Texas

  • March 23, 2017

    Texas Anesthesiologist Gets 3.5 Years For Health Care Fraud

    A Dallas anesthesiologist will spend about 3 1/2 years in prison and must pay $7.4 million in restitution after a Texas federal jury found him guilty of seven counts of health care fraud, a Texas federal judge has ruled.

  • March 23, 2017

    Advocacy Group Warns 5th Circ. Not To Dissuade FCA Suits

    Taxpayers Against Fraud's nonprofit arm urged the Fifth Circuit Wednesday to revive a would-be whistleblower's False Claims Act suit accusing Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman of concealing the true cost of the hugely expensive F-35 fighter program, arguing relators like these need to be incentivized, not discouraged.

  • March 23, 2017

    Texas High Court Told To Nix New Trial In $42M Atty Fee Row

    The owner of a water supply company was stripped of a jury verdict in his favor by a trial judge who wrongly awarded a new trial to his former attorneys in a contingency fee dispute over whether the lawyers are owed a stake in his company, the Texas Supreme Court was told in oral arguments Thursday.

  • March 23, 2017

    East Texas Mineral Deed Gets Scrutiny From Texas High Court

    In a case asking the Texas Supreme Court to reinstate a trial judge’s order enforcing two deeds that convey the seller’s entire oil and gas holdings in an East Texas county, the judges on Thursday heard conflicting arguments about whether the deed itself is ambiguous.

  • March 23, 2017

    Patent Venue’s Big Day In Court: What You Need To Know

    In what many are calling the most important patent case of the year, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on whether to limit where patent lawsuits can be filed.

  • March 23, 2017

    Baylor Football Player Gets New Trial In Sex Assault Case

    A Texas appellate court on Wednesday ordered a new trial for a former Baylor University football player whose sexual assault conviction prompted an investigation of allegations that the university improperly responded to sexual assaults of its students.

  • March 23, 2017

    Texas Court Nixes BNSF Bid To Strike Oil Beneath Tracks

    A Texas appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that BNSF Railway Co. wasn't entitled to oil found on land beneath its railroad tracks, concluding that the terms of a 1903 deed struck between the railroad and landowners only entitled BNSF to an easement on the property's surface.

  • March 23, 2017

    Houston Appellate Court Says Med Mal Claims Wrongly Nixed

    Texas' Fourteenth Court of Appeals on Thursday sided with the heirs of a deceased patient bringing a medical malpractice claim against Kindred Healthcare Operating Inc. and revived their claims, holding a trial court was wrong to dismiss the suit for busting its discovery deadline because a state law superseded it.

  • March 23, 2017

    Patent Licensing Cos. Fight To Save IP Row From Dismissal

    Two patent licensing companies on Wednesday hit back at a magistrate's recommendation to dismiss their infringement suits against Cigna, Consumer Cellular and others over 10 patents covering targeted email marketing technology, arguing that the defendants haven't established that the asserted claims are abstract under Alice.

  • March 22, 2017

    Justices Mull Mail Service Standards Under Hague Convention

    A splash pad company was improperly denied the right to use the mail to serve the Quebec-based defendant in its Texas trade secrets suit, regardless of whether the Hague Service Convention authorizes or merely permits service of process abroad by mail, the company's attorney told the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday.

  • March 22, 2017

    Law Profs Back Bid To Unseal $500M Oculus Case Transcript

    In the aftermath of a $500 million verdict against the virtual reality company Oculus, two law professors and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Tuesday requested that a Texas federal court unseal portions of the trial transcript related to the jury’s finding of copyright infringement.

  • March 22, 2017

    Ex-Client Sues, Says Houston Firm Admitted Flub

    A Houston attorney who allegedly encouraged his former client to look into filing malpractice claims against him and his firm after flubbing a deadline to file suit for personal injury claims is now facing a suit seeking more than $1 million in damages.

  • March 22, 2017

    Expert Didn't Link Surgery To Injuries, Texas Court Rules

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday ruled in favor of a doctor who appealed a trial judge’s decision to accept a patient’s expert opinion in a medical malpractice case accusing the doctor of botching a hernia surgery, saying the expert’s report was conclusory and therefore deficient.

  • March 22, 2017

    5th Circ. Sides With EPA In Battle Over Texas Haze Rule

    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday rejected Texas’ bid to strike down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional haze plan for the Lone Star State, instead granting the EPA’s motion to send the existing regulations back to the agency for revision.

  • March 22, 2017

    Texas High Court Weighs Eagle Ford Deed Royalty Dispute

    Texas Supreme Court justices on Wednesday wrestled with whether they should overturn decades-old precedent as they interpret an Eagle Ford property deed that granted oil and gas interests and has spurred competing royalty claims.

  • March 22, 2017

    In-N-Out Must Allow 'Fight For $15' Buttons, NLRB Says

    Employees at In-N-Out Burger Inc. can’t be prohibited from wearing union buttons supporting the “Fight for $15” campaign to increase minimum wages, the National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday, ordering the fast-food chain to revise its national uniform policy to allow for such insignia.

