Texas’ high court on Friday freed four University of Texas doctors from a defamation suit brought by a medical resident, rejecting the resident's attempt to skirt a state law that prevents him from naming both the state university and its employees in the suit.
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Texas High Court Frees Doctors From Defamation Suit

Texas’ high court on Friday freed four University of Texas doctors from a defamation suit brought by a medical resident, rejecting the resident's attempt to skirt a state law that prevents him from naming both the state university and its employees in the suit. Read more »

Texas Justices Will Rehear USAA Bad Faith Liability Row

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday granted a request from USAA Texas Lloyds Co. to rehear its long-running dispute with policyholder Gail Menchaca, who alleges the insurer acted in bad faith by refusing to investigate damage from 2008's Hurricane Ike. Read more »

Doc In Spine-Surgery Row Can't Appeal To Texas High Court

The Texas Supreme Court declined Friday to hear appeals from both a doctor and the estate of a deceased patient suing him for allegedly bungling a spinal surgery, refusing to toss the suit and leaving in place an appellate ruling that the family must submit an amended expert report. Read more »

DEALS

Oil And Gas Co. ATX Receives $780M Equity Commitment

Newly formed, Texas-based oil and gas company ATX Energy Partners has received a $780 million line of equity financing from private equity firms Warburg Pincus LLC, Yorktown Partners LLC and Pine Brook Partners, the company said Friday. Read more »

PEOPLE

House-Senate Negotiators Approve GOP Tax Bill

Republicans on Friday signed off on changes to their $1.5 trillion tax cut bill to settle differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation, even as details of the final bill remain largely hidden. Read more »

Trucking Co. Says Malpractice Led To $32M Jury Verdict

An Illinois-based trucking company on Thursday lobbed legal malpractice claims in state court against the attorneys who helped defend it in a Texas personal injury trial that saw a $32 million jury verdict returned against it, saying the attorneys could have done more to protect it from such a large adverse verdict. Read more »

Final GOP Tax Bill Settles On 21% Corporate Rate

Republicans unveiled the final version of their tax cut bill on Friday that would impose a 21 percent flat rate on corporations, set the maximum individual tax rate at 37 percent and largely adopt the Senate’s proposal for pass-through businesses. Read more »

Houston Software Co. CEO Pleads Not Guilty In $32M Fraud

The founder and chief executive officer of a Houston software development company pled not guilty Thursday in Texas federal court of charges of playing a role in a $32 million securities and wire fraud scheme by lying to investors. Read more »

Texas Justices Keep Noble On The Hook For $63M Indemnity

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to revisit its decision that Noble Energy Inc. has to indemnify ConocoPhillips in connection with $63 million in environmental cleanup costs despite arguments that Noble’s predecessor wasn’t properly told about the indemnity agreement. Read more »

Texas Justices Pass On Bid To Ax New Trial Against Attys

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to disturb a lower court's decision ordering a new trial and giving a Dallas real estate brokerage a chance to pursue punitive damages against lawyers it says botched a chance to limit liability in a real estate fraud case, leading to a nearly $9 million judgment. Read more »

Brothers Will See Jail Time Over Turtle Trafficking

Two brothers who admitted to trafficking alligator snapping turtles can’t escape without a bite, a Texas federal judge held Friday, ordering them to serve 21 months and 16 months in prison, respectively, for illegally taking and selling members of the threatened species. Read more »

EXPERT ANALYSIS

Opinion

Jurors Should Have An Active Voice In Trials

We tell jurors how important they are to the successful implementation of our judicial system, but oftentimes we don’t treat them with the reverence they deserve. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas, Lisa Blue of Baron and Blue, and Robert Hirschhorn of Cathy E. Bennett & Associates advocate three jury system improvements that will give jurors an active voice and role in our civil and criminal jury trials. Read more »

Alternative Fees: My Experience At Bartlit Beck

Bartlit Beck was a wonderful place to work for 18 years, and the lawyers there are not only excellent attorneys but also great people. That said, and stating my biases upfront, it is possible for me to look analytically at the Bartlit Beck fee model and make some observations on the pros and cons of one version of alternative fees, says J.B. Heaton, founder of investment analytics company Conjecture LLC. Read more »

LEGAL INDUSTRY

IRS Floats Tiered Partnership Rules Under New Audit Regime

The IRS on Friday released highly anticipated guidance on a new partnership tax audit regime to address, among other things, how tax adjustments should be taken into account by so-called tiered partnerships that have pass-through entities as partners. Read more »

GC Cheat Sheet: The Hottest Corporate News Of The Week

Experts shared with Law360 tips for helping employers keep the holiday festivities merry while limiting their legal risk, President Donald Trump tapped the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Chai Feldblum for a new term and two Senate Democrats challenged the National Labor Relations Board's new general counsel. These are some of the top stories in corporate legal news you may have missed this past week. Read more »

Law Firm Diversity Is Uneven Across US Cities, Report Says

African-American and other minority lawyers continue to be underrepresented in U.S. law firms, a nationwide report released Thursday has found, but the failure to build a diverse workforce is much more stark in some cities, such as Boston, than in others, such as Miami. Read more »

Social Media Can Create Confidentiality Exception, ABA Says

The fact that a piece of information about a former client is publicly available doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not subject to the lawyer’s duty to keep their confidences close, according to a Friday opinion from the American Bar Association. Read more »

Litigation Attorney Hiring To Tick Up In 2018, Survey Says

Litigation is expected to be a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster legal hiring market during the first six months of 2018, a survey of 200 law firm and corporate legal department hiring professionals has found. Read more »

2nd Circ. Gets Kozinski Sex Probe Amid New Reports

Federal court leaders moved quickly Friday to answer accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior by U.S. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, sending a misconduct investigation to an oversight council at the Second Circuit amid new reports that brought the total number of public accusers to 15. Read more »

In Case You Missed It: Hottest Firms And Stories On Law360

For those who missed out, here's a look back at the law firms, stories and expert analyses that generated the most buzz on Law360 last week. Read more »

Q&A

A Chat With Orrick COO Laura Saklad

In this new monthly series, legal recruiting experts Amanda Brady and Amy Mallow from Major Lindsey & Africa interview law firm management from Am Law 200 firms about how they are navigating an increasingly competitive business environment. The first in this series is a conversation with Laura Saklad, chief operations officer for Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Read more »

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