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Texas

  • August 9, 2018

    Texas Court Denies Exxon $337M Tax Refund For Fuel Credit

    A Texas federal court has denied Exxon Mobil Corp.’s request for a $337 million tax refund, finding the company must account for a fuel tax credit in its expenses when calculating its cost of goods sold.

  • August 9, 2018

    Oil & Gas Co. Wins Water Use Fight With Texas Landowner

    A Texas appeals court has ruled that the accommodation doctrine in oil and gas drilling agreements does not obligate a driller to use a surface landowner's water during operations, affirming a summary judgment in favor of Rosetta Resources Operating LP.

  • August 9, 2018

    Texas Appeals Court Upholds Builder's Arbitration Clause

    A split Texas state appeals court on Thursday said a dispute over a building contract between prospective homeowners and a construction company should have gone to arbitration, overturning a lower court's finding that the agreement contained language that did not mandate arbitration.

  • August 9, 2018

    Ariz. Lawyer Denies Witness Tampering, Other Charges

    A Tucson attorney has pled not guilty in Arizona federal court to charges of witness tampering, obstruction of justice and helping an offender avoid apprehension in a criminal case.

  • August 9, 2018

    Dallas Councilman Admits To Taking Kickbacks And Bribes

    A Dallas city councilman on Thursday resigned from his post and pled guilty in Texas federal court to tax evasion and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, admitting to taking numerous bribes and kickbacks in return for supporting a business selling stop-arm cameras for school buses.

  • August 9, 2018

    J&J Hip Implant Plaintiffs Seek $246M Judgment After Trial

    A group of New York plaintiffs that sued Johnson & Johnson and its orthopedics unit over allegedly defective hip implants has asked a Texas federal court for a nearly $246 million judgment in the bellwether case after a jury found the company liable for the defects and fraud.

  • August 8, 2018

    Texas Appeals Court Tosses Suit Over Feral Hog Poison Rule

    A Texas appeals court sided with the state’s Department of Agriculture Wednesday in tossing a suit that challenged a rule allowing the use of warfarin-based poison to control the feral hog population, ruling the case was moot after the department withdrew the rule.

  • August 8, 2018

    Judge Wants More Briefing On Texas' Bid To End DACA

    A federal judge in Houston on Wednesday declined to rule on a request from the state of Texas and nine other states to halt the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, instead asking the parties for more briefing on one specific issue, to be filed by the end of the day Monday.

  • August 8, 2018

    CFPB, Payday Groups Again Denied Stay Of Payday Rule

    A Texas federal judge has again turned down a request from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and two payday lender trade groups to stay the August 2019 compliance date of the agency’s so-called payday rule, which puts restrictions on payday and other small-dollar lenders.

  • August 8, 2018

    Texas Panel Zaps Power Co.'s Tax Break On Steam Generators

    A Texas appeals panel has ruled that a power company was properly denied a tax exemption for steam generators that it couldn't prove were used for pollution control, saying a determination from the state’s environmental commission was a binding opinion on the equipment's usage.

  • August 8, 2018

    Attys Shake Malpractice Suit Over $20M Arbitration Losses

    A Texas state appellate court declined on Wednesday to revive a petroleum engineer’s suit against the attorneys he claimed cost him an extra $20 million in losses after representing him in an underlying arbitration, saying that the lower court was right to find the engineer’s expert was introduced too late.

  • August 8, 2018

    Lenders In $25B EFH Loan Row Get No Priority, 3rd Circ. Says

    The Third Circuit on Tuesday found Marathon Asset Management LP and several Polygon Global Partners funds do not have a priority claim on the $1.25 billion remainder of a $24.5 billion loan in the Energy Future Holdings Corp. bankruptcy.

  • August 8, 2018

    Texas Court Affirms $16M Mexico Power Plant Arbitration Win

    A Texas appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a $16 million arbitration award in a dispute between an electrical equipment maker and a power company over the construction of a Mexico power plant, ruling that the lack of a record in the arbitration proceedings isn’t grounds to reverse its finding.

  • August 8, 2018

    Monitronics Seeks Coverage In $28M Robocall Settlement

    A home security company has sued its insurers in Texas federal court, claiming they refused to honor their agreements and indemnify the company for a $28 million settlement in multidistrict litigation that accused the company of making calls to numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry.

  • August 7, 2018

    Arbitrator Overstepped In $21M Contract Row, 5th Circ. Says

    An arbitrator overstepped his limited authority by rewriting a contract between two industrial equipment rental companies in an effort to fix what he saw as a “mutual mistake” involving a potentially $21 million comma, the Fifth Circuit said Monday.

  • August 7, 2018

    Seismic Owes Attys' Fees As Sinclair Won, 5th Circ. Told

    An agreement that stated a winning party in any underlying dispute was entitled to attorneys' fees means Sinclair Companies didn't need to “specially plead” its request for the funds after beating Seismic Wells in a contract fight, the Fifth Circuit was told Tuesday.

