Latest News

Boies Schiller Takes On Forbes Over Mexican Corruption List

By David Bario |

Days after David Boies threatened major media organizations over hacked Sony emails, his firm has picked another fight with a respected news outlet, accusing Forbes of publishing "a hit piece of the worst sort" about an aide to former Mexican president Felipe Calderón.

Eric Williams mugshot

Former Judge Eric Williams Sentenced to Death

By John Council |

Bill Wirskye, a special prosecutor assigned to prosecute Eric Williams, said the former justice of the peace "crossed a line that hardly anyone crosses."

Christene Wood, a senior attorney in the Houston office of Thompson Coe

'Mad Mom' Gets Significant Juvenile Court Win

By John Council |

Christene Wood thought the way that Texas trial courts certified juveniles to stand trial as adults was wrong. She and fellow civil attorneys Jack Carnegie and John Hagan did something about that by winning 'Moon v. Texas'.

Elite Appellate Lawyers Dominating Texas Politics

By James C. Ho |

The top legal positions in government are increasingly drawing from one particular specialty—appellate litigators—and from a narrow band of that specialty at that.

Dick Schwartz, partner, Vorys, Houston

Nine Lawyers to Move From Schwartz Junell to Vorys

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Most of the lawyers in the Houston firm will move to Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease on Jan. 5.

Three Tips for Senior Lawyers on Resumes, Tech and Networking

By Frank Michael D'Amore |

Senior lawyers, especially if they had been major producers or had managed their firms, are given more latitude, but the pressure that exists in firms to produce now has put a major dent in the benevolence of yesteryear.

Brian Tamanaha.

Law School Enrollment Continues Historic Decline

By Karen Sloan |

Law school enrollment fell for the fourth straight year in 2014, according to figures released Tuesday by the American Bar Association.

Teaching Transactional Law to New Lawyers

By David Zarfes, Sean Z. Kramer and David Birnbaum |

The current educational approach fails to properly educate the many law school graduates—especially from the top schools—who do not go on to practice litigation.

Will Oil Price Drop Trigger Change for Firms?

By Miriam Rozen |

O&G lawyers identify the biggest three consequences of the price drop on their firms' practices.

gift

The Little Things That Make Lawyering Worth It

By J. Mitchell Little |

Anyone can be generous with money; the trick is having it. Anyone can be generous with time; the trick is not using it all. Being generous with your ability can be more rewarding than either.

Robert Durst Pleads No Contest to Criminal Mischief Charge

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Robert Durst, who was acquitted in 2003 of a murder in Galveston, pleaded no contest on Dec. 16 to criminal mischief in connection with a urination incident in a drugstore.

Brian Tamanaha.

Law School Enrollment Continues Historic Decline

By Karen Sloan |

Law school enrollment fell for the fourth straight year in 2014, according to figures released on Tuesday by the American Bar Association.

Face-to-Face Contact=Good Business

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Cognitive theory establishes that face-to-face contact with others makes us more productive, efficient and accurate in our work.

Ethics Committee Overturns Criminal Discovery Opinion

By Angela Morris |

Ethics Opinion No. 646 says a past prosecutorial practice is now unethical because of the Michael Morton Act, which required prosecutors statewide to follow an open file policy.

Rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, on the day of oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a case challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  February 27, 2013.

Texas: Judge in Voting Rights Case Made 'Winners Out of Clear Losers'

By Zoe Tillman |

Lawyers for the state of Texas have accused a federal district judge of wrongfully awarding "a consolation prize" of more than $1 million in attorney fees to groups that challenged the state’s redistricting plans.

Dallas Lawyer Accused of Expert Report Fraud

By John Council |

The State Bar of Texas filed a disciplinary action against Raul H. Loya, alleging that he charged an inflated $29,000 to a client for an expert report he couldn't use in settling her case.

Neal S. Manne, managing partner, Susman Godfrey, Houston

How Much Were Susman Godfrey's Associate Bonuses?

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Susman Godfrey, the Houston-based litigation firm, paid merit bonuses to associates ranging from $40,000 to $110,000.

Lawyer Files Defamation Suit Against Lawyer

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Brantly Harris alleges he's suffering from "intense mental anguish and sleepless nights" as a result of alleged defamation.

