheme to procure contracts intended for disadvantaged businesses but vacated his two-year prison sentence after concluding that a lower court inflated the amount the government lost due to the fraud.

  • April 29, 2016

    Texas Appeals Court Nixes $8.7M Workplace Injury Win

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday reversed an $8.7 million judgment in favor of a man who was paralyzed in a Tractor Supply Co. of Texas LP warehouse incident, finding that because he was covered by workers' compensation insurance, the award should have been barred by law.

  • April 29, 2016

    Fed. Circ. Refuses To Restrict Venue In Patent Cases

    The Federal Circuit on Friday denied liquid sweetener company TC Heartland LLC’s request for new restrictions on where patent suits can be filed, rejecting an argument that would have effectively barred most suits from the patent hotbed of the Eastern District of Texas.

  • April 29, 2016

    Texas High Court Nixes Houston Air Quality Law

    The Texas Supreme Court said Friday that the heart of a Houston air quality law is preempted by the state's Clean Air Act, handing a victory to an industry group including ExxonMobil Corp. and Dow Chemical Co. that had challenged the law.

  • April 28, 2016

    Counsel Row Resolved In $70M Wind Energy Award Suit

    An investor dispute about hiring and firing counsel that derailed a wind energy venture's pursuit of a $70 million arbitral award from a Chinese former business partner has been resolved, according to a Thursday filing in Texas federal court.

Expert Analysis

  • OPINION: Engaging The Media May Help Your Client

    Liz Mair

    While I am confident that the decisions in Windsor and Obergefell were made on the basis of the dictates of the Constitution, I am also confident that the communications efforts undertaken gave the justices additional comfort to make the right call, and ensured that these decisions were not treated as a Roe v. Wade redux, says Liz Mair, former online communications director for the Republican National Committee and president of Mair Strategies.

  • Obama Immigration Case: Interpreting The Oral Arguments

    Sujata Ajmera

    While the U.S. Supreme Court has indicated there is some hope for a final resolution over the Obama administration's immigration action, in reality, the chances of a decision one way or another on all of the issues presented is unlikely, and we will likely have a new president and different Congress when we get the final word on the validity of the policy at issue, says Sujata Ajmera at Strasburger & Price LLP.

  • State Tax Fallout From Federal Related-Party Debt Plan

    Jeffrey A. Friedman

    Recently proposed regulations that would create sweeping changes to the federal income tax treatment of related-party debt could also have far-reaching effects for state income tax purposes, particularly on the deductibility of intercompany interest expenses in states that do not adopt consolidated returns or similar rules, say Jeffrey Friedman and Madison Barnett of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • Dentons: A New Kind Of Network?

    MarkACohen.jpg

    Dentons is two different law firm networks in one. So even if the Swiss verein structure should eventually fail and Dentons is forced to operate as a network of independent law firms, it could still be a significant market force, says Mark A. Cohen, a recovering civil trial lawyer and the founder of Legal Mosaic LLC.

  • Texas Hail Claims: Dealing With Multiple Disasters At Once

    David Winter

    North Texas recently experienced a series of significant hailstorms, bringing up issues commonly associated with insurance claims arising from multiple events over a short period of time, like how to calculate multiple deductibles and when to provide notice, says David Winter at Zelle LLP.

  • Challenges To State E-Waste Laws Face Tough Battle

    Joseph S. Kakesh

    As recently demonstrated by a federal district court in Connecticut, because states have a relatively easy standard to meet when proving that e-waste recycling programs match state interests, it's not clear that future challenges to such programs on equal protection bases will be successful at the trial court level, says Joseph Kakesh at Wiley Rein LLP.

  • When A Contract 'Runs With The Land' — A Look At The Laws

    Michael G. Connelly

    The determination of whether an oil producer may avoid the burdens of a gathering agreement through rejection in bankruptcy has boiled down to whether the agreement "runs with the land." The applicable state requirement of when an agreement runs with the land will not only determine bankruptcy disputes, but will also inform the negotiation of future gathering agreements, say Michael Connelly and David Fournier of Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Researching Attorneys In PACER

    Brian Howard

    While PACER is a powerful tool for gaining information, practitioners should keep in mind that certain flaws often cause lawyers to be omitted from cases they’ve worked on or to show up associated with the wrong firm. These errors build up across aggregate records, tainting any conclusions drawn from such data — often to a surprising extent, according to Brian Howard, a legal data scientist at Lex Machina.

  • A Review Of Gov't Cases Against Execs In Q1

    Kirby Behre

    In this article, attorneys with Miller & Chevalier Chtd. highlight the most significant cases and government investigations that affected corporate executives in the first three months of 2016.

  • New Tax Plan Will Hurt IT, Pharma Vendors In Texas

    Stephen P. Kranz

    A proposed tax rule in Texas does not comport with the common-sense meaning of the term “produced,” which has previously been interpreted to mean making a physical change to an item, rather than merely adding intangible property. The rule will likely have the undesirable effect of stifling information technology and pharmaceutical development by Texas taxpayers, say attorneys with McDermott Will & Emery LLP.