• July 30, 2015

    Life Partners Creditors Deride CEO's Call To Pull Trustee

    The unsecured creditors of life insurance purchaser Life Partners Holdings Inc. told a Texas bankruptcy court on Thursday that its CEO, Brian Pardo, shouldn't be allowed to force out the Chapter 11 trustee working on the case.

  • July 30, 2015

    Chevron Not Liable In Suit Over African Pirate Attack On Ship

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday dismissed claims against Chevron USA Inc. brought by a Texas ship captain who was kidnapped by pirates off the Nigerian coast, saying Chevron can’t be considered the captain’s employer and thus isn’t liable under the federal Jones Act.

  • July 30, 2015

    NLRB Court Wins Won't Quell Election Rule Challenges

    The National Labor Relations Board’s controversial rule in effect since April streamlining the union election process has withstood two district court challenges, but attorneys say suits over the rule’s application and the ire of a Republican legislative majority mean disputes over the rule aren't yet over.

  • July 30, 2015

    Baker Botts Denied $3.5M Atty Fees In Samsung IP Row

    Baker Botts LLP lost a bid for $3.5 million in attorneys’ fees after a Texas federal judge ruled on Thursday that the firm failed to show the case was exceptional, despite securing a jury verdict that its client, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., didn’t infringe a Japanese inventor’s patent.

  • July 30, 2015

    Texas Court Won't Revive $6.4B Brenham Oil & Gas Suit

    A Houston court of appeals on Thursday refused to revive a $6.4 billion suit filed by Brenham Oil & Gas Inc. over alleged interference in a contract with the government of the African nation of Togo, saying the trial court was right to throw out the suit against TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. and ENI SpA on jurisdictional grounds.

  • July 30, 2015

    Texas Allows Lucchese To Arbitrate Worker Injury Claims

    Legendary cowboy-boot maker Lucchese Inc. can require former employees to arbitrate allegations they suffered on-the-job injuries under a provision in their employment agreements, a Texas appellate court held Wednesday in three related cases.

  • July 30, 2015

    Viva Cinema Slams AMC's Bid To Nix Antitrust Suit

    Shuttered Spanish-language movie theater Viva Cinemas Theaters and Entertainment LLC fired back Wednesday at AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.'s bid to toss its Texas federal antitrust suit accusing AMC of illegally squeezing it out of the Houston market by blocking it from getting new releases, saying AMC is downplaying its strong-armed bullying tactics.

  • July 30, 2015

    JCPenney Must Pay Investor's $3M Fee, Texas Justices Told

    The Texas Supreme Court was urged Wednesday to refuse J.C. Penney Co. Inc.'s bid to use the lodestar method for a shareholder's attorneys' fees, because the $3.1 million was calculated in-line with the settlement of the investor's executive compensation scheme claims.

  • July 30, 2015

    V&E Adds Ex-Bracewell Partner To Energy Transactions Team

    Vinson & Elkins LLP this week strengthened its energy transactions team in Houston with the addition of a partner from Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, the firm announced on Thursday.

  • July 30, 2015

    Pine Brook Puts $100M In New Energy-Equipment Rental Co.

    New York-based investment firm Pine Brook said Thursday that it has agreed to put forth $100 million to help launch Cahill Services LLC, a Texas-based company that rents out equipment to customers in the energy, industrial and municipal industry sectors.

  • July 30, 2015

    Texas Court Upholds Atty's 25-Year Sentence For Client Fraud

    A Texas appellate court on Tuesday affirmed a 25-year prison sentence for a former Dallas attorney who admitted stealing money from nearly two dozen clients and was ordered to pay restitution of nearly $1 million, saying his appeal was frivolous and without merit.

  • July 30, 2015

    Frontier/Verizon Deal Should Serve Public, Group Tells FCC

    A California nonprofit asked the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday to hold Frontier Communications Corp. accountable for promises that its $10.5 billion purchase of wireline operations from Verizon Communications Inc. in California, Florida and Texas would benefit the public.

  • July 30, 2015

    CFPB Hits Mortgage Servicer For $1.6M Over Bad Practices

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday said that a mortgage servicing company will pay $1.6 million in restitution and fines for a variety of violations, including failing to honor loan modifications and falsely treating consumers as though they had defaulted.

  • July 29, 2015

    Houston, Scores Strip Club Dispute Magistrate Judge's Recs

    The city of Houston on Tuesday objected to a magistrate judge's recommendation that a set of antitrust claims against the city over a settlement with several strip clubs should be kept alive, while another strip club suing the city said the judge was wrong to dismiss a tortious interference claim.

  • July 29, 2015

    Texas Franchise Tax Ruling Won’t Stop National Fight

    A Texas appellate court’s narrow interpretation of the state’s business tax means dozens of out-of-state companies hoping for a lower Texas tax bill likely won’t get refunds, but doesn’t affect the national fight over whether the Multistate Tax Compact can trump more restrictive state rules, lawyers say.

  • July 29, 2015

    Texas Urges 5th Circ. To Uphold Credit Card Surcharge Law

    Texas on Tuesday urged the Fifth Circuit to affirm a federal judge's determination that the state's anti-surcharge law regulates only the prices of consumer goods, which it says is an economic activity within the state's police power that doesn’t implicate merchants' First Amendment rights.

