Texas

  • July 25, 2014

    Dallas Leader Pleads Not Guilty To Bribery, Fraud Charges

    Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price pled not guilty Friday to federal charges that he used his office and political power to obtain more than $1 million in bribes, evaded taxes on the allegedly illicit income, and helped businesses that were paying him get valuable contracts.

  • July 25, 2014

    Dealmakers Q&A: Greenberg Traurig’s Darrell Windham

    The merger and acquisition and public capital markets are very active and hot right now. Price-earnings multiples and debt leverage ratios are very high and continue to climb. It is a very good time to sell a profitable and growing business, says Darrell Windham of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • July 24, 2014

    BNP Paribas Reaches $80M Deal In Federal Credit FCA Suit

    BNP Paribas SA and two affiliates have agreed to pay $80 million to settle the federal government’s False Claims Act suit over a scheme to fraudulently obtain government financing for international shipments under a U.S. Department of Agriculture credit program, according a Texas federal court order filed Thursday.

  • July 24, 2014

    Andrews Kurth Atty Who Repped Allen Stanford To Leave Firm

    An Andrews Kurth LLP partner and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigator who represented Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford will leave the firm, which says his departure is unrelated to its settlement last month of a $51 million malpractice suit involving the partner.

  • July 24, 2014

    Texas Court OKs Sempra Energy Ex-Exec's Back Pay Award

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday affirmed a judgment that requires Sempra Energy Trading LLC to pay its former managing director back salary, severance and additional bonuses he was promised orally by the company’s former CEO but never got in writing.

  • July 24, 2014

    Olymbec Group Picks Up Dallas Skyscraper From Berkeley

    Canada-based Olymbec Group bought a 49-story office tower in downtown Dallas from Berkeley Investments Inc. that’s home to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Neiman Marcus and a unit of Southcross Energy Partners, broker CBRE announced Thursday.

  • July 24, 2014

    Forest Oil Can't Shake $24.5M Radioactive Waste Judgment

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday refused to throw out a $24.5 million judgment against Forest Oil Corp. over the contamination of a contracted landowner’s property with radioactive material and other waste, finding it is not clear that a member of the arbitration panel that issued the award was biased.

  • July 24, 2014

    Halliburton Wins Discovery Stay In Securities Class Action

    A Texas federal judge has granted an emergency motion from Halliburton Co. to stay discovery in a securities class action involving liability from asbestos litigation while the issue of class certification is revisited following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark June decision in the case.

  • July 24, 2014

    5th Circ. Remands Denbury Class Action To State Court

    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday remanded a class action brought against oil and gas producer Denbury Onshore LLC to Louisiana state court, denying a bid by the company to remove the suit — filed by lessors and royalty owners claiming damages over the negligent operation of a failed well — to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act.

  • July 24, 2014

    Latham Reps Breitburn In $3B QR Energy Buy

    Breitburn Energy Partners LP has agreed to buy QR Energy LP in a deal valuing QR Energy at $3 billion including debt that will make Breitburn the largest oil producer organized as a master limited partnership, the companies said Thursday.

  • July 24, 2014

    DLA Piper Gets $1.1M Negligence Judgment Axed In Texas

    A Texas appeals court on Wednesday reversed a $1.1 million judgment against DLA Piper, finding that the former majority shareholder of defunct security technology company IdentiPHI Inc. lacked standing to pursue his claims against the firm.

  • July 24, 2014

    Google Dodging Disclosure In Patent Row, Rockstar Says

    Rockstar Consortium LP, a patent-licensing group backed by tech giants including Apple Inc. and Microsoft Inc., urged a Texas federal judge to reject prior art references by Google intended to invalidate the seven asserted patents, saying that Google's tactic violates discovery rules.

  • July 24, 2014

    DynCorp Hit With $9M Suit Over Afghan Base Subcontract

    Defense contractor DynCorp International LLC was hit with a breach of contract suit Wednesday in Texas federal court by subcontractor C3PO International Ltd., which alleges DynCorp’s decision to abandon a C3PO-constructed facility in Afghanistan following a bomb blast cost the company over $9 million in lost revenue.

  • July 24, 2014

    Dealmakers Q&A: Gardere's Quan Vu

    I have been involved in a deal where the lawyers of one of the parties spent three hours giving comments to the first nine pages of a 100-plus page indenture. Those lawyers obtained a lot of favorable provisions for their client — up until the time their client got kicked out of the deal, says Quan Vu of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.

  • July 23, 2014

    ETP Expected To Win More Than $500M In Pipeline Case

    A Texas judge is expected to award Energy Transfer Partners LP more than $500 million after the company won a jury finding that Enterprise Products Partners LP had breached a partnership agreement to build a crude oil pipeline, sources say.

  • July 23, 2014

    5th Circ. Sides With Anheuser, Jets In 'Ultimate Fan' Row

    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday held that sports marketing company Action Ink Inc. had abandoned a service mark to use the phrase “Ultimate Fan” in the context of promotional contests at sporting events, affirming lower court decisions in favor of Anheuser-Busch Inc. and New York Jets LLC.

