Texas

  • March 24, 2017

    Oil Cos.' Trade Secrets Row 'Waste Of Time,' Judge Says

    A Texas judge mulling National Oilwell Varco’s requests for sanctions against a Schlumberger unit and the toss of some jury findings following a two-week trade secrets trial scolded both sides during a hearing Friday, telling the competing equipment and service providers in the oil and gas industry that the case represented a waste of time.

  • March 24, 2017

    Texas 'Small Tobacco' Tax Beats Constitutional Challenge

    A Texas appellate court on Friday rejected argument by the Texas Small Tobacco Coalition that a state law imposing steeper tax burdens on tobacco companies that did not settle a lawsuit violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

  • March 24, 2017

    Texas Jury Convicts Doc For Role In $40M Medicare Scheme

    A Texas doctor was convicted by a federal jury on multiple counts of health care fraud Friday after federal prosecutors alleged he had participated in a scheme that bilked Medicare out of $40 million for home health services by filing false claims for services that were either unneeded or were never provided.

  • March 24, 2017

    IRS, US Trustee Object To Fees In Wyly Bankruptcy

    The Internal Revenue Service and a U.S.-appointed trustee objected on Thursday to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees requested by lawyers and consultants for time spent on Caroline Dee Wyly’s bankruptcy case, saying the work was done in bad faith and didn’t add to the value of the estate.

  • March 24, 2017

    Austin Ducks Suit Claiming Rigged Body Cam Contract

    A Texas appellate court on Friday dismissed on jurisdictional grounds a lawsuit accusing the city of Austin of rigging the bid process to favor a pre-selected contractor when it awarded a $12.2 million contract for body cameras to be worn by its police department.

  • March 24, 2017

    Texas Jury Hits Motorola For $9M In HD Voice Patent Trial

    A Texas federal jury on Friday hit Motorola Mobility LLC with a $9 million verdict, finding willful infringement of five patents related to voice quality on phone calls and rejecting Motorola’s claims the patents are invalid.

  • March 24, 2017

    Paragon Investors Rip Del. Ch. 11 Disclosure, Projections

    Paragon Offshore PLC’s stockholders on Friday attacked what they characterized as manipulated projections of the bankrupt Houston company’s stability, outlook and ability to pay stockholder claims, and urged the U.S. trustee's office to form an official equity committee.

  • March 24, 2017

    Hong Kong Co. Asks Court To Enforce $1.5M Arbitral Award

    A Hong Kong company on Thursday asked a Texas federal judge to enforce its $1.5 million arbitration award against a buyer that denies its validity because while the sales contract for the shipment of a rubber-production chemical had an arbitration clause, emails changing the terms did not.

  • March 24, 2017

    Online Arbitration Policy Needs Explicit Notice: Texas Court

    An unnamed hospital tech suing her former employer for sexual harassment is not bound by an arbitration policy she was never explicitly informed about, even if it was available online and accessible to her, a Texas appeals court ruled Thursday.

  • March 24, 2017

    What You Need To Know About The Border Wall So Far

    With the U.S. government officially seeking proposals for the border wall, the Trump administration seems determined to get started on its wall project as soon as possible. Here’s a look at the wall’s potential costs, its contracting requirements and the many land, tribal and environmental issues that could get in the way.

  • March 24, 2017

    Orion Denied Early Win In Terror Attack Insurance Suit

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday adopted a magistrate's recommendation issued last month and denied Orion Project Services LLC's bid for an early win on its claims that its insurer owes it defense costs for a suit brought by the family of a worker killed in a 2013 terror attack.

  • March 24, 2017

    No Rehearing For Koch Foods In EEOC Fight Over Visa Info

    The Fifth Circuit Thursday denied Koch Foods of Mississippi LLC’s request that it rehear a decision finding that the company cannot compel the release of identifying visa application information on employees who have brought a sexual harassment suit against it, but after the appeals court revised the decision in favor of Koch.

  • March 24, 2017

    GAO Nixes 2nd Challenge To Army Test Center Contract

    A company that had successfully challenged a U.S. Army test services contract awarded to a competitor was unable to convince the U.S. Government Accountability Office the second time around that the Army couldn’t back up its evaluation of the rival bidder’s staffing approach, according to a decision released Thursday.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Trump's Skinny EPA Budget Could Have Far-Reaching Impacts

    Jim W. Rubin

    A review of President Donald Trump's recent budget proposal suggests that none of his goals for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would be well-served. In fact, the EPA, states, tribes and other federal agencies would all face serious issues in protecting human health and the environment, says Jim Rubin of Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

  • Google, NASA, Planes And A Stronger Legal Team

    Nicholas Cheolas

    Why did minor mechanical issues bring down two airplanes, while a catastrophic engine explosion did not bring down a third? The answers lie, in part, in research conducted by NASA in the wake of those crashes and, more recently, by Google. And those answers can help organizations build better teams to meet today’s legal industry challenges, says Nicholas Cheolas of Zelle LLP.

  • 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.