Texas

  • January 30, 2015

    Texas Supreme Court Takes Up Chesapeake Gas Royalty Feud

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case over whether gas post-production costs may be deducted from royalties, in a lawsuit against Chesapeake Exploration LLC for allegedly underpaying royalties to a landowner’s estate.

  • January 30, 2015

    Texas High Court Takes Appeal Bond Query In $600M Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a question of how to calculate the defendant's appeal bond in a $600 million case that alleged two Longview Energy Co. executives breached their fiduciary duty to the company by using proprietary information to buy mineral leases in the Eagle Ford Shale.

  • January 30, 2015

    AIG Unit Dodges Hotel's Biz Loss Claim Over Broken AC

    A Texas federal judge granted summary judgment to AIG unit Lexington Insurance Co. on Thursday in a coverage suit centering on eight months' worth of alleged business losses for a Crowne Plaza hotel near the Houston Astrodome after its air conditioner broke.

  • January 30, 2015

    Texas Justices Revive $21M Oil Royalties Suit Over Well Site

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday found that claims by landowners are not time-barred in a $21 million oil-and-gas royalty suit alleging Samson Lone Star LP filed fraudulent public records, ruling that the family did its due diligence and reversing an appellate court.

  • January 30, 2015

    Texas Industries' Settlement In $2.7B Merger Row Gets OK

    A Texas federal judge on Friday preliminarily approved a settlement in an investor class action alleging Texas Industries Inc.’s $2.7 billion sale to Martin Marietta Materials Inc. undervalued the Texas cement maker while lining board members' pockets.

  • January 30, 2015

    Order Not Final Without Atty Fee Ruling: Texas High Court

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday upheld the dismissal of an appeal by Farm Bureau County Mutual Insurance Co. in a dispute over insurance coverage for an underlying tort action, ruling that the trial court's order wasn't final and appealable because it didn't address the parties' claims for attorneys' fees.

  • January 30, 2015

    Latham’s Shake Shack IPO Grabs Spotlight Amid Busy Week

    Shake Shack Inc.’s upsized initial public offering, led by Latham & Watkins LLP, snatched the spotlight this week as a total of 10 companies, including an electricity-focused real estate investment trust and eight life sciences companies, together raised nearly $1.2 billion, suggesting 2015 is shaping up to be another record-setting year.

  • January 30, 2015

    Texas Justices To Review Faulty Deed, Gas Lease Dispute

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday granted review to a petitioner trying to hold on to mineral and gas rights acquired with the purchase of a land parcel due to an error in the seller's deed, after an appeals court ruled in favor of the property's original owners.

  • January 30, 2015

    UT Wants High Court Review In $11M Tax Refund Suit

    The University of Texas has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Fifth Circuit decision that denied the school an $11 million refund for taxes levied on its medical residents under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, arguing the decision conflicts with another circuit court over the definition of "students."

  • January 30, 2015

    CMS Extends Bans On New Providers In 6 States

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday once again extended bans on new ambulance and home health care providers in six states, an apparent sign that regulators and prosecutors need more time to tackle rampant fraud in major metropolitan areas.

  • January 30, 2015

    Texas Farm Bureau Wants Water Well Accommodation

    The Texas Farm Bureau said Thursday it supports a ranch owner’s attempt to get the city of Lubbock to “reasonably accommodate” the ranch in a dispute over whether the city can drill water wells to reach a severed groundwater estate.

  • January 30, 2015

    Texas High Court To Hear Dispute Over Plains' $83M Award

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a dispute between Plains Exploration & Production Co. and Torch Energy Advisors Inc. over Torch’s contractual claim to half of an $83 million judgment tied to oil and gas leases it sold to Plains.

  • January 30, 2015

    Ex-Texas Gov. Perry Tries Again To Nix Criminal Charges

    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has once again asked a state court to dismiss an indictment charging him with abusing his authority, saying Friday that each of the two counts against him are too vague and fail to allege a criminal offense.

  • January 30, 2015

    Electricity-Focused InfraREIT Shares Soar In Public Debut

    Shares in electric transmission-focused InfraREIT Inc. jumped nearly 30 percent above the first expected initial public offering range in the REIT’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, opening at $27.10 per share.

  • January 30, 2015

    5th Circ. Nixes Ruling On Undocumented Immigrant Sentences

    The Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court's rulings that the government's decision to not decrease by three points the offense level of two men who pleaded guilty to illegal reentry after removal from the United States was an error insufficient to warrant correction, saying Thursday the court erred.

  • January 30, 2015

    BofA, JPMorgan Sink $222M Into Texas Wind Farm

    General Electric Co. and German power and gas giant E.ON SE said Thursday that they had secured about $222 million in tax equity financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JPM Capital Corp. in return for an interest in a 211-megawatt wind farm in the Texas Panhandle.

