• November 21, 2014

    Texas Justices Take On Retaliation Suit Against Utility

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a $1.3 million suit over whether a San Antonio woman was illegally let go for counseling a former boss at San Antonio Water System against having lunch with female employees.

  • November 21, 2014

    Insurer Asks 5th Circ. For Rehearing In Home Defect Row

    Mid-Continent Casualty Co. has asked the Fifth Circuit to review its reversal of an earlier decision that the insurer had correctly applied a contractual liability exclusion, arguing the panel mistakenly held that replacing two homeowners’ defective foundation represented property damage.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Justices Say Court Misread Gas Contract Ruling

    The Texas Supreme Court held Friday that an appeals court erred in determining it could not review questions about whether Wolf Hollow I LP was owed damages in a contract dispute with El Paso Marketing LP, finding the appeals court misinterpreted an earlier high court ruling.

  • November 21, 2014

    CH2M Fires Off $11M Suit Over Canceled Air Force Contract

    CH2M Hill Constructors Inc. is seeking $10.7 million from the federal government for ending its contract to renovate a U.S. Air Force training center a few months before completion, saying in a Thursday complaint to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that the government denied the company's reasonable extension requests.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas High Court Takes On Suit Over Boeing Lease Disclosure

    The Texas Supreme Court said Friday it will hear arguments in The Boeing Co.'s attempt to keep its lease for part of an abandoned Air Force base under wraps after Texas' attorney general said the terms should be disclosed under the Texas Public Information Act.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Supreme Court Buries TCEQ Worker's Retaliation Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday held that a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality worker’s report to a state senator and her supervisor alleging the agency improperly paid illegal immigrants under a vehicle emissions reduction program doesn’t qualify for protection under the Texas Whistleblower Act.

  • November 21, 2014

    Deals Rumor Mill: Telecom, Sysco Corp., UniCredit

    Telecom Italia SpA may have found a buyer for mobile phone towers operated by its Brazilian unit, while Texas-based Sysco Corp. is on the verge of divesting some assets to a Blackstone Group LP-backed food company to clear way for its $3.5 billion purchase of rival US Foods Inc.

  • November 21, 2014

    Kelso, Estancia Pick Up American Beacon From TPG, Pharos

    New York-based Kelso & Co. and Estancia Capital Management LLC agreed Thursday to buy Lighthouse Holdings, the parent company of investment advisory services group American Beacon in a deal reportedly worth upward of $600 million including debt.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas High Court To Weigh Dow's Liability In Asbestos Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear an appeal in an asbestos suit from survivors of an independent contractor who say an appeals court reversed a $2.6 million jury verdict against Dow Chemical Co. by wrongfully applying state law limiting liability for a property owner’s negligence.

  • November 21, 2014

    Schlumberger Questions SLAPP Ruling In Trade Secret Appeal

    Schlumberger Ltd. on Wednesday appealed a $600,000 award entered against it after a Texas judge threw out the majority of a lawsuit accusing its former chief intellectual property lawyer of sharing trade secrets, questioning whether the state's anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation statute had been properly used.

  • November 21, 2014

    Oiltanking-Enterprise $6B Deal Stiffs Unitholders, Suit Says

    Oiltanking Partners LP and its board of directors were hit with a putative class action in Texas federal court Thursday accusing them of pushing through a $6 billion two-step merger with pipeline company Enterprise Products Partners LP that stiffs unitholders.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Court Upholds Marina's $8.7M Verdict In Coverage Spat

    A Texas appeals court has affirmed an $8.7 million jury verdict finding that an insurance broker breached its contract with a marina operator by mistakenly issuing a policy with provisos instead of a blanket coverage plan, which had left the company with few options when its property was hit with a devastating flood.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Top Court: Worker Who Lost Hand Can't Sue Insurer, Yet

    The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that a worker who lost his hand operating a tortilla press can’t sue Essex Insurance Co., because direct actions against insurers are prohibited in Texas until it has been established that an insurer has a legal obligation to pay damages to an injured party. 

  • November 20, 2014

    Siemens Avoids Liability For Texas Gas Plant Explosion

    Siemens Energy Inc. is not liable for a 2011 gas plant explosion that left an electrician severely burned, a Texas state jury found on Thursday, in a verdict that held the plant’s owner and an engineering firm responsible for the accident.

  • November 20, 2014

    Texas Court Denies Tax Assessor's Valero Rehearing Request

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday denied a tax assessor’s motion for rehearing in an ongoing battle with Valero Energy Corp. following the court's ruling in August that the company does not have to disclose sensitive financial data and trade secrets relating to one of its refineries.

  • November 20, 2014

    Beirne Maynard Dallas Head Leaves For Friedman & Feiger

    Friedman & Feiger LLP has hired the former managing partner of Beirne Maynard & Parsons LLP's Dallas office, the chairman of the Dallas Better Business Bureau and a third commercial litigator, the firm announced Thursday.

