Texas

  • August 21, 2014

    Texas Anti-SLAPP Law Covers Legal Filings, Court Rules

    A Texas appeals court said Thursday that a state law intended to curb lawsuits that target the exercise of free speech insulates law firms and parties from speculative legal claims that arise from statements contained in litigation filings.

  • August 21, 2014

    Perry's Lawyers Say Veto Not Linked To Ethics Investigation

    Lawyers for indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry released an affidavit Thursday morning they say shows there's no link between the governor's veto of funding for a state ethics unit — which led to his indictment — and an investigation the ethics unit was conducting into a cancer research agency he supported.

  • August 20, 2014

    Texas’ Suit Against EEOC Over Background Check Policy Axed

    A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas cannot challenge the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's guidance on criminal background checks because the state is not presently at risk of being penalized for refusing to adopt the policy.

  • August 20, 2014

    5th Circ. Cites Hobby Lobby To Decide Eagle Feather Law

    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday ruled in favor of unaffiliated American Indians who sued the U.S. Department of the Interior over their right to possess eagle feathers, remanding the case and instructing the district court to consider the Supreme Court’s recent holding in Hobby Lobby.

  • August 20, 2014

    Deal Ending $7M Fen-Phen Referral Fee Row May Be Near

    A Texas attorney's fight to make a Utah lawyer pay $7 million awarded in a fen-phen referral fee dispute may soon be over, as the parties are nearing a settlement following an appeals court's decision blocking collection efforts in the state, a lawyer involved in the case said Wednesday.

  • August 20, 2014

    Texas Firm Can't Use Immunity To Duck Atty Fraud Claim

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday reversed a grant of attorney immunity to Dallas firm Mackie Wolf & Zientz & Mann PC, saying although the actions the firm took were on behalf of its clients, it couldn’t escape an allegation that it helped perpetuate the use of a fraudulent promissory note.

  • August 20, 2014

    Aetna Wins $8.4M For ER Billing Fraud Conspiracy

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Aetna Life Insurance Co. can take $8.4 million from three health care providers, for defrauding the insurer of millions of dollars by wrongfully posing as emergency rooms to bill it at inflated rates.

  • August 20, 2014

    Deals Rumor Mill: Mylan, Lear, Iliad

    Mylan is among several companies that have made it to the second round of bidding for a mature drug portfolio GlaxoSmithKline is offering, which could be worth as much as $3 billion, while Lear is on the verge of buying premium automotive leather supplier Eagle Ottawa for more than $800 million.

  • August 20, 2014

    India's Sesa Sterlite Takes $83M Hit Over Failed Asarco Deal

    A Texas federal judge has refused to grant Indian natural resources major Sesa Sterlite Ltd. a reprieve from a $83 million judgment arising from its aborted $2.5 billion deal to buy Asarco LLC out of bankruptcy in 2008, ruling that it can’t prioritize payments due to noteholders over its debt to Asarco.

  • August 20, 2014

    Thompson & Knight Gets $960K Malpractice Judgment Nixed

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday reversed a $960,000 malpractice judgment against Thompson & Knight LLP in a suit that sought to hold the firm responsible for failing to discover a title defect in an oil and gas deal, saying there was insufficient evidence to support the damages.

  • August 20, 2014

    Toyota Worker Claims Bias, Retaliation Behind Denial Of Work

    A Toyota Motor Corp. production unit was sued in Texas federal court Tuesday by an employee alleging the company has not allowed her to return to work from medical leave because of a disability and in retaliation for her having filed a sexual harassment and discrimination complaint.

  • August 20, 2014

    GM Urges 5th Circ. To Ax Auto Parts Antitrust Suit

    General Motors LLC urged the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday to uphold the dismissal of a suit accusing the car manufacturer of trying to monopolize the market for certain car parts, claiming an auto parts retailer had failed to show GM’s alleged rebate program amounted to a predatory pricing scheme.

  • August 20, 2014

    DOI Reaps $110M In Gulf Of Mexico Oil Lease Auction

    ConocoPhillips Co. and Chevron Corp. were among the top bidders in the $110 million reaped by the U.S. Department of Interior for oil and gas drilling leases covering over 430,000 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast, the agency said Wednesday.

  • August 20, 2014

    CFPB Fines Auto Lender $2.8M Over Flawed Credit Reporting

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday fined a Texas-based auto lender $2.75 million for failing to fix a computer system that it knew was submitting incorrect information about its customers to credit reporting agencies.

  • August 19, 2014

    Fox Can't Escape Dilution Claim In Exxon Trademark Row

    A Texas federal judge on Monday refused to trim Exxon Mobil Corp.'s trademark infringement suit accusing Fox unit FX Networks LLC of using the signature design of two interlocking Xs for its comedy network FXX, ruling a state-law dilution claim wasn't barred under the Lanham Act.

