Latest News

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

The Judge Who Tried to School the Feds

By Miriam Rozen |

Hanen issued a sanctions order calling for five years of ethics training for a broad swath of DOJ lawyers May 19, after he concluded that the DOJ lawyers had made intentional misrepresentations to his court in bad faith. But that has not been the only Hanen ruling to generate national press attention.

Texas entrepreneur Sam Wyly walks into U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in New York, for closing arguments in the civil trial of Wyly and his late brother Charles. The pair are accused of earning more than $500 million through fraud and deception by secretly trading the securities of public companies they controlled.

Bankruptcy Judge Curtails Sam Wyly's Homestead Exemption to $155K

By Miriam Rozen |

Two days after a Dallas federal bankruptcy judge ordered former billionaire and Texan Sam Wyly to pay the Internal Revenue Service $1.1 billion, the same judge issued a memorandum allowing him to claim only a $155,000 homestead exemption on his home. Wyly values the home at $12 million and the local tax appraisal district values it at $9 million.

Haynes and Boone managing partner Timothy Powers.

Haynes and Boone to Bolt on UK Boutique Post-Brexit

Haynes and Boone announced Thursday that it has agreed merge with Curtis Davis Garrard, a 20-lawyer London firm that has clients in the shipbuilding and offshore oil and gas industries and handles both transactional work and litigation.

Hillary H. Holmes, Corporate Partner, Tax Partner, at Baker Botts in Houston.

Akin Gump Leads Texas Firms in National Pro Bono Rankings

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld ranked the highest among Texas Am Law 200 firms on The American Lawyer's Pro Bono report.

Convictions Upheld for Married San Antonio Lawyers Who Demanded Payments From Wife's Sexual Partners

By John Council |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has declined to overturn the convictions of formerly married San Antonio lawyers who were convicted of theft after the wife had sexual liaisons with four men whom the husband subsequently threatened with litigation unless they compensated him for his emotional distress.

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Houston College of Law Leaders Say New Name Not Confusing

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The board of directors and administrators of newly-named Houston College of Law maintain law school on "firm legal ground" in name change, despite infringement suit filed by University of Houston.

Justices to Hear From Hearing-Impaired Texans Over Roadblocks to Drivers' Licenses

By Miriam Rozen |

In Texas, hearing-impaired persons under the age of 25, who use sign language to communicate, face special obstacles to obtaining a driver's license and therefore from equal access to public benefits, according to plaintiffs who won on June 28 the right to argue their case before the U.S. Supreme Court during its next term.

Houston Lawyer Convinces Supreme Court That Railroad Has No Responsibility For West Nile Mosquito Bite

By John Council |

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Kent Rutter recently convinced the Texas Supreme Court that a railroad had no liability to a worker who contracted the West Nile virus while repairing track on a mosquito-infested worksite.

SEC: GC Part of "Egregious Fraud" at Dallas Energy Company

By kristen rasmussen |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has accused executives at a Dallas oil and gas energy company, including the CEO and general counsel, of a "long-lasting and egregious fraud" that included spending investors' money at gentlemen's clubs.

Text Message About Johnny Football Benches Local Counsel

By Miriam Rozen |

If lawyers are going to make a mistake and send a text message to a reporter with attorney-client privileged information, the scenario may play out better for them in disciplinary terms when the client is as famous as ex-pro football player Johnny "Football" Manziel.

Texas and Volkswagen Shake Hands on $50M Partial Settlement

By Miriam Rozen |

Shortly after Volkswagen announced a $14.7 billion deal to settle claims in the United States with consumers and the federal government related to its alleged diesel emissions deceptions, Texas unveiled a partial settlement, calling for the German carmaker to pour some $50 million into state coffers.

Goodwill: Corporate or Personal?

By Jeff Compton |

We use the term "goodwill" to identify the intangible but valuable asset of a business arising from its reputation and customer relationships.

Energy Transfer Can Escape Merger Over Tax Consequences

Energy Transfer Equity may escape its merger agreement with Williams Companies, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III ruled in a closely watched case June 24, finding Energy Transfer’s desire to avoid potential tax liability was genuine and not a malicious effort to sandbag the deal, once valued at over $30 billion.

Protesters gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, June 27, the day the justices stuck down a Texas abortion clinic law.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Restrictions in Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday ruled 5-3 in favor of abortion rights, striking down restrictions imposed by Texas on abortion clinics that the court said posed an “undue burden” on a woman’s access to abortion.

University of Houston Regents Sue Houston College of Law

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The University of Houston board of regents filed a federal infringement suit against the newly named Houston College of Law.

Demonstrators for and against abortion rights demonstrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt case. March 2, 2016. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Row Over Texas Health Officials' Data Delays Highlighted by Abortion Decision

By Miriam Rozen |

In abortion ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court majority's reliance on that data throws into high relief a pending controversy: Did the state agency's general counsel delay release of additional, updated data from the same sources?

Thompson & Knight Ups Associate Base Pay

By Brenda sapino jeffreys |

Dallas-based Thompson & Knight is the latest large Texas firm to increase base salaries for its U.S. associates.

Scott Keller

Abortion, Immigration Capped Active Supreme Court Term for Keller

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, who spent his recent Mondays and Thursdays like most other Supreme Court watchers — glued to social media — reflects on his first year as Texas' top advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was capped Tuesday by a defeat on abortion restrictions but was also marked by an effective victory that stopped enforcement of the Obama administration's executive actions on immigration.

Jim Harrington, director and attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project, an Austin nonprofit

Sanctions for Slang? Prominent Civil Rights Lawyer Fights Racism Allegations In Federal Court

By John Council |

In 43 years of fighting on behalf of minority voters, farm workers and people with disabilities, Austin civil rights lawyer Jim Harrington says he's been called plenty of derogatory names, but never this one: Racist.

'I Ate Burritos Virtually Every Day': How Big-Name Lawyers Coped with Bar-Study Stress

By Leigh Jones |

Remember studying for the bar exam? Flashcards, prep courses, outlines. So fun! As thousands of law graduates across the country are preparing for the test this summer, we asked prominent lawyers who made it through to the other side to share their quirky rituals or behaviors that helped them succeed.

Law Firms Face Uncertain Future as Brexit Result Hits Markets

By Chris Johnson |

Law firms across the U.K. and beyond are facing an uncertain future after Britain voted to leave the European Union. Clifford Chance senior partner Malcolm Sweeting said the so-called Brexit will have "serious implications," while K&L Gates' European managing partner Martin Lane said it will "create shockwaves across the globe."

VW Settlement Tops $10 Billion, WSJ Reports

By Staff |

Volkswagen AG will pay more than $10 billion dollars to settle a wave of consumer litigation that has enveloped the company since its emissions cheating scandal erupted, and a further $4 billion to address the environmental impact it has caused, according to news reports.

Seven Ways Brexit Will Impact Big Law

By Chris Johnson |

Earlier this morning, the U.K. took the unprecedented step of voting to leave the European Union. The so-called Brexit will not happen for at least two years, but the shock result has already resulted in widespread market turmoil.

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Another Fracas Over Law School Name Change, Now In Houston

By Karen Sloan and Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Just three months after George Mason University faced a barrage of criticism for renaming its law school in honor of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the South Texas College of Law has raised the ire of the nearby University of Houston Law Center by renaming itself the Houston College of Law.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

SCOTUS Ruling Trains Eyes on Federal Judge in Brownsville, TX

By Miriam Rozen |

As a result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued today in an immigration case, many more eyes will be trained on U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen who will preside at trial. At that trial, which the high court ruled may now take place, Texas and 25 other states will be pitted against the Obama administration's proposed immigration reforms. A portrait below, scheduled for print publication in the July issue of Texas Lawyer, shows Hanen's performance last month as he wrestled from the bench with arguments that he had overstepped his authority by issuing sanctions requiring ethics training for U.S. Department of Justice lawyers. At the hearing, Hanen reversed his own sanctions order, but his expressions from the bench before doing so, may shed light on how he will preside at the scheduled trial.

Newsmakers: Week of June 27

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Fault Lines Sharpen After Judge Voids Federal Fracking Rules

By Ben Seal and Marcia Coyle |

A Wyoming federal judge's decision Tuesday striking down the Obama administration's hydraulic fracturing rules was a significant victory for the oil and gas industry as federal, state and local governments clash over the authority to impose regulations.

Plaintiff Abigail Fisher after arguments in <i>Fisher v. University of Texas</i> at Austin. December 9, 2015.

Justices Split Over Race in University Admissions

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court’s surprise ruling on Thursday upholding the affirmative action program at the University of Texas may bring a pause—but not an end—to decades of attacks on race-conscious admissions policies nationwide.

Abid Qureshi of Latham & Watkins.

White House Eyes Latham Partner for Federal Bench in DC

By Zoe Tillman |

Abid Qureshi, a partner at Latham & Watkins and the global chairman of the firm’s pro bono practice, is being vetted by the White House for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, according to four sources familiar with the process.

As Big Firms Up Associate Pay, Regional Firms See an Opening

Midsize and regional firms are eyeing a wave of salary increases for associates at big law firms as a way to reinforce their long-touted message: We're in tune with the economic realities facing clients and do high-quality work for less money.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the immigration case United States v. Texas. April 18, 2016. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Supreme Court Deadlocks on Immigration, Keeping Injunction in Place

By Marcia Coyle and Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday deadlocked in a challenge to an Obama administration program that would defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants, issuing a 4-4 ruling that keeps in place an injunction blocking the immigration directives.

Anthony Kennedy.

Divided Supreme Court Upholds UT Affirmative Action Program

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a controversial race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas, in a 4-3 ruling written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Fracking operation in Texas.

Wyoming Judge Strikes Federal Agency's Fracking Rule

A Wyoming judge on Tuesday struck down as unlawful a set of federal rules that regulate the extraction of oil and gas by hydraulic fracturing, delivering a setback to the Obama administration and environmental advocates.

States Get Failing Grades for Judicial Diversity

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

A report released Wednesday by the American Constitution Society confirmed what anyone who has set foot in a courtroom may have noticed: judges are mostly white men, while the people appearing before them are much more diverse.

American Ninja Warrior Season 8 Submission Video of Brian Burkhardt, Texas Tech 2L

For TV Gig, Law Student Becomes Ninja Warrior

By Karen Sloan |

Call him the American Ninja Law Student. Brian Burkhardt, who just completed his first year at Texas Tech University School of Law, made his debut Monday on American Ninja Warrior—the supersized obstacle-course TV show that sends buff and nimble contestants scurrying up walls, shimmying across balance beams, and swinging from a Rube Goldberg-esque lineup of ropes, poles and moving contraptions.

Longtime Big Law Trial Lawyer Opens Own Litigation Shop

By Brenda sapino jeffreys |

Looking for some "fun cases," trial lawyer James Edward "Jim" Maloney left Andrews Kurth to open a solo practice in Houston.

Ex-Judicial Conduct Commissioner Suspended From Bench Over Transparency Charge

By John Council |

The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct was forced to suspend one of its former memebrs from the bench without pay after he was indicted for allegedly violating open meetings laws.

Haynes and Boone Increases Associate Salaries

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

Dallas-based Haynes and Boone announced raises for U.S. associates effective July 1, ranging from a $180,000 starting base salary to $325,000.

Bert Rein of Wiley Rein, who represented Abigail Fisher (right) in Fisher v University of Texas, addresses the media after arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2012.

In Fisher, Affirmative Action Advocates See Means to Preserve Campus Diversity

By John Council |

Affirmative action advocates applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Fisher v. University of Texas — a decision they believe that will go a long way in preserving racially diverse student bodies on college campuses across the United States.

Local Link With Jurors Helped Underpin $34M Car Seat Verdict, Lawyer Says

By Miriam Rozen |

A four-day trial in federal court in Tyler,Texas, this month led to a $34.4 million verdict for a young mother from nearby Marshall and her toddler son, who suffered life-altering head and back injuries while in a front-facing car seat during a crash.

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Houston Law School Changes Name in Brand Awareness Bid

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

As of June 22, the 93-year-old South Texas College of Law is rebranded as Houston College of Law.

Open Letter to a Data Thief (Turned Federal Defendant)

By Alan Bush and Lee Winkelman |

Dear Ex-Employee: Remember that job you left a couple weeks back, downloading the company's product designs and customer list and bringing them to its hottest competitor? Congratulations, here's a federal lawsuit.

Commentary: The Supreme Court's New Whistleblower Decision Is Huge


As someone famously said, "We live in a material world." After the Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar decision, this is particularly true in at least two ways.

Attorney Acting in Nonlegal Role Still Owes Fiduciary Duty, Court Rules

By John Council |

Even though a lawyer acted as an escrow agent — and not in the role of an attorney — in a business deal gone sour, Dallas' Fifth Court of Appeals reversed a take-nothing judgment against him and his firm after finding they had a fiduciary duty to a client who paid $250,000 for a beer store that turned out to have $260,000 in tax liens looming over it.

Baker Botts Reporting Triggers SEC's Probe into Investment Adviser with NFL & MLB Clients

By Miriam Rozen |

Shortly after the Super Bowl last February, two partners in Houston's Baker Botts and principals with their client, a Dallas-based investment advisory firm, reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission concerns about likely problems with investments in a ticket-selling business that an adviser had initiated for a number of clients, including major league sports stars. This week, prompted by that reporting, the SEC announced it had filed a complaint against Ash Narayan, an adviser who previously worked from a Newport Coast, California, office of RGT Capital Management, the Dallas-based firm and others.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas High Court Split Decision Halts Homeowners Who Claimed Harris Cty's Inaction Led to Flood Damages

By Miriam Rozen |

Some 400 Houston-area homeowners who claimed their properties suffered flood damages because of upstream development allowed by the local government officials won no relief from the Texas Supreme Court. In a 5-4 ruling, the court's majority determined that local officials would not have known that particular properties downstream would flood.

U.S. Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Turns Back Challenge to Post-Sandy Hook Gun Ban

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away challenges to assault weapons bans in Connecticut and New York which were enacted after the mass shooting of 26 children and staff at Sandy Hook elementary school.

Brazil’s Pre-Olympics Emergency Declaration Raises Legal Questions

A Brazilian state governor’s declaration of a state of emergency and request for federal money to meet obligations in hosting the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is being questioned on constitutional grounds and may lead to lawsuits, attorneys say.

Locke Lord Opens Office in Ohio

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

Dallas-based Locke Lord opens an office in Cincinnati on June 20, which is staffed by two public finance laterals.

Dallas Lawyer Convinces Supreme Court to Toss Defamation Case with Shocking Allegation

By John Council |

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Dallas Lawyer Convinces Supreme Court to Toss Defamation Case with Shocking Allegation.

Lawsuit Targets Austin Short-Term Rental Ordinance

By Miriam Rozen |

The gig economy — specifically, the short-term rental industry that includes HomeAway, Airbnb, and VRBO — is under attack by the city of Austin, Texas, according to a lawsuit filed in state court June 20, which was sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Donald Trump

Pensive Trump at Buzbee Home: "I Can Live Either Way"

By Miriam Rozen |

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, appeared at a fundraising party in Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee's home.