  • November 20, 2014

    Fluor Strikes Deal With Contractor In $17M Hot Shower Suit

    Fluor Intercontinental Inc. reached a confidential settlement with a worker who won $17.3 million in a suit that alleged he was severely burned by showers at a compound in Baghdad, leading a Texas appellate court on Wednesday to reverse and render a take-nothing judgment.

  • November 20, 2014

    Exxon Retirees Win $4M For Financial Co.'s Mismanagement

    A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel ordered Houston-based wealth management firm U.S. Capital Advisors LLC Monday to pay $3.8 million to 19 retired Exxon Mobil Corp. employees, who alleged the firm had mismanaged their retirement savings accounts.

  • November 20, 2014

    Halliburton Fires Back In Economic Expert Analysis Row

    Attorneys for Halliburton Co. asked a Texas federal judge on Thursday to strike expert economic testimony offered by the plaintiffs in a landmark class action claiming the company had artificially inflated its stock price by issuing misstatements, arguing the expert’s opinions are “unsystematic” and “unreliable.”

  • November 20, 2014

    Texas Court Clears Littler Atty In Employment Settlement Row

    A Texas appellate court on Wednesday cleared a Littler Mendelson PC attorney of allegations in an employment dispute that she had overstepped her authority in negotiating a settlement, saying a trial court had rightly thrown the claims out.

Expert Analysis

  • Obama's Immigration Action Is Cause For Celebration

    Robert S. Whitehill

    Though implementation of President Obama's announced changes to U.S. immigration policy on Nov. 20 will take some time and may be slowed by legal action or accelerated by Congress enacting immigration reform, the president's executive action will give hope and relief to millions, which is cause for celebration, says Robert Whitehill of Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Keeping Pace With Texas Hail Claim 'Case-Runners'

    G. Brian Odom

    It cannot be legitimately disputed that the increasingly common practice of "case-running" among contractors, public adjusters and policyholder attorneys is in large part to blame for the increase in litigated Texas insurance claims — it is all about extracting additional money from the insurance industry, say G. Brian Odom and Tyler McGuire of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Why Can’t We Be (Facebook) Friends? You Be The Judge

    Peter J. Gallagher

    Some jurisdictions prohibit judges from being social media “friends” with any lawyer who appears regularly before them, while others do not prohibit the practice unless the “friendship” also implicates one of the canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The latter seems to be the better approach, says Peter Gallagher of Porzio Bromberg & Newman PC.

  • There Might Still Be Hope For Texas Franchise Tax Refunds

    Geoffrey Polma

    Companies whose Texas franchise tax liability would be reduced by applying the Multistate Tax Compact’s “three-factor” apportionment rather than Texas’ default “single-factor” apportionment should carefully monitor the progress of Graphic Packaging Inc. v. Combs, and should consider taking prophylactic action to preserve potential refund claims, say attorneys with Locke Lord LLP.

  • What The Hail Is Going On With Texas Insurance Claims?

    Brett A. Wallingford

    Devonshire Real Estate & Asset Management LP v. American Insurance Company illustrates many of the issues insurers face over hail claims, particularly that a claim is almost never wholly presented with the initial measure — there always seem to be additional supplements forthcoming and new allegations of damage in litigation, says Brett Wallingford of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Texas Cites Other States In Fighting A Fracking Ban

    Barclay Nicholson

    Motions filed by the Texas General Land Office and Texas Oil and Gas Association against Denton's hydraulic fracturing ban demonstrate that both parties have structured their filings in a manner to align with the reasoning of courts that have invalidated local fracking bans, say Barclay Nicholson and Johnjerica Hodge of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Seismic Events Shake Up Texas Rules On Injection Wells

    Barclay Nicholson

    While regulators in Texas have not gone as far as those in other states in claiming a link between injection wells and increased seismic activity, recently proposed rules impose new requirements for injection well permit applications and give the Texas Railroad Commission new monitoring and corrective authorities, say Barclay Nicholson and Jim Hartle of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • 5 Ways To Uncover Bias During Jury Selection

    Joshua Dubin

    Failing to identify and elicit suppressed biases hinders practitioners’ ability to de-select prospective jurors during jury selection. Five strategies can help mitigate the effects of prospective jurors’ tendency to “self-enhance,” says Joshua Dubin, principal of Dubin Research & Consulting.

  • How Senate Without Filibuster-Proof Majority Avoids Gridlock

    William R. Nordwind

    Even without a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, it is likely to be a very active session for the Republican Congress next year — especially if they take advantage of some key legislative tools available to a congressional majority, say former congressional counsel now with Venable LLP.

  • The Odds Of Getting A Case Stayed Pending AIA Review

    Joseph Saltiel

    While it my seem that there is a 50 percent possibility a district court litigation will be stayed pending an inter partes review or a covered business method review, a closer review of recent decisions in the Eastern District of Texas and Delaware reveals that whether a judge will stay a case is predictable, says Joseph Saltiel of Masuda Funai Eifert & Mitchell Ltd.