Texas

  • September 1, 2015

    St. Paul Must Cover Well Blowout Damages, Texas Court Says

    A Texas appeals court on Monday affirmed that St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. and an affiliate must cover Petroplex Energy Inc.'s damages resulting from the blowout of a gas well, agreeing with a lower court that the energy company suffered an insured loss.

  • September 1, 2015

    Texas Man Gets 17 Years For Fake Disney Resort Scheme

    A Texas federal judge on Tuesday handed down a 17½-year prison sentence to a man convicted of defrauding investors of more than $20 million by lying about supposed insider information that The Walt Disney Co. was planning to build a resort on rural land north of Dallas.

  • September 1, 2015

    Amnesty Int'l, Others Back Cert. Bid Over Border Killing

    A U.S. Supreme Court appeal by the family of a Mexican teenager killed by an American border patrol agent has gathered support from famous friends, including Amnesty International USA and legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, who argue the Fifth Circuit’s decision barring tort liability should not stand.

  • September 1, 2015

    Texas Racing Agency Gets Reprieve Amid Power Struggle

    State legislators on Tuesday struck a compromise that would keep the Texas Racing Commission up and running for three months, ending the daylong shuttering of the agency after lawmakers refused to allocate administrative funding amid an ongoing power struggle.

  • September 1, 2015

    Grocer Urges Gilstrap To Flip 'Unfair' Ruling By Magistrate

    U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap should overrule a magistrate judge’s "unfair" refusal to stay discovery while a motion that the patents that several pharmacies are accused of infringing are invalid for claiming abstract ideas under Alice is resolved, Brookshire Grocery Co. argued.

  • September 1, 2015

    Spokeo Will Impact Verizon ERISA Suit, 5th Circ. Told

    Two Verizon retiree classes sought a Fifth Circuit panel rehearing of their rejected appeal over the telecom giant’s transfer of $7.4 billion in pension obligations, arguing Monday that the U.S. Supreme Court's constitutional standing decision in Spokeo will directly impact their case.

  • September 1, 2015

    Texas Regulator Says XTO Well Didn't Cause Quakes

    An administrative law judge on Monday found a Barnett Shale injection well owned by ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy Inc. likely did not contribute to causing a series of earthquakes that rocked the surrounding area, recommending XTO’s permits not be revoked.

  • September 1, 2015

    Deals Rumor Mill: BG Group, GE Capital, Ajinomoto

    BG Group will sell a Thailand offshore gas field stake for around $1.2 billion, three finalists are vying for GE Capital's Australian commercial lending and leasing businesses, worth $1.8 billion, and Ajinomoto will spend up to $1.7 billion on deals over the next year.

  • September 1, 2015

    Investors Slam Bid To Toss Cobalt Bribery Class Action

    A group of aggrieved investors urged a Texas federal district court Monday to deny a motion to dismiss their proposed class action alleging private equity-owned Cobalt International Energy Inc. bribed government officials in Angola and made misrepresentations to stock and bond investors that led to billions in losses.

  • September 1, 2015

    Immigrant Women Fight Feds' Bid to Dismiss 1st Amend. Suit

    Immigrant women whose proposed class action alleges that their First Amendment rights were violated at a Texas detention center told a federal judge Monday that free speech protections apply to everyone in the U.S., regardless of legal status.

  • September 1, 2015

    EPA Sanctioned For 'Bad Faith' In CWA Suit

     A Texas federal judge slapped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with sanctions this week, chiding the agency for acting in “bad faith” by stalling on orders to hand over documents that likely would have defeated a Clean Water Act suit brought against a property developer.

  • September 1, 2015

    Wal-Mart Sex Bias Claims Should Proceed, 5th Circ. Hears

    Eight former female Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employees, who were not parties to a recent settlement between the retailer and named plaintiffs originally covered by the nationwide Dukes class that the U.S. Supreme Court disbanded, on Monday asked the Fifth Circuit to allow them to continue to pursue sex bias claims on a classwide basis. 

  • August 31, 2015

    5th Circ. Tough On NLRB In Murphy Oil Class Waiver Fight

    A National Labor Relations Board attorney faced a grilling at the Fifth Circuit on Monday as he defended a divided NLRB ruling that deemed Murphy Oil USA Inc. arbitration agreements barring workers from pursuing class actions unlawful and doubled down on the board's D.R. Horton decision.

  • August 31, 2015

    RadioShack Scheme Gave Control To Hedge Fund, Suit Says

    Unsecured creditors of RadioShack Corp. on Monday sued controlling shareholder Standard General LP, Wells Fargo Bank NA and the bankrupt electronics retailer’s former top brass in Texas federal court, alleging a corrupt scheme to give the hedge fund control of the company for the lowest possible cost.

  • August 31, 2015

    Dallas Mag Can't Ditch Suit Over 'Welfare Queen' Article

    A Texas appeals court on Friday refused to bring an early end to a libel suit brought against a Dallas magazine by a woman referred to in its pages as the “Park Cities Welfare Queen,” saying the article falsely suggested the woman had committed welfare fraud.

  • August 31, 2015

    Dollar General Tells High Court It Isn't Subject To Tribal Court

    Dollar General Corp. on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Fifth Circuit’s ruling that the company was subject to the jurisdiction of a tribal court in a sexual assault case brought by a former intern and member of the Choctaw Nation.