Andrews Kurth managing partner Bob Jewell

Andrews Kurth Jumps on Salary Bandwagon

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston-based Andrews Kurth is the latest large Texas firm to raise associate salaries to the new, higher market rate set by Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Newsmakers: Week of June 20


Oil Exploration Company's Demand for Tax Refund Fails in Texas Supreme Court

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday turned down an oil company's bid for a large tax exemption and held that Southwest Royalties Inc.'s purchases of casing, tubing, other well equipment and associated services were not exempt from sales taxes available to certain manufacturers.

Houston Attorney Sues Starbucks Over Hot Coffee


In a case that may be a replay of one of the most notorious tort cases in American history, a Houston attorney recently filed a case against Starbucks alleging that she was seriously burned by hot coffee that was served to her from a drive-thru window.

Mexico Agrees to API Worker-Safety Standards


Mexico, as part of the country's initiative to attract outside investors, recently agreed to use the American Petroleum Institute's safety standards in its energy programs to promote worker safety at offshore drilling sites.

Law Firms Brace for Brexit as EU Referendum Vote Looms

By Chris Johnson |

In exactly a week’s time, the U.K. public will undertake arguably its most important vote in generations, on whether the country will remain within the European Union. The repercussions of Brexit, as it is called, could resonate at a global level. Even the mere possibility of a U.K. withdrawal has already taken a toll on law firms and the financial markets.

Supreme Court Tweaks Rules for Attorney Fees in Copyright Cases

By Scott Graham |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday recalibrated the law of copyright fee shifting, telling the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that it was placing too much weight on the objective reasonableness of parties’ litigation positions.

Ex-Uber, Lyft Drivers Must Identify Worksite to Win Lawsuits

By Miriam Rozen |

Labor lawyers on both the employer and employee side of the aisle predict some heavy lifting for Austin, Texas-based former Uber and Lyft drivers targeting the ride-hailing companies with twin class-action lawsuits.

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani to Officiate His First Same-Sex Wedding

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will officiate his first same-sex wedding this weekend, marrying his former law partner Scott Segal, who leads Bracewell's policy resolution group in its Washington, D.C. office, to Travis Hatch, an interior designer.

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the Liberty Institute

Trump's Bluster on Muslims Taken in Stride by Religious Freedom Stalwart


Has Donald Trump, as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, recently refined his rhetoric enough to satisfy a well-known Texas litigator who has long his hung well-financed his hat on advocating for religious freedoms?

Women Sue Baylor Over School's Alleged Failure to Respond to Rape Complaints

By John Council |

Three women have filed a federal lawsuit against Baylor University in a Waco U.S. District Court, alleging that the university ignored their allegations of sexual assault while they were students.

Ryan Sitton, Railroad Commissioner of Texas

A Texas Energy Regulator Rails on Agency's Arcane Name


You know the name if you work in the energy sector. The Texas Railroad Commission, around since 1891, regulates exploration, production and transportation of oil and natural gas in Texas.

Host Tony Buzbee "Not Worried" About Security for Trump Donor Party

By Miriam Rozen |

"I'm a former Marine recon officer who served in the Persian Gulf and Somalia," the Houston lawyer said.

Bracewell Gives Raises to Associates, Cuts Staff

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

The same week Houston-based Bracewell said it would move to the new Cravath market rate for salaries for its U.S. associates, the firm laid off a group of support staff.

Yelp Reviewers and Koch Aim to Bolster Speech Protections

By Miriam Rozen |, Koch Industries' CEO Charles Koch, and a Dallas couple who own a dog and pet fish all have chosen the same side in a growing debate about the free-speech rights of online reviewers.

Pharma Antitrust Case Gets Bogged Down in Procedural Muck

Oral arguments in a closely watched antitrust suit by a pharmacy chain against three drugmakers became weighed down in a procedural morass in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit courtroom Monday.

Harvard Grad Who Flunked Bar Sues Over Loss of Big-Law Job

By Karen Sloan |

A 2013 Harvard graduate who twice failed the bar exam has sued the New York State Board of Law Examiners, claiming its refusal to provide testing accommodations derailed her career at Ropes & Gray.

Salvador Colon, Law Office of Salvador Colon, Houston.

Houston Lawyer Convinces 5th Circuit Immigrant's Case Was Botched Over Wrong Address

By John Council |

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Houston attorney convinces Fifth Circuit that immigrant's case was botched over a wrong address.

Bracewell to Move to Cravath Salary Scale

By Brenda Sapino jeffreys |

Following the market rate set by Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Houston-based Bracewell will raise salaries of U.S. associates on July 1.

Scott Keller

Will Texas' Top Appellate Lawyer Get to Make Victory Laps in DC?

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller might be taking multiple victory laps when he makes a July 6 scheduled speaking appearance at a conservative Washington, D.C. think tank's post-term symposium review of U.S. Supreme Court rulings. If the high court rules in the Lone Star state's favor in two pending cases, Keller will have achieved in his first 18 months as Texas' top appellate lawyer a 4-to-1 record before the justices. The cases he has argued are about controversial legal questions, which have generated plenty of nationwide attention.

Baker Botts Raises Associate Salary Scale

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts, based in Houston, joins Texas firm Vinson & Elkins in raising the base salary for entry-level U.S. associates to $180,000.

 Mark Kelly

V&E Hires Five IP Litigators in Austin, Dallas

By Brenda sapino jeffreys |

Houston-based Vinson & Elkins hires five litigators who do IP work, with four coming from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and one from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Bankrupt Former Billionaire Sam Wyly Fights to Keep his $9M Home

By Miriam Rozen |

In his bankruptcy case, onetime billionaire and Texan Sam Wyly asked the court this week to exempt from the clutches of claimants, including the Internal Revenue Service, his annuities, his 401(k), his religious books and his $9 million-appraised Dallas home. Federal prosecutors, however, argue that because Wyly had been found liable in a New York federal court for securities fraud, he should not get to keep such a high-priced abode away from claimants.

Locke Lord Raises Associate Salaries

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Locke Lord will move to new $180,000 market base salary rate for beginning associates in large markets as of July 1 and increase to $155,000 in smaller markets.

Stephen D. Susman

Susman Godfrey Goes to $190K for First-Years

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

McKool Smith of Dallas and Houston-based Susman Godfrey raise associate salaries in the wake of Cravath, Swaine & Moore's move last week.

Three Lawyers Start Houston Trial Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three lawyers left Beirne, Maynard & Parsons in Houston to form litigation firm Hicks Davis Wynn.

Shell's Legal Offshoring a Sign of Things to Come

The announcement by Royal Dutch Shell that it plans to open an offshore legal operations center illustrates a growing trend, according to industry experts.

Atlanta Judge Awards Legal Fees in National DNA Case

By R. Robin McDonald |

In a nationally watched case that set limits on the kind of genetic information employers can compel from employees, a federal judge in Atlanta has awarded more than $500,000 in legal fees to the lawyers who brought the federal discrimination case.

Have Global Compliance Problems? You're Not Alone

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Companies operating in Brazil, India and Russia face heightened ethics and compliance risks, according to a global survey of 13 countries.

Four Tips To Get Over That “Dirty” Feeling When Networking

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Who knew lawyers have such moral scruples? According to research by business school faculty members at Toronto, Harvard and Northwestern universities, lawyers approach networking with absolute dread because they feel guilty that they’re doing it for purely selfish reasons.

Reagan Bradford

In-House Lawyer Who Hired W. Mark Lanier Joins His Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Reagan Bradford, a former deputy general counsel at Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Corp., has joined Lanier Law Firm of Houston to do commercial litigation.

Texas, Delaware and Other States Want Their MoneyGram Battle Settled By High Court

By Miriam Rozen |

Such original lawsuits rank as a rare breed at SCOTUS.

 Mark Kelly

V&E Raising U.S. Associate Salaries

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins, based in Houston, notified U.S. associates on June 9 that it will raise associate salaries starting July 1.

Williamson County Attorney Jana Duty

Resign or Go, Business Leaders Tell Williamson County DA After State Bar Disciplinary Action

By Miriam Rozen |

As business leaders in her hometown to call for her resignation, Williamson County District Attorney Jana Duty was put by the State Bar of Texas' Commission for Lawyer Discipline on probated suspension for 18 months, ending November 30, 2017.

Uber iPhone app. December 11, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

For Uber and Lyft: Goodbye Austin, Hello Class Action Lawsuits

By Miriam Rozen |

Austin's Slack & Davis represents both suits and, if the law firm's proposed class actions succeeds, it hopes plenty of others who once drove in Austin, Texas for the ride-hailing companies will follow. In twin law suits filed in San Francisco federal court on June 9, Johnston, Thornton, and their Slack & Davis lawyers have crafted a novel approach to pursue Uber and Lyft.

Deans & Lyons Opens Houston Office

By brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Five trial lawyers in Houston move to Deans & Lyons' new Houston office.

Judge Aaron Persky Unlikely to Lose Seat Over Stanford Sex Assault Case

By Ben Hancock |

Despite the outrage it’s not easy to unseat a judge—and not all are calling for it.

Newsmakers: Week of June 13


Rachel S. Giani has joined the Austin office of Winstead as of counsel in the firm's corporate, securities and mergers and acquisitions practice group. Plus other On the Move News.

7 Concepts Every In-House Lawyer Needs to Know About Bankruptcy

By Anna Rotman and Brian Schartz |

By now, the statistics are well-known throughout Texas: domestic crude oil prices have fallen over 50 percent since mid-2014; domestic natural gas prices have fallen over 50 percent over the same period.

Andrews Kurth, White & Case Handle Medical Device Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

LDR Holding Corp., of Austin and Troyes, France, is using Andrews Kurth for its pending $1 billion acquisition by Zimmer Biomet, an Indiana company that turned to White & Case.

Judge Junks Merck's $200M Patent Verdict Against Gilead

By Scott Graham |

A federal judge in San Jose on Monday threw out a $200 million patent infringement verdict against Gilead Sciences Inc. over its hepatitis C treatment. And she ripped into Merck, a former in-house patent prosecutor for the company, and Merck’s outside counsel at Williams & Connolly for “egregious misconduct” that tainted the March trial.

Skepticism Voiced About Texas AG's Bid to Silence Ex-Agency Lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

In a cease and desist letter, first assistant to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office overreached, according to ethics experts and other lawyers familiar with the specifics.

Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

Buzbee to Host Trump Fundraiser

By Miriam Rozen |

Houston litigator Tony Buzbee has scheduled June 17 fund raising event for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Brownsville Texas Judge Stays His Own Sanctions Order Targeting DOJ Lawyers

By Miriam Rozen |

During much of a June 7 hearing, U.S. District Judge Hanen and DOJ lawyers revisited what communication had taken place between each other. Both sides addressed the question of whether the DOJ lawyers lied to the judge about number of immigrants who had participated in Obama administration waiver to work programs at various. The DOJ said they hadn't lied or misrepresented. Hanen concluded they did.

The front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

Judge Stays Order Calling for DOJ Ethics Training

By Miriam Rozen |

The Brownsville, Texas, federal judge who presides in the immigration battle between Texas and 25 other states agreed to stay until at least Aug. 22 an order he issued last month requiring, among other things, five years of ethics training for U.S. Department of Justice lawyers.

Commercial Accounts Targeted by New Breed of Bank Robber


In April, a new breed of bank robber hit 24 U.S. and Canadian banks, scooping up $4 million in less than two weeks before heading to Europe and stripping millions more from 17 Polish banks and one major Portuguese bank.

Haynes and Boone Hires Three Bankruptcy Laterals

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three bankruptcy lawyers leave Winstead to join Haynes and Boone as partners in Dallas.

Lewis Brisbois Hires Six Laterals in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

William "Bill" Helfand leads a group of six labor and employment lawyers who moved to Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith from Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry of Houston.

Newsmakers: Week of June 6

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Ashley W. Anderson has joined Thompson & Knight as a partner in the firm's Dallas and Fort Worth offices; Plus other 'On The Move' News

U.S. Supreme Court to Revisit Death Penalty Issues in Texas Cases

The intersection of intellectual disability and race with capital punishment lies at the heart of two appeals that the court on Monday agreed to review next term.

DOJ Amps Up Fight Over Judge's Ethics-Training Order

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers filed on Friday evening a petition for writ of mandamus, seeking to overturn a sanctions ruling issued against them by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas.

Cybersecurity Special Report

Making Informed Choices About the Deep Dark Web Individuals and organizations that intend to operate in the Dark Web space should seek expert counsel…

The Importance of Escrow Agreements in Software and Technology License Agreements

By Julie Machal-Fulks |

Some of their most integral software applications businesses use are under another party's control.

Beware the Potential Move from Inapplicable Cybersecurity Standards to an Applicable Standard of Care

By BY Jay Johnson |

A Connecticut court determined that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and its implementing regulations "may be utilized to inform the standard of care applicable to ... claims arising from allegations of negligence in the disclosure of patient's medical records pursuant to a subpoena."

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

'School's Out' for DOJ Lawyers in Row With Texas Judge

By Miriam Rozen |

The Brownsville, Texas, federal judge who on June 7 stayed his sanctions order calling for U.S. Department of Justice lawyers to undergo ethics training said he would never send "the entire DOJ to school again."

Property Owner Prevails in Suit Over Kitchen Fire; Plus Other Verdict News

A jury sided with an apartment owner that was accused of covering up evidence in its investigation of a grease fire.

Ali’s Lawyers, Counsel to The Champ, Recall Representing The Greatest

Billions around the world have felt the death of Muhammad Ali, a legendary boxer who turned himself into a global icon. Not surprisingly, a man who made a living with his fists—but became known for his words—employed more than a few lawyers in his lifetime.

Kinder Morgan's $2B Gas Project Gets FERC Approval

By Angela Neville |

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved the approximately $2 billion Elba Liquefaction Project, which will be constructed and operated by the Kinder Morgan subsidiaries Elba Liquefaction Co. and Southern LNG Co.

Houston Company Alleges Lawyers, Firm Overbilled

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In a negligence and breach of fiduciary duty petition filed on June 2, a Houston company alleges Kelley Kronenberg and two Houston lawyers mishandled a lawsuit and overbilled them.

Verrilli, Who Defended Obama Policies in Landmark Cases, is Leaving Justice Department

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. is leaving office on June 24 and will be replaced as acting SG by Ian Gershengorn the principal deputy the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday.

U.S. Chamber, Business Groups Sue Labor Dept. Over New Fiduciary Rule

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business and financial industry groups sued in federal court Wednesday to block a new U.S. Labor Department rule that raises the standards stockbrokers must meet when they give retirement guidance.

