Texas

  • November 26, 2014

    Safety Group Can't Intervene In $175M FCA Suit, 5th Circ. Told

    Trinity Industries Inc. has urged a Fifth Circuit panel to not allow the Center for Auto Safety to intervene in a $175 million False Claims Act suit accusing Trinity of selling dangerous guardrails to the Federal Highway Administration, saying that the district court has already agreed to evaluate whether to unseal the documents the center is seeking.

  • November 26, 2014

    Investors Sue To Halt $35B Halliburton, Baker Hughes Deal

    Investors in Baker Hughes Inc. launched two similar putative class actions Wednesday in Delaware and Texas trying to halt the company's proposed $34.6 billion merger with Halliburton Co., arguing the board approved the deal at too low a price to avoid a proxy battle and their possible ouster.

  • November 26, 2014

    Conoco Claims PDVSA Dodging Payout Via Secret Citgo Sale

    Venezuelan subsidiaries of ConocoPhillips this week alleged in Texas state court that Venezuela’s state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA is secretly liquidating its U.S. assets in Citgo Petroleum Corp. in a bid to avoid paying expected international arbitration awards.

  • November 26, 2014

    Texas City Immune From Atty Fees In Energy Contract Dispute

    A Texas appeals court on Wednesday rebuffed a plea for attorneys' fees from Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Inc. in a contract dispute alleging that the city of San Antonio owed money to two industrial contractors, finding that the city public service board had governmental immunity.

  • November 26, 2014

    State Farm’s $310M Texas Rate Fight Sent Back To Regulator

    A Texas appellate court on Wednesday largely rebuffed State Farm Lloyd’s challenge of a Texas Department of Insurance order to refund homeowners insurance policyholders about $310 million for excessive rates charged over a five-year period, but held the agency’s rate calculation for several of those years was arbitrary and capricious.

  • November 26, 2014

    5th Circ. Told Texas Abortion Law Overburdens Providers

    A group of Texas abortion providers on Monday responded to a Fifth Circuit appeal by officials and anti-abortion groups to uphold a controversial state abortion law that could shutter all but seven clinics, arguing that the new rules place an unreasonable burden on abortion facilities.

  • November 26, 2014

    Texas Investigator Accused Of Stealing $200K In Comic Books

    A former investigator with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office stole more than $200,000 worth of rare comic books from the subject of a 2012 embezzlement case, according to an indictment filed Wednesday in a Houston state court.

  • November 26, 2014

    Miller Weisbrod Can't Buck Suit Over Eye Doctor TV Ads

    A Texas appellate court on Tuesday refused to knock out an ophthalmologist’s defamation suit against Miller Weisbrod LLP over television ads the firm aired about the doctor, saying the ad was commercial speech and didn’t qualify for protection under a state free speech law.

  • November 26, 2014

    Energy Future, Sierra Club Reach Deal Over $6.4M Fee Award

    Energy Future Holdings Corp. has agreed to forgo a $6.4 million judgment against the Sierra Club in a deal that will resolve all of the environmental group’s pending and threatened litigation over alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company's coal plants, according to documents filed in Delaware bankruptcy court.

  • November 26, 2014

    Texas Panel Boots Suit Over Untimely Discrimination Claim

    A Texas appellate panel on Tuesday tossed a former hospital worker's lawsuit alleging a law firm failed to file her employment discrimination lawsuit within the statute of limitations, saying her claim couldn't survive summary judgment without expert testimony showing her underlying case was viable.

  • November 25, 2014

    Discover Subsidiary Hits Visa With Texas Antitrust Suit

    Discover Financial Services' Pulse Network LLC sued Visa Inc. in Texas federal court on Friday, accusing the credit card company of holding a monopoly on a network of debit services to keep competitors at bay.

  • November 25, 2014

    Texas Jury Rejects Atty's Claim Energy Co. Fired Him For Age

    A Texas jury on Monday cleared Norway-based Petroleum Geo-Services Inc. and its American subsidiary of allegations that it fired an attorney for age discrimination in a case that had once accused the company of firing the man for reporting company fraud.

  • November 25, 2014

    Ex-PilePro CFO Seeks To Disqualify Firm In IP Theft Case

    A former chief financial officer of manufacturing company PilePro LLC, who allegedly left the company and made off with its patents, asked a Texas federal judge Monday to disqualify the company’s attorneys, Shumway Van & Hansen, because the firm represented him while he was still an employee.

  • November 25, 2014

    Texas Court Strikes Down Medicaid Payment Hold Rules

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday invalidated three Texas Health and Human Services Commission rules related to payment holds imposed during Medicaid fraud investigations, holding they violate due process rights.

  • November 25, 2014

    American Energy Acquires $440M Permian Basin Drilling Land

    American Energy Partners LP's Permian Basin subsidiary said Monday that it agreed to acquire a $440 million drilling property in Texas and, in connection, issued $515 million of 8 percent exchangeable junior subordinated notes due in 2022 on the same day.

  • November 25, 2014

    Texas Court Rejects Morgan Stanley Bid To Exit MBS Suit

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday rebuffed Morgan Stanley's attempt at exiting a lawsuit brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. alleging the financial giant made false statements and misled investors when it underwrote bad mortgage-backed securities, finding that the appellate court had no jurisdiction.