  • August 7, 2018

    AstraZeneca Settles Texas Medicaid Fraud Suits For $110M

    Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca LP has agreed to pay $110 million to the state of Texas to settle lawsuits accusing the company of falsely marketing its drugs Seroquel and Crestor in violation of the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act, according to a Tuesday announcement by the state attorney general.

  • August 7, 2018

    Google Pix Exclusion OK'd In Texas Inflatable Man Injury Trial

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday affirmed a defense verdict in a suit that accused a mattress store of negligently placing an inflatable advertising “tube man” that allegedly caused a woman’s fall and serious injury, saying the trial judge properly excluded as evidence Google Earth satellite photographs, citing lack of authentication.

  • August 7, 2018

    FTC Asks 5th Circ. To Stay Out Of La. Real Estate Board Row

    The Federal Trade Commission on Monday urged the Fifth Circuit to reject a bid by the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board to escape the agency’s challenge of regulations that control appraisal fees, arguing that the appellate court lacks jurisdiction while also reasserting that the board is not immune to antitrust law.

  • August 7, 2018

    Ship Pilots Group Not On Hook For Chemical Spill In Collision

    A Texas appeals court found Tuesday that an association of ship pilots is immune from a suit alleging negligence in a collision between two vessels piloted by its members that caused a chemical spill in the Houston Ship Channel in 2015.

Expert Analysis

  • How Courts Are Analyzing Copyright Protection For Software

    Mark Moore

    Two recent copyright decisions reflect a challenge for companies seeking to protect their software — courts' highly nuanced examinations of the functionality and structure of the software at issue in determining whether copyright protection is warranted, says ​​​​​​​Mark Moore of Reavis Page Jump LLP.

  • Opinion

    3 Pros, 3 Cons Of Litigation Finance

    Ralph Sutton

    An educated guess puts the number of new litigation funders launched in the past 18 months at 30 — an astonishing number, with more to come. Is this a blessing to our legal system or something more akin to tulip mania? Maybe both, says Ralph Sutton, founder and CEO of litigation funding firm Validity Finance LLC.

  • Modern Communication Brings E-Discovery Challenges

    Thomas Bonk

    As new communications platforms displace email, the legal industry is awkwardly grappling with complex e-discovery questions. Fortunately, this environment provides a very fertile ground of incentives for innovation in both e-discovery technology and service offerings, says Thomas Bonk of Epiq.

  • Opinion

    It's Not All About The Benjamins, Baby (Lawyer)

    J.B. Heaton

    Notwithstanding the latest salary war among prominent law firms, I urge my middle-aged and older colleagues to help the recent graduates we know focus on the long term. Even if the salary is the same, there is a big difference between an institutional firm and the relatively younger firms matching BigLaw, says J.B. Heaton, a University of Chicago business law fellow and former partner at Bartlit Beck.

  • Asbestos Transparency Laws Can Stop Double Recovery

    Scott Hunsaker

    Some asbestos plaintiffs have obtained full recovery from viable defendants and simultaneously, or later, recovered more money for the same injury from asbestos bankruptcy trusts established by those same entities. Recognizing this problem, more and more states are turning to asbestos transparency laws as a solution, say Scott Hunsaker and Karl Borgsmiller of Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Hood Reviews 'Lawyering From The Inside Out'

    Judge Denise Hood

    Law professor Nathalie Martin's new book, "Lawyering From the Inside Out: Learning Professional Development Through Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence," can be of value to any lawyer aiming to achieve greater productivity, relieve the stress of the legal profession and focus on goals, says U.S. District Chief Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan.

  • Texas Hail Bill Is Already Affecting Insurance Litigation

    Christopher Avery

    Because Chapter 542A of the Texas Insurance Code, commonly known as the Hail Bill, does not apply retroactively, only a handful of cases have interpreted it. However, these decisions show that so far, the Hail Bill is requiring proper notice to claimants exactly as the Texas Legislature intended, says Christopher Avery of Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons LLP.

  • 3 Top E-Discovery Case Law Lessons Of 2018 (So Far)

    Casey Sullivan

    The blockbuster e-discovery cases, with big sanctions and bigger controversies, have been few and far between this year. But that doesn’t mean the legal questions around e-discovery have been answered. Let’s take a closer look at three cases worthy of our attention, says Casey Sullivan, an attorney at discovery technology provider Logikcull.

  • Opinion

    Law Schools Must Take A Stand Against Mandatory Arbitration

    Isabel Finley

    Later this week, Harvard Law students will begin bidding on interview slots with the nation’s top law firms. Our institutions owe it to their students not only to require firms to disclose mandatory arbitration provisions in new associate contracts, but also to bar employers from on-campus recruiting if they require these provisions, says Isabel Finley, a third-year student at Harvard Law School and president of the Harvard Women’s Law Association.

  • Renovation Exceptions Can Complicate Vacancy Exclusions

    Walter Cardwell IV

    Before relying on vacancy exclusions, Texas insurers should identify and investigate the scope of potential activities that might trigger a renovations exception, which could lead to a prolonged dispute, says Walter Cardwell IV of Zelle LLP.