  • August 31, 2015

    Comcast Eyes 5th Circ. After $74M Loss In Network’s Ch. 11

    Comcast Corp. said Monday that it won’t give up on a $73.8 million dispute over its treatment in the approved bankruptcy plan of Houston Regional Sports Network LP, appealing to the Fifth Circuit from a ruling that its carriage agreement with the broadcaster had no value.

  • August 31, 2015

    Texas Pushes Full 5th Circ. To Hear Voter ID Suit

    Texas on Friday asked the full Fifth Circuit to reconsider a panel determination that the state’s voter identification law violates the federal Voting Rights Act, saying the panel decision used too expansive an interpretation of the VRA to withstand constitutional scrutiny.

  • August 31, 2015

    Court Says No Evidence Highland Misled Fund Investors

    A Texas appeals court on Friday rejected a bid to revive investor claims that Highland Capital Management LP misled them about the risks involved in one of its highly leveraged hedge funds during the recession, saying there wasn’t evidence the investors relied on Highland’s statements.

  • August 31, 2015

    Exxon Asks Texas Justices To Hear Ranch Cleanup Case

    ExxonMobil Corp. has asked the Texas Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that the energy company says could force it to pay $6.3 million to clean up hydrocarbon contamination on a 20,000-acre ranch, saying it is too late for the ranch owners to bring suit.

Expert Analysis

  • What Out-Of-Staters Must Know When Hiring Local NJ Counsel

    Christopher P. Massaro

    Modern business is borderless and it is inevitable that clients will get sued in jurisdictions other than their “home” state, often where their in-house counsel or primary law firm is ill-equipped to handle the litigation without assistance. With an eye on avoiding ethical dilemmas, Cole Schotz PC attorneys Christopher Massaro and Neoma Ayala discuss the relevant rules and procedures unique to New Jersey.

  • Taking On LGBT Issues In The Texas Workplace

    Stephen J. Roppolo

    Same-sex marriage. Sexual orientation anti-discrimination ordinances. Transgender accommodations. Texas employers, already buffeted by changes in union organizing and wage-and-hour rules, should come to grips with the legislative and enforcement landscape over LGBT rights since the only constant in employment law is more change, says Stephen Roppolo of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • The Rationale Behind BP Texas Manipulation Ruling

    Paul J. Pantano Jr.

    Administrative Law Judge Carmen Cintron relied heavily on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Barclays Bank PLC as support for her holding that BP PLC engaged in the manipulation of Texas' natural gas market in 2008, dismissing BP's contention that relying on the Barclays case is inappropriate because a federal court is reviewing the case de novo, say attorneys at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP.

  • Price Impact Analysis — Where The Halliburton Court Erred

    Bjorn I. Steinholt

    The Northern District of Texas’ July 2015 decision in Halliburton has already been touted as a “bellwether” opinion on how to prove the absence of price impact to defeat class certification. Unfortunately, the opinion is based partly on a common fallacy — that the absence of statistical significance proves the absence of price impact, says Bjorn Steinholt, managing director at economics consulting firm Caliber Advisors Inc.

  • Texas 'Revenge Porn' Ban Brings Enforcement Challenges

    Pierre Grosdidier, Ph.D.

    The Texas Relationship Privacy Act — effective Sept. 1 — provides new relief for revenge porn victims and may help dissuade revenge pornographers’ mischief. Despite its strong language, however, this new law is not a panacea. The challenge in these cases, as in many Internet defamation cases, is to identify the wrongdoer, says Pierre Grosdidier of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Confusion Over FCA’s Seal Requirements Continues

    Robert J. Sherry

    The Fifth Circuit's decision in Rigsby v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. and the Fourth Circuit's decision in Smith v. Clark/Smoot/Russell reaffirm that federal courts are highly reluctant to dismiss cases brought under the False Claims Act for breaches of its seal provisions. They also reinforce divisions among the circuits concerning the applicable standards for such dismissals, says Robert Sherry of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • A Rose By Any Other Name: EPA Demand Is A Suit In Texas

    Thomas B. Alleman

    The Texas Supreme Court may have had Juliet’s famous thought in mind when it decided McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. v. The Phoenix Insurance Co., holding that a demand letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency constitutes a “suit” that triggers a commercial general liability policy. But Thomas Alleman at Dykema Cox Smith wonders if McGinnes really changes anything.

  • 5 Reasons State Compliance With Clean Power Plan Is Easy

    John Bernetich

    The dire forecast from the group of 15 states that filed an emergency petition seeking a stay of the Clean Power Plan is greatly exaggerated. The final rule allows significant flexibility to utilities and states, and much of the legal infrastructure necessary for states to comply with the final rule is already in place throughout the country, say Ayres Law Group LLP's John Bernetich and Richard Ayres, co-founder of the Natural Reso... (continued)

  • An Important Copyright Preemption Decision From 5th Circ.

    David Harper

    The Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Spear Marketing Inc. v. BancorpSouth Bank verified the broad scope of copyright preemption in the circuit and joined other circuits in holding that materials do not have to be copyrightable for preemption to apply, say David Harper and Jason Bloom of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • The Wild West Of Improper Joinder In North Texas

    Jennifer Gibbs

    Until the law regarding the standard of review for improper joinder is resolved in the Northern District of Texas, practitioners must be aware that whether the matter remains in federal court will be, in large part if not entirely, dependent on the judge that is assigned to the matter upon removal, says Jennifer Gibbs at Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.