Yelp Review of Pet-sitting Company Protected by Free-Speech, Defendants Argue

By Miriam Rozen |

Dog and fish owners told a Dallas court on June 2 that the breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by a pet-sitting company violates their free-speech rights. The pet owners asked the court to toss the lawsuit.

Bracewell, Baker Botts Work on $12.2B Energy Acquisition

By Angela Neville |

Great Plains Energy, the parent of regulated power utility Kansas City Power & Light has turned to Bracewell for assistance with its pending acquisition of Westar Energy, the largest electric company in Kansas.

Linda Addison, Norton Rose Fulbright’s US managing partner

Norton Rose Fulbright Opens San Francisco Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Norton Rose Fulbright adds 17 public finance laterals from Sidley Austin on June 2.

Steve Otillar, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer& Feld, Houston Texas

Akin Gump Partner Named President-Elect for Association of International Petroleum Negotiators

By Angela Neville |

Akin Gump oil and gas partner Steven Otillar, who works in the firm's Houston office, was recently nominated to serve as the president-elect of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

Vicky Gunning, Locke Lord LLP, Dalls, Tx

Locke Lord Taps New Dallas Office Leader

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Real eatate partner Vicky Gunning is now managing partner of the Locke Lord Dallas office, and is one of four new office leaders the firm announced on June 1.

Anthony 'Tony' Buzbee of The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston

Tony Buzbee to Paxton's Defense Team: Get Before a Jury

By Miriam Rozen |

"I haven't really seen any immediately appealable issues of the sort that we had in the Perry case," Buzbee wrote.

Susman Godfrey Wins $14M for Hospital

By Miriam Rozen |

Chalk up a win for hospitals over insurers in the fight over out-of-networking billing.

What’s The Big Deal?

A Look Into Top Dealmaking Firms And Biggest Deals in 2015

Texas Supreme Court Rules Water Drillers Must Accommodate Landowners' Rights

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently expanded the accommodation doctrine—an important concept in oil and gas law—to groundwater estates and extends, for the first time, the same surface protections to landowners dealing with a severed groundwater estate.

How to Spot and Avoid 
Man-in-the-Email Hacking

By Sheryl A. Falk |

Everyone who uses email should be aware of the man-in-the-email scam. In this scheme, a hacker compromises a user's email and gains access to the email traffic. The attacker can view some or all of the email traffic depending on the method of compromise.

James T. Thompson, Porter Hedges, Texas.

James Thompson Joins Porter Hedges; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

James T. Thompson has joined Porter Hedges in Houston as a partner in the firm's energy section.

Finding Your Inner Zen

By James Dolan |

I have noticed many times over the years when speaking with an attorney that he is often not all there, that although he is right in front of me, the gaze is 1,000 yards behind me.

Jay L. Tobin is a Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Dave & Buster's in Dallas TX.

Game On! Dave & Buster's GC Levels Up in Legal and Business Role

By Mary Alice Robbins |

When Dallas-based Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc. made its $100 million initial public offering in 2014, Jay L. Tobin, the company's senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, had to stop handling the myriad of legal matters that usually keep him busy.

Michael P. Maslanka

Reframe, Motivate and Lead: 3 Life Lessons for In-House Counsel, Straight from Shakespeare

By Mike Maslanka |

Here is a Chief Financial Officer's truth: numbers don't lie. Here is a poet's truth: Sustainable and real numbers result from the right leadership.

(left to right) a Texas A&M Ross Volunteer, Bonnie Denny, Otway Denny, President and CEO of The Association of Former Students Porter Garner, Reveille IX’s handler and Reveille IX.

Lawyer Gets Aggie Alumni Award; GC Goes to Firm; What is IP?

Otway Denny, a litigation partner in Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston, has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas A&M University.

Previewing the Upcoming Mexican Deepwater Auction

By Angela Neville |

Relying on his extensive experience in the Latin American energy sector, Luis Gomar, a Dallas partner at Thompson & Knight, provides an in-depth look at what to expect in connection with the approaching auction of deepwater oil blocks to be hosted by the Mexican government in December.

Med Mal in Texas: Time to Tweak the Reforms?

By Miriam Rozen |

Since January, well-known Houston plaintiff 
lawyer Richard Mithoff filed on behalf of clients three petitions against medical providers in state court in Houston—more than the total number of such claims he filed in the previous seven years.

Incoming Texas Bar President Plans to Launch Lawyer Incubator

By Angela Morris |

Frank Stevenson, incoming president of the State Bar of Texas, is launching a legal incubator to teach young attorneys to serve low- and middle-income Texans in family, probate, consumer and landlord-tenant law.

Baylor University, Waco Texas.

Employment Race: Winners and Losers Among Texas Law Schools

By Angela Morris |

Baylor University School of Law won the horse race of finding jobs for law school graduates in 2015, while Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law came in last. Detailed data shows each school's strengths.

Michael Peticolas founder of Peticolas Brewing Co.

The Brew Crew: Texas Lawyers Make Hops into The Craft Brew Industry

By John Council |

Like foam from a shaken can, the craft beer industry has exploded in Texas.

2015 Corporate Scorecard: 6 Texas Firms Nationally Ranked for Corporate Finance, Capital Markets Work

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Six Texas firms are among the top dealmaking firms in several areas of corporate finance on The American Lawyer Corporate Scorecard 2016.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Editor's Note: The Big deal

By Heather D. Nevitt, Esq. |

Excuse the pun, but mergers and acquisitions work in Texas is a big deal. So we bring you our cover story which features our long-standing report on the world of corporate finance and capital markets work.

GCs and Outside Counsel Share Tips on Taking a Company Public

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Expect little sleep, lots of takeout and maybe even some 2 a.m. milkshakes. But if all goes smoothly with the initial public offering, general counsels helping to guide their company through the process also should prepare for a very rewarding experience unlike any in their career, experienced in-house lawyers say.

Have an Emergency Plan for Handling Temporary Restraining Orders

By Forrest Wynn |

The first step for any good plan is to know the rules and law for TROs. While it is not critical to recall every detail, it is important to know how to quickly access them and review them with specificity every time a TRO appears on the radar.

Mergers & Acquisitions in Mexico

By Jaime A. Treviño |

With the opening of the energy 
market and other recent business reforms, Mexico continues to build opportunities for multinational investment and merger activity.

Mexico's Energy Industry 
Wins Big in Power Plant Auction

By Susan Postlewaite |

Mexico kicked off its historic public bidding to open its power sector to private foreign investors this spring, awarding rights to 11 international and Mexican companies in a move that energy lawyers called a huge step toward transforming its aging electric grid.

What Were the Top Deals in 2015?

Round Rock-based Dell’s pending acquisition of computer storage company EMC for an estimated $67 billion tops the list of the 10 biggest Texas deals announced in 2015.

Ken Paxton

Texas AG Ken Paxton Solicits Campaign Funds After Suing Obama Administration

By Miriam Rozen |

Only one week passed between when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration about its directive on transgender people's bathroom access in public schools and he used the litigation to beat the drum for campaign contributions.

Ken Starr

Ken Starr Resigns Position as Baylor's Chancellor

By John Council |

After being demoted last week from his job as Baylor University's president for not doing enough to stop rape on campus, Ken Starr has now announced that he's also leaving his job as the school's chancellor.

She Says 'Woman on Woman Crimes' Blown Out of Proportion, Not Representative

By Kathleen J. Wu |

One of the recurring motifs in gender politics is that "women are just as hard on other women as men are, maybe even harder."

Monte, a German Shepherd, is the property in dispute in Greater Houston German Shepherd Dog Rescue Inc. v. Lydia Lira and Alfonso Lira

Supreme Court Decision Returns Beloved Dog to Owner

By John Council |

Even the Texas Supreme Court is a sucker for a good lost dog story. And in a decision that will warm the hearts of canine lovers everywhere, they recently issued a decision that returned Monte the dog to his owners in Houston.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Hears Concerns About Mandating Criminal E-Filing

By Angela Morris |

If testimony at a public hearing on April 5 is any indication, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals might find support for a criminal e-filing mandate from court clerks, but opposition from judges and district attorneys.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

Pricetag for Judge Hanen's Ethics Training Order: Possibly $8 Million

By Miriam Rozen |

On May 31, the federal government asked for a stay of Brownsville federal judge's order, calling for ethics training for DOJ lawyers.

Lisa Hobbs, partner, Kuhn Hobbs, Austin

Texas Supreme Court Allows $1.29M Legal Mal Case Against DLA Piper to Proceed

By John Council |

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that an Australian businessman has standing to sue DLA Piper, giving him a shot at recovering a $1.29 million jury verdict he won against the huge multinational law firm after the judgment was thrown out by an intermediate court of appeals.

Pastors, Church Sue Houston Lawyer John Nichols

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Robert and Brenda Hogan and Spring First Church seek up to $10 million in damages from John Floyd Nichols Sr. and Nichols Law, alleging the defendants missed a filing deadline.

Akin Gump Closing Austin Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld will close its five-lawyer Austin office at the end of June, because the two intellectual property partners in that office plan to leave the firm.

30-Year Age Range Among May South Texas College of Law Grads

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A 53-year-old graduate is 30 years older than four 23-year-old women who graduated from South Texas College of Law on May 21.

David Ronn, a partner at the Houston office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Orrick, Baker Botts Work on BlueJack Securing $100M in Funding from Energy Spectrum

By Angela Neville |

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe recently represented BlueJack Energy in connection with the Dallas-based company's efforts in securing an initial private equity commitment of up to $100 million from Energy Spectrum Capital, which was represented by Baker Botts.

Sam Olens

Georgia AG's Switch on Transgender Suit Reflects National Debate Over Standing, Ripeness

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens gave a brief lesson in civil procedure when telling Republicans in White County how the state would fight the federal government's recent pronouncement on civil rights for transgender public school students.

U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.

Department of Labor Alleges Pilgrim's Pride Systematically Discriminated Against Job Seekers

By Miriam Rozen |

The U.S. Department of Labor filed on May 25 a lawsuit alleging that the world's second largest chicken producer, Pilgrim's Pride Corp.,systematically discriminated against women, African-American and white job seekers at its plant in Mount Pleasant, Texas.

Nearly $200K Final Judgment in Sex Discrimination Case

By Miriam Rozen |

A nurse who filed sex discrimination and retaliation claims against her former employer, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, won on May 24 a final judgment that includes $115,000 in damages and $84,000 in attorney fees. She alleged she witnessed a supervisor giving a colleague a pop-up penis doll.

Judge Ken Starr

Ken Starr Demoted as Baylor's President


Baylor University President Ken Starr, who is best known as the special prosecutor for investigating former President Bill Clinton's affair with an intern, was demoted from his job as president after the school's governing board found he didn't do enough to stop rape on campus.

U.S. Judge Robert L. Pitman of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

Federal Judge Allows Plaintiff to Sue Officers After He Was Detained for Videoing a Police Station

By John Council |

An Austin federal judge has ruled that an amateur photographer can pursue a civil rights case against four police officers after they detained and handcuffed him for filming the Round Rock Police Department building.

Judge Phyllis Lister Brown, judge of Dallas County’s 162nd District Court

Phyllis Lister Brown, Public Face of the Dallas Civil Courthouse, Dies

By John Council |

Judge Phyllis Lister Brown kept her problems to herself. So it was a shock to many in the Dallas civil courthouse when they learned she died Wednesday morning. Brown, judge of Dallas County's 162nd District Court, was 54 years old.

Cara and Julio Baez with Blue as a puppy

Couple Alleges Breeder Refuses to Return Their 4-Year-Old Dog

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston couple sued a Rosharon Vizsla breeder, alleging she failed to return their family pet after taking him to a dog show.

Texas Capitol

Will a Voter ID Ruling Trigger a Special Session?

By Miriam Rozen |

Judge Catharina Haynes raised the prospect of Texas lawmakers meeting this summer for a special session to fix any flaws in the controversial statute.

Richard Warren Mithoff, founder, Mithoff Law, Houston

Mithoff Tapped to Lead Steering Committee in Volkswagen Emissions Litigation

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

An Austin judge appointed Houston plaintiffs lawyer Richard Mithoff as lead counsel for the Texas counties that have sued Volkswagen Group of America and Audi of America, alleging violations of the Texas Clean Air Act.

Hunton & Williams Eying Transatlantic Tie-Up with UK’s Addleshaws

Hunton & Williams is in merger talks with midmarket U.K. firm Addleshaw Goddard, Legal Week has learned, with Addleshaw managing partner John Joyce expected to discuss the negotiations with partners Tuesday evening. Joyce visited the U.S. last week to speak to Hunton & Williams alongside a delegation that included his executive team and Addleshaw’s divisional managing partners.

Hogan Lovells, Dechert Work on $600M KBR Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Hogan Lovells represents KBR in the Houston-based company's pending acquisition of Wyle in a deal valued at $600 million. Wyle, of El Segundo, California, is using a team from Dechert.


Haynes and Boone Partner Pens Book on the History of Oil & Banking

By Miriam Rozen |

For Buddy Clark, what started as an acceptance to speak before a group of lawyers, ballooned into a five-year project and ultimately led to his new book about the history of the financing of the oil industry.

Doctor's Homemade Model of Male Anatomy Helps Her Prevail in Negligence Case

By Miriam Rozen |

Marc Calvert remembers when he recognized that his client, family physician Lilette Daumas, would have the stamina to defend herself successfully against a negligence claim at a trial.

Bradley Snead, Partner, Wright Close, Houston Texas.

Texas Supreme Court Rules for Schlumberger Subsidiary in Trade Secrets Dispute

By Angela Neville |

The Supreme Court of Texas recently handed down a decision in favor of M-I SWACO, a subsidiary of oil technology giant Schlumberger, which had charged National Oilwell Varco with stealing trade secrets.

George Parker Young

Chesapeake, Total E&P Reach $52.5M Settlement With Royalty Owners

By Angela Neville |

Chesapeake Energy and Total E&P USA recently reached a global settlement under which they will pay out a combined total of $52.5 million to more than 13,000 clients of two Texas-based law firms who claimed they were shortchanged related to their natural gas royalties.

Ken Starr

Prominent Baylor Law School Alumni Shocked by Ken Starr's Reported Dismissal

By John Council |

Baylor University President Ken Starr, who is best known as the special prosecutor for investigating former President Bill Clinton's affair with an intern, has reportedly been dismissed from his post by the school's Board of Regents—a move that shocked many prominent alumni of the school.

Robert C. Hilliard, a partner in Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi.

Discovery to Proceed in Fisherwoman's Case Against Hilliard, Cracken

By Miriam Rozen |

A Houston state court has allowed discovery to proceed in a civil lawsuit against John Cracken from Dallas and Bob Hilliard from Corpus Christi, despite the two plaintiffs lawyers' motion to seek a stay in the litigation.

Texas Supreme Court Rules Tort Reform Laws Cap Civil Penalties Applied Against Wal-Mart

By John Council |

In a decision that's a huge favor for Wal-Mart, the Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that state's tort reform laws that limit plaintiffs' noneconomic damages also apply to civil penalties—including $3.9 million in penalties a federal jury leveled against the nation's largest retailer.