  • January 30, 2015

    Tech Giants Back Cisco Fed. Circ. Appeal In $16M Wi-Fi Row

    Apple Inc., Intel Corp. and others urged the Federal Circuit to vacate a $16 million damages award that a Texas federal judge ordered Cisco Systems Inc. to pay for violating a Wi-Fi patent belonging to an Australian national research agency, saying the judge used a flawed methodology to arrive at that figure.

  • January 29, 2015

    Allstate, Fidelity Beat FCA Suit Over Inflated Katrina Claims

    A Texas federal judge Thursday dismissed a False Claims Act suit alleging Allstate Insurance Co., Fidelity National Financial Inc. and other insurers overstated damages for government-backed insurance claims after Hurricane Katrina, ruling the alleged fraud was already widely known through media reports, Congressional hearings and government investigations.

  • January 29, 2015

    Schlumberger Wants Former In-House Atty DQ'd In Patent Row

    Schlumberger Ltd. asked a Texas federal judge to disqualify attorneys representing Parallel Separation Innovations LLC in its suit alleging Schlumberger infringed a shale drilling equipment patent, arguing Thursday that the oilfield company's former in-house counsel now working for PSI’s parent wasn't properly walled off from the case.

  • January 29, 2015

    Texas Bill Could Open EFH Unit’s Assets To Other Generators

    A Texas state lawmaker on Wednesday filed a new bill that could clear the way for power generators to buy a subsidiary of bankrupt Energy Future Holdings Corp., by lifting a 20 percent cap on how much power generators can own on Texas’ electrical grid.

Expert Analysis

  • Key Questions When Selecting E-Discovery Vendors

    David Houlihan

    While e-discovery remains a critical pain point in litigation, the "solutions" supporting its processes continue to evolve. In order to help organizations navigate the sea of options, we conducted research with 21 organizations across e-discovery market segments to understand the factors involved in successful e-discovery investments, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: 2014 JPML Practice Trends

    Alan E. Rothman

    At its December session, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation considered the second attempt by a distributor of dietary supplements to create an MDL proceeding, raising the prospect of the first Hawaii MDL proceeding in nearly 20 years. But as we gear up for the panel hearing on Thursday, let's also consider how JPML trends of 2014 compare with prior years, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • When Scientific Research Becomes False Advertising

    Sandra Edelman

    Publicizing the results of scientific research in advertising or promotional material may enhance a company’s reputation or increase product sales, but it is important to do so carefully. The Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Eastman Chem. Co. v. PlastiPure Inc. demonstrates that the use of scientific research can lead to liability for false advertising under the Lanham Act, says Sandra Edelman of Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • 10 Tips For Downsizing Workforces In An Energy Crunch

    Steve Shardonofsky

    While the energy sector is no stranger to the employment effects of cyclical oil prices, small and midsized oil field services companies that grew up during the recent U.S. energy boom will likely bear the brunt of falling oil prices. Further, these companies face new legal risks and obligations when downsizing that were nonexistent during the oil bust of the 1980s, say Steve Shardonofsky and Brian Wadsworth of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • American Needle In A Haystack: The Cloned Horses Case

    Zachary Caplan

    Although the Fifth Circuit technically based its recent decision in Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture v. American Quarter Horse Association on insufficient evidence of conspiracy, the opinion really seemed to turn on the single entity analysis under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in American Needle Inc. v. NFL, says Zachary Caplan of Berger & Montague PC.

  • 6 Ways Technology Hobbles Attorney Efforts To Recruit Clients

    Howard Breuer

    While empowering attorneys to blog, host sophisticated websites and share news via social media, technology has also brought new challenges. There are six key areas where technology — or the discord between technology and state rules on attorney advertising — has created client-recruitment problems that lawyers didn’t have a decade ago, says Howard Breuer of legal industry consulting firm ONE400.

  • Fracking Bans May Trigger Civil Authority Coverage After All

    Walter J. Andrews

    A recent Law360 guest article suggests a number of reasons why civil authority coverage will not be implicated by local fracking bans. The article does not, however, fully address three important issues that will impact the question of whether civil authority coverage is, in fact, triggered, say attorneys with Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Texas Transmission Line Cases Are Growing In Complexity

    Todd F. Kimbrough

    Recent Public Utility Commission of Texas dockets suggest that the commission is reclaiming a more significant role in analyzing and determining the “need” for new transmission lines. If this trend continues, electric transmission utilities and PUCT practitioners will likely see a return to the highly quantitative scrutiny of transmission projects as part of the certificate of convenience and necessity analysis in dockets, says Tod... (continued)

  • 5th Circ. Highlights Importance Of Claim Investigation

    Kristen C. Cummings

    Based on the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Santacruz v. Allstate Texas Lloyd’s Inc., an insurer that “reasonably believes” it has a basis to deny coverage should still make sure it conducts a sufficient investigation into the basis supporting its belief. Failure to do so could result in a finding that the insurer breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing, says Kristin Cummings of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.