• December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 15, 2017

    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.

  • December 14, 2017

    AGs Want High Court To OK Microsoft Overseas Data Access

    A coalition of 35 state attorneys general urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to strike down a ruling that the federal government can’t access user data stored overseas by Microsoft, saying the “remarkable” decision gives too much control to private companies, while the European Commission and the U.K. and Irish governments separately weighed in on the dispute.

  • December 14, 2017

    Texas Jury Partly Clears Ex-Servergy CEO At SEC Trial

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission scored a narrow trial victory this week when a Texas federal jury found a former technology executive liable for a single count of negligence but cleared him of several more serious claims lodged by the Wall Street regulator over the alleged way he promoted investments in his company, Servergy Inc.

  • December 14, 2017

    Ex-Houston Tech Co. CEO Charged With $30M Investor Fraud

    The former chief executive of a Texas software company was charged by federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday with defrauding investors out of around $30 million and embezzling upwards of $7 million from the company.

  • December 14, 2017

    Cobalt Hits Ch. 11, Seeks To Stall Securities Litigation

    Mired in $2.8 billion of funded debt and reeling from depressed oil and gas prices and ongoing shareholder litigation, exploration and production company Cobalt International Energy Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Texas on Thursday with the expressed hope of driving a value-maximizing sale of its assets.

  • December 14, 2017

    Texas Panel Flips Dismissal Bid Nix In Patient Death Suit

    A Texas appellate panel said Thursday a trial judge shouldn't have denied a dismissal bid in a medical malpractice suit alleging a doctor caused a patient's death by failing to timely order exploratory surgery, saying the estate’s expert testimony was "conclusory and inconsistent."

  • December 14, 2017

    Senate Confirms Gibson Dunn Vet For 5th Circ.

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP partner James C. Ho is heading to the Fifth Circuit after a Senate vote Thursday confirmed him to the post as President Donald Trump’s 12th appellate judge confirmed this year.

  • December 14, 2017

    Texas Jury Hits BBVA Compass With $98M Fraud Verdict

    A Dallas County jury on Wednesday slammed BBVA Compass bank with a $98 million verdict, finding in favor of a developer who alleged that the bank committed fraud while the parties were engaged in loan renewal negotiations stemming from the development of three subdivisions in Tarrant County, Texas.

  • December 14, 2017

    DaVita Unit To Pay $64M To Resolve FCA, Kickback Claims

    The pharmacy unit of DaVita Inc. has agreed to pay $63.7 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it improperly billed and overcharged federal and state health care programs and violated the Anti-Kickback Statute by providing financial inducements to patients, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

  • December 14, 2017

    Royal Caribbean Wants Harvey Class Attys Sanctioned

    Counsel for a proposed class alleging Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. failed to cancel a trip as Hurricane Harvey descended should be sanctioned because they knew a class action waiver signed by the lead plaintiff barred the case, the cruise line said Thursday.

Expert Analysis

  • Alternative Fees: My Experience At Bartlit Beck

    J.B. Heaton

    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.

  • Opinion

    Jurors Should Have An Active Role In Trials

    Judge Amos Mazzant III

    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 improvements to give jurors an active role in our civil and criminal jury trials.

  • Why Information Governance Is More Important Than Ever

    Linda Sharp

    It used to be that hiring a good law firm was the single most important thing a company could do when facing litigation. You could now make the case that an organization’s most powerful asset in prosecuting or defending a claim is its information, says Linda Sharp, associate general counsel of ZL Technologies and chair of the ACC Information Governance Committee.

  • Biometrics In The Workplace: Best Practices For Compliance

    Thomas Mandler

    Biometric technology may provide higher security and greater efficiencies for employers, but with new technology comes new risks and a patchwork of new legal frameworks to be followed, say attorneys with Akerman LLP.

  • Opinion

    BigLaw Is Behind The Automation Curve

    Michael Moradzadeh

    In its new report on the effects of automation in the workplace, McKinsey Global Institute identifies lawyers as less susceptible to the sort of automation that could put one-third of American workers out of a career by 2030. This may seem reassuring, but it doesn't mean automation won't disrupt our bottom line, says Michael Moradzadeh of Rimon PC.

  • How District Courts Split Over 'Infringing Acts'

    Mike Abernathy

    Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2017 TC Heartland decision, an open question was how to interpret the patent venue’s statutory language regarding “has committed acts of infringement” in the Hatch-Waxman Act context. Two courts have thus far addressed this issue, but each has interpreted the statutory language differently, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • A Look Inside Texas' New Home Equity Loan Law

    Jeff Dunn

    New amendments to the Texas constitutional provisions permitting loans secured by homestead equity should help expand loan opportunities, but the transition period requires compliance vigilance by lenders, says Jeff Dunn of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC.

  • Does The Path To The Right Venue Have To Be Narrow?

    Sue Robinson

    If you juxtapose the “narrow interpretation” language of the post-TC Heartland decisions with the actual contexts in which the Supreme Court uttered such dicta, it should not be a foregone conclusion that the court meant to eschew all contemporary insights when interpreting the patent venue statute, says Sue Robinson, an attorney at Farnan LLP and former Delaware federal judge.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Cooke Reviews 'Constance Baker Motley'

    Judge Marcia Cooke

    Gary Ford's new book, "Constance Baker Motley: One Woman’s Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice Under Law," is more than a biography of the first African-American woman to become a federal judge. It presents in vivid detail how her work altered the legal landscape of the United States, says U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke of the Southern District of Florida.

  • Keeping Your Law Library Relevant In The Age Of Google

    Donna Terjesen

    Google’s status as a go-to research tool has transformed legal research habits, leading critics to view law libraries as cost centers. Law firms should embrace Google-style research tools and manage costs efficiently in order to position their libraries as valuable assets for years to come, says Donna Terjesen of HBR Consulting.