Which Dallas Firm Topped Texas' Diversity Ranking?

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas-based Haynes and Boone is the Texas firm with the highest ranking on The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard 2016.

Houston Flooding Insurance Coverage Considerations

By Brian S. Scarbrough and Jan A. Larson |

As city leaders in Houston continue to work out the city's notorious flooding problems, commercial property damage and business interruption insurance is more critical than ever in an effort to recover and rebuild in the event of flooding.

Don Glendenning, Locke Lord LLP

Newsmakers: Week of May 30

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Latham Represents Company in $13B Pending Merger

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Latham & Watkins represents FMC Technologies in the Houston company's pending merger with French company Technip, creating a $13 billion company.

Norton Rose Fulbright Will Move Some Support Jobs Out of Texas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Eighteen Texas support positions at Norton Rose Fulbright are among 170 worldwide that will be moved to The Phillippines this year.

Simple Steps for Healthcare Providers to Secure Patient Data

By Carrie L. Douglas and Debra L. Innocenti |

Statistics show it's a good time for a healthy shot in the arm for risk management, and there are some simple steps that organizations can take protect patient information.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas Supreme Court Finds Disregard of the Law is No Reason to Vacate Arbitration Awards

By John Council |

Take a deep breath before agreeing to binding arbitration because the Texas Supreme Court has just ruled that trial courts cannot vacate an award because an arbitrator manifestly disregarded the law.

Seven Big Texas Firms on The Second Hundred

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Seven Texas firms were among the second hundred highest-grossing firms in 2015 and appear on The American Lawyer's The Second Hundred.

Susan Hawk, newly elected Dallas DA

Dallas DA Seeks Additional Treatment for Mental Illness

By John Council |

After she missed several planned public meetings, Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk announced she is seeking additional treatment for her mental illness.

Court: Florida Ratepayers Don't Owe for Oklahoma Drilling

The Florida Supreme Court rejects a state Public Service Commission decision putting Florida Power & Light customers on the hook for Oklahoma natural gas drilling.

Houston Lawyer Wins Appeal for Amputee

By John Council |

David Carlson was allegedly burned so badly by an infrared medical treatment device that it caused him to have part of his leg and foot amputated. He also lost his products liability case before a Houston federal jury after the defense presented one expert witness—the chiropractor who thought the treatment was a good idea.

Andrew Hanen.

Texas Judge Blasts Justice Department Lawyers for Conduct in Immigration Case

A federal district judge on Thursday excoriated U.S. Department of Justice lawyers who are defending the Obama administration's immigration plan, issuing an extraordinary order that questioned the department's policing of attorney ethics and ordered certain government lawyers to take an annual ethics class.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, United States Supreme Court

Sotomayor's Embrace of Mandatory Pro Bono Garners Praise and Pushback

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is winning praise for re-energizing the movement toward mandatory pro bono for lawyers with her recent remarks on the subject, but some advocates in Big Law think the requirement poses significant challenges and won't work for everyone.

Newsmakers: Week of May 16

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Sean M. Whyte has joined Gardere Wynne Sewell in Dallas as a partner. Whyte has a multifaceted litigation practice that involves complex commercial litigation, consumer class actions and products liability.

Texas Appeals Court Rules Alaska Pipeline Partners Are Bound by Unocal Duties

By Angela Neville |

The First District of Appeals in Texas recently dealt with a tangled business partnership between BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc., ConocoPhillips Transportation Alaska Inc., Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. and former partner Unocal Pipeline Co. involving Trans-Alaska Pipeline business operations.

Stephen Pezanosky is an attorney at HaynesBoone in Dallas.

Texas Bankruptcy Courts Beat Others Nationwide for Oil and Gas Bankruptcies

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas federal bankruptcy courts finally have surpassed others in the nation, including those in Delaware and New York, in terms of the cumulative debt they are administering in oil and gas bankruptcies, according to a report issued by Dallas' Haynes and Boone.

Bill Cosby

West Palm Attorney Takes on Sexual Battery Case Against Bill Cosby, Hugh Hefner

A West Palm Beach lawyer is at the center of a new sexual battery lawsuit against Bill Cosby and Hugh Hefner.

Inventor Sues Samsung Again About Same Patent, Different Products

By Miriam Rozen |

Get ready for a rematch between Samsung Electronics and Japanese inventor Masakazu Ushijima.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures while speaking to the press in New York City, after his five-state super Tuesday win.  April 27 2016.

Trump Names 11 SCOTUS Picks, Bypassing Big Law

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's list for potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees is heavy on federal appellate judges and former clerks for conservative justices but light on big names in politics and private practice.

Sonia Sotomayor.

Sotomayor Pushed Mandatory Pro Bono. What Do You Think?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor this week said she's in favor of "forced labor"—mandatory pro bono. Not a new concept, sure, but the justice's remarks generated considerable buzz. Tell us what you think. Good idea, or bad? How would it work? Join the conversation.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett

Trump Wants to Name Texas' Most Prolific Judicial Tweeter to the U.S. Supreme Court

By John Council |

Donald Trump would elevate the "Tweet Laureate of Texas" to the U.S. Supreme Court if given the chance as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee recently listed Don Willett on his short list of people he'd promote to the high court.

Bizarre Scientology Case Comes to Bizarre Conclusion

By John Council |

In a move that stunned her lawyers, a Texas woman has dropped her lawsuit alleging that the Church of Scientology engaged in a relentless and bizarre harassment campaign against her—including sending her a sex toy at work.

Houston Lawyer Sues For Share of Big Fee

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Alejandro Padua of Houston and his firm sued Houston plaintiff's lawyer Jason Gibson and his firm, alleging they failed to share in fees for a suit that ended with a $55.8 million judgment.

Donald Clark, Chairman, with Butler Snow, Jackson, Mississippi.

Mississippi Firm Opens Dallas, Austin Offices

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Butler Snow, based in Jackson, Mississippi, hires three laterals to launch two offices in Texas.

Energy Future Creditors Protest Accelerated Bankruptcy Plan

By Angela Neville |

Energy Future Holdings Corp. is running into strong headwinds from creditors as it tries speed up its schedule in its $42 billion Chapter 11 restructuring by seeking the court's approval of its new plan.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor (2009)

Sotomayor Urges Mandatory Pro Bono for All Lawyers

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that all lawyers should be required to provide pro bono legal services. "I believe in forced labor" when it comes to improving access to justice for the poor, she said during an appearance at the American Law Institute's annual meeting in Washington. "If I had my way, I would make pro bono service a requirement."

Robert C. Hilliard, a partner in Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi.

Plaintiff Lawyers Hilliard, Cracken Seek to Stay Lawsuit Against Them

By Miriam Rozen |

Plaintiff lawyers John Cracken from Dallas and Bob Hilliard from Corpus Christi have asked a Houston state court to stay a civil lawsuit filed against them. The lawsuit is based on allegations that Cracken and Hilliard helped falsify clients.

After Slow Start, M&A Lawyers Are Optimistic About Second Half of 2016

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas deal lawyers are working fast and furiously on oil and gas industry mergers and acquisitions. But the total value of such deals in that industry nationwide dropped in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same time in the prior year.

Electronic 'Smoking Gun' Evidence in Family Law Cases Has Potential to Backfire

By Jessica W. Thorne and B. Wyn Williams |

Their actions could subject them to civil liability and criminal punishment, and even affect the admissibility of the very smoking guns they are looking to find when they access their spouse's cellphone.

Cha'Mira Keener, South Texas College of Law student

Student Overcomes Bleak Background, Earns Law Degree

By Angela Morris |

Graduating law student Cha'Mira Keener's interest and passion for juvenile law comes from the personal understanding of what it means to a child when no one stands up for you.

AI Pioneer ROSS Intelligence Lands Its First Big Law Clients

Baker & Hostetler is the first law firm to make public that it has licensed the artificial intelligence product using IBM’s Watson technology for bankruptcy matters.

 Mark Kelly

Houston Firm Opens Office in Taipei

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins opened an office in Taipei, Taiwan on May 16 and plans to focus on complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, renewable energy and corporate matters there.

Ropes & Gray Seeks $10.9M in Fees in Sabine Oil Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

Ropes & Gray is requesting approximately $10.9 million in attorney fees for five months of work representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

SEC Alleges Two Texas Attorneys Assisted in $13.8M Loan Scam

By John Council |

Two Texas attorneys are facing fraud allegations after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused them of collecting $13.8 million from investors for escrow accounts, keeping a portion of that money for themselves and using the rest for undisclosed risky investments.

V&E, Sidley Work on $4.4B Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Sidley Austin represents Range Resources of Fort Worth in its pending acquisition of Houston's Memorial Resource Development Corp. for $4.4 billion including $1.1 billion in assumed debt.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas Supreme Court Upholds State's School Funding Formula

By Will Weissert |

Texas' complicated school finance system is constitutional, the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled Friday — a surprise defeat for the 600-plus school districts that endured more than four years of costly legal battles hoping judges would force the Republican-controlled Legislature to fork over more funding.

Ernest Aliseda, Member, Dykema Cox Smith, McAllen

GC Moves to Firm in South Texas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Ernest Aliseda leaves his general counsel position to return to the trial practice as a member of Dykema Cox Smith in McAllen.

Ryan Sitton, Railroad Commissioner of Texas

Railroad Commissioner Talks About International O&G Business Prospects at Dallas Symposium

By Angela Neville |

In remarks emphasizing the importance of international business opportunities for the Texas oil and gas sector, Railroad Commissioner of Texas Ryan Sitton recently discussed attractive prospects related to Mexico's new energy policy changes and overseas energy markets at the 28th Annual Texas Energy Council Symposium that was held at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas.

2017 J.D. candidate Kimberly Elmazi, of Texas Tech University School of Law.

Law School Helps Students Stay Emotionally Fit

Texas Tech's mental health program includes mandatory meetings for all first years.

Waco Plaintiff Lawyer for West Blast Victims Predicts No Drama in Lawsuits Due to ATF Findings

By Miriam Rozen |

No dramatic turns will take place in pending litigation simply because federal officials determined and announced this week that a criminal act triggered the explosion of a fertilizer plant in the Central Texas town of West in 2013, predicts Steve Harrison, a partner in Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, a firm based in Waco, 30 minutes south of where the blast took place.

Round Rock Man Gets Prison Time for Estimated $4.5M O&G Ponzi Scheme

By Angela Neville |

William Risinger, owner of RHM Exploration based in Round Rock, Texas, was recently sentenced to 160 months in federal prison and ordered to pay over $3.7 million to his victims related to an oil and gas investment scheme that raised an estimated $4.5 million from investors.

Baker Botts, Orrick Handle $407M Shale Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts represents EQT Corp. of Pittsburgh in its pending purchase for $407 million, of assets from Houston's Statoil USA Onshore Properties, which turned to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Adam Myron, Gerald F. Richman and Josh Spoont with Richman Greer.

National Class Action Filed by Uber Drivers in Miami

Attorneys in West Palm Beach, Miami and San Francisco file a nationwide class action against Uber for allegedly violating labor laws by not paying its drivers minimum wage and overtime.

Joel Blake, Stibbs & Co., Spring Texas.

Newsmakers—Week of May 9

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Joel Blake recently joined Stibbs & Co. in Spring as an associate. He practices business and energy law, covering a wide variety of corporate matters.

Judge Rules Sam Wyly Deceived IRS, Owes Possibly $1B in Back Taxes

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas federal bankruptcy judge sided with the IRS and against onetime Texas billionaire Sam Wyly.

Judge Issues Sanctions In Battle About Hair Removal Lasers

By Miriam Rozen |

A federal court battle that began when 44 of 134 hair removal lasers were deemed lost has led to sanctions against a client of Dallas' Friedman & Feiger.

Krysta De Lima, General Counsel, NextDecade.

NextDecade Seeks FERC Approval for $20B Texas Gas Pipeline and Export Facility

By Angela Neville |

NextDecade, The Woodlands, Texas-based energy company, recently applied for federal authorization to site, construct and operate the Rio Grande LNG, a proposed LNG export facility near Brownsville, Texas, and the Rio Bravo Pipeline, a 137-mile pipeline system that will provide the facility with its feed gas.

Gibson Dunn and Morgan Lewis Work on Friendly's Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher represents Dean Foods of Dallas in its pending acquisition of the manufacturing and retail ice cream business from Friendly's Ice Cream for $155 million in cash, while Friendly's turned to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, during arguments in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

If Tolerance for Religious Expression in Public is Waning, What Does That Mean for the Workplace?

By Lee Winkelman and Alan Bush |

Let's unpack how in-house counsel can help HR make the call between religious expression and harassment.

Michael O'Connor, partner, O'Connor & Craig, Houston, Tx.

Houston Attorney Beats Big Bank, Big Attorney Fees at First Court of Appeals

By John Council |

Francisco Calleja-Ahedo sued Compass Bank for refusing to refund payment of an alleged $38,700 forged check on his account—only to end up owing the bank $49,186 in attorney fees after losing his case before a Harris County district judge.

LaDawn Conway, Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP, Dallas TX.

Texas Supreme Court Reaffirms that Apache Doesn't Have to Pay on Expired O&G Leases

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently turned down a request to rehear a motion filed by McDaniel Partners pertaining to its royalty battle with Apache Deepwater and reaffirmed that Apache was not obligated under the lapsed oil and gas leases to continue paying royalties.

Dallas Lawyer Facing 11 Grievances Resigns Law License

By Angela Morris |

A Dallas lawyer has resigned his law license because he faced 11 grievances alleging misconduct like completely missing hearings for clients, neglecting their cases and failing to supervise an employee who the lawyer knew was previously convicted of unauthorized practice of law.

In Focus: The Mental Health of Law Students

In our report about mental health on law campuses, we examine why law school exacerbates problems with depression, anxiety and substance abuse — and what administrators and fellow students can do to help.

Tom Vick Jr.

Next State Bar of Texas President-Elect Tom Vick Jr. Discusses Plans

By Angela Morris |

When Tom Vick Jr. was campaigning, he highlighted the importance of the bar's review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which has recommended changes for lawmakers to consider in 2017.

Tips on Lawyer Maternity, Paternity Leave

By Angela Morris |

Lawyers who are expecting babies need to know some of the same things about family leave as anyone else, but they also need to do special planning to hand off their matters to colleagues and monitor cases when they're gone.

Otway B. Denny Jr.Partner, Norton Rose, Houston TX.

Houston Lawyer Gets Prestigious Award From Texas A&M

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Otway Denny, a partner in Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas A&M University.

Texas Litigators Oppose American Bar Association Paper on Nonlawyer Firms

By Angela Morris |

"We as lawyers are charged with upholding the honor of the law, the courts, fellow lawyers and our system of justice," said the letter by TADC, TTLA and Tex-ABOTA. Businessmen don't have that calling, it added.

Gino J. Rossini, partner, Hermes Law.

