Texas

  • April 19, 2017

    5th Circ. Upholds Hess Win In Oil Contamination Suit

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a Louisiana property owner's suit claiming Hess Corp. was liable for contamination of the property due to drilling activities completed more than 30 years before he bought the property, backing the lower court's conclusion that such claims are barred by state law.

  • April 19, 2017

    Border Wall Could Cost $67B, Senate Democrats Claim

    A report issued on Tuesday by Senate Democrats claims that the Trump administration has severely underestimated the expense and time needed to build its planned southern border wall project, saying the project could cost around $67 billion and be tied up in land acquisition negotiations and disputes for more than a decade.

  • April 19, 2017

    Ex-Chimera Exec Pleads Guilty In Stock Inflation Scheme

    A former executive of Chimera Energy Corp. entered a guilty plea before a Texas federal judge on Tuesday for his role in a scheme to manipulate the price of the company's stock, and agreed to a deal with the government to pay as much as $1 million in restitution and testify about the scam.

  • April 19, 2017

    Texas Court Won't Revive $900K Trade Secrets Damages

    A Texas appellate court on Tuesday affirmed a trial judge’s decision to wipe out a jury’s $900,000 damages award to a life settlement firm in a trade secrets dispute with one of its former sales representatives, holding the firm didn’t show evidence establishing its damages.

  • April 19, 2017

    Curves Gym Seeks Quick Win In Franchisee Tax Suit

    National fitness club chain Curves on Tuesday urged a Texas federal judge to toss franchisees' breach of contract claims without jury deliberation, saying that the business owners had failed to present any evidence to support allegations that the company failed to support their franchises.

  • April 18, 2017

    Dallas Corruption Case In Jury's Hands After 2-Month Trial

    A Texas federal jury will begin deliberations Wednesday in the trial of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, after hearing the government detail its theory that Price took $1 million worth of bribes from a consultant whose clients he helped win county contracts.

  • April 18, 2017

    Texas Oilfield Recycler Socks Rival With Defamation Suit

    Oilfield waste recycler Polk Operating LLC hit competitor Sprint Energy Services LLC with a $1 million defamation suit in Texas court Monday, alleging Sprint carried out a malicious scheme to destroy Polk’s reputation with its customers and regulators.

  • April 18, 2017

    Texas Ambulance Co. Beats FCA Suit For Good

    A Texas federal judge on Monday once again tossed a False Claims Act suit alleging improper billing of Medicare and Medicaid for advanced life support by an ambulance company and said the whistleblowers won’t get another chance to strengthen their case.

  • April 18, 2017

    Jackson Lewis Beats Claims It Knew Of Forged Settlement

    A Texas appellate court on Tuesday sided with a trial court and affirmed an early win for Jackson Lewis LLP and one of its attorneys, holding that neither could be held liable for a settlement forgery allegedly committed by opposing counsel in an employment discrimination suit.

  • April 18, 2017

    PE-Backed Blank Check Co. TPG Pace Energy Files $600M IPO

    TPG Pace Energy Holdings Corp. filed a $600 million initial public offering Monday, marking the latest of several private equity-affiliated blank check companies to seek money for an energy acquisition, guided by Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • April 18, 2017

    Willkie Farr Picks Up Ex-Kirkland Oil & Gas Attorney

    Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP announced on Tuesday the addition of an oil and gas transactional attorney, who had spent almost two years as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, to its Houston office as a partner.

  • April 18, 2017

    PE Firm Puts Plant Into Ch. 11, Blames Texas Grid Regulator

    Private equity merchant power developer Panda Power Funds put a Texas gas-fired power plant into Chapter 11 protection Monday and said the Lone Star State's grid operator is to blame because it provided false and misleading information about the need for the plant.

  • April 18, 2017

    14 States Ask DC Court To Uphold Trump's 2-For-1 Order

    Fourteen states on Monday weighed in to support the Trump administration’s executive order mandating that executive agencies eliminate two regulations for every new one, saying it is likely to lessen regulatory burdens on the states and their residents.

  • April 18, 2017

    Texas Cities Deserve $25M In Fees For Hotel Tax Win: Judge

    Online travel companies including Expedia Inc. and Hotels.com that were slapped with an $84 million judgment for underpaying hotel occupancy taxes in various Texas cities should now pay an additional $25 million to attorneys representing the cities, a magistrate judge recommended Monday.

  • April 18, 2017

    Houston Atty Hits Back Against Ex-Firm's IP Theft Lawsuit

    In a fiery answer to claims filed against him last month by his former intellectual property law firm Matthews Lawson McCutcheon & Joseph, a Houston attorney told a Texas court Monday that a deposition has shown that claims he stole the firm’s clients' information to start his own firm are baseless and sanctions are warranted.

  • April 18, 2017

    Hospice Cos. To Pay $12.2M To Settle Kickback Claims

    Five hospice companies have agreed to pay the government a total of $12.2 million to settle allegations brought by whistleblowers accusing the companies of paying kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

  • April 18, 2017

    NFL Fights Bid For Goodell Depo In Charity Gambling Row

    The NFL fired back Monday at a bid to depose league Commissioner Roger Goodell in a Texas federal suit over a relocated kids charity event involving players in Las Vegas, saying he had no part in determining if the event might have violated the league’s gambling policy.

