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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

State Rep in Barratry Case Argues Against Law License Suspension

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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 related to the state agency's argument that a remediation order at a Texas Superfund site should be reviewed solely under a substantial evidence standard.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

 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.

'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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.'"

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Justice for Bonnie: How Influential Lawyers Got a Conviction in an Unusual Attorney Murder Case

By John Council |

Her name was Bonnie Arnett Horinek. She was a young Jackson Walker labor and employment partner who was fatally shot in her Fort Worth home in 1995 after a night out drinking with her husband. And the tale of how a group of influential attorneys helped put Bonnie's killer in prison and kept him there is a tale that's worth retelling for the final weekly edition of this newspaper.

Crossfit Muscles Through With Defense Win

By Miriam Rozen |

After a one-week trial and several hours of deliberations, Crossfit Inc. and a Houston affiliate won a 10-2 take-nothing verdict against a plaintiff who alleged he had suffered from rhabdomyolysis, a serious syndrome due to a direct or indirect muscle injury, after a complimentary introductory workout.

Lawyer Ordered to Pay $1.7M for Securities Fraud in Fracking Deal

By Angela Neville |

U.S. District Judge John McBryde recently ruled that defendant Gregory G. Jones, a Texas lawyer who pled guilty in a securities fraud case, is ordered to pay a combined total of $1,176,534 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

Nearly $14K in Sanctions Ordered Against Race-Discrimination Plaintiff, Lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. Magistrate Jeffrey Cureton of the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth ordered on March 23 that a race-discrimination plaintiff and her attorney are jointly and severally liable for $13,847 in attorney fees and $1,146 in expenses as sanctions.

Robert S.

Houston Court of Appeals Reverses Robert S. Bennett's Disbarment

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A panel of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston reversed a trial court's sanction disbarring Robert S. Bennett of Houston, and remanded the case to the trial court for reconsideration of the "appropriate sanction" for violating one disciplinary rule.

Class-Action Plaintiffs Eagerly Await Federal CFPB Rule to Reopen Courthouse Doors

By Miriam Rozen |

Until about five years ago, class-action plaintiffs and their lawyers frequently won big money against consumer finance corporate defendants.

TransCanada Lands Columbia Pipeline for Approximately $13 Billion

By Angela Neville |

Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada Corp. recently announced it has agreed to purchase Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group for approximately $13 billion.

Ken Paxton

Judge Tosses Taxpayer's Challenge of Fees for Special Prosecutors Pursuing Texas AG

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas judge tossed a civil lawsuit filed by a private taxpayer, which challenged the fees paid to the special prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Lessons Learned From an International Shipping Bankruptcy

By Peter McLauchlan |

But how does one balance the competing interests of borrower and creditor in accordance with U.S. and international law? More specifically, what can a lender do to protect its claims without running afoul of the automatic stay imposed by the U.S. bankruptcy law?

Feds, State Take Off in Different Directions on Governing Drones

By Coyt Johnston |

By re-inventing the wheel for drone privacy, Texas has created a law that is ineffective, difficult to enforce, and does not provide an easy roadmap for those citizens who want to follow the law.

Robert G. Reedy, managing partner, Porter Hedges, Houston

Porter Hedges Revenues Drop With Oil Prices

By John Council |

Energy and litigation practices propelled Porter Hedges to have one of its best earning years ever in 2014. And by the same measure, work slowdown in both practice areas caused the Houston firm's gross revenue to drop by 3.5 percent in 2015.

Mark Lanier of Lanier Law Firm

Federal Jury Issues $502M Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson, DePuy

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas federal jury delivered on March 17 a $502 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson and one of its subsidiaries, DePuy Orthopaedics. The jury issued the decision after a nine-week trial and one week of deliberations.

Brian Butcher

Dog Bite Leads to $695K Jury Verdict

By Miriam Rozen |

In a negligence case in the 415th District Court in Parker County, a jury issued this month a $695,000 verdict against the owners of a canine that bit their neighbor.

Greenberg Traurig

Merger Talks End Between Greenberg Traurig, Berwin Leighton Paisner

The talks are off between the 1,950-lawyer Greenberg Traurig and London's 550-lawyer Berwin Leighton Paisner.

Which Texas Law School Zoomed Up in Rankings?

By Miriam Rozen |

According to U.S. News & World Report, one Texas law school moved up quite a bit on the list.

Ex-client Sues San Antonio Firm, Lawyer

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston-area man sued Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza and a shareholder, alleging they failed to respond to a motion for summary judgment, leading to an adverse judgment against him.

Dan Butcher, managing partner of Strasburger & Price

Strasburger & Price Has Disappointing Financial Year

By John Council |

Dallas' Strasburger & Price had a less than satisfying financial year as its gross revenue experienced a 5.8 percent dip—a drop from $99 million in 2014 down to $93.5 million in 2015.

Obama Nominates 5 for Texas U.S. District Courts

By John Council |

It's been a big week for judicial nominations for President Barack Obama who, in addition to naming Supreme Court justice, has picked five people to serve on Texas' U.S. District Courts.

Encryption is the Key to Securing Sensitive Information

By Raymond L. Panneton |

Because each law firm is different, so too will their cybersecurity plan. Despite the differences in law firms, there are things that can be done universally to establish reasonable safeguards of client information, the first being encryption.

Merrick Garland.

The Quotable Merrick Garland: A Collection of Writings and Remarks

President Obama on Wednesday was expected to nominate Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the federal appeals court in Washington to the U.S. Supreme Court. We pored over Garland's decisions and public remarks in recent years. What follows are highlights.

President Barack Obama, announces the nomination of chief judge Merrick Garland, right, to the U.S. Supreme Court, at the Rose Garden.  March 16, 2016.