Dallas-based Hermes Law Promotes Gino Rossini to Partner; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Gino J. Rossini has been promoted to partner in Dallas-based Hermes Law. Rossini's practice is devoted to handling post-trial and appellate matters in state and federal court as well as providing related support at all stages of litigation.

Rob Ammons, The Ammons Law Firm, partner, Houston.

Poultry Company Agrees to $27.5M Settlement With Crash Victims

By Miriam Rozen |

In Waco, after two mediation sessions but before a trial, a family received a court-approved settlement of $27.5 million from Sanderson Farms, a poultry company. The family brought claims against Sanderson Farms for injuries its mother and baby suffered in a car crash with a vehicle owned by the company and driven by its employee.

Vinson & Elkins, Latham Handle $775M Pipeline Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represented a conflicts committee that advised Phillips 66 Partners on its pending $775 million purchase of a pipeline and assets from Phillips 66, which used Latham & Watkins.

Judge Larry Meyers of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Nonsuits His Voter ID Claim

By Angela Morris |

The plantiffs plan to refile their lawsuit after they have a chance to gather more evidence, said their attorney, Andrew Sommerman.

Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra

Federal Judge Vacates Rule 11 Sanctions Order: Win for Pro Se Plaintiffs and Former Attorney

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. Senior District Judge David Ezra in Austin vacated his previous Rule 11 sanctions order against plaintiffs and their former lawyer.

David Glickler

Judge Gets 3 Days In Jail for DWI

By Angela Morris |

"As an elected official, I need to be tougher on myself and respectful of the system, and not allow my decision on that night to become a burden," Hays County Court-at-Law No. 2 Judge David Glickler wrote.

Hunt County Jury Decides on 60-year Prison Sentence for Former Prosecutor

By Miriam Rozen |

Royal Mullins convicted of murder in shooting death of Curtis "Topper" Gray, a 50-year-old Greenville resident. "Every murder is a tragedy, but in this case Royal Mullins had reason," the local newspaper reported Mullins defense lawyer told the jury. "You would have hoped someone had done it for you."

Austin Firm Changes Name, Management

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Eminent domain firm Barron & Adler is now Barron, Adler, Clough & Oddo.

Jim Harrington

Plaintiff Files Motion to Disqualify Austin Civil Rights Lawyer in American with Disabilities Act Case

By Miriam Rozen |

A paraplegic plaintiff pursuing a claim filed under the American with Disabilities Act has filed a motion to disqualify well-known Austin civil rights lawyer James Harrington, who represents the defendants.

Ken Paxton

State Bar of Texas Monitoring Ken Paxton's Criminal Case

By Angela Morris |

If Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is convicted of crimes and sentenced, the matter would be ripe for the Commission for Lawyer Discipline to file a compulsory discipline petition seeking Paxton's disbarment.

Justin Bieber.

Houston Man Sues Justin Bieber Over Alleged Beer-Bong Incident

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston man alleges in a lawsuit he filed in Houston on May 3 that Justin Bieber smashed his cellphone after the singer saw him filming Bieber drinking from a "beer bong" in a Houston club.

Chief Judge Merrick Garland, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

What Would A Justice Garland Mean for Employers? Recent Cases Reveal a Mixed Bag

By Charles H. Wilson |

A review of Chief Judge Garland's recent opinions in labor and employment cases reveals a mixed bag, with the judge ruling against the employer in most cases.

Steve Mostyn of Houston’s Mostyn Law Firm

Damages Company Sues Mostyn Law Firm Alleging Unpaid Invoices

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Quinney Holdings, which does business as Loss Solutions, sued Mostyn Law Firm of Houston and founder Steve Mostyn, alleging the defendants have failed to pay about $700,000 in billings for property damage assessments related to Hurricane Ike.

Nominations Open for Texas Lawyer's Litigation Departments of the Year Award

We invite you to participate in the Texas Lawyer Litigation Departments of the Year contest.

Spencer Browne, partner, Reyes Brown Reilley, Dallas, left, and Frank Branson of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson.

Dallas Jury Delivers $10.9M Verdict Against Choctaw Nation

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas jury began deliberating in late April, took a weekend break, and then returned on Monday, May 2 to deliver a $10.9 million verdict against the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma for its alleged role in a 2013 crash of a charter bus.

How Law Schools Game the Rankings

Study finds that law school rankings encourage cheating, lying.

Financier R. Allen Stanford gives a thumbs up as he arrives to the federal courthouse in shackles for a hearing in Houston, Texas, April 6, 2010.

Chadborne Pays $35M in Stanford Ponzi Suit; Proskauer Faces New Class Action

After striking a deal with Chadborne & Parke, investors are hoping for another chance to pursue claims that Proskauer Rose helped R. Allen Stanford conceal his Ponzi scheme from regulators.

University of Arizona Law School’s Use of GRE Scores Creates LSAT Trouble

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law’s recent decision to accept GRE scores in lieu of Law School Admission Test scores from applicants could cost the school its membership in the Law School Admission Council.

Hacking a Way to Equality

By Kathleen J. Wu |

Hopefully, the spirit of an upcoming Women in Law hackathon will stay true to the hackathon ethos: experts and fresh thinkers coming together to generate bold, even crazy, ideas for new products, new services and, in the case of this event, new solutions to persistent problems.

David Patton

From Pipeliner to Locke Lord Partner

By Angela Neville |

From his early start as an oil field worker in South Texas to his recent stint as chair of the State Bar of Texas' Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section, Locke Lord partner David Patton has gained keen insights into the Texas energy sector.

Special Report: Energy Regulation, Bankruptcies and More

Energy Regulation; 5th Circuit Decision Affects Rights to Sue; Energy Bankruptcies

Gas Drilling Company Hit with $5M Class Action for Alleged Underpayment of Royalties

By Angela Neville |

Plaintiff Charles Hicks recently filed a putative class action in an Arkansas federal court claiming that Southwestern Energy Company and its subsidiaries are defrauding him and the putative class members through underpayment of royalties and seeking in excess of $5 million in damages.

Paul David Andrews, Corpus Christi and San Antonio solo, jail mug

Ex-Lawyer Faces 15 Years for Murder Plot

By Angela Morris |

Paul D. Andrews pleaded no contest to second-degree felony solicitation of murder, and the state will dismiss a felony barratry case against him. Codefendant Keith Gould saw his barratry charge dismissed today.

Christopher Kratovil, Office managing member in Dallas for Dykema Cox Smith .

Dykema Cox Smith Taps Dallas Litigator for Management Role

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Christopher Kratovil, a member of Dykema Cox Smith's litigation department, will become office managing member in Dallas on June 1.

Russ Emerson, a partner in Haynes and Boone

Federal Circuit Rejects Appeal That Would Have Wrecked the Eastern District's Patent Venue

By John Council |

Texas intellectual property attorneys and fans of the Eastern District of Texas can breathe a sigh of relief now that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently rejected a much-watched appeal that could have made it harder to file patent infringement cases in the popular jurisdiction.

Fifth Circuit Makes It Easier to Recover Attorney Fees in Trademark Cases

By John Council |

In a decision that will make it easier for litigants to recover attorney fees when they are forced to defend baseless trademark infringement complaints, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has loosened the standard for what constitutes a legally "exceptional" case under the Lanham Act in a recent decision.

Marc Rosenthal Officially Disbarred

By Angela Morris |

Marc G. Rosenthal of Austin, who is serving 20 years in jail for bribing a district judge, is officially an ex-lawyer.

Navigating the Legal Job Market

By Angela Morris |

"From my perspective, I think the market is good," said Andy Rose, who is graduating in May from Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock. "My close friends from law school, I think most of them have jobs."

Mikal Watts, partner at Watts Guerra poses at his office in San Antonio.

Mikal Watts Prepares for The Biggest Trial of His Career

By Miriam Rozen |

In February 2013, Mikal Watts flew to Miami Beach to attend an American Association for Justice convention. In two weeks' time, he expected to appear in the courtroom as the leader of a legal team opposing BP at a federal civil trial set to determine the energy company's liabilities for the 2010 Gulf Coast Oil Spill.

Nestor Ho, in-house general counsel, Silicon Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas.

GCs Need to Be 'Solution Providers,' Not Just Lawyers

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Nestor Ho, vice president and general counsel for Silicon Labs, an Austin-based silicon, software and solutions provider, wants to do more than just fill the traditional role of a lawyer for his company.

Pssst: What Case Management Software Do You Use?

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Case management software 
can provide a corporate legal department a convenient and efficient way to manage case-related information ranging from docketing to outside counsel.

Michael P. Maslanka

Take Caution in 'Liking' Social Media

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Teaching "Professional Responsibility" at UNT Dallas College of Law makes a person more sensitive to the marriage of technology, social media and legal ethics.

A Look at 5th Circuit Judges Who Nearly Made the U.S. Supreme Court

By John Council |

Traditionally U.S. presidents first look to the nation's 13 circuit courts in their search for potential high court justices—often mining the First, Second and D.C. Circuits for their choices. But Fifth Circuit judges often play the role of bridesmaid in the secretive game of Supreme Court nominations.

Marketability 101

By Felicia Hoang |

A prospective lawyer's marketability extends beyond intellect, confidence and a firm handshake.

Shoring Up Your Outsourcing

By David W. Black |

Major firms propose their services can save big bucks, but whether they can depends on hitting several factors straight on.

Is Your Head in the Cloud? How to Talk Techy to Your IT Staff

By Julie Machal-fulks |

One of the most difficult issues lawyers face when dealing with technology is that technology professionals often use a different kind of language. The inability to communicate effectively with the IT staff can cause misunderstandings that can be costly.

TT RACER: (2011: Calf of Man, Isle of Man, Irish Sea) (Bike: BMW F700 Parallel): Beautiful Day for Riding on the Isle of Man, home of the most legendary motorcycle road race in the World, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy.

The Adventures of a Motorcycle-Loving Lawyer

By John Council |

Grant Wood's parents wouldn't let him have a motorcycle when he was a kid. So he obsessed over what they would let him own—a plastic model of a BMW R80G/S, a German dual sport bike made famous in the early 1980s when European riders used it to win the famous Paris Dakar Rally.

Law School Deans Say Job Market Improving for Law Grads

By Angela Morris |

Texas law school deans say that the job market for new law graduates continues to improve, although it's still highly competitive as out-of-state job candidates flood into Texas and as low oil and natural gas prices take their toll.

Supreme Court of Texas Narrows Interpretation 
of Property Damage

By David Walton and 
Brandan Montminy |

Eight years later, in U.S. Metals Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc., the court addressed a policyholder's effort to significantly expand CGL policies to cover construction and product defects.

Firm Finance: Texas Firms Powering Through Energy Slump

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The total gross revenue at the 25 highest-grossing Texas firms reached $5.3 billion in 2015, up from 2014.

Nestor Ho, in-house general counsel, Silicon Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas.

Q&A with General Counsel for Silicon Labs, Nestor Ho

Texas Lawyer spoke with Nestor Ho, vice president and general counsel of Silicon Labs in Austin, and asked him about best practices when dealing with outside counsel.

Defense Prevails In Forklift Rollover Accident; Plus Other Verdict News

A jury declined to award damages to a delivery man who rolled over in a forklift that fractured his leg and ruptured his spleen.

The St. Mary’s University School of Law moot court team of (left to right) third-year student Leah Wise, second-year law student William “Billy” Calve, third-year law student Stephanie De Sola.

St. Mary's Law Students Win National Moot Court Title

By Angela Morris |

Teams of St. Mary's University School of Law students recently took the top prizes at two national moot court competitions.

Richard Faulk, Partner, Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP

Alexander Dubose Firm Acquires Appellate Attorney in Houston Office; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

Richard O. Faulk, an appellate attorney, has joined Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend as a partner in the firm's Houston office. Faulk, who focuses on complex toxic tort and environmental litigation, will split his time between Houston and Washington, D.C.

The Numbers Are In

Texas Lawyer’s Annual Firm Finance Report Shows Big Law in Texas Knows How to Diversify

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Editor's Note: Money Matters

By Heather D. Nevitt, Esq. |

It is that time of year again when we delve into the wonderful world of Firm Finance. As part of this annual project, we take a look inside the books of the top 25 firms in Texas and see how they fared in 2015.

  Deborah Fishman, Kaye Scholer partner

New Rules Mean It's Payback Time in Patent Cases

Two years of data since the Supreme Court's 'Octane Fitness' ruling show fees are flowing but Intellectual Ventures and other big NPEs haven't been hit.

Kirkland & Ellis Represents Houston Natural Gas Company

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Kirkland & Ellis advised Indigo Minerals of Houston on a $375 million equity capital raise, an acquisition and related debt financing.

Sued for Attorney Fees, Client Counterclaims for Malpractice

By Angela Morris |

When an Austin law firm sued for $221,000 in attorney fees, a client struck back with a $1 million counterclaim.

Texas Capitol

Report: Legislature Should Repeal Attorney Rule Referendum Process

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Legislature should repeal the rules referendum process that allows lawyers to vote on changes to attorney disciplinary rules, said a report released today by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission.

Law School Pass Rates from the February Texas Bar Exam

The Texas Board of Law Examiners made public the list of those who pass the Texas Bar Examination they took in February 2016.

Board Suspends Law License of Convicted State Rep

By Angela Morris |

State Rep. Ron Reynolds, who was convicted of barratry last fall, argued today that the Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals shouldn't suspend his law license because a jury convicted him based on emotion rather than facts.

Jury Finds for Exxon in Indemnity Suit Against Fort Worth Energy Company

By Angela Neville |

A jury in a Harris County case recently found in favor of Exxon Mobil in a long-running dispute it has had with Fort Worth-based Trade Exploration Corp., and its principals, related to two earlier Louisiana lawsuits in which landowners sought damages from Exxon Mobil to remediate alleged environmental contamination.

Ken Paxton

Texas Big Law Scales Back Donations to Attorney General Ken Paxton

By Miriam Rozen |

Since his own legal troubles began last summer, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has not received the love –specifically, in the form of cash contributions to his officeholder's account--from big Texas law firms that his predecessor netted.

Texas Lawyers Advise Presidential Aspirants

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Texas firms are among the U.S. firms counseling candidates still seeking the Republican and Democratic nominations for U.S. president.

Deborah Williamson, managing director, Cox Smith Matthews, San Antonio

Resurgence in Energy Bankruptcies Prompts New Edition of Book

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Deborah Williamson, a member in Dykema Cox Smith in San Antonio, updated an American Bankruptcy Institute book on oil patch bankruptcies.

Keith S. Hampton

Austin Lawyers Oppose Courthouse Security Proposal

By Angela Morris |

Criminal-defense lawyers are up in arms over a plan to change the security screening procedures in Travis County's criminal justice center. They say the plan will cause long delays, make them late to court and impact their businesses.