Randy Howry (left) and Frank Stevenson, State Bar of Texas president-elect candidates in 2015

Bar Subcommittee Picks 2015 President-Elect Nominees

By Angela Morris |

After interviewing five lawyers on Dec. 12, the bar's elections and nominations subcommittee chose Randy Howry and Frank Stevenson as potential candidates.

Firm Wins $100,000 From Ex-Client in Yelp Review Lawsuit

By Angela Morris |

"Yelp has already been notified, and my understanding is that [the] posting is already gone," said Kirk Fulk, lawyer for Austin firm Grissom & Thompson.

Substantive Law Developments of 2014

Take a look at major changes that happened in 10 top practice areas in 2014.

Deal of the Week: Porter Hedges, Baker Botts Work $500 Million Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts represents Houston-based The Energy & Minerals Group in equity commitment for Oklahoma City company.

giftbag

Top 5 Myths About Seasonal Employees

By Sheila Gladstone |

Seasonal employees can bring much needed help, as well as some scary legal liabilities, exacerbated by common misconceptions that make employers feel safer than they really are.

Rob Crain, partner, Crain Lewis, Dallas

Litigator of the Week: $6.2 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

Toxicology report showing deceased had marijuana in his system didn't doom the plaintiffs' case.

Trial Lessons From Running a Campaign

By Alan Bush |

Jury trials and elections both leave the result in the hands of strangers. Trial lawyers could take a couple pages out of the playbook for campaign managers. Let's look at four.

Case Summaries

By David Popple |

Winning Litigators Tell What They Learned in 2014

By Miriam Rozen |

Help the jury be John Wayne, and other lessons learned.

Appellate Lawyers of the Week: A 'Licking My Wounds' Victory

Sam Houston and Jerry M. Young convinced Houston's Fourteenth Court of Appeals to uphold rulings tossing out fraud claims against their clients.

Campaigns and Trials Both Put Results in Hands of Strangers

By Alan Bush |

Jury trials and elections both leave the result in the hands of strangers. Trial lawyers could take a couple pages out of the playbook for campaign managers. Let's look at four.

Discipline Case Alleges Attorney Told Client She 'Could Not Deal' With Matter at Hearing

By John Council |

The State Bar of Texas filed a disciplinary action against an Irving attorney who allegedly told an immigration client facing deportation that she "could not deal with the matter right now" during a hearing, left the courthouse and told the client to do the same.

Karen-Lee Pollak is a Dallas partner and the chair of Bell Nunnally & Martin’s Immigration Section

2014 Year in Review: Immigration Law

By Karen-Lee Pollak |

Divorce Fallout Takes Cantey Hanger to Texas Supreme Court

By Miriam Rozen |

The state's highest civil court hears arguments about when qualified attorney immunity should apply.

2014 Year in Review: Insurance Law

By Amy Elizabeth Stewart |
A red car in an accident isolated on a white background

Dallas Family Sues, Alleges Attorneys Used Leaked Police Documents to Solicit Clients

By Angela Morris |

A family says that attorneys, clinics and auto body repair shops used leaked accident reports to contact potential clients.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

High Court Case of First Impression Involves Fracking, Defamation Claims and Anti-SLAPP Law

By Miriam Rozen |

Fracking opponents, pinning arguments on the state's anti-SLAPP statue, want natural gas drilling companies' defamation allegations against them dismissed.

Winning Litigators Tell What They Learned in 2014

By Miriam Rozen |

Help the jury be John Wayne, and other lessons learned.

VerdictSearch: Jury Awards $13,613 to Pedestrian Struck in Intersection

A jury awarded $13,613 to a woman who was struck by a car while she was crossing an intersection.

James Howard is a partner in Gardere Wynne Sewell in Houston

2014 Year in Review: Tax Law

By James Howard |
Mark A. Shank, partner, Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank, Dallas

2014 Year in Review: Labor & Employment

By Mark A. Shank |
Judge Sam Sparks, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division

Defendant Seeks to Withdraw Guilty Plea in Judge Sparks Bribe Case

By Angela Morris |

"I've only made a move to withdraw my client's plea two or three times in the last 28 years of practice," said criminal-defense lawyer Chris Flood, who represents Franscisco Antonio Colorado Cessa.