  • August 19, 2014

    American Realty Accused Of Dodging $63M Award

    American Realty Investors Inc. was slapped with a lawsuit in Texas federal court Tuesday by a Michigan real estate mogul who said the company abused the bankruptcy process and is hiding assets to avoid paying a $63 million judgment stemming from a soured apartment complex deal.

  • August 19, 2014

    Chesapeake Settles Gas Royalty Dispute With Texas City

    A Texas city with property in the Barnett Shale on Tuesday approved a settlement with a Chesapeake Energy Corp. unit that resolves a Texas state court suit alleging the company underpaid natural gas royalties and amends a series of leases covering 1,900 city-owned acres.

  • August 19, 2014

    Schlumberger Suggests Ex-GC Is Behind Second Patent Suit

    Schlumberger Ltd. has filed an amended trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit in Texas state court that suggests its former chief intellectual property lawyer is behind a second patent infringement suit Acacia Research Group launched against the oilfield services company earlier this year.

  • August 19, 2014

    Texas Gov. Waives Arraignment, Faces Corruption Charges

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry waived his right to an arraignment and turned himself in for booking at a Texas courthouse Tuesday afternoon, days after a grand jury indicted him on two felony charges related to allegations of public corruption, vowing to fight the charges.

  • August 19, 2014

    Deals Rumor Mill: Couche-Tard, Apax Partners, TPG Capital

    Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. have made the short list of potential bidders to purchase a $16 billion minority stake in China's Sinopec Sales, while Apax Partners LLP is looking to sell health care information technology unit TriZetto Corp. for up to $3 billion.

Expert Analysis

  • An In-House Lawyer's Top 10 Tips For Outside Counsel

    Francis M. Drelling

    To this day, I have yet to see a litigation hold letter that was written by someone who understands the realities of how a business is actually run. In-house counsel cannot issue decrees to business units that read like they are issued by the king to his subjects, says Francis Drelling, in-house counsel at Specialty Restaurants Corp.

  • A Different Claim Aggregation Method To Avoid SLUSA

    Benjamin P. Edwards

    As the securities class action continues to experience death by a thousand cuts, we may soon see increasing numbers of the "disaggregated class" — a new tactic some plaintiff attorneys have begun to deploy to work around the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act by filing duplicative state court cases, says Benjamin Edwards of Michigan State University College of Law.

  • Stay A Step Ahead Of State Data Breach Laws

    Rebecca S. Eisner

    Businesses should consider encrypting all personal information — not just the information currently required by data breach notification laws, since these laws are constantly being updated to include more elements of personal information within their scope, say Rebecca Eisner and Lei Shen of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Compliance Reigns Supreme As In-House Demographics Shift

    James A. Merklinger

    With more and more traditionalists and baby boomers retiring, the pendulum in corporate law departments will continue to swing toward younger generations. The demographic shift underscores the shift in the skills that different generations prioritize — notably, nonlegal skills, says James Merklinger of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

  • Instant Racing Is Catching On

    Charles W. Galbraith

    The concept of instant racing has been sold politically to legislative bodies in many states as an economic opportunity to revive a struggling horse racing industry, but it could also become direct competition for tribal gaming, say attorneys with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • Nationwide 'Water Crunch' Poses Threat To Fracking

    Thomas D. Goslin

    With over a third of the U.S. suffering moderate to exceptional drought conditions, the risk of litigation over water rights and newly proposed regulations over water use — some specific to the oil and gas industry — have companies exploring alternatives to using freshwater when hydraulically fracturing a well, says Thomas Goslin of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • 'Vicarious Liability' Suits In Vain After 5th Circ. Case

    Patricia T. Barmeyer

    The Fifth Circuit's ruling in The Aransas Project v. Shaw will make it harder for environmental groups to hold state and local regulatory agencies "vicariously liable" for failing to use their authorities to prevent harm to federally protected species, say attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.

  • Public Adjusters Do Not Have Free Pass To The Stand

    Shannon O'Malley

    The Western District of Texas’ recent decision in Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds is a reminder that licensed public adjusters do not automatically qualify as experts on insurance bad faith — which aligns with the U.S. Supreme Court’s view that trial court judges must act as “gatekeepers” who keep unqualified public adjusters off the stand, say Shannon O'Malley and Tyler McGuire of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Dancing Through The Minefield Of FLSA Settlements

    Mark J. Neuberger

    Lynn’s Food Stores Inc. v. United States still represents the majority opinion among federal appellate courts concerning whether to approve a settlement under the Fair Labor Standards Act, however some have considered other factors too, such as the amount of the proposed settlement in relation to the amount of likely recovery, say Mark Neuberger and Angelica Boutwell of Foley & Lardner LLP.

  • Insurers Be Warned, Your Communications Are Discoverable

    Elizabeth V. Kniffen

    Klein v. Federal Insurance Co. and National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh PA v. Donaldson Co. Inc. both involved requests for production of reinsurance information and illustrate that courts are willing to set aside objections when the party seeking production can articulate the relevance of the communications beyond the interpretation of the underlying policy, says Elizabeth Kniffen of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.