Jamil N. Alibhai is a partner at Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas

Dallas Lawyer Gets Exceptional Win for Patent Plaintiff But No Attorney Fees

By John Council |

It was certainly exceptional last spring when an Eastern District of Texas jury gave Jamil Alibhai's plaintiff technology client a whopping $88 million in damages for patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Charles Koch Foundation Gives SMU $3.5M to Establish Criminal Justice Center

A $3.5 million donation from the Charles Koch Foundation will help fund a new criminal justice reform program at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Nominations Open for Texas Lawyer's Women in Energy Awards

Our 2016 Women in Energy awards will profile outstanding female attorneys in the Lone Star State who practice in the ever-changing area of energy law.

Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra

Federal Judge Issues Rule 11 Sanctions Against Plaintiffs and Former Attorney

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. Senior District Judge David Ezra in Austin igranted a defendants' request that plaintiffs pay a total of $70,304 in attorney fees.

Gardere Wynne Sewell Adds Environmental Partner; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

By Mary Alice Robins |

Laura Whiting has joined Gardere Wynne Sewell as an environmental partner in the firm's Dallas office. She will assist clients with all aspects of compliance and permitting for heavily regulated industry and real estate development.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett

Who Is Speaking at Texas Law School Graduations? Who is Speaking at Two?

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett will deliver remarks at graduations at two law schools, but other speakers at Texas law schools range from trial lawyers to the head of a philanthropic organization.

Norton Rose Fulbright Forms Latin America Team

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

William "Williie" Wood, a partner in Houston, chairs a new Latin America leadership team at Norton Rose Fulbright.

Mark Benavides, solo attorney, San Antonio, TX.

Lawyer Indicted for Compelling Prostitution, Sexual Assault

By Angela Morris |

San Antonio criminal-defense lawyer Mark Benavides was indicted today for 35 second-degree felony counts of sexual assault and compelling prostitution. He allegedly forced sex with three clients as his attorney fee.

Mary Barkley, Cantey Hanger LLP, Fort Worth TX.

Appellate Court Rules Texas Official Can't Be Removed for Anti-Tax Stance

By John Council |

Good news for the Tea Party. A Texas appellate has ruled that just because an anti-tax politician tries to eliminate his own agency by denying it funding, he can't be removed from office by the government for incompetency.

5th Circuit Rejects Student's Claim After Southern Methodist University Expelled Him Over Safety Concerns

By John Council |

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently blocked a lawsuit filed by a former Southern Methodist University student who sued the school claiming he wasn't treated fairly after officials expelled him for alleged threatening behavior and circulated warning photos of him.

Indictment in Johnny Manziel Case Released

By Miriam Rozen |

Dallas grand jury issued indictment, based on allegations of misdemeanor assault by former Aggie and one-time top pro NFL prospect Johnny Manziel.

In honor of the presidential citation award winners. UT Austin on April 22nd illuminated the UT Tower in burnt orange, as it did in this photo from 2010.

3 Prominent Lawyers Win University of Texas Austin Awards

By Angela Morris |

Former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, Houston attorney Janiece Longoria and Austin lawyer Kirk Watson—also a state senator—received 2016 UT Austin presidential citations.

Blind Law Students Sue BarBri Over Accessibility

By Angela Morris |

Three blind law graduates have filed a class action against BarBri, the largest bar exam preparation course in the nation, claiming that blind people can't access some of its online materials.

District Attorney Dodges Grievance Over Advice to Strike Black Jurors

By Angela Morris |

Wharton County DA Ross Kurtz's alleged comments about striking blacks from juries concerned one of his prosecutors and brought tough questions from a judge. But the State Bar dismissed a grievance over it.

U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.

ValueActs' Purchase of $2.5B of Halliburton and Baker Hughes Stock Triggers Antitrust Suit

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a lawsuit against ValueAct Capital and its affiliates for allegedly violating U.S. antitrust laws in their recent purchase of approximately $2.5 billion of stock owned by Houston-based Halliburton and Baker Hughes.

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

2 Dallas-Fort Worth Law Schools Suspend Night Programs

By Angela Morris |

Two of the three law schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex have suspended their evening programs for law students, which might drive enrollment to the third school.

Attorney Uses the Fifth Circuit to Get U.S. Documents for Mexican Lawsuit

By John Council |

After chasing an evasive litigation investment company all over the United States with a federal subpoena, Meredith Parenti's corporate defendant client has so far been unsuccessful in compelling documents that may be crucial to a lawsuit it faces in Mexico.

Jim Darnell

Johnny Football Frenzy at Dallas District Attorney

By Miriam Rozen |

If you call the press office for the Dallas County District Attorney today, the people that answer the phones probably won't even wait for you to make a request before guessing why you are calling.

In the Big Verdicts Arena, Don't Mess with Texas

Everything really was bigger in Texas last year. The Lone Star State had 18 of the top 100 verdicts in 2015.

The AM Law 100 logo

The 2016 Am Law 100: Growth Slows for Big Law

The American Lawyer's annual report on the nation's 100 top-grossing law firms. Full financial results, in-depth analysis, firm profiles, and more.

5 Big Texas Firms on Am Law 100 List

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Five large Texas firms were among the 100 highest-grossing firms in 2015, as reported in the Am Law 100 list.

Austin shareholder David Mattka with Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr. Participating in the “sticky fly fundraiser” for the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

Lawyers Duct Tape Managing Partners to the Wall--for Charity

By Angela Morris |

But why take the easy road to donate money to access to justice, when it's more fun to duct tape a managing partner to the wall while also helping provide for low-income Texans' legal needs?

Thomas Moore of Mayer Brown.

A Perspective on Impact of Failure to Freeze Oil Production

By Angela Neville |

Thomas Moore, Houston-based energy partner at Mayer Brown LLP, discusses the impact of the global oil exporters' failure to agree on an oil production freeze at the recent meeting in Doha, Qatar.

A Chipotle Mexican Grill steak burrito is arranged for a photograph at the Sunset and Vine store in Hollywood, California, U.S., on Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

Chipotle GMO Class Action, in Miami Court, Survives Dismissal Motion

The class action lawsuit against Chipotle Mexican Grill over genetically modified food survived a motion to dismiss.

New Chief Administrative Law Judge Named for State Office of Administrative Hearings

By Mary Alice Robbins |

A woman who says she finds administrative law "pretty fascinating" will take over as head of the State Office of Administrative Hearings on May 1.

Andrews Kurth Settles Malpractice Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Under confidential terms, Houston-based Andrews Kurth settled a malpractice lawsuit filed by a former client that resulted in a nearly $200 million verdict against the firm.

Federal Court Orders Sanctions Against Defense Counsel

By Miriam Rozen |

In an insurance industry related dispute, a Dallas federal court ordered sanctions against defendants and their counsel, Sandra Liser, an attorney in the Fort Worth office of Naman Howell Smith & Lee. The court ordered the sanctions, but, in the same ruling, also denied other motions for sanctions filed by the plaintiff.

White Star To Acquire $200M in Shale Assets From Devon Energy

By Angela Neville |

White Star Petroleum is using the firm of Porter Hedges for its pending acquisition of Mississippi Lime and Woodford Shale assets for $200 million from Devon Energy Corp., which is being represented in the deal by two Houston Vinson & Elkins partners.

Rendering of the new San Antonio courthouse, U.S. Courthouse Western District of Texas

Home Stretch for New San Antonio Federal Courthouse

By Angela Morris |

U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez "is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," illuminating the end of a 19-year project to build a new federal courthouse in San Antonio.

European Union May Object to $34.6B Halliburton-Baker Hughes Merger as Anticompetitive

By Angela Neville |

Halliburton Co.'s proposal to purchase oil-services rival Baker Hughes Inc. may soon be hit with new opposition from European Union (EU) regulators who are expressing concerns about how the merger of the two Houston-based oil services giants could hurt competition throughout the EU.

Stratton Horres

Wilson Elser Hires Five Litigators From Trial Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of five litigation laterals join Wilson Elser's Dallas office, coming from Addison-based trial firm Schell Cooley.

Widow of Fan Killed in Fall at Turner Field Sues Atlanta Braves Over Railing Height

The family of a man killed after falling from the upper deck of Turner Field last year has sued the Atlanta Braves, parent company Liberty Media Corp. and Major League Baseball Enterprises, alleging the defendants knew the guard rail height was—and still is—dangerously low.

Ken Paxton

Attorney General's Office: 'Cronyism' Isn't Employment Discrimination

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Office of the Attorney General alleges that a court should dismiss a discrimination lawsuit by a former staffer who claimed she was terminated because Ken Paxton wanted to replace her with his friend.

Sidley, Willkie Work on Houston Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Sidley Austin represents private equity company Stonepeak Infrrastructure Partners in an equity commitment of up to $500 million in Houston's Sage Midstream Ventures, which turned to Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

13 Must-Ask Questions Before Enlisting An Expert Witness

By Quentin Brogdon |

In dealing with experts, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

Moving In and Moving Up at Winstead

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Winstead has hired a number of attorneys in recent months and promoted several others.

Counties Ready to Rumble for Courthouse Gun Bans

By Angela Morris |

Three Texas counties think the Texas Office of the Attorney General got the law wrong on the legality of courthouse handgun bans, and they might file lawsuits to ask judges to decide if they can keep guns out.

Former Galveston Attorney Wins Appeal on Attorney Fees

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston appeals court affirmed a judgment awarding former Galveston attorney Anthony Griffin over $100,000 in a suit he filed to collect fees from a former client.

Web-Educating Lawyers about Wrongful Prosecutions

By Miriam Rozen |

The Texas Young Lawyers Association this month went live with a new, interactive website dedicated to educating lawyers about how to halt wrongful prosecutions. It speaks to audiences of both defense lawyers and prosecutors.

Vuk Vujasinovic, VB Attorneys, Houston.

$17.72 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death Case

By Miriam Rozen |

The family of a worker who died during the construction a new Baylor University football stadium won a $17.72 million wrongful death verdict against Austin Bridge & Road, a company engaged in the building project.

Dallas Lawyer Convinces Fifth Circuit to Vacate Doctor's Sentence

By John Council |

The federal government came down hard on Dr. Tariq Mahmood two years ago, sending him to prison for eleven years for Medicare fraud after his chain of East Texas hospitals allegedly overbilled taxpayers to the tune of $599,128.02.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the immigration case United States v. Texas.  April 18, 2016.

Kennedy Calls Obama Immigration Action 'Upside Down' As Justices Appear Divided

As cheers and chants from immigration supporters and opponents filled the air outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, the justices struggled over the legality of Obama administration's plan to delay temporarily the deportation of nearly 4 million illegal immigrants. At the end of the 90-minute argument, the eight justices appeared divided on the threshold question of whether Texas had standing to challenge the immigration plan in federal court and divided over the fundamental issue of whether the plan violates federal law and the Constitution.

Former District Judge Alleges Texas Drone Law Unconstitutional

By Angela Morris |

A former district judge from Laredo has sued the state and Gov. Greg Abbott, alleging that part of the Texas drone law is unconstitutional because it violates his privacy and treats Mexican-Americans differently than other Texans.

Disputed $45.8M Arbitration Award Includes $3.04M in Attorney Fees

By Miriam Rozen |

Confirmation of the award is pending in state court in Dallas. But the consortium has objected to award, arguing it should be vacated because that the three-member arbitration panel exceeded its authority. The consortium has also objected to the attorney fees, arguing that no statutory basis exists in Texas law upon which the digital security company, Amsterdam-based Gemalto, could obtain attorney fees. Nor did the two sides include in their agreement to arbitrate any preset conditions for fees, the consortium argued.

Whoops! Male Judicial Candidate Attempts to Join Female Class Action

By John Council |

While 300 women who are current and former lawyers for Farmers Insurance Group will be splitting $4 million as a part of a settlement of a federal pay bias class action lawsuit, one attorney who won't likely get any that money is Leslie "Les" Sachanowicz, a San Antonio prosecutor who's running for judge.

Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Seizes Political Moment of U.S. Supreme Court Immigration Hearing

By Miriam Rozen |

When the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for Texas and 25 other states opposition to the Obama administration proposed immigration reforms, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sat in the audience, along with his counterparts from Nebraska, Oklahoma and Indiana.

Federal Judge Consolidates 11 Antitrust Cases against Chesapeake Energy

By Angela Neville |

Chesapeake Energy Corp. and several other defendants are in the middle of a fierce fight in an Oklahoma federal court with a large number of plaintiffs who are alleging the defendants engaged in business actions that stifled competition in negotiating oil and gas leases and violated U.S. antitrust laws.

Proposal Calls On Lawyer Email Addresses for E-Service

By Angela Morris |

This fall, lawyers might have to update their State Bar of Texas profiles to add an email address that the state can use for e-filing and electronic service.

Nominations Open for Texas Lawyer's Legal Departments of the Year Award

Texas Lawyer's Legal Departments of the Year award recognizes the Lone Star State's top in-house departments in six distinct categories: 1. General; 2. Outside Counsel Management; 3. Technology; 4. Diversity and Quality of Life; 5. Pro Bono and Community Service; and 6. Corporate Compliance. To qualify, the department must be led by a GC from Texas.

Texas Supreme Court Issues Two Attorney Fee Rulings

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Supreme Court today issued two rulings that favored parties seeking attorney fees in a First Amendment case and a breach-of-contract case.

Judge Recuses Himself in Case to Block $34.6B Halliburton-Baker Hughes Merger

By Angela Neville |

U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews, who was presiding over the case in which the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to block Halliburton Co.'s proposed $34.6 billion merger with Baker Hughes Inc., recently recused himself on the grounds that he has a "financial interest in Schlumberger."

L to R: Justice Don Willet and Justice Jeff Brown

Two Conservative High Court Judges Slam Texas' First Same-Sex Marriage

By John Council |

While the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage 10 months ago, two members of the Texas Supreme Court recently took shots at the trial judge and the lawyer who allowed the first lesbian couple to get married in the state months before the landmark decision was issued.

Steve Mostyn of Houston’s Mostyn Law Firm

Federal Judge Orders Steve Mostyn to Show Cause Hearing, Possible Rule 11 Sanctions

By Miriam Rozen |

A McAllen federal judge granted a summary judgment motion filed by an insurance defendant and ordered plaintiffs counsel Steve Mostyn and his Houston firm to show why the court should not impose Rule 11 sanctions against them. The show cause hearing is scheduled for May 6.

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Southern Methodist University Dedman Hires Four Law Professors

By Angela Morris |

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law boosted its offerings in several hot areas of law with the addition of four new professors scheduled to begin teaching in the fall.

Exxon Seeks to Block Subpoena Over Climate-Change Documents

Exxon Mobil Corp. is squaring off against government investigators who believe the energy giant covered up knowledge of how fossil fuels contribute to climate change.

EIV Uses Sidley, Porter Hedges for Sale of Energy Facilities

By Angela Neville |

EIV Capital, an energy industry-focused firm, and EIV MAS Georgia LFG, recently turned to the firms of Sidley Austin in Houston and Porter Hedges in Houston for assistance with their sale of four long-term contracted landfill gas-to-energy facilities located near Atlanta.

