In-House Texas

Nightmare on 14th Street

By Ben Major |

I hate watching horror movies. When not covering my eyes, I futilely plead with the characters to flee and escape death at the hands of the villain. As the viewer, I know that Michael Myers is hiding in the closet, that the shark is much bigger than the hero's boat, and that eerie music foreshadows the villain's attack. I read court opinions from a similar perspective, and when sneaky procedural issues aim to gut a party's otherwise meritorious case, I tend to pull for that party.

Buckle Up: Seat Belt Evidence Now Admissible

By Quentin Brogdon |

In 'Nabor Well Services v. Romero' in 2015, the Texas Supreme Court upended more than 40 years of precedent when it allowed evidence of a plaintiff's nonuse of seat belts to reduce a plaintiff's recovery in a car crash case.

Michael P. Maslanka, assistant professor of law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

Follow the Golden Rule: Model Rule 5.6, That Is

By Michael P. Maslanka |

It's easier to comply with the law than to circumvent it. This summer I am teaching this simple yet profound lesson to the students in our Professional Responsibility class.

Avoiding the Cybersecurity Chopping Block

By Lori S. Nugent |

If it were easy to avoid cybersecurity incidents like data breaches and ransomware attacks, most organizations happily would apply whatever the solution and protect the sensitive information in their care.

Melissa Pifko, vice president and chief legal officer for health care and clinical affairs at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Meet Melissa Pifko: Co-CLO at UTHealth Science Center at Houston

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Reporter Kristen Rasmussen profiles Melissa Pifko, one-half of a duo of chief legal officers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Pifko is VP and CLO for health care and clinical affairs at the center; her colleague Daniel Reat was previously profiled.

Michael P. Maslanka, assistant professor of law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

Military Ideas That Can Help Lawyers Fight the Good Fight

By Micahel P. Maslanka |

I hope all enjoyed a reflective Memorial Day. There is much lawyers can learn from the military experience.

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Texas Law School Receives $1.27M Gift

By ALM staff |

South Texas College of Law Houston has received a $1.27 million gift aimed at launching a criminal defense certification program, which is meant to train defense lawyers to more effectively represent indigent defendants in the city's courts.

Reese Arrowsmith, vice president and head of legal operations at Campbell Soup Co.

Digital Pillars: Essential Technologies in Corporate Legal

By Rhys Dipshan |

As modern legal departments look to become more cost-effective and efficient, many cannot do without vital management and analytic technologies.

How to Handle Digital Damage Control

By Lee Winkelman and Alan Bush, Bush Law Firm |

How much (legal) trouble can one employee get into with a smartphone and a social media account or two? Hint, hint: It's more than most in-house counsel would want to admit.

Employees on Social Media: Avoiding Potential Litigation Traps

By Matthew Coolbaugh |

For some employers, social media can prove to be a litigation trap.

Michael P. Maslanka, assistant professor of law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

How Reading Poetry Helps You With Your Lawyering

By MICHAEL P. MASLANKA |

Feeling down as a lawyer? Seeking transcendence? Needing a mindset transplant? Here's a suggestion: read poetry.

Daniel Reat, vice president and chief legal officer for operations and business affairs at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Meet a Co-Chief Legal Officer at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Meet a Co-Chief Legal Officer at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

The Renaissance of Noncompetition Agreement

By Patrick J. Maher |

In Texas, the enforceability of noncompetition agreements ("noncompetes") has widely varied. By the end of the 1980s, noncompetes were highly disfavored by Texas courts. The Texas Legislature responded with the Texas Covenants Not to Compete Act. (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 15.50-52), which was intended to favor noncompetes. That Act required enforcement of noncompetes so long as they are (1) ancillary to an otherwise enforceable agreement, (2) serve a legitimate business purpose, and (3) contain reasonable limits as to time, and geography and scope of activity restricted.

Danielle Hunter, executive vice president, general counsel and chief risk & compliance officer at C&J Energy Services.

Meet the GC of C&J Energy Services

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Covering corporate law departments and in-house attorneys for Texas Lawyer and other ALM publications, reporter Kristen Rasmussen profiles Danielle Hunter, executive vice president, general counsel, chief risk & compliance officer and corporate secretary at C&J Energy Services.

Cybervillains Lurk on LinkedIn

By Steve Thomas |

Hardly a day goes by without news of another data breach, online scam, new malware threat, or other success story from the annals of organized cybercrime.

Michael P. Maslanka, assistant professor of law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

5 Questions to Help Determine If You Will Succeed as a Lawyer

By Michael P. Maslanka |

And now for "Aspiring Lawyer," in which a would-be lawyer declares to an already-admitted lawyer that she'd be fantastic, because behind Door No. 1: "I relish arguing." Or behind Door No. 2: "I have a photographic memory." Or behind Door No. 3: "A jury will just love me because everyone does." Or perhaps all three reasons plus "I want to make some serious coin."

US Supreme Court Tackles Issue of Restaurant 'Tip Pooling'

By Marcia Coyle |

Ruling may have an impact on Texas as a tip credit state.

Oil Rebound Demands Preventive Maintenance for Contracts

By Michael J. Wray and Jacob C. Esparza |

As the recent Permian Basin buying spree and increased offshore capital expenditures by super majors reveal, the energy industry downturn of recent years may be turning a corner.

Pipeline Safety Regs Remain in Limbo Under Trump

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Operators of pipelines transporting hazardous liquids are waiting to see if President Trump makes good on his promise to reduce regulation by 75 percent, including amendments to rules enforced by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Rankin Gasaway, SVP, GC and Secretary, 7-Eleven.

Meet the GC of 7-Eleven, Rankin Gasaway

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Covering corporate law departments and in-house attorneys for Texas Lawyer and other ALM publications, reporter Kristen Rasmussen profiles Rankin Gasaway, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at 7-Eleven Inc.

Yvette Ostolaza and Penny Reid.

Tips for Being Successful in Your New Role as Partner

By Yvette Ostolaza and Penny Reid |

Most young lawyers dream of the day they will make partner. It's a monumental milestone in your career that represents years of hard work, determination and dedication.