Texas RSS

  • April 22, 2014

    Deadly Fertilizer Plant Blast Was Preventable, CSB Says

    The 2013 fertilizer plant explosion and fire in the city of West, Texas, that killed 14, injured 200 and destroyed about 140 nearby buildings could have been prevented with better regulations, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board said Tuesday, releasing its preliminary findings on the blast.

  • April 22, 2014

    Texas Atty Gets 10 Years For Forgery, Billing Scam

    A Texas criminal defense attorney who recently confessed to felony charges stemming from her alleged overbilling of work for indigent clients and forgery of judicial signatures was slammed with a 10-year state prison sentence Monday.

  • April 22, 2014

    Texas AG Questions BLM Plan To Seize Land Along Red River

    Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Tuesday penned a letter to the Bureau of Land Management, calling the agency out over its plan to potentially seize land along the Red River that Abbott says belongs to Texas landowners.

  • April 22, 2014

    ETP Seeks $1B Judgment In Pipeline Partnership Fight

    Energy Transfer Partners LP on Monday asked a Texas state judge for a more than $1 billion judgment against Enterprise Products Partners LP after a jury found Enterprise breached a partnership agreement for a crude oil pipeline.

  • April 22, 2014

    Samsung Resolves Patent Suit Over Disk Drive Memory

    A Texas federal judge on Tuesday dismissed Power Management Enterprises LLC's claims accusing Samsung Electronics America Inc. of infringing its cache memory patents with the manufacture and sale of its computers and disk drives, after the parties said they had resolved the dispute.

  • April 22, 2014

    5th Circ. Affirms Travelers' Win In Truck Crash Spat

    The Fifth Circuit said on Tuesday the Bituminous Casualty Corp. must cover a trucking company in litigation over an accident involving one of its vehicles, upholding The Travelers Indemnity Co.’s win in a lower court.

  • April 22, 2014

    The Accidental Advocate: Judge John E. Jones III

    Pennsylvania Middle District Judge John E. Jones III talks to Law360 about the surreal aftermath of his divisive ruling against intelligent design as he prepares for yet another potentially explosive trial over Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban.

  • April 22, 2014

    'Troll' Says FTC Bullying Over Patent Letters Warrants Suit

    Alleged patent troll MPHJ Technology Investments LLC shot back Friday at the Federal Trade Commission’s bid to toss its lawsuit over an investigation into allegedly deceptive patent infringement letters the company sent, telling a Texas federal court that the antitrust agency's enforcement squashed its speech rights, keeping its claims ripe.

  • April 22, 2014

    State Climate Actions Stumble On Dormant Commerce Clause

    A recent ruling that a Minnesota emissions law effectively barring electricity use from new coal-fired power plants is unconstitutional is the latest example of the dormant Commerce Clause impeding states' ability to regulate climate change, and experts say such legal skirmishes will continue until the U.S. Supreme Court sets clear, constitutional boundaries for states' climate policies.

  • April 22, 2014

    5th Circ. Ends Appeal Of Malpractice Suit Over Patent Apps

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a malpractice lawsuit brought by a mouthwash inventor against his attorney charged with preparing and filing patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, saying the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence of damages.

  • April 22, 2014

    Jury Awards Texas Family $2.9M For Fracking Nuisance Claim

    A Texas jury on Tuesday awarded $2.925 million to a family who alleged they suffered health problems because of natural gas wells drilled in the Barnett Shale by Aruba Petroleum Inc. on neighboring property, finding Aruba intentionally created a private nuisance.

  • April 22, 2014

    Deals Rumor Mill: Carlyle, Red Lobster, Citigroup

    Carlyle and TPG continue to welcome interest from eager suitors around the world vying for their jointly owned, $4 billion Australian health care provider, while flagging restaurant company Darden's shareholders are tipping toward vocal activist critics to force the company into a vote that could upend its Red Lobster spinoff plans.

  • April 22, 2014

    Houston Mayor Introduces Human Rights Law

    Houston Mayor Annise Parker Monday on Monday released a draft of a human rights law that would protect residents, workers and visitors in the city from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, race and religion in housing, employment and public venues.

  • April 22, 2014

    Sales Tax Cuts Amazon Purchases By 10%, Study Finds

    The institution of sales taxes on online purchases in several states across the U.S. caused an almost 10 percent drop in online retailer Amazon.com Inc.’s sales, according to research released this month by The Ohio State University.

  • April 22, 2014

    AT&T, Chernin Pour $500M Into Online Video JV

    Dallas-based AT&T Inc. and Los Angeles media holding and investment firm The Chernin Group LLC will invest more than $500 million into a new, online video joint venture that will acquire, invest and launch online video services, the companies said Tuesday.

  • April 21, 2014

    ERG Wants Rival Buyer Back In $100M Suit Over Lost Deal

    Independent oil and gas operator ERG Resources LLC told the Texas Supreme Court on Friday that a Canadian rival has a sufficient connection to the state to subject it to a $100 million suit over the companies’ battle to acquire a Nabors Industries Ltd. subsidiary.

  • April 21, 2014

    Ex-CEO's Bias Suit Against Tuesday Morning Nixed Amid Deal

    A Texas state judge on Monday dismissed a discrimination suit filed by the former president and CEO of closeout retailer Tuesday Morning Corp. that alleged she was wrongfully fired after telling the company about her cancer diagnosis, due to the parties having reached a settlement.