Woman Stabbed Over 40 Times Wins $40 Million Verdict

By John Council |

A woman who was stabbed over 40 times, tortured and sexually assaulted recently won a $40.6 million verdict from a Dallas County civil jury after she sued her ex-boyfriend for assault.

Experienced Lawyer to Defend Teenager in University of Texas Austin Murder

By Angela Morris |

An Austin criminal-defense solo practitioner who has represented high-profile defendants in the most serious criminal cases was appointed to defend the homeless charged with murdering an 18-year-old UT Austin student.

Class Action Filed Against BP Retirement Plan

By Miriam Rozen |

One former and one current BP employee filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the British oil giant company's retirement plan. Some 450 BP employees are part of the proposed class.

Former Judge/Prison Guard Goes to Prison for Theft

By John Council |

A former Texas judge and prison guard will be heading to the big house himself as an inmate after he was sentenced recently for stealing $133,333 in traffic ticket money from the county that had employed him.

Lawyers Divided Over McLennan County Gun Fight

By Angela Morris |

Lawyers in Waco are divided over whether McLennan County should battle with the Texas office of the attorney general over keeping a prohibition on handguns in the local courthouse.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Judge Dismisses Challenge to Ted Cruz's Eligibility to Run for President

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

U.S. District Judge Gray Miller of the Southern District of Texas on April 13 dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit challenging Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's eligibility to run for president.

Texas Lawyer's Firm Financial Coverage

Reports for Texas Lawyer's annual firm finance coverage are coming in. Check back often to this page for the latest insights on firm revenue, net income and other metrics. Included below Texas Lawyer's articles is a link to The American Lawyer's growing list of financial reports.

Exxon, Shell Win Superfund Case in Texas Third Court of Appeals

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently lost its appeal before the Texas Third Court of Appeals against Exxon Mobil Corporation, Exxon Mobil Oil Corporation, Shell Oil Company and Pennzoil-Quaker State Company.

Antitrust Claim Against Uber Illuminates Perilous Intersection

By Randy Gordon |

Uber recently found itself driving a very narrow road, flanked on the one side by the Scylla of labor-and-employment claims and on the other by the Charybdis of antitrust liability. And the road is narrow because it's the defense to the first type of claim that sets the predicate for the second. To understand why this is, some background to Uber's nature and organization will be helpful.

Holland N. O'Neil

Gardere Wynne Sewell's Profits Boom During Energy Market Bust

By John Council |

While diving oil prices took a bite of many Texas law firms energy practice wallets, that hardly seemed to matter to Dallas' Gardere Wynne Sewell, which brought in $149 million in gross revenue during their recently completed fiscal year—an increase 4.2 percent over the $143 million from the previous year.

Prepare for Significant Changes in Employment Law

By Jackie Ford |

The year 2016 will bring a new president of the United States. As human resources departments and employment lawyers are realizing, this year will also see changes to fundamental regulations governing the workplace.

Jason A. Wietjes

Eastern District Patent Filings Plummet

By John Council |

Even as plaintiffs were shattering an all-time record by filing 2,591 new cases in the Eastern District of Texas last year, experts predicted the nation's most popular patent docket could not get any bigger. It turns out they were right.

Former A&M Professor Alleges Spoliation in Sex-Discrimination Suit Against University

By Miriam Rozen |

In a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, a former Texas A&M University-Commerce faculty member asked a Dallas federal court to set aside a magistrate's ruling denying her motion for sanctions against the school.

Robert Cohan, a partner with the Dallas office of the firm Jackson Walker LLP

DOJ: Proposed $34 Billion Halliburton-Baker Hughes Merger Hurts Competition

By Angela Neville |

Seeking to block the pending $34.6 billion merger of oil giants Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc., the U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against both companies.

B. Todd Patterson Founding partner, Patterson & Sheridan of Houston

Houston Intellectual Property Firm Opens Office in Japan

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Patterson & Sheridan of Houston opens first international office because of clients in Asia.

Frank Stevenson, partner, Locke Lord in Dallas and State Bar of Texas president-elect candidate in 2015

Incoming Bar President Plans Legal Incubator

By Angela Morris |

"There is this enormous unmet need for justice and there is this enormous underutilized capacity for the provision of legal services," said State Bar president-elect Frank Stevenson. "It's matching justice with opportunity."

Ken Paxton

SEC Files Civil Securities Fraud Lawsuit Against Ken Paxton

By Angela Morris |

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton faces a new lawsuit that alleges he violated federal securities laws by recruiting investors for a technology company without saying he was getting paid to promote the company's stock.

New Lawyers for Defendants After $20M Verdict, April Fools' Tweet

By Miriam Rozen |

The owners of Videogames YouTube Channel, who are defendants in a lawsuit that led to a more than $20 million jury verdict against them, hired new lawyers from Dallas' Friedman & Feiger. Robert Wilson of Dallas, who previously represented them, has withdrawn as their counsel.

Exxon Reaches $10M Oil Spill Settlement With New York

By Angela Neville |

Texas-based oil giant Exxon Mobil has agreed to foot the hefty $10.75 million bill for the oil spill cleanup and petroleum contamination removal costs at eight locations across the state of New York.

Lawyer Imprisoned for Health Care Fraud Surrenders Law License

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Supreme Court on April 5 accepted the disciplinary resignations of an attorney who was convicted of health care fraud in 2013 and another who had outstanding grievances from six clients.

David Dawson

At Winstead, Gross Revenue, Net Income Improve in 2015

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gross revenue for Dallas-based Winstead improves by 3.9 percent in 2015 and sets a record for firm.

Patent Battle Involves Motion for Contempt, Enhanced Fees

By Miriam Rozen |

In a patent dispute about a mobile payment technology, a Tyler federal magistrate has set an April 22 deadline for a corporate defendant to respond to motions for contempt and one seeking enhanced attorney fees.

'Understandable Mistake' Saves Plaintiffs Case at Fifth Circuit

By John Council |

Because their child couldn't speak for himself, Breggett and Terrence Rideau filed a federal lawsuit on his behalf, only to learn they didn't have standing to bring the case after they'd won a $1 million verdict from a jury. But the parents will get a chance at recovering some of that money after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the plaintiffs confusion over a complicated standing issue was an "understandable mistake."

Karl Dial, partner, Greenberg Traurig, Dallas

Three Litigators Join Greenberg Traurig in Dallas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three trial lawyers leave DLA Piper's Dallas office to move to Greenberg Traurig.

Jarad Kent

Dallas Trial Firm Opens Tyler Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Chamblee, Ryan, Kershaw & Anderson, which has work in east Texas, opened an office in Tyler on April 4.

Daniel LeBey

Vinson & Elkins Opens Office in Virginia

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins opens an office in Richmond, Virginia, after hiring a five-partner group of REIT lawyers.

Michael Santifer casts his vote via an electronic voting machine November 4, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Supreme Court Rejects Conservatives' Electoral-District Method

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld the long-standing practice of using total population—rather than eligible-voter population—in drawing legislative districts, frowning on an approach that could have recast thousands of electoral maps. The court did not, however, rule out the possibility that states could use the voting-population method in the future.

Stampeding to Texas

Small Business Issues in Divorce: A Cautionary Tale

By Michelle May O'Neil and Jere Hight |

Studies show that over fifty percent of marriages in urban areas end in divorce in this country. So, the effect of property transfers between spouses and family members and the potential effect on marital property in the event of divorce cannot be ignored.

That's An Order, Y'all!

By John G. Browning |

We do things a little differently in the Lone Star State, and our judges are no exception. Sure, any jurist can grant or deny relief or direct parties how a case is going to be conducted, but Texas judges—particularly our federal judiciary—do it with a no-nonsense style, a bit of Texas swagger, and yes, even a healthy dose of humor.

As Austin's Legal Market Explodes, Firms Rush In

By Angela Morris |

Austin's economy is booming—spurring business growth, creating impressive numbers of jobs and flooding the city with new residents. Law firms are reacting by opening new offices or expanding existing operations.

Overtime Pay Front and Center

By Alan Bush |

Some say that 2016 is the "Year of 
the FLSA"—the Fair Labor Standards Act. That sounds about right. Overtime pay will be front and center on corporate counsel's list of HR priorities.

Justice Nathan Hecht

Judges Dish Out Advice for Law Clerk Hopefuls

Judicial clerkships can be like a rocket that takes a young attorney to the moon of his legal career. Texas Lawyer asked judges across Texas for their advice for law students who are interested in clerkships.

Kate Cassidy - the associate counsel for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club - at the clubs ballpark in Arlington TX.

Lone Texas Ranger: How a Young Fan Grew Up to Become the Team's Sole Lawyer

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Kate Cassidy's office in Arlington overlooks home plate at Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers, and she rubs shoulders with the likes of Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, a famed professional baseball catcher, and Michael Young, an equally famous infielder, who now both work in the Rangers' front office.

The New Regulation 
of Political Speech

By Joseph Nixon |

If you believe the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to free speech, think again. In Texas, of all places, political speech comes with a cost: registration and/or paying a fee to the state for the privilege of speaking.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Editor's Note: A New Era For Texas Lawyer

By Heather D. Nevitt, Esq. |

On April 3, 1985, Texas Lawyer newspaper first hit the market in the Lone Star State, offering news and insights to the Texas legal community. And now, on our 31st anniversary, we are excited to launch the inaugural issue of our monthly magazine.

Plaintiff Loses Suit
 Over Minor Crash; Plus Other Verdict News

Neither driver was to blame for a collision on a parkway in Grand Prairie, a jury found on Feb. 8. Gloria Valadez was driving a minivan with Ufoma Oweh driving a sedan in the lane to her right. Valadez's right front quarter panel hit Oweh's left side.

Michael P. Maslanka, Assistant Professor of Law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

Tao Trial Lessons: Less is Often More

By Michael P. Masklanka |

The Tao is an ancient text. It brims with wisdom. Here are some insights applied to litigation and trial.

Breaking Down the Big Changes in IP Litigation

By Michael A. Jacobs and Richard S.J. Hung |

The patent landscape arguably has never undergone so much change so quickly as in the last few years. Some of the intense judicial scrutiny of patents is reminiscent of a bygone era.

Is Clerking the Key to Landing the Right Job?

By Angela Morris |

Many in the legal community sing the praises of judicial clerkships. But data shows that a Texas lawyer's success in landing a high-value clerkship might depend upon the law school he or she attended.

Pipeline in Mexico

Energy Boost: Texas Lawyers Turn to Mexican Projects

By Susan Postlewaite |

Falling oil prices have rattled the economy, but not Texas energy lawyers. They still have their sights set on the billions of dollars in projects and opportunities for energy companies in Mexico, which is privatizing its dilapidated energy sector and luring foreign investors—many of which want an attorney in Texas.

Edward Blum

Doggedly Colorblind: Ed Blum Returns Again and Again to SCOTUS

By Miriam Rozen |

Ed Blum has kept race as his focus as the director the Project on Fair Representation, an Austin-based nonprofit, which has sponsored plaintiffs suing Texas officials based on allegations of their discriminatory use of race. Blum wants to make the government and other institutions colorblind—race neutral; he has sponsored litigation for the past 20 years to make that happen.

Trademark Quality Control

By Catherine J. Holland |

Trademark licensors are scram-bling to keep up with the evolving use of social media as a tool for business advertising. As technology changes, so must the provisions in a trademark license.

Dennise Garcia is the judge of the 303rd District Court in Texas.

Wisdom from Dennise Garcia, Dallas' Longest-Serving Family Court Judge

By John Council |

The world was a different place when Dennise Garcia was elected to a family law bench in 2004. That year, Democrats were practically nonexistent on the Dallas County judiciary, lawyers still filed lawsuits using paper and same-sex couples were forbidden by law from marrying in the State of Texas. Twelve years later, Garcia is now one of Dallas's most senior trial judges. Democrats like her now hold every district and county bench in the county.

Establishing an IP Position for Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies

By Frederick G. Vogt and Thomas H. Walls |

Intellectual property and preclinical/clinical data are the lifeblood of the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. A business' fate can be tied to the strength of its intellectual property positions.

Be Mindful of These Top 5 Dangers in Family Law

By Brad LaMorgese |

Waiver issues are always lurking, though not always readily apparent. Here are some of the most common for which an attorney needs to be aware.

Oil Plunge Puts Employment Lawyers to Work

By Mary Alice Robbins |

With the price of oil plunging from more than $100 a barrel to less than $30, energy companies are struggling with a myriad of labor and employment challenges, including some that have forced them into the courts.

Kate Cassidy - the associate counsel for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club - at the clubs ballpark in Arlington TX.

Q&A with Texas Rangers' Associate Counsel

Texas Lawyer spoke with Kate Cassidy, associate counsel for Texas Rangers Baseball in Arlington, and asked her about best practices when dealing with outside counsel.

Avoid Pitfalls When Changing Custody Established in a Previous Court Order

By Jonathan J. Bates |

On a final basis, a court with continuing, exclusive jurisdiction may modify an existing order regarding conservatorship, support, or possession of and access to a child if modification would be in the best interest of the child and at least one other required prong is satisfied.

'Alice' in Patentland: Turning Point for Patent Litigation

By John Council |

Two years ago, Rob Hunter was served with the kind of intellectual property lawsuit that terrifies seasoned corporate general counsel. His company, Altec Industries, was sued for patent infringement in the Eastern District of Texas, dropping them straight into a plaintiff's fantasy world of litigation where jury awards are huge and judges rarely dismiss claims on summary judgment.

 Douglas Yeager

Houston Locke Lord Partner Named Chairman of Firm's Banking and Real Estate Department; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

Douglas A. Yeager, a Houston partner in Locke Lord, has been named chairman of the firm's Finance, Banking and Real Estate Department.

Kent Schaffer and the kids of the Shwe Gu Monastic Orphanage in Bagan, Myanmar, May 2015.

Houston Lawyer Kent Schaffer's Out of the Office, Exploring the World

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston criminal defense lawyer Kent Schaffer travels around the world taking photographs as a hobby.

Wayne Risoli, managing shareholder of Chamberlain Hrdlicka. December 16, 2014. Courtesy photo.

Chamberlain Hrdlicka Posts Second-Best Ever Financials

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gross revenue at the Houston-based firm declined by 1.3 percent in 2015 compared with 2014, and net income dropped by 11.8 percent when comparing finances with a record-setting 2014.

Parental Rights Litigants Get Appointed Lawyers Before SCOTX

By Angela Morris |

Indigent litigants in parental rights termination cases have the right to an appointed lawyer all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court's level, the high court ruled Friday.

San Antonio Bar Launches Health Law Section

By Angela Morris |

The San Antonio Bar Association is launching a health law section to build a community of attorneys and address current issues in health law. It will provide continuing legal education and networking opportunities.