Optical Company Sues Three Firms for Professional Malpractice

By Angela Morris |

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants failed to perfect SMLI's security interest when they failed to file the UCC-1 statement in Delaware as required by Texas law.

Judson A. Waltman is the managing attorney for personal injury, product liability and maritime litigation for The Lanier Law Firm in Houston.

2014 Year in Review: Personal Injury

By Judson A. Waltman |

Texas Lawyer's 2014 Tongue-in-Cheek Awards

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Texas Lawyer's Tongue-in-Cheek Awards shine the spotlight on judges, lawyers and others who made news in unusual ways. Here are this year's winners.

Jonathan Judkowitz, partner, Winston & Strawn, Houston

Newsmakers: Week of Dec. 15

Jonathan Judkowitz has joined Winston & Strawn as a partner in the firm's corporate transactions group in Houston.

James W. Walker

2014 Year in Review: Litigation

By James W. Walker |
Justice Nora Longoria of the Thirteenth Court of Appeals (booking mugshot)

Judge Dismisses Justice Longoria's DWI Case

By Angela Morris |

A judge has dismissed Thirteenth Court of Appeals Justice Nora Longoria's DWI charged, noting in an order that he was dismissing the case "in the interest of justice."

Philip Hilder, principal in Hilder & Associates in Houston

2014 Year in Review: Criminal Law

By Philip H. Hilder |
Proposed Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate. Photo: Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

Supreme Court to Hear Texas Confederate License Plate Case

By Miriam Rozen |

The justices granted a hearing that Texas sought after the Fifth Circuit ruled against the DMV's actions on First Amendment grounds.

Rakhee Patel is a partner in the Dallas office of Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton, LLP

2014 Year in Review: Bankruptcy

By Rakhee Patel |
Adam Sanderson is a partner in Reese Gordon Marketos in Dallas

2014 Year in Review: Intellectual Property

By Adam Sanderson |
Samuel A. 'Sam' Houston, a partner in Houston's Shepherd, Scott, Clawater & Houston

Appellate Lawyers of the Week: A 'Licking My Wounds' Victory

By John Council |

Sam Houston and Jerry M. Young convinced Houston's Fourteenth Court of Appeals to uphold rulings tossing out fraud claims against their clients.

Andrew Calder is a partner in the Houston office of Kirkland & Ellis

What Were the Big Lateral Moves in 2014?

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A number of firms headquartered outside Texas opened offices in the Lone Star State during 2014, spurring lateral moves.

Texas Lawyer's Top 20 Headlines for 2014

Here are this year's top 20 articles rated by number of page views.

2014 Year in Review: Securities Class Action Law

By Michelle Hartmann |
Judge Tracy Christopher

Appellate Courts Struggle With Retrial Review

By Angela Morris |

"Do we want to give the trial judge any discretion?" asked Fourteenth Court of Appeals Justice Tracy Christopher.

Plaintiff Claims Receiver Overcharged $5 Million

By John Council |

Steven Harr, general counsel for Dallas Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, whose firm is a defendant in the case, said the plaintiff can't sue over a federally appointed receivership because "a judge ordered it."

Marco Ronquillo of Dallas' Friedman & Feiger

Marcos Ronquillo Runs for Dallas Mayor

By John Council |

Longtime law firm manager announces his mayoral bid while standing next to an East Dallas pothole.

Bryan Blevins, partner at Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont

Legislative Session: Who Will Be Swinging the Bat for Plaintiffs?

By Angela Morris |

Who is going to bat for plaintiffs and trial lawyers in the 2015 legislative session?

Merry Christmas, Plaintiffs Lawyers!

By Michael P. Maslanka |

On Dec. 11, the Fifth Circuit delivered an early Christmas present to plaintiffs lawyers in 'EEOC v. LHC Group, Inc.' And, I'm not talking stocking stuffers, but a big old present under a lit up tree.

Kate Sweeny.

Study Gauges the Stress of Waiting for Bar Exam Results

By Karen Sloan |

A pair of psychologists at the University of California, Riverside, tracked the emotional states of 50 law graduates who sat for the California bar exam in 2011.