  • July 29, 2015

    DOL Defends $6.5M Win Over DirecTV Installer's Pensions

    The U.S. Department of Labor backed a nearly $6.5 million judgment against a DirecTV installation company's retirement plan trustees for causing the plans to overpay for company stock, urging the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday to not overturn the award.

  • July 29, 2015

    Houston Must Count Signatures In Anti-LGBT Activist Petition

    A Houston judge on Tuesday granted mandamus relief to an activist looking to force the city to accept an alleged 22,000-signature petition for a city charter amendment defining "gender identity" in order to prevent transgender women from using women's restrooms, in a fight stemming from the city's new equal rights ordinance.

  • July 29, 2015

    Deportee Asks Justices To Rehear Petition After June Ruling

    A Mexican man looking to reopen his deportation hearing has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rehear its denial of his petition, arguing that a decision the high court issued in June after he petitioned the justices invalidated the Fifth Circuit precedent on which his bid for a panel rehearing was denied.

  • July 29, 2015

    Deals Rumor Mill: Siemens, Bombardier, ConAgra, Huntsman

    Siemens AG has held early talks to combine its rail unit with Bombardier Inc.’s train business, while ConAgra Foods Inc.'s sale of its private-label food packaging unit has already attracted interest from other packaged foods companies and private equity firms, and Texas chemical company Huntsman Corp. considers selling a stake in its pigment unit through an initial public offering.

Expert Analysis

  • Craft Beer's Growth Is Causing Congress To Brew Reforms

    Matthew P. McLaughlin

    In response to the craft beer industry's explosive growth, national policy surrounding alcohol regulatory reform has been one of modernization, not the elimination of three-tier distribution systems and state franchise laws. However, while some states have embraced this trend in a positive manner, others have been extremely resistant to change, says Matthew McLaughlin of Baker Donelson PC.

  • UPenn Fracking Study Can't Give Plaintiffs Causation

    Harry Weiss

    Despite the media attention surrounding a recent University of Pennsylvania study linking increased hospital visits for cardiac and neurological complaints with hydraulic fracturing, it is unlikely to significantly help plaintiffs looking to establish causation, say Harry Weiss and Philip Yannella of Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • Lessons From 5th Circ. Application Of Scienter Standard

    David Dodds

    The Fifth Circuit’s recent dismissal of a federal securities fraud class action that arose out of the failure of Guaranty Bank serves as a reminder that even where some specific allegations tend to support an inference of scienter, they may not invariably lead to a finding of the required “strong inference,” says David Dodds of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • OPINION: On Porous Borders

    Judge Eliza Klein

    Since 2008, funding of the border patrol has doubled. Meanwhile, funding of the immigration courts has stagnated. The case load has grown from slightly less than 263,000 cases nationwide to slightly more than 450,000 — over 2,000 cases per judge. We must do better, says Judge Eliza Klein, of counsel to Gil Law Group and a former immigration court judge for more than 20 years.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: The Rocket Docket!

    Alan Rothman

    As we celebrate the 46th anniversary of mankind’s first walk on the moon, this month’s column tracking the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation appropriately explores the impact of the “rocket docket” on the selection of an MDL venue. We have discussed various venue selection factors, but is the perceived speed with which a district handles cases relevant? asks Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Texas Property Insurers Consider Changes To Hail Policies

    Todd M. Tippett

    Texas is in the midst of a hail lawsuit crisis. Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed across the state and abuse and outright fraud are commonplace. Despite a strong push by the insurance industry, the 2015 Texas Legislature failed to pass any significant reform measures. Absent a legislative or policy form solution, the end result is predictable, says Todd Tippett at Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Texas Takes Firm Stance Toward Local Environmental Fines

    Gerald J. Pels

    Texas' cap on local fines and penalties from environmental litigation is one of the first in the country. While H.B. 1794 does not limit the state’s authority to bring actions, recover penalties or limit any authority — state or local — to pursue criminal actions for environmental infractions, it will provide predictability in enforcement and will often lead to greater compliance, says Gerald Pels of Locke Lord LLP.

  • REBUTTAL: The Problem With 3rd-Party Litigation Financing

    Lisa Rickard

    Manipulating gender disparity in the service of hawking a flawed investment product does nothing but trivialize a serious and important issue. The tortured logic in Burford Capital LLC’s recent plug for third-party litigation financing is nothing more than a marketing ploy to boost revenues, says Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

  • Sports Espionage Brings Great Risks For Both Spy And Victim

    Sekou Lewis

    Two recent events reveal how high-tech espionage concerning carefully guarded team data is a new form of cheating that poses a real threat, say Sekou Lewis and Matthew Tamasco of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.

  • Low Levels Of FCPA Enforcement Continued In Q2

    Marc Bohn

    Unless the pace of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement picks up considerably, as it did last year, 2015 is on track to be the lowest year in terms of resolved dispositions since 2005, say Marc Alain Bohn and Michael Skopets of Miller & Chevalier Chtd.