  • July 23, 2014

    Twitter, Others Dodge TQP's Encryption Patent Suits

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday tossed two infringement suits that patent-holding company TQP Development Inc. lodged against Twitter Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Hertz Corp. and others over a patent covering data encryption technology, ruling TQP had to seek their dismissal pursuant to settlement agreements.

  • July 23, 2014

    Texas Appeals Court Tosses Suit Over GHG Emissions Ruling

    A Texas appeals court on Wednesday said a group of citizens who petitioned the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can’t challenge the denial of their petition in court under the state’s Administrative Procedure Act.

  • July 23, 2014

    5th Circ. Nixes Remand Of Elliott Co. Asbestos Suit

    The Fifth Circuit overturned a district court decision to remand to state court an asbestos case against turbomachinery manufacturer Elliott Co., ruling Wednesday that the company wasn't required to file a notice of removal to federal court since the case had already been removed.

  • July 23, 2014

    SEC Says Stanford's Criminal Conduct Charges 'Slanderous'

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday urged a Texas federal judge to reject convicted Ponzi schemer Robert Allen Stanford’s call to appoint a special prosecutor and advise the court of criminal conduct by a court-appointed officer, calling his allegations “slanderous, sensational and unsupported.”

Expert Analysis

  • Your State Contract May Prohibit Offshore Outsourcing

    Merle DeLancey

    A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General resurfaced the issue of offshoring restrictions in the context of Medicaid contracts. This easily overlooked issue has been percolating to the top of the list for government agencies, state attorneys general and, perhaps, qui tam plaintiffs’ attorneys, say attorneys with Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

  • Code Trumps Contract In The 5th Circ.

    Debra McElligott

    The Fifth Circuit opinion in Goldsby v. 804 Congress suggests that even where parties agree upon foreclosure-related fees, costs and charges before a bankruptcy, Section 506(b) of the Bankruptcy Code may still trump the provisions of their contract, says Debra McElligott of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Costs And Benefits Of Opting Out Of Texas' Workers' Comp

    Janet A. Hendrick

    Because Texas' workers' compensation is a "no fault" program, employees of subscribers are rarely allowed to sue their employer for damages in connection with work-related injuries, however employees of nonsubscribing employees may bring negligence and related claims as a result of on-the-job injuries, says Janet Hendrick of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • Lines Drawn In Tesla Direct Sales Battle

    Robert A. Zinn

    Given Tesla’s current tiny share of the U.S. auto market, the debate over Tesla’s direct sales to consumers may seem like much ado about nothing. But the direct sales model is also being studied by both new Chinese automakers and mainstream U.S. and global manufacturers as they plan their future U.S. marketing strategies, says Robert Zinn of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt LLP.

  • An Inventive Way To Remove Pure State Court Claims

    Michael E. Blumenfeld

    Nondiverse state court defendants facing purely state law claims that seek to secure federal jurisdiction should determine whether a good faith basis exists to pursue a third-party action against a federal actor in order to trigger the representative U.S. Attorney’s certification and remove such claims under the Westfall Act, say Michael Blumenfeld and Jonathan Singer of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • Texas High Court Provides Certainty Over O&G Operations

    Stephanie E. Kinzel-Tapper

    The Texas Supreme Court's recent ruling in Marcia Fuller French v. Occidental Permian Ltd. upheld the settled expectations of parties to oil and gas leases and confirmed they apply even with respect to enhanced recovery operations — welcome news to lessors with such operations, say Stephanie Kinzel-Tapper and Carter Williams of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • Texas District Court Finds Out 'What The Hail Is Going On'

    Brett A. Wallingford

    Judge Jane Boyle of the Northern District of Texas in Hamilton Properties v. American Insurance Co. addressed issues common in hundreds — if not thousands — of pending Texas hail damage lawsuits, and took strong action in response to such suits, says Brett Wallingford of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Minimum Wage Mania Among Cities And States

    James S. McNeill

    The trend of indexing minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index will have significant, long-term implications for states and municipalities, telling us two things: minimum wage rates will likely continue to rise annually and will bring with them an increase in potential wage liability exposure for employers, say James McNeill and Peter Stockburger of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.

  • OPINION: Let's Financially Reward Law Firm Diversity

    Patricia K. Gillette

    It only took the threat of a 10 cent cost increase to make people bring their own bags to Bay Area grocery stores. What if we gave partners an extra $10,000 for increasing diversity in their firms? asks Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP partner Patricia Gillette.

  • Crucial Predictive Coding Case Law: Progressive V. Delaney

    Emily Cobb

    Any practitioner considering predictive coding should fully consider Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen’s reasoning in Progressive Casualty Insurance v. Delaney and the potential pitfalls associated with failure to consistently cooperate, say Emily Cobb and Annamaria Enenajor of Ropes & Gray LLP.