  • March 22, 2017

    Biz Groups Urge 5th Circ. To Pause DOL Fiduciary Rule

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups asked the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday to halt the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for retirement account advisers while they attempt to revive their challenge of the rule, a day after being rebuffed by a Texas federal judge.

  • March 22, 2017

    Texas Court Tosses Doc’s Defamation Suit Against Cox Media

    A doctor alleging that Cox Media Group's Austin American-Statesman newspaper defamed him in a report about his prescribing opioids to three patients who later died of drug overdoses didn't show that the article was false, and therefore his suit must be dismissed, a Texas appellate court held Tuesday.

  • March 22, 2017

    3 PE Firms Team To Form $1.7B Texas Energy Platform

    Three private equity firms have joined forces to launch Argus Energy Managers LLC, a Houston-based platform with more than $1.7 billion in capital under management that will focus on upstream, energy services and equipment and fixed income investments, the companies said Tuesday.

  • March 22, 2017

    Delta’s Safari Trophy Ban Beats Challenge In 5th Circ.

    A Fifth Circuit panel has affirmed the dismissal of a suit from a group of hunting, tourism and conservation organizations challenging Delta Air Lines Inc.'s decision to stop transporting big game trophies, finding the airline is not required to treat all cargo equally.

Expert Analysis

  • Acquiring Midstream Assets And Gas Agreements: Part 2

    Greg Krafka

    Because the value of natural gas gathering systems, processing plants and related midstream assets depends on fees to be paid under associated gas gathering and processing agreements, terms and conditions of these agreements — with respect to acreage dedication, well connections, covenants running with the land, and other matters — must be scrutinized before asset purchases, say Greg Krafka and Jim Strawn of Winstead PC.

  • 10 Tips For Better Legal Negotiations

    Marc J. Siegel

    Like everything else, the art of negotiation starts by having a conversation. It’s about being respectful, finding common ground, knowing what you want and, most importantly, listening. A conversation between two lawyers can be complicated at best, but by employing a few techniques and tactics, it doesn’t have to be that way, says Marc Siegel of Siegel & Dolan Ltd.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: Decision Error

    Gray Matters

    Lawyers make hundreds of decisions during the course of advising a client, consummating a transaction or litigating a case. In this new column, dispute resolution experts Bob Creo and Selina Shultz explore the theory, science and practical aspects of how decisions are made in the legal community.

  • Acquiring Midstream Assets And Gas Agreements: Part 1

    Greg Krafka

    In the acquisition of natural gas gathering systems, processing plants and related midstream assets, a primary focus of legal due diligence will be the gas gathering and processing agreements associated with these assets. Terms and conditions governing service levels, fees, environmental costs, termination and other issues must be carefully reviewed before purchase, say Greg Krafka and Jim Strawn of Winstead PC.

  • Law Schools And Law Firms: Seeking Common Ground

    Randy Gordon

    What we don’t know is whether the teaching and practice of law are undergoing massive structural changes or we’re still digging out from the worst economic collapse since the Depression. But what we do know is that the missions of the most forward-looking law schools and law firms are converging in ways that were unimaginable 10 years ago, says Randy Gordon, a partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP and executive professor of law at Te... (continued)

  • Employer Hope Amid Pending Wage And Hour Law Changes

    Daniel A. Krawiec

    While there is presently a sea of confusion and uncertainty swirling around U.S. Department of Labor overtime exemptions, employers can take solace in the fact that a recent decision from a Florida federal court demonstrates potential jurors are able to understand the proper use of exemptions and apply them fairly and to the benefit of employers accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, says Daniel Krawiec of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.

  • Not From Around Here? Trying A Case As An Out-Of-Towner

    William Oxley

    The importance of authenticity is magnified when trying a case outside your home jurisdiction. While using references to local landmarks or history can help make arguments relatable, adopting local expressions or style in an attempt to ingratiate oneself with the judge and jury almost always backfires, say William Oxley and Meghan Rohling Kelly of Dechert LLP.

  • Insureds Cannot Shift Burden To Identify Claimed Damage

    Summer L. Frederick

    The First District Court of Appeals in Houston recently ruled in League City v. Texas Windstorm that an insured cannot sue for breach of contract without attempting to communicate with its insurer. In light of League City and other recent decisions, attorneys who continue to manipulate the claims process do so at the peril of having their claims dismissed entirely, says Summer Frederick of Zelle LLP.

  • Texas Senate Bill 10 Would Adversely Affect All Insureds

    John R. Hardin

    Senate Bill 10, recently introduced in Texas, has been touted as legislation tailored to curb "hailstorm lawsuit abuse." However, this bill fails to reference hail or hailstorms, and would meaningfully and adversely impact the rights of all Texas policyholders, say John Hardin and Gilbert Perales of K&L Gates LLP.

  • Making Sense Of Potential DOL Fiduciary Rule Challenges

    David G. Tittsworth

    Much has been written about the U.S. Department of Labor’s conflict-of-interest rule and it has been the subject of intense debate. Some important milestones are only hours or days away and the likelihood of significant changes to the rule is approaching rapidly, says David Tittsworth of Ropes & Gray LLP.