  • November 25, 2014

    Texas Malpractice Suit Puts Fee Agreements In Crosshairs

    The Texas Supreme Court is weighing whether to let law firms force their clients to arbitrate potential malpractice claims while retaining the right to go to court to recover unpaid fees — a contract provision that some experts say allows firms to takes advantage of unsophisticated clients and play both sides of the system.

  • November 25, 2014

    Helen Of Troy CEO Targets Board In $60M Suit After Ouster

    The founder and longtime CEO of Helen of Troy Ltd. — owner of the Revlon, OXO and Braun brands — sued the company and board members for fraud in Texas state court Monday, alleging they cheated him out of between $40 million and $60 million in separation pay and benefits after groundlessly firing him.

  • November 24, 2014

    Ex-ArthroCare CEO Wants Retrial Over $756M Fraud Scheme

    Convicted former ArthroCare Corp. CEO Michael Baker is asking a Texas federal court to grant him a new trial, saying his conviction for an estimated $756 million earnings-fraud scheme was tainted by a deal-breaking mistake during the jury selection process.

  • November 24, 2014

    Cancer-Stricken Ex-Boss Sues Unlicensed Atty For $8M Heist

    An unlicensed Houston immigration attorney and his partners embezzled more than $8 million over the span of nine years and stole clients from a former employer, according to a complaint filed in Texas court Friday.

Expert Analysis

  • 3 Takeaways From Post-Octane Fitness Cases

    Megan Woodworth

    A review of recent district court opinions assessing motions for attorneys' fees under Section 285 provides some support for the prediction that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Octane Fitness would result in an increase in attorney fee awards to prevailing defendants, say Megan Woodworth and Megan Wood of Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

  • States Still Fighting Bad-Faith Patent Infringement Claims

    Michael Martinez de Andino

    With 17 states having enacted legislation against bad-faith patent infringement assertions and 12 reviewing proposed legislation, states are sending a clear message that the current patent demand letter business model is insufficient to protect companies from unscrupulous patent holders, say Michael Martinez de Andino and Matthew Nigriny of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • What If States Opt Out Of EPA's Existing Source Rule?

    Scott C. Oostdyk

    The initial legal question surrounding the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is whether long-standing principles of federalism allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to compel states to enforce a federal program like it — legal precedent establishes that the EPA cannot, say Scott Oostdyk and Duncan Getchell Jr. of McGuireWoods LLP.

  • Free Trade, Comity And The Bankruptcy Code

    Debora Hoehne

    The free movement of goods, services, people and capital across territorial boundaries seems to be fertile ground for litigation regarding the enforcement of foreign judgments, as in the case of Elcoteq Inc., where the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas tackled issues of comity and the extraterritorial reach of the automatic stay, says Debora Hoehne of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Obama's Immigration Action Is Cause For Celebration

    Robert S. Whitehill

    Though implementation of President Obama's announced changes to U.S. immigration policy on Nov. 20 will take some time and may be slowed by legal action or accelerated by Congress enacting immigration reform, the president's executive action will give hope and relief to millions, which is cause for celebration, says Robert Whitehill of Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Keeping Pace With Texas Hail Claim 'Case-Runners'

    G. Brian Odom

    It cannot be legitimately disputed that the increasingly common practice of "case-running" among contractors, public adjusters and policyholder attorneys is in large part to blame for the increase in litigated Texas insurance claims — it is all about extracting additional money from the insurance industry, say G. Brian Odom and Tyler McGuire of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Why Can’t We Be (Facebook) Friends? You Be The Judge

    Peter J. Gallagher

    Some jurisdictions prohibit judges from being social media “friends” with any lawyer who appears regularly before them, while others do not prohibit the practice unless the “friendship” also implicates one of the canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The latter seems to be the better approach, says Peter Gallagher of Porzio Bromberg & Newman PC.

  • There Might Still Be Hope For Texas Franchise Tax Refunds

    Geoffrey Polma

    Companies whose Texas franchise tax liability would be reduced by applying the Multistate Tax Compact’s “three-factor” apportionment rather than Texas’ default “single-factor” apportionment should carefully monitor the progress of Graphic Packaging Inc. v. Combs, and should consider taking prophylactic action to preserve potential refund claims, say attorneys with Locke Lord LLP.

  • What The Hail Is Going On With Texas Insurance Claims?

    Brett A. Wallingford

    Devonshire Real Estate & Asset Management LP v. American Insurance Company illustrates many of the issues insurers face over hail claims, particularly that a claim is almost never wholly presented with the initial measure — there always seem to be additional supplements forthcoming and new allegations of damage in litigation, says Brett Wallingford of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Texas Cites Other States In Fighting A Fracking Ban

    Barclay Nicholson

    Motions filed by the Texas General Land Office and Texas Oil and Gas Association against Denton's hydraulic fracturing ban demonstrate that both parties have structured their filings in a manner to align with the reasoning of courts that have invalidated local fracking bans, say Barclay Nicholson and Johnjerica Hodge of Norton Rose Fulbright.