4 Key Issues When Conducting Cross-Border Investigations

By Carlos F. Ortiz, Shawn M. Wright, Stephanie C. Chomentowski and Kierstan L. Carlson |

Internal investigations in the United States can be complicated enough, but venturing into non-U.S. jurisdictions during the course of the investigation can create an additional set of challenges that need to be addressed.

Google Wins Patent Infringement Case

By Miriam Rozen |

The legal battle pitted two of Houston's biggest law firms against each other.

Trustee, Ex-Client Alleges 'Fee Churning'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

An estate trustee sues the estate of Houston lawyer Ronald B. Pruitt and his firm, alleging Pruitt advised her to unnecessarily set up a guardianship.

fire alarm

Dallas Fire Evacuates Nearly 400 Gardere Employees

By John Council |

Gardere's executive director Judy Vetkoetter said property management handled the fire evacuation well.

Two businessmen shaking hands.

Porter Hedges, Baker Botts Work $500 Million Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts represents Houston-based The Energy & Minerals Group in equity commitment for Oklahoma City company.

Michael J. Joyce

Be Thankful for the Good Things, Young Attorneys

By Michael J. Joyce |

With so many distractions (many of which are generally welcome), young practitioners may lose sight of the many things to be thankful for during the holiday season.

Christopher Cotropia.

Study: Women Law Professors Cited More Often

By Karen Sloan |

For years, evidence that scholarly research produced by women is cited less frequently than that written by men has fed concern about bias and women’s ability to advance within the academy.

2014 Law Department Metrics Benchmarking Survey

If it's one thing we've learned over the years about corporate counsel, it's that they love data.

Rob Crain, partner, Crain Lewis, Dallas

$6.2 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

Toxicology report showing deceased had marijuana in his system didn't doom the plaintiffs' case.

Texas Lawyer's 2014 Tongue-in-Cheek Awards

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Texas Lawyer's Tongue-in-Cheek Awards shine the spotlight on judges, lawyers and others who made news in unusual ways. Here are this year's winners.

Asking Lawyers to Swear To Be Civil Met With Hostility

By Angela Morris |

"I don't think it has any place in an adversarial profession where tempers run high," said Supreme Court Advisor Committee member Richard Munzinger about a proposal to amend the new-lawyer's oath.

giftbag

Top 5 Myths About Seasonal Employees

By Sheila Gladstone |

Seasonal employees can bring much needed help, as well as some scary legal liabilities, exacerbated by common misconceptions that make employers feel safer than they really are.

Alex Roberts, associate (partner as of Jan. 1, 2015), Beck Redden, Houston

Lawyer Moves Up From Records Room to Partner

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Alex Roberts, who becomes a partner on Jan. 1, 2015 in Beck Redden in Houston, started in firm's records room.

Discipline Case Alleges Attorney Told Client She 'Could Not Deal' With Matter at Hearing

By John Council |

The State Bar of Texas filed a disciplinary action against an Irving attorney who allegedly told an immigration client facing deportation that she "could not deal with the matter right now" during a hearing, left the courthouse and told the client to do the same.

Judge Sam Sparks, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division

Defendant Seeks to Withdraw Guilty Plea in Judge Sparks Bribe Case

By Angela Morris |

"I've only made a move to withdraw my client's plea two or three times in the last 28 years of practice," said criminal-defense lawyer Chris Flood, who represents Franscisco Antonio Colorado Cessa.

Judge Tracy Christopher

Appellate Courts Struggle With Retrial Review

By Angela Morris |

"Do we want to give the trial judge any discretion?" asked Fourteenth Court of Appeals Justice Tracy Christopher.

Plaintiff Claims Receiver Overcharged $5 Million

By John Council |

Steven Harr, general counsel for Dallas Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, whose firm is a defendant in the case, said the plaintiff can't sue over a federally appointed receivership because "a judge ordered it."

Proposed Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate. Photo: Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

Supreme Court to Hear Texas Confederate License Plate Case

By Miriam Rozen |

The justices granted a hearing that Texas sought after the Fifth Circuit ruled against the DMV's actions on First Amendment grounds.