Texas Supreme Court building

SCOTX Declines to Advance New-Trial Review Case Law

By Angela Morris |

The next episode is out in a series of Texas Supreme Court cases that enabled appellate review of orders granting new trials. But the latest ruling might disappoint attorneys looking for more guidance.

After $20M Verdict, April Fools' Day Tweet Almost Leads to Contempt

By Miriam Rozen |

After a Dallas jury delivered a more than $20 million verdict against two owners of Videogames YouTube Channel, a U.S. magistrate ordered one of the owners, Bryan Martin, to show why he should not be charged with contempt of court and serve jail time after a tweet.

Corey Frank Wehmeyer, a partner with the San Antonio firm Santoyo Moore Wehmeyer

Enercorp Wins $9.2M Verdict in Dispute Over Oil and Gas Leases

By Angela Neville |

A long contentious lawsuit involving Bakken shale oil and gas leases recently lead to a Texas federal jury awarding a total of $9,291,570 to U.S. Enercorp Ltd., which contended that it allegedly had sustained tortious interference with a prospective contract and an existing contract by defendants SDC Montana Bakken Exploration, Val Verde Investments and Ringo Shapiro.

Liberty Oilfield Services To Buy Assets of Canadian Fracking Equipment Company

By Angela Neville |

Sanjel Corporation, which is based in Alberta, Canada, recently announced that it has signed an agreement for the sale of its U.S. fracturing, coiled tubing and cementing assets to Liberty Oilfield Services for an undisclosed amount.

Oil Bust Decreasing Some Law Practices, Increasing Others

By Angela Morris |

A recent survey of Texas firms indicates that some see a decrease in domestic energy legal work and an increase in bankruptcy representations. Oil and gas attorneys say that the hardest hit firms likely focused on title opinion work.

National Firms Stampede Into Houston Despite Drop in Oil Prices

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Out-of-state firms continue to move into Houston, the nation's energy capital, despite the low oil and gas prices.

Core Labs Wins $1 Million Verdict in IP Fight Over Drilling Technology

By Angela Neville |

In an intellectual property dispute in federal court in Oklahoma, a jury recently awarded Houston-based Core Laboratories LP a $1 million verdict after determining that its oil well services competitor, Spectrum Tracer Services, and two former Core employees, were liable for unfair competition by misappropriation.

Football Tickets Lure Lawyers to do Income Survey

By Angela Morris |

A couple of lucky lawyers will win Houston Texans or Dallas Cowboys tickets, but there's a hitch: They must anonymously disclose their income, hourly rates and more to the State Bar of Texas.

Convicted Former Lawyer Sued for Real Estate Fraud

By Angela Morris |

Anirudh "Andy" Sarwal, a former lawyer who was convicted in 2013 of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and who recently resigned his law license in a disciplinary case, was sued for fraud in an Austin real estate transaction.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht

Texas Supreme Court Defends Indigent Litigants in Strong-Worded Opinion

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Supreme Court has slapped down Tarrant County District Clerk Thomas Wilder's policy of attempting to collect court costs from indigent divorce litigants.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman

Golf Channel Ruling Pings Stanford Receiver

By John Council |

Texas Supreme Court ruled that TUFTA allows creditors the ability to void fraudulent transfers made by a debtor and force them back into the debtor's estate. However, a transfer cannot be voided under TUFTA if a transferee proves two things: that it accepted the transfer in good faith, and that the transferee gave the debtor something of "reasonable equivalent value" in return for their money.

Ted Cruz.

Supreme Court Upholds Cruz’s Pa. Ballot Eligibility

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will be on the April 26 primary ballot in Pennsylvania now that the state’s Supreme Court has affirmed a ruling deeming Cruz a “natural born citizen.”

Duston K. McFaul, a partner in the Houston office of Sidley Austin

New Gulf, Energy & Exploration Partners Reach Truce Over Joint Drilling Agreements

By Angela Neville |

Despite a litigious history between them, New Gulf Resources and Energy & Exploration Partners LLC recently worked out a settlement agreement pertaining to their joint operating agreements related to oil exploration and production operations in East Texas and then filed the agreement in their respective Chapter 11 bankruptcies seeking court approval.

Thad Spalding

Dallas Lawyer Lands in the 5th Circuit to Save Aircraft Claim

By John Council |

When Thad Spalding's client paid $110,000 for a used helicopter only to later discover that it wasn't airworthy, the seller beat them to the courthouse and won a summary judgment ruling that sealed the deal. So Spalding took the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and recently won a ruling that may make his client whole.

Ex-Client Alleges Firms, Lawyers Took 127 Percent of Cash in Settlement as Fee

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Brazoria County woman seeks more than $1 million from two Houston firms and three lawyers in a suit filed over handling of estate matters.

Anxious About Law Student Loans? Top Tips to Help You Manage Payments

By Angela Morris |

'Congratulations, graduate! Now get ready to pay.' Some [law students] panic at that. 'Oh my, I don't have a job yet; how will I ever repay this? Uncle Sam is going to come at me with teeth six inches long.'"

Firm Sues Client for $221K Attorney Fee

By Angela Morris |

An Austin law firm has sued a client for breach of contract, alleging that he failed to pay nearly $221,400 in attorney fees.

Report Recommends More Prosecutor Oversight

By Angela Morris |

Even when prosecutors engage in intentional misconduct to win a conviction, there are nearly no government systems to hold them accountable, said a report by the New-York based Innocence Project.

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the Liberty Institute

Nonprofit Lawyers See 'Striking Similarities' to Their Case in Movie

By Miriam Rozen |

The legal team at the nonprofit Plano-based First Liberty Institute expresses enthusiasm for the movie "God's Not Dead 2," opening nationwide on April 1.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Gives Draft Approval of $10 Billion LNG Project Run by Exxon and Qatar Co.

By Angela Neville |

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently issued a draft environmental impact statement for the $10 billion Golden Pass LNG Export Project located in Sabine Pass, Texas, which is being promoted by Houston-based Golden Pass Products and Golden Pass Pipeline, owned by shareholders ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum International.

Pillsbury, Hogan Lovells Handle $3 Billion Dell Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Pillsbury represents NTT Data of Plano in a pending acquisition of Dell Services from Round Rock's Dell.

Lubbock Federal Judge Tosses $10 Million Jury Verdict

By Miriam Rozen |

Senior District Judge Sam Cummings of the Northern District of Texas in Lubbock overturned a $10 million jury verdict. Cummings granted a defense motion for a renewed judgment and issued a take-nothing final judgment.

Dozens of Big Firms Targeted by Hacker Seeking M&A Info

A Russian hacker living in Ukraine reportedly tried to gain access to the computer systems of 48 law firms involved in M&A deals, according to a story by Crain’s Chicago Business, citing data by intelligence firm Flashpoint.

Michael Carvin of Jones Day (March 4, 2015) outside the Supreme Court.

Equally Divided U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Union Win in Fees Case

In its first high-profile decision since the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last month, the court deadlocked 4-4 on Tuesday, handing at least a temporary victory to California teacher union members in a dispute over fees paid by non-members.

In Firearms Patent Fight, Plaintiff Seeks Contempt Order Against Defense Lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

In a patent infringement lawsuit over firearms technology, a Dallas federal court has referred the plaintiff's motion seeking sanctions and a contempt of court order against the defendant's attorney to a magistrate.

David Skeels, a partner in Fort Worth's Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz

Partner Alleges He Was Fired By Firm Before Receiving Big Attorney Fee

By John Council |

A former partner in Fort Worth's Friedman Suder & Cooke has filed a shareholder derivative suit against the law firm, alleging he was fired months before he was to receive his share of $1.7 million attorney fees from a hard-fought litigation and was told the shares he owned in the firm were virtually worthless.

Judge Orders Mediation Following $3.5 Million Verdict in Patent Dispute

By Miriam Rozen |

An East Texas federal judge set a timetable for post-trial mediation less than one week after Plano-based Core Wireless Licensing, a patent management company, won a $3. 5 million jury verdict against LG Electronics.

Kenneth Soh, Kirkland Soh LLP

Strategy in $1.45M Med Mal Verdict Involved Plaintiff's Daughter Testifying as an Expert

By Miriam Rozen |

Even though he expects the $1.45 million jury verdict he won this month for his clients to be slashed in a final judgment to about $275,000 because of statutory caps, Kenneth Soh expresses no regrets about trying a medical malpractice case in Texas.

Gregory Bopp, Partner, Bracewell, Houston

Bracewell Partners Elect New Managing Partner

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gregory Bopp, a partner in Houston who is co-chair of the Houston-based firm's business and regulatory section, will moved into the job on July 1.

Venoco Reaches Deal in Ch.11 Case that Cuts $1B in Debt

By Angela Neville |

Venoco, an exploration and production company, recently reached an agreement with its senior lenders to reduce the company's debt load and restructure the balance sheet with the lenders agreeing to support a restructuring transaction that will eliminate approximately $1 billion of debt from Venoco's balance sheet.

Amanda Hollis, Kirkland & Ellis

Texas Company Beats Microsoft at the 'Death Squad'

By John Council |

Not many patent holders survive the so-called "Death Squad" inter partes review process without having some part of their claim die. Yet a small Texas-based company recently beat some extremely unfavorable odds when it faced off against Microsoft in a trial before a U.S. Patent and Trademark Patent Trial and Appeal Board and beat back the software giant's attempt to invalidate 53 patent claims.

Another Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Courthouse

By John G. Browning |

Have you ever wondered why so many lawyer dramas on TV seem to borrow plots and characters that are "ripped from the headlines," as the "Law and Order" narrator might solemnly intone? That's because there are so many bizarre happenings in our actual legal system, that you practically don't need to make anything up anymore. Check out some instances that actually occurred recently in real life.

Oil Field Workers Get $1.5M in Back Wages, Damages Due to Department of Labor Probe

By Angela Neville |

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor conducted an investigation in the Texas and New Mexico oil and gas sector that led to 241 oil well service workers being paid a total of $1.5 million – $750,000 in back wages and an additional equal amount in liquidated damages.

John O'Quinn.

John O'Quinn's Longtime Companion Sues to Get His Body Back from Louisiana

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Darla Lexington, who alleges she has a common law marriage with John O'Quinn, filed a lawsuit against a Houston funeral company after the prominent plaintiff's lawyer's body was taken from a mausoleum in Texas and moved to Louisiana.

Former DA, Five Other Lawyers, Resign Law Licenses

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Supreme Court accepted the attorney disciplinary resignations of a former district attorney who pleaded guilty to third-degree felony misapplication of fiduciary funds. The high court also accepted the resignations of five other attorneys who committed misconduct.

Ken Paxton

Ken Paxton Dodges Indictment Over Land Deal

By Angela Morris |

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will not face a new indictment arising from an investigation into a 2004 land deal in which he invested.

Kirsten M. Castañeda

Jenner & Block $3M Fee Award Appeal Could Change Arbitration Law

By John Council |

A former patent client is taking its $3 million attorney fee fight against Jenner & Block to the Texas Supreme Court by arguing it's against public policy for the Chicago-based firm to collect after it allegedly walked away from the contingent fee case without just cause.

V&E, Kirkland, Skadden Work on Deal Involving The Woodlands Company

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represents Nexeo Solutions Holdings of The Woodlands in pending acquisition by WL Ross Holdings in deal valued at $1.575 billion.

Mostyn Law Firm Non-Suited in Hurricane Ike Suit, Then Hit with Another

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

One day after an ex-client non-suited Mostyn Law Firm in a negligence and breach of fiduciary duty suit, two other former clients filed a malpractice suit against the firm.

Tracey R. Wallace, partner, Schiff Hardin, named Lambda Legal National Co-Chair

Dallas Lawyer Co-Chair of Lambda Legal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Tracey Wallace, a partner in Schiff Hardin in Dallas, said the organization has a lot of work to do, even after the U.S. Supreme Court held in 2015 that same-sex marriage is constitutional.

Solo Convinces High Court That Murder/Suicide Is Not a 'Common Disaster'

By John Council |

When Crockett solo practitioner Bill Pemberton drafted nearly identical wills for Vencie and Melba Beard, he couldn't have known the East Texas couple would die years later in a tragic murder/suicide.

Akin Gump, Latham Handle Shale Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston lawyers in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld represent Houston's EP Energy Corp. in the pending sale of shale assets in Texas and Louisiana to Covey Park Gas, which is represented by a Houston team from Latham & Watkins.

Karen Gren Scholer, Carter Scholer Arnett Hamada & Mockler

Cornyn Pledges to Help Obama Seat Texas Judges

By John Council |

While Texas' Senior U.S. Senator John Cornyn has pledged to block President Barack Obama's appointment of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, the influential Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he'll work with the White House to seat five Texans on U.S. District Court benches.

People walk away from the broken windows at Zaventem Airport in Brussels after an explosion on Tuesday. Explosions, at least one likely caused by a suicide bomber, rocked the Brussels airport and subway system Tuesday, prompting a lockdown of the Belgian capital and heightened security across Europe.

Baker Botts' Brussels Office Reports That Staff Is Safe

By Angela Morris |

Baker Botts is the only Top 25 Texas law firm that operates an office in Brussels. The office has nine lawyers—three partners and six associates.

Phil Appenzeller, CEO of Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Harr in Dallas

Net, Gross Income Up in 2015 at Munsch Hardt

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Net income improved by 15.8 percent in 2015 compared with 2014 at the Dallas-based firm.

Spoliation Allegations in Race-Discrimination Lawsuit

By Miriam Rozen |

In a race-discrimination employment lawsuit in Dallas federal court, corporate defendants filed a motion for sanctions against the plaintiff, a certified nursing assistant. The defendants' motion alleges the plaintiff's side engaged in spoliation of evidence and specifically that the plaintiff's lawyer failed to produce relevant email correspondence.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas Supreme Court OKs Three-Judge Court Rules

By Angela Morris |

The new rule applies to newly filed and pending redistricting or school finance cases. That means the current school finance case—if remanded to trial court—could be subject to a three-judge court.

Hurricane Katrina.

Emergency Planning Reintroduced for Texas Courts

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Supreme Court has revived an old task force and given it new instructions to get the Texas judiciary ready for disruptions like hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorist events, public health crises and more.

Former Attorney General Staffer Alleges Discrimination

By Angela Morris |

A former director in the Texas Office of the Attorney General alleged in a federal lawsuit that the office terminated her because she is an African American female, and replaced her with an unqualified white man.

Mexico Hosts First Electric Power Auction

By Angela Neville |

A large group of electric power producers recently applied for qualification in Mexico's first electricity auction following its energy reform, according the nation's Energy Ministry.

Tom Van Arsdel, managing shareholder, Winstead PC, Houston

Litigator Takes Job Managing Winstead's Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

New managing shareholder Tom Van Arsdel joined the firm right out of law school in 1998.

Targa Resources Upsizes Total Stock Deal to Around $1 Billion

By Angela Neville |

Targa recently announced that it has received definitive agreements from a number of investors for the purchase of its preferred stock totaling approximately $1 billion.