  • April 18, 2017

    5th Circ. Says Macy's Manager Isn't On The Hook For Bias

    A former Macy’s worker alleging that he was fired because he has post-traumatic stress disorder lacks a valid claim against a supervisor whose presence would let him keep his case in Texas state court, a Fifth Circuit panel has said in an opinion that also clarified the test for sustaining a state tortious interference claim.

  • April 18, 2017

    5th Circ. Kills Employees’ National Oilwell Racism Claims

    A Fifth Circuit panel on Monday denied a bid to overturn a losing verdict for eight African-American employees who accused National Oilwell Varco LP of race-based employment discrimination, deciding that arguments that the trial and court proceedings were fundamentally mishandled did not hold up.

  • April 17, 2017

    Liquor Chain's Merchant Deal Nixed Coverage, Judge Says

    A Texas federal judge said Monday a liquor store chain can’t force its insurer to pay for a suit seeking to recover about $4 million charged by its credit card processor following two data breaches, reasoning that the chain's merchant agreement with the processor was excluded from its insurance policy.

Expert Analysis

  • A Closer Look At The Current State Of Equal Pay

    Eve H. Wagner

    While progress has been made toward eliminating gender-based wage disparity, Equal Pay Day, observed Tuesday, is a reminder that more work needs to be done, and long before the next 50 years tick past. But hopefully it will be done through education about the law, and not more litigation, says Eve Wagner of Sauer & Wagner LLP.

  • District Court Sabine Ruling: Bad News For Midstream Cos.

    Mark D. Sherrill

    The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has affirmed that Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation can reject some gathering contracts with midstream energy companies, for lack of valid covenants running with the land. The ruling is another unfavorable result for midstream firms dealing with distressed oil and gas producers, say Mark Sherrill and Stephany Olsen LeGrand of Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP.

  • Opinion

    Untold Stories: Trump's Budget Would Silence Legal Services

    Kevin Curnin

    President Trump's draft budget proposes total defunding of the Legal Services Corporation. Yet leaders of over 160 of the nation's top law firms and 185 general counsel from leading corporations, who make their living at the intersection of business and law, make the case that destroying the LSC is bad for both, says Kevin Curnin of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • A Law Firm’s Guide To Social Media

    Julie Bagdikian

    Bear in mind that the internet seldom forgets and never forgives, and you are just one screen grab from a meme. A law firm's core messages and unique selling points must be clearly determined before embarking on a social media strategy, says Julie Bagdikian of The Pollack PR Marketing Group.

  • Cybersecurity Steps Every Lawyer Should Consider

    J. S. Christie Jr.

    In a state by state chart updated this month, the American Bar Association reports that 34 states have adopted all or most of the ABA's model rules technology amendments and that nine more states are studying the amendments. Even for lawyers in other states, legal ethics require the technological and legal competence to protect clients' confidentiality, says J.S. Christie Jr. of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP..

  • If TC Heartland Is Reversed, When To Get Out Of East Texas

    Jenny L. Colgate

    If the upcoming TC Heartland decision gives “reside” a new meaning, venue that had seemed proper when a patent case started may not be proper under the U.S. Supreme Court's new approach. It is not too early for litigants to start thinking about when, and whether, they can challenge venue in cases that are already underway, say Jenny Colgate and Nechama Potasnick of Rothwell Figg Ernst & Manbeck PC.

  • When Renewable Energy Is An 'Aesthetic Nuisance'

    Walter Wright

    In Myrick v. Peck Electric Co., the Supreme Court of Vermont recently held that a nuisance claim filed over a solar energy array based on aesthetic concerns had no merit. As renewable energy facilities proliferate, potential litigants on both sides should understand the laws around nuisance claims against such installations, says Walter Wright of Mitchell Williams.

  • Series

    Advocate For An Agency: Ex-FERC GC Cynthia Marlette

    Cynthia Marlette.jpg

    Cynthia Marlette, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's general counsel from 2001 to 2005 and from 2007 to 2009, reflects on how she addressed the job's many responsibilities, including advising the commission on laws and enforcement actions, developing policy, seeking consensus among commissioners, and overseeing defense of agency actions in court, as well as dealing with historic events like the California energy crisis.

  • The Issues Justices Are Focusing On In TC Heartland

    S. Gregory Herrman

    In a surprise to those expecting a unanimous reversal in TC Heartland, the U.S. Supreme Court justices asked tough questions to both sides on Monday, some even seeming to lean at least slightly toward affirming the Federal Circuit’s broad interpretation of patent venue. Only Chief Justice John Roberts appeared to be leaning significantly in favor of a reversal, says Gregory Herrman of Blank Rome LLP.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: MDLs And The High Court

    Alan Rothman

    On the heels of last week’s confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, this month’s column by Alan Rothman of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP explores the impact that various high court decisions have had on multidistrict litigation practice, and the statutory role that the Supreme Court plays with respect to the panel and MDLs.