Divorce Fallout Takes Cantey Hanger to Texas Supreme Court

By Miriam Rozen |

The state's highest civil court hears arguments about when qualified attorney immunity should apply.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

High Court Case of First Impression Involves Fracking, Defamation Claims and Anti-SLAPP Law

By Miriam Rozen |

Fracking opponents, pinning arguments on the state's anti-SLAPP statue, want natural gas drilling companies' defamation allegations against them dismissed.

Justice Nora Longoria of the Thirteenth Court of Appeals (booking mugshot)

Judge Dismisses Justice Longoria's DWI Case

By Angela Morris |

A judge has dismissed Thirteenth Court of Appeals Justice Nora Longoria's DWI charged, noting in an order that he was dismissing the case "in the interest of justice."

Jim S. Adler, 'The Texas Hammer,' is the founder of Jim S. Adler & Associates in Houston

'The Hammer' Pounds Online Lawyer Advertising

By Angela Morris |

Jim "The Texas Hammer" Adler wrote that the "misrepresentation and dishonest aura" surrounding pay-per-click advertising might violate existing ethics rules.

VerdictSearch: Parties Settle for $25,000 for Firing After Employee's Absence

A warehouse worker who was fired for allegedly taking an unexcused absence agreed to a $25,000 settlement.

New Trial for Convicted Murderer

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Retrial order is based on the testimony of a medical examiner who later said she could no longer stand by her trial testimony regarding the cause of death.

Ophelia F. Camiña, a partner in Susman Godfrey in Dallas

Litigator of the Week: $15 Million Verdict for Richardson's GlobeRanger Corp.

By Miriam Rozen |

Susman Godfrey partner, working on contingency and drilling down through emails, wins jury verdict for plaintiff claiming misappropriation of trade secrets.

AT&T. Washington, D.C. November 11, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

AT&T Targeted in Shareholder Derivative Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

Former federal judge represents plaintiff who filed suit after FTC sought injunction against telecommunications company.

Desire to Mentor? Think Through These Things First

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Remember the Chinese proverb: "The teacher opens the door, but it is the student who walks through."

Ron Kirk, the former U.S. trade ambassador and Dallas mayor, announced he joined as a senior advisor the Texas Central Railway, a private firm, seeking to start a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston.

On Track: Ron Kirk Makes High-Speed Move

By Miriam Rozen |

The former Dallas mayor and U.S. trade ambassador joins a private company seeking to start a high-speed railway from Dallas to Houston.

EnergyBuzz: Why is Mexico Talking About Importing Oil From Others?

By Scott D. Marrs and Brian T. Bagley |

Mexico, the world's 10th largest crude oil producer, may actually import oil. How can these potentially inconsistent energy policies be reconciled?

Former GC Tracy Schrader Joins Dallas Insurance Coverage Boutique Amy Stewart Law

Newsmakers: Week of Dec. 8

Tracy Schrader has joined insurance coverage boutique Amy Stewart Law in Dallas as of counsel.

briefcase

5 Tips for Retaining Outside Litigation Counsel

By Jim Boeckman and Jeff Travis |

Vetting and retaining counsel for major litigation matters can be one of the highest-stakes decisions an in-house leader makes.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

Denton Files Answers in Fracking Ban Battles

By Miriam Rozen |

The city of Denton, defending its fracking ban against two lawsuits, will likely reach a conclusion in at least one of them by spring.

Houston Firm Files Lawsuit Against Lawyer

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

ClearmanPrebeg files suit seeking $2.5 million from Houston lawyer Scott Clearman and the Clearman Law Firm.

party

Steps to Company Party? Eat, Drink and Be Wary

By A. Martin Wickliff Jr. |

These gatherings can invite unwanted sexual advances and potentially unlawful conduct.

Allyson N. Ho, Houston and Dallas-based partner and co-chair of Morgan Lewis’ appellate practice

A Supreme Month: Lawyer Credits Preparedness in Ability to Argue Two U.S. High Court Cases in Three Weeks

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Allyson Ho, a partner in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Dallas and Houston, argued two appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court within 21 days.

Case Summaries

By David Popple |
Jerry Clements

Locke Lord Partners OK Big Merger

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Locke Lord of Dallas will merge on Jan. 10 with Edwards Wildman Palmer, creating a firm with about 1,100 lawyers.