  • April 21, 2014

    Appeals Court Kicks $20M Coverage Dispute Out of Texas

    A Texas appeals court on Friday refused to keep in Texas a group of insurance companies' suit over coverage of a $20 million settlement in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action, finding the trial court was correct in its finding that it didn’t have jurisdiction.

  • April 21, 2014

    SAP Can't Quash Versata's $391M Patent Win

    A Texas federal judge on Monday denied a request by SAP America Inc. to vacate a $391 million patent infringement judgment for Versata Software Inc. after SAP won a ruling from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office invalidating the patent-in-suit under the America Invents Act.

  • April 21, 2014

    5th Circ. Tosses Bias Complaint Against Texas Judge

    Citing a lack of evidence, a federal appeals court has dismissed a misconduct complaint accusing a Texas federal judge of holding a personal bias against a woman pursuing a lawsuit over the beating death of her son, her attorney said Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • Mandatory Pro Bono Is Not The Answer For Practitioners

     Amanda D. Smith

    The State Bar of California has decided to follow New York's lead and require prospective attorneys to record 50 hours of pro bono service in order to be eligible for admission. While we applaud the intentions behind these initiatives, there are a number of reasons why state bars should limit any mandatory pro bono requirement to this context, rather than extend it to licensed attorneys as some have suggested, say attorneys with the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Earth Day And The Evolution Of Environmental Law

    Timothy J. Bergere

    Since 1970, environmental lawyers have been immersed in a myriad of federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations, beginning with the National Environmental Policy Act. As the movement has grown, Earth Day has become a placeholder for the idea that we can better manage our environment, and in the legal community, it reminds us that we must continue advancing the law with the goal of a cleaner environment in mind, says Timothy Bergere of Montgomery McCracken Walker Rhoads LLP.

  • Construction Defect Coverage Recap For 1st Quarter

    John A. Husmann

    The year 2014 has already yielded several noteworthy decisions from courts examining insurance coverage for construction defect claims. Collectively, these cases have dealt with the “occurrence” requirement, contractual liability exclusion and “other insurance” clauses, all of which are sure to affect stakeholders in the construction industry, say John Husmann and Jocelyn Cornbleet of BatesCarey LLP.

  • Texas Businesses: Take Child Abuse Reporting Seriously

    Stephen J. Roppolo

    Texas law requires people to immediately report any suspected or material circumstances of child abuse to the state's proper authorities. While 47 states require some form of child abuse reporting, Texas law is especially broad and creates serious legal obligations for any person — or business — for turning a blind eye to child abuse, says Stephen Roppolo of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • Employers: Take Care In Crafting Confidentiality Clauses

    Christopher V. Bacon

    Employers are often surprised to learn that policies explicitly prohibiting employees from discussing salaries are in violation of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, as was recently affirmed in Flex Frac Logistics LLC v. NLRB. However, employers are still entitled to take precautions in order to protect their confidential proprietary information and trade secrets from disclosure by their employees, say Christopher Bacon and Ashlee Grant of Vinson & Elkins LLP.

  • Beware 'Jewel' Risks In Lateral Partner Hiring

    Pamela Phillips

    Jewel litigation has been filed after every major law firm bankruptcy in the past 10 years, including Lyon & Lyon, Brobeck, Coudert, Thelen, Heller and Howrey. These lawsuits have produced years of litigation, with similar suits expected in the Dewey bankruptcy. Despite the legal uncertainties surrounding such claims, hiring firms can take steps now to minimize their Jewel risk for any lateral hire, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • A Quick Guide To East Texas' Fast Track For Patent Cases

    Lionel Lavenue

    Some of the early commentary on the Eastern District of Texas' new alternative case management procedure for patent cases focused on how it might be “bad news” for some nonpracticing entities taking that approach. A deeper dive, however, reveals that, while Track B might benefit parties accused of infringing a patent in some situations, in others, it might even benefit parties asserting their patents, say attorneys with Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP.

  • The Lessons And Limitations Of Chadbourne V. Troice

    Fred Isquith

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice is unlikely to have a sweeping effect on securities or class action litigation. However, professions engaged in assisting clients obtain financing will likely change their internal controls to avoid potential problems in the future — we may even see law and accounting firms called into court to justify their actions, says Fred Isquith of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP.

  • Trending: State High Court Accord On 'Faulty Workmanship'

    Carl Salisbury

    In Arlo Guthrie's classic Thanksgiving ballad, he says that if 50 people a day were to walk into a military psychiatrist's office, sing a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and then walk out, "then friends, they may think it's a movement. And that's what it is." Strange as it may seem, something akin to the Alice's Restaurant movement is happening in state supreme courts across the country — most recently with the Alabama Supreme Court decision in Owner's Insurance Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilders LLC, says Carl Salisbury of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • Surplus Lines Insurance In Texas: A Dark Horse

    Brad E. Brewer

    Surplus lines coverage is a necessary part of the Texas insurance market, but it is among the least understood sectors of the property and casualty industry. Among other things, surplus lines carriers have more freedom to write policies using nonstandard language, which allows coverage to be better tailored, but which also means that such policies may include language that has never before been interpreted by a court, say Brad Brewer and Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.