D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland Nominated to Supreme Court

Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and a former U.S. Justice Department lawyer who led the investigation of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was nominated Wednesday to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Greenberg Traurig Hires Two Lawyers for Dallas, Mexico City

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The two new shareholders in the firm's Latin American and Iberian practice will work out of the firm's Dallas and Mexico City offices.

Landowners Hit Chesapeake Energy with Antitrust Case

By Angela Neville |

Unhappy landowners recently brought an antitrust class action lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy Corp. and other defendants in an Oklahoma federal court, and alleged that the defendants rigged bids and otherwise depressed the amounts they paid to property owners for the acquisition of oil and gas leasehold interests and producing properties in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Amending Cyber History: Is There a Right to be Forgotten?

By Steven H. Thomas |

Sometimes editing cyberspace sounds like a good idea.

East Texas Woman Sues Beaumont Lawyer, Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Kountze woman filed negligence and a breach of fiduciary duty suit against Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell and partner B. Adam Terrell.

Ken Paxton

Special Prosecutors Counter Texas Attorney General's Bid to Dismiss His Criminal Case

By Miriam Rozen |

In a brief filed March 14, special prosecutors for the state countered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's arguments for why an appellate court should dismiss a criminal case against him. Both sides have requested oral arguments, but a date has not yet been set.

Targa Resources Sues Equipment Manufacturer Alleging $17.7M Loss

By Angela Neville |

In the lawsuit, Targa Resources states that it had entered a contract with Epcon to build the two systems called regenerative thermal oxidizers for a facility at Mont Belvieu, Texas and that Epscon's defective construction of the RTO systems caused them to fail and led to the facility being fined by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Petco Age Discrimination Suit Dismissed by Federal Judge

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas federal judge dismissed age discrimination claims that a former Petco employee had filed against the retailer. The judge dismissed the claims because the plaintiff failed to disclose the employment lawsuit in her Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.

Civil Rights Group Alleges Texas Voting Rights Violations

By Miriam Rozen |

The Texas Civil Rights Project has a new director and, with her arrival, a renewed focused on voting rights. On March 14, the Austin-based nonprofit filed a lawsuit on behalf of a proposed class of voters and against the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the secretary of state.

Southwest Royalties Asks Texas Supreme Court to Toss Out Drilling Equipment Tax

By Angela Neville |

Midland-based Southwest Royalties Inc. is currently battling the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Texas Attorney General over the issue of whether oil and gas drilling equipment is included under a statute that includes sales and use tax exemptions for "manufacturing, processing and fabrication."

Andrew Baker, managing partner, Baker Botts

Baker Botts Managing Partner Elected to Second Term

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Andrew Baker, a partner in Houston, will serve as managing partner through the end of 2019.

Med Student Targets Texas A&M with Americans Disabilities Act Claim

By Miriam Rozen |

A former third-year medical student filed a lawsuit against Texas A&M University College of Medicine and Michael Young, the president of its parent school. In it, Danyal Shaikh, the plaintiff, alleges that TAMU staff member misdiagnosed him as suffering from a psychiatric condition, when he in fact suffered from a noncancerous brain tumor.

David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of Court Administration

Texas PACER-like System Launching This Year

By Angela Morris |

It's really happening: Texas is going to get its own version of PACER, destined to debut for judges and lawyers this year, and for the public in mid-2017.

Gabe Vick (left) and Preston Kamin are new partners at Gray Reed McGraw in Houston, Tx.

New Partners Survey: Partner Counts Increase in 2016 for Big Law in Texas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston firm now elects sharerholders twice a year to benefit associates who took the bar exam in February.

Practice Tips for Rule 202 Pre-Suit Petitions

By James Rogers and Cooke Kelsey |

Properly employed, Rule 202 can be a weapon for plaintiffs. Properly defended, Rule 202 Petitions can be countered and managed by defense counsel.

University of Texas System's Sexual Assault Study to Reshape Campus Policies

By Miriam Rozen |

A four-year study of sexual assaults that the UT System's Board of Regents launched last August on 13 of its campuses and institutions will help administrators forge new approaches to handling investigations of such allegations, said Wanda Mercer, an associate vice chancellor.

Drafting Complaints Under the Heightened Pleading Standard for Patent Lawsuits

By Mackenzie Martin and Yoon Chae |

Patent litigators should take note of the change in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and consider the following comments to avoid summary dismissal of their complaints.

Elisa D'Amico

Erin Andrews Is Good Example of Fighting Back

Elisa D'Amico, a cyber civil rights expert, advises victims of online harassment to get immediate help despite the embarrassment.

Texas Gets Rehearing at 5th Circuit for Voter ID Law

By Miriam Rozen |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on March 9 agreed to rehear en banc civil-rights plaintiffs case against Texas' voter ID law.

Louisiana Citizens Sue Exxon for Alleged Harmful Plant Emissions

By Angela Neville |

A Louisiana environmental group recently slammed Texas-based ExxonMobil with a federal lawsuit alleging that the oil giant has continuously disobeyed Clean Air Act requirements by allowing hazardous pollutants to be released from its Baton Rouge chemical plant.

Hays County Judge's DWI Case Scheduled for Plea, Sentencing

By Angela Morris |

A Hays County court-at-law judge who was arrested for drunk driving last year appeared to be headed for trial, but the case took a sudden turn last week after a pretrial hearing.

John Minor Wisdom U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit building, New Orleans, LA.

5th Circuit Resurrects Petrobras' $400 Million Case Over Alleged Defective Marine Tether

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently reversed an earlier ruling of a Houston federal court that threw out the case brought by Petrobras America Inc. and certain underwriters at Lloyd's London against Vicinay over an alleged defective marine chain in which they were seeking $400 million in damages.

Judge Tosses Lawsuits Against University of Texas

By Miriam Rozen |

A state district judge has dismissed lawsuits filed by two men who claimed the University of Texas unfairly targeted them and denied them due process after they were accused of committing sexual assaults.

Mark Sloan Partner, Thompson & Knight, Dallas. Become managing partner in February 2016

Gross Revenue, Net Income Up in 2015 at Thompson & Knight

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Busy trial, transactional and bankruptcy/restructuring practices led to a 12.3 percent increase in net income in 2015 for Dallas-based Thompson & Knight.

Joe Dunn, partner, of Wigington, Rumley, Dunn & Blair in Corpus Christi.

Family Awarded $124.5M Verdict Against Volkswagen for Design Defect

By Miriam Rozen |

After a monthlong trial and two and half days of deliberations, a San Antonio jury issued this month a $124.5 million verdict against German auto manufacturer Audi AG and its parent company and distributor, Volkswagen Group of America.

Austin Lawyer Heads to Prison for Fraud

By Angela Morris |

"Looking at this scheme, the only way it worked was because a lawyer was involved," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Belinda Beek, who prosecuted Austin solo practitioner Patrick Lanier. "He did a lot of the paperwork ... used to take money."

Texas Supreme Court building

Cause of Action Case Teed Up for Texas Supreme Court

By Angela Morris |

Does Texas law recognize a cause of action for tortious interference with inheritance rights? Intermediate appellate courts have disagreed and the issue is teed up before the Texas Supreme Court.

E-Filing Return-For-Correction Rate Drops

By Angela Morris |

When e-filing first became mandatory in the largest Texas counties, a top complaint among lawyers was that clerks frequently returned filings for failing to follow e-filing rules. The issue might go the way of the dinosaurs.

GTLS bug

The 2016 Go-To Law Schools

Our report on the U.S. law schools supplying the most associates to the nation’s largest law firms.

Jurors Award Erin Andrews $55M in Suit Over Nude Video

A jury awarded Erin Andrews $55 million on Monday in her lawsuit against a stalker who bought a hotel room next to her and secretly recorded a nude video, finding that the hotel companies and the stalker shared in the blame.

Lawyers Win $213K in Attorney Fees Representing Dad

By Miriam Rozen |

Lewis Isaacks, a partner in Plano's Gay Mccall Isaacks Gordon & Roberts, and Emily Newhouse, a Plano solo, together represented Newhouse's father, a crop insurance representative, and his company in a dispute against the owner of an insurance company.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown on March 4, 2016 helps seventh grade students at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center in Houston play a game matching milestones in Texas judicial history. Brown helped launch the Houston Bar Association's new Teach Texas Program.

Lawyers, Judges Teach Judicial Civics in New Program

By Angela Morris |

Teach Texas, a pilot program by the Houston Bar Association and Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, sends lawyers and judges into classrooms to teach judicial civics and history. They hope the program spreads across Texas.

Houston Federal Judge Invalidates Patent for Oil Field Equipment

By Angela Neville |

U.S. District Judge Alfred Bennett recently dealt with a patent feud over drilling technology involving a casing centralizer used in wellbores and ruled that the patent was invalid.

Crews work to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill that washed ashore at Pensacola Beach in Pensacola, Florida.

Fisherwoman Alleges False Representation in BP Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

A Vietnamese-American boat owner, captain and fisher woman filed a lawsuit against Bob Hilliard and his firm, Hilliard Munoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi, and John Cracken and his firm, The Cracken Law Firm in Dallas. In her lawsuit, the plaintiff, Thim Nguyen, alleges that the two high-profile plaintiff lawyers stole her name and identity and those of 45,500 other Vietnamese-Americans who fish for a living in the Gulf of Mexico, as part of their plan to gain more than $2 billion in payments from BP after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht

Texas Office of Court Administration Report Shows Discrepancies in Judicial Security

By Angela Morris |

A recent report shows differences and areas for improvement across Texas courthouses in the way they prohibit weapons, screen visitors at entrances, respond to judges who ask for increased security and more.

Sidley, Steptoe Advise Benefit Street and Rex Energy in $175M O&G Deal

By Angela Neville |

Represented by the firm of Steptoe & Johnson, Rex Energy recently entered into an agreement with Benefit Street Partners, which was advised by the firm of Sidley Austin, to jointly develop oil and gas wells in the Moraine East and Warrior North areas in Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively.

Texas Settlement Has FanDuel Stop Paid Entries May 2

Texas has reached a settlement with online daily fantasy sports site FanDuel requiring the company to stop accepting paid entries for cash prizes statewide on May 2.

Stephanie Zapata Moore is the VP and GC at Luminant in Dallas TX.

GC Stephanie Zapata Moore Shines as Luminant’s Legal Leader

By Anthony C. Williams |

Long before Stephanie Zapata Moore was vice president and general counsel at Luminant, the Dallas-based competitive power generator, she said her mother told her nine-year-old self she was so argumentative she should be a lawyer.

Q&A with GC at Luminant—Best Practices: Experience, Respect and Knowledge

By Anthony C. Williams |

Texas Lawyer spoke with Stephanie Zapata Moore, vice president and general counsel at Dallas-based Luminant, and asked her questions about best practices when dealing with outside counsel. Here are her answers, edited for style and length.

Examining the Scope of OCLSA's Jurisdiction in Energy-Related Disputes

By Rob Velevis and Mason Parham |

Oil and gas companies their attorneys should take note: Some district courts within the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit appear to be watering down the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a powerful, albeit underutilized tool for the removal to federal court of oil and gas disputes otherwise governed by state law.

Restructuring Options for Still-Liquid Energy Companies

By Dan Prieto, Tom Howley and Basheer Ghorayeb |

With prices projected to remain low into 2017, an energy company with too much leverage—but with significant cash and other liquidity—may mistakenly delay addressing its balance sheet issues, believing that a restructuring can be postponed until its liquidity is nearly depleted.

K&L Gates, Former Partner Sued Over Representation

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

An Ector County businessman and his companies allege lawyer Anthony Newton of Houston borrowed $115,000 for equity partnership buy-in to K&L Gates and has not repaid it.

Mark Kelly, partner, Vinson & Elkins, Houston

Gross, Net Dip in 2015 at Vinson & Elkins

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Chairman Mark Kelly said flat financials in 2015 follow the firm's record year of 2014.

News Corp. Proposed Deal Could Top $73 Million in Fees for Class Counsel

By Miriam Rozen |

Five law firms that represent a class of corporate plaintiffs pursuing antitrust litigation against News Corp. may receive attorney fees equal to as much as 30 percent of a proposed $244 million settlement--or $73 million.

Liberty Insurance, Cameron Settle Case Involving BP Deepwater Litigation

By Angela Neville |

Just a week before their case involving a $50 million insurance dispute was to be heard by the Texas Supreme Court, Cameron International Corp. and Liberty Insurance Underwriters reached an agreement.

Sam Grover

Lawsuit Over Crosses on Sheriff's Patrol Vehicles

By Angela Morris |

When sheriff's deputies in a rural West Texas county put stickers of crosses on their patrol vehicles, it sparked public debate and commentary from Texas politicians at the highest levels. Now it's also sparked a lawsuit.

Plaintiffs: Lawyers, Firms Botched Lawsuit and Bankruptcy

By Angela Morris |

Three Austin lawyers and two firms are in the crosshairs of a legal malpractice lawsuit for allegedly botching representation in an underlying claim and subsequent company bankruptcy.

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Alum, Wife Donate $1.3 Million to South Texas College of Law

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

South Texas College of Law alumnus and board member Richard Anderson and his wife, Susan, donated more than $1.3 million to the Houston law school for scholarships, tuition support and renovations.

NAACP CEO to Speak in Houston about Racial Profiling

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Cornell Williams Brooks is a featured speaker March 3 at the Yale L. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture at the University of Houston Law Center.

Cross-Examination of Neuropsychologist Who Examined NFL Players Brings Big Verdicts

By Miriam Rozen |

At two Texas trials last month, plaintiffs at each won more than $10 million jury verdicts after their lawyers cross-examined the same defense, Francisco Perez, a clinical neuropsychologist. Perez worked previously for an insurance company, evaluating NFL players' requests for disability benefits.

Jerry K. Clements

Gross Revenue, Net Income Up at Locke Lord in 2015

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Revenue per lawyer and profits per partner decline slightly for Locke Lord when comparing with revenue per lawyer and profits per partner before the merger with Edwards Wildman Palmer in 2015.

5 Mindsets For Better Lawyer Health

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Here is a distressing box score: 20 percent of lawyers combat depression; 44 percent of lawyers grapple with alcohol/substance abuse; and 19 percent fight off anxiety.

Aubrey McClendon

Updated: Indicted Ex-Chesapeake CEO Dies in Fiery Single-Car Crash

By Sean Murphy |

Aubrey McClendon, a natural gas industry titan, was killed when police say he drove his sport utility vehicle "straight into a wall" in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, a day after he was indicted on a charge of conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.

The Days of Spilling Trade Secrets in Litigation Could Be Numbered

By Elisaveta (Leiza) Dolghih and Israel R. Silvas |

The court's ruling will have an effect on the strategic decisions of whether a trade secrets misappropriation case is worth pursuing; how a protective order should be structured in terms of access to trade secret information produced during the lawsuit; how discovery is structured and, most importantly, which attorneys and experts should be engaged to prosecute and defend such claims.

JoAnne Musick

Amici: Gang Injunction is Unconstitutional

By Angela Morris |

Harris County is trying to go medieval on a group of alleged gang members, according to criminal defense lawyers who filed an amicus brief in a civil lawsuit.

Southlake Attorney Faces Allegations of Investor Rip-Off

By John Council |

A Southlake attorney is facing both a criminal charge and a civil allegation in Tarrant County related to allegations that she ripped off real estate investors.

Trouble with Trebles: Damages Under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act

By James H. Creedon |

Understanding the definitions of "knowingly" and "intentionally" under the DTPA is critical to proper pleading, and failure to comprehend the required standard could significantly change the potential recovery.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C.

Texas Requests 5th Circuit Examination of Environmental Protection Agency's Regional Haze Plan

By Angela Neville |

Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are now tangling over the rule that the EPA recently issued to take the place of the state's proposed revision to its state implementation plan for cutting regional haze.

Protesters for and against abortion rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

Deep Divisions Over Abortion as Justices Hear Texas Case

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a contentious abortion rights case from Texas, toggling between technical issues and deep disagreements over the basic right of women to choose abortions. Conservative justices were sharply critical about what they saw as a lack of evidence about the impact of the law on women in the state. The court's three female justices—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan—were joined by Justice Stephen Breyer in criticizing the law.

Texas Supreme Court building

GOP Incumbents Defeat Challengers in Texas Supreme Court Races

By John Council |

Three well-funded incumbents on the Texas Supreme Court had no trouble defeating their challengers during a raucous March 1 Super Tuesday Republican primary election.

Visitors outside the U.S. Supreme Court on August 29, 2015.

High Court Rejects Request for Same-Day Audio in Abortion, Immigration Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a request from news media and transparency organizations for the same-day release of the audio of oral arguments in key upcoming abortion and immigration cases. The court's rejection of the audio request contrasts with last April's arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, the same-sex marriage case.

AkinMears Settles Suit Filed by Ex-Employee

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

"The settlement agreement is signed," said the defense attorney representing the Houston mass tort firm and two partners.

David Jones

Texas Attorney Wins Big Ruling for 'Mexico's Madonna'

By John Council |

When pop star Gloria de Los Angeles Trevino Ruiz alleged she was defamed in a television broadcast, the singer, who's also known as "Mexico's Madonna," provoked an international dispute of sorts by filing a civil lawsuit against three Mexican media defendants in a Texas state district court.

Andrew Baker, with Baker Botts

Baker Botts Tops $1M in Revenue Per Lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

Andy Baker, the managing partner of Baker Botts, heralded the milestone that his Houston-based firm reached this year with its financial reporting.

Chris Dorbandt

Austin Criminal-Defense Lawyer Fends Off Client's Multiple Legal Attacks

By Angela Morris |

Austin criminal-defense solo shares advice about handling difficult clients after fending of an unhappy client's ineffective assistance claims, attorney disciplinary grievance and legal malpractice lawsuit.

Avoid Noncompliance in International Human Rights Obligations

By Tom Wilson, Cristina Lunders and Karla Pascarella |

International human rights can touch practitioners and their clients in all practice areas including contracts, mergers and acquisitions, environmental compliance, labor and employment, and litigation matters.

Arkansas Property Owners Fight Texas-based ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. in U.S. Court of Appeal for The 8th Circuit

By Angela Neville |

In their appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit, Arkansas landowners are pushing to resurrect a class action against Texas-based ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., and other Exxon affiliates, pertaining to the rupture of the Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, that occurred in 2013.

Tom Rhodes

Knock Out: $17.47M Verdict After Recreational Boxing Matches

By Miriam Rozen |

A removed helmet ranked as the most challenging hurdle for Tom Rhodes during a trial that concluded with a jury awarding $17.47 million to his clients, including a teen who suffered head injuries after engaging in a recreational boxing event.

New Federal Law Cracks Down on Child and Forced Labor

According to a 2013 estimate by the International Labour Organization, 168 million underage children still work around the world, often in harsh conditions. A trade law signed by President Obama last week could help stomp out this exploitation.

London Partner Peter Roberts Named Head of Andrews Kurth Global Oil & Gas Practice

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Hires London Lateral from Andrews Kurth to Head Global Oil and Gas Practice

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Peter Roberts joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe on Feb. 29 as a partner in London to serve as head of the firm's global oil and gas practice.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus Focuses on Energy Issues for Next Legislative Term

By Angela Neville |

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, recently spoke at the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association Convention in San Antonio and discussed how the Texas Legislature intends to look at several critical issues related to the battered energy sector once the legislative session begins in January.

$11M Verdict Follows Trampoline Park Accident

By Miriam Rozen |

With 500 trampoline parks operating nationwide and more than a dozen in Texas, Charlie Gustin hopes a Houston jury's award of $11.485 million to a teen who suffered a head injury will light up as a warning message for those park operators.

L to R: William Howell and Alison Boren

Sidley Hires 2 Lateral Partners from Baker Botts

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Corporate finance partner Alison Boren and corporate M&A partner William Howell joined Sidley Austin as partners in Dallas on Feb. 29.

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

Texas Patent Infringement 'Cybor' Killer Case May Finally Be Dead

By John Council |

A Texas patent infringement case once touted as the "Cybor Killer" may finally be dead after the U.S. Supreme Court denied review to the dispute Feb. 29.

Judge Julie Kocurek greets folks attending a welcome back party in her honor.

390th District Judge Julie Kocurek Resumes Bench After Assassination Attempt

By Angela Morris |

There was a standing ovation, hoots and hollers as 390th District Judge Julie Kocurek took the bench for the first time since she survived an assassination attempt with serious injuries last November.

Defense Lawyers, Prosecutors Disagree on Rick Perry Ruling's Significance

By Angela Morris |

Defense lawyers say the CCA's ruling in Perry's case opens the door to arguments that courts should decide more types of as-applied challenges pretrial. But prosecutors say it won't work—the ruling was narrow and limited.

Vessels equipped with water cannons try to fight the devastating Deepwater Horizon fire.

BP Well Site Leader Acquitted in 2010 Deepwater Oil Spill Case

By Angela Neville |

A BP well site leader, Robert Kaluza, was acquitted on a charge that he was negligent in interpreting a critical test and that his actions contributed to the massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Texas Supreme Court Revives Lawyer's Whistleblower Claim

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Supreme Court has given another shot to a former government lawyer who alleged he got fired after blowing the whistle that the state was illegally seeking reimbursement from some Medicaid recipients.

5miles Sues eBay in Trademark Dispute Over Mobile App

By John Council |

E-commerce businesses come up with so many similar smartphone apps that consumers can easily become confused. That's why the owners of 5miles have sued the online auction behemoth eBay in a Dallas federal court for trademark infringement. 5miles allege they first came up with a logo and an app that connects buyers within five miles.

Baker Botts, Andrews Kurth Assist with Chesapeake's Pending Sale of $385M in O&G Assets to FourPoint Energy

By Angela Neville |

Chesapeake Energy Corp. recently entered an agreement to sell its remaining natural gas-heavy property in the Western Anadarko Basin for $385 million to FourPoint Energy, a privately held exploration and production company based in Denver.

Andrews Kurth managing partner Bob Jewell

Gross Revenue, Net Income Drop in 2015 at Andrews Kurth

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Robert Jewell, managing partner of Houston-based Andrews Kurth, said the firm exceeded its forecast and focused on profitability and revenue per lawyer.

Mikal Watts Goes Pro Se at His Own Criminal Trial

By Miriam Rozen |

Despite the adage that any man who represents himself has a fool as a client, Mikal Watts "can make it work," Rusty Hardin said.

Clarence Thomas.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Takes Over 5th Circuit Duties from Late Justice Antonin Scalia

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will handle emergency appeals from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, the court announced Thursday, taking over those duties from the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

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

Texas Lawyers and Firms are More Conservative, Study Finds

By Angela Morris |

As the primary election approaches, it's interesting to note that American lawyers tend to be more liberal than the public, but Texas lawyers skew conservative. Some of the most conservative big firms are in Texas.

Reese Riemer, a cowboy from Stinnett, Texas who is suing the sponsors of The American rodeo in federal court claiming they stiffed him for $600,000 in prize money.

Texas Cowboy Sues The American Rodeo to Lasso $600K in Prize Money

By John Council |

Days before the beginning of an event known as the "world's richest one-day rodeo," a Texas cowboy has sued sponsors of The American Rodeo in an Amarillo U.S. District Court alleging the defendants stiffed him for $600,000 in prize money.

He Who Shall Be Named: Rick Perry

By Miriam Rozen |

What's in a name? A lot, according to Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Cheryl Johnson, who wrote one of the two dissenting opinions objecting to the majority ruling this week dismissing the criminal case against former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Justin Strother, Strother Law Firm, Houston.

Nightclub Battle Leads to $818K Final Judgment

By Miriam Rozen |

Justin Strother helped a nightclub owner in Houston prevail on allegations that a co-owner of the nightclub did not comply with fiduciary obligations.

Mark Bennett

Houston Lawyer to Georgia Supreme Court: Girls Aren't Harmed When Treated as Sex Objects

An attorney challenging a state law against sexually exploiting children on the Internet told the Georgia Supreme Court that he doesn't believe teenage girls are harmed by being treated as sex objects—and he attempted to enlist the lone woman justice to echo his point.

Judge Larry Meyers of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

No Shortage of Dissents in Former Governor Rick Perry Ruling

By Miriam Rozen |

Judge Lawrence E. Meyers wrote that the majority had "decided to employ any means necessary to vacate the two felony counts against Governor Rick Perry."

Tim Powers, Haynes and Boone partner in Dallas, MP as of Jan. 1, 2015

Despite Energy Decline, Haynes and Boone's Profits Soar

By John Council |

Litigation, bankruptcy and energy— yes, energy—practices all helped Dallas' Haynes and Boone have a robust 2015, increasing the firm's gross revenue by 6.8 percent and its net profitability by 7.2 percent over the previous year.

Sysco Uses Freshfields on $3.1B Acquisition

By Brenda sapino jeffreys |

Food service distributor Sysco Corp. of Houston announced a definitive agreement to buy Brakes Group of London, another food service distributor.

V&E, Kirkland Help With EIG Global's $375M Investment in Rice Midstream

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based Vinson & Elkins recently advised Rice Energy Inc. in a completed $375 million equity investment by EIG Global Energy Partners, which was advised by attorneys from Kirkland & Ellis, into Rice Midstream Holdings (RMH) in exchange for $375 million of Series B Units in RMH and common units.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Seeks $16K in Attorney Fees After Court Grants Sanctions Against Race-Discrimination Plaintiff

By Miriam Rozen |

Burlington Northern Santa Fe is seeking $16,487 in attorney fees after a federal judge granted the railroad company's motion for sanctions and spoliation of evidence against a plaintiff claiming racial discrimination and her attorney.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Ted Cruz Asks Houston Federal Judge to Dismiss Eligibility Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Ted Cruz, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, filed a motion Feb. 22 asking a federal judge in Houston to dismiss a suit seeking a declaratory judgment on his eligibility.

Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Dismisses Former Governor Rick Perry's Criminal Case

By Angela Morris |

The CCA opinion—accompanied by two concurrances and two dissents—dismissed Perry's charge of abuse of official capacity, and upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss the charge of coercion of a public servant.

Ken Paxton

Experts: Paxton Appellate Arguments Come Too Soon

By Angela Morris |

A former Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judge and a criminal procedure scholar say that an appellate court considering Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's case might find he's raising his arguments too soon and he must try again after his trial.

5 Methods of Impeaching a Witness, Partner Writes

By Quentin Brogdon |

Impeachment is an incredibly potent arrow in the quiver of the cross-examiner. Mastering the five basic methods of impeachment increases the cross-examiner's odds of minimizing the damage inflicted by a harmful witness.

Neal S. Manne

Susman Godfrey Partner Wants Texas to Pay $973K to Wrongfully Imprisoned Client

By Miriam Rozen |

Neal Manne, a managing partner in Houston's Susman Godfrey, expects his pro bono client, a former death row inmate who has been exonerated, to receive a lump-sum payment of $973,000 from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

C. Wade Cooper, managing partner of Dallas-based Jackson Walker.

Real Estate Big Driver for Jackson Walker Revenue Growth in 2015

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas-based Jackson Walker disposed of more than 200,000 pounds of paper when moving to new offices and a nearly paperless work environment.

How Evidence Came To Be Sexy, Again, Partner Writes

By David A. Oliver |

With all of these insights into the flaws in our decision-making it ought then to come as no surprise that recent years have seen " …an explosion in theoretical and empirical scholarship exploring the law of evidence," according to Michael S. Prado in "The Nature and Purpose of Evidence Theory."

Texas Law Deans React to Accreditation Proposal

By Angela Morris |

An American Bar Association committee recently approved a change to law school accreditation standards dealing with bar exam passage rates. Texas Lawyer emailed Texas law school deans for their reactions.

The Reinvention of Texas Lawyer FAQ

Developing and executing a strategy that leverages digital-first capabilities and opportunities is critical to our future success. Today, I’m excited to announce that the Texas Lawyer is leading the way on our Legal Media reinvention strategy. As of April 1, Texas Lawyer will be a robust, daily digital offering complemented by a glossy, print magazine distributed monthly.

Letter from the Editor: Exciting Changes Coming to Texas Lawyer

By Heather D. Nevitt |

Now, on our 31st anniversary, we are changing our format to enable you to get more of the great journalism you have come to expect from our team, but faster and better.

Open Carry Law Presents Unsightly Small Business Problems

By Monica F. Oathout |

In light of the new Texas Open Carry Law that went into effect at the beginning of the year, small business owners who don't want open or concealed handguns in their stores are confronted with some unattractive options.


'Hannibal Lecter' Judge Resigns From the Bench

By John Council |

A district court judge who was famously reprimanded after giving a "Hannibal Lecter" speech at a political function has resigned from the bench after jurors in his court alleged he improperly contacted them with campaign solicitation letters.

William Mateja

Bill Mateja Joins Polsinelli in Dallas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

William Mateja, a lawyer for Texas AG Ken Paxton, said he can grow his health care fraud and abuse practice at Polsinelli because it has a "whole stable" of health care clients.

Wayne Reaud

Federal Judge Dismisses Claims Against Wayne Reaud, Five Others

By Miriam Rozen |

A federal judge dismissed claims filed against well-known Beaumont litigator Wayne Reaud and five other defendants—all named in a sprawling complaint filed by two African-American plaintiffs.

Why a Sci-Fi Movie and Broadway Musical Should Provide Hope for the Future of Diversity

By Kathleen J. Wu |

Women and minorities are now in a powerful enough political, cultural and economic position to have their complaints heard and, in some cases, heeded.

prayer; Clipart; for Texas Lawyer use only

Is Prayer in Courtrooms Constitutional?

By Angela Morris |

A justice of the peace is opening his courtroom proceedings each day with a prayer by a volunteer chaplain. It has sparked a conversation about the constitutionality of prayer in court.

James Gibson

Houston Lawyer Pursues Big-Screen Ambitions

By Miriam Rozen |

Granted his face doesn't garner the recognition of movie stars like Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins or Mickey Rourke, but a Houston lawyer has nonetheless begun accumulating screen time at a pace to keep up with such celebrities.

Fracking operation in Texas.

Sierra Club Sues Oil and Gas Companies for Allegedly Causing Earthquakes Through Fracking

By Angela Neville |

According to the complaint filed in federal court in Oklahoma by the Sierra Club, three companies' practice of injecting liquid oil and gas waste into deep ground wells alledgedly contributed to an increase of more than 5,800 earthquakes in Oklahoma in 2015, up from an annual average high of 167 from 1977 to 2009.

Teen Driver Gets Small Sum for Alleged Injuries

On Jan. 28, a teenager who claimed back and neck injuries in an intersection collision recovered $457.

James Gibson

Houston Lawyer Jason Gibson Wins $53 Million Jury Verdict for Clients

The clients were family members of Angel Garcia, a 28-year-old construction worker who died while working on renovations to Texas A&M's Kyle Field.

Michelle Rosenblatt Joins Armbrust & Brown; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

Michelle Rosenblatt has joined Armbrust & Brown in Austin as senior counsel; Mark C. Howland and Samuel E. Joyner have joined Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal in Dallas as partners; and more.

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

Lawyer Disobeyed SEC Rules in Fracking Deal, Judge Rules

By Angela Neville |

Gregory G. Jones was recently determined to have violated U.S. securities law by U.S. District Judge John McBryde for allegedly bilking his investors in relation to two securities offerings, one involving an oil and gas exploration venture and the other a fracking water filtration business deal.

Katherine Stadler

Total Fees in Energy Future Holdings' Bankruptcy Nearing $300 Million

By Angela Neville |

"The professional fees in the Energy Future Holdings' bankruptcy are probably now in the range of approximately $300 million," according to Katherine Stadler, a shareholder with the Madison-based firm Godfrey & Kahn and a member of the fee committee in Energy Future Holdings' Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C.

Valero Energy Sues EPA Over Biofuels Plan

By Angela Neville |

Valero Energy, the San Antonio-based energy company, recently sued the EPA in a legal challenge to the federal agency's efforts to expand the use of ethanol and other biofuels to power the nation's transportation system.

Chuck Herring

Recent Opinion Clarifies Conflicts in Lateral Hires

By Angela Morris |

The case answers a basic question that bothers law firms when they're looking to hire laterals: What happens if the new hire is conflicted out of representing a client because his old law firm represented an adverse party?

Thurgood Marshall in 1967

Thurgood Marshall's Confirmation Hearing Topic of Book

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

On the same day lawyers throughout Texas learned of the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of a book on Thurgood Marshall's long confirmation hearing 50 years ago was topic of a book event at Texas Southern University.

Justice Antonin Scalia delivers a speech to first year law students at Georgetown Law Center in November 2015.

Texas Conservative Leaders Mourn Justice Antonin Scalia

By John Council |

Jurists and political leaders in Texas, from former President George W. Bush to Gov. Greg Abbott, praised the legacy of Antonin Scalia.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Judge Strikes Intervention in Suit Challenging Cruz's Eligibility

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Fort Worth man running as an independent candidate for president sought to intervene in declaratory judgment suit.

Estate of Doctor Sues Two Firms, Houston Lawyer

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The estate of Dr. Craig Jefferies of Houston alleges the defendants did not directly inform him of developments in a lawsuit.

Dallas Startup Opens Co-Working Space Just for Lawyers

By Angela Morris |

Coworking spaces have become a trend over the last couple of years among young professionals. Now a startup in Dallas has launched a coworking space just for attorneys.

Polsinelli's Russell Welsh.

Polsinelli To Absorb Large IP Group From Novak Druce

Continuing its systematic expansion, Polsinelli agreed to take in "the vast majority of lawyers and staff" from Houston-based IP boutique Novak Druce Connolly Bove & Quigg.

Lawyers and Advisers Agree: White-Knuckle The Falling Stock Market This Year

By ALM Staff |

With the stock market down so far this year, is it a surprise that lawyers' financial strategy is to keep working through 2016? In a recent survey conducted across ALM’s legal news websites for about three days, 170 respondents out of more than 200 said they would work longer or stay the course to stave off investment pinches. The approach dovetails with the culture at many law practices, where seniority means more power and business. Nearly every stock index has fallen this year since Jan. 1, with the exception of some Latin American markets, so law firm partners across the U.S. this week asserted that their plans to stay in the workforce have not wavered.

May 17, 2015 - A Waco Police SWAT vehicle is parked behind the Twin Peaks restaurant following a shootout between three rival motorcycle gangs earlier in the day. Gunfire erupted leaving at least nine people dead, according to police.

Waco Biker Wants to Be Tried in Houston, Dallas or Austin—Just Not Waco

By Miriam Rozen |

A district judge in McLennan County is scheduled April 1 to consider a request by Dallas lawyer Clint Broden, who represents a defendant in the Waco biker criminal cases, to move his client's criminal trial from Waco to Austin, Dallas or Houston.

Gross Revenue, Net Income Slip in 2015 at Bracewell

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston-based Bracewell also saw a 7.2 percent decline in count of full-time equivalent lawyers and 8.9 percent decline in number of equity partners.

Carlos Treistman

7 More Partners Join Orrick's Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe picks up five partners from Morgan Lewis & Bockius and two from McGuire Woods for new Houston office.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

U.S Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is dead at 79. His death triggers immediate questions for the high court and the nation on the outcome of significant challenges this term -- including on immigration, affirmative action and access to abortion clinics. Battle lines are being drawn over whether President Barack Obama or the next president should name his replacement. In addressing the nation, the president said he would make a pick to replace Scalia.

Justice Antonin Scalia delivers a speech to first year law students at Georgetown Law Center in November 2015.

Texas Leaders Mourn Scalia

By John Council |

Jurists and political leaders in Texas, from former President George W. Bush to Gov. Greg Abbott, praised the legacy of Antonin Scalia.

U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia (2011)

Justice Antonin Scalia, Leader of Court's Conservative Wing, Dies at 79

U.S Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the intellectual leader of the court's conservative wing, is dead at age 79. According to official reports from Texas, he died overnight at a ranch in west Texas where he had gone quail hunting. Scalia's death sets up a major battle over his successor.

Case of First Impression Clarifies Rule 91a

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In a case of first impression, a Texas appeals court found that a trial judge may not consider a Rule 91a movant a prevailing party entitled to attorney fees if the court determines the respondent nonsuited the claims in time to avoid an adverse ruling.

Considering SaaS-Based E-Discovery? 8 Things to Know Before You Buy

Attorneys and law firm CIOs need to consider several areas before buying a cloud-based discovery solution.

Demystifying the Cloud: 5 Things Corporate Legal Should Consider Before Buying E-Discovery SaaS

These are the benefits of true SaaS that legal departments should consider when choosing an e-discovery solution.

Buying a New E-Discovery Platform? 8 Questions You Need to Ask First

Law firm e-discovery experts on the eight questions firms should ask themselves before investing in an e-discovery platform.

6 Software Options You Need to Know in Evaluating E-discovery Solutions

The e-discovery software market has evolved drastically with complete solutions platforms aiding the task in myriad ways.

Rap Case Presents Difficult First Amendment Issues

By Chad Baruch |

Research reveals rap's exceptional power as a tool to engage middle and high school students in their studies. This research suggests that schools should be embracing rap as a teaching tool, not penalizing it. In short, rap has a bad rap.

Michael Lennon Jr. of Mayer Brown.

Dealing With Disputes Over Joint Operating Agreements

By Angela Neville |

Michael Lennon Jr., a partner in Mayer Brown's litigation and dispute resolution and international arbitration practices, was one of the speakers at the webinar titled "International Arbitration in the Energy Sector: Joint Operating Agreement Disputes."

Trevor Wommack Joins Vinson & Elkins Houston Office as Partner; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

Trevor Wommack has joined the Houston office of Vinson & Elkins as a partner in the firm's finance practice group. He focuses his practice on syndicated lending in the energy sector.

Mentally Ill Man Shot By Cop Settles for $1.6M; Plus Other Verdict News

On Sep. 15, a mentally ill man who was shot by a Dallas Police officer during a call for a fight with his mother agreed to a $1.6 million settlement.

Alan Fisch, partner in Fisch Sigler.

Big Patent Verdict May be Reason to Reassess Sherman Division

By John Council |

Patent litigants previously avoided filing cases in the Sherman Division because its courthouse didn't have a full-time judge until December 2014.

How to Deal With Conflicts In Life—That Aren't Law Related

By James Dolan |

How should lawyers, whose education and career teaches them how to deal with conflict, deal with conflict that isn't related to "legal"?

Houston Lawyers Handle $48M Pipe Transaction

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Norton Rose Fulbright represents Houston's MRC Global in a pending $48 million sale of its U.S. oil country tubular goods to Sooner Pipe, which is represented by Porter Hedges.

Ken Paxton

State Bar Ordered to Investigate Ken Paxton Grievance

By Angela Morris |

In a rare turn of events, the State Bar of Texas was ordered to investigate a grievance against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleging he committed misconduct just after the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Private Judges: A Little Known Litigation Alternative in Family Law Cases

By Marilea Lewis |

Although infrequently utilized, Chapter 151 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code provides for the use of a special judge, commonly known as a private judge, to hear and determine the outcome of civil or family law cases.

Austin Businessman Sues Andrews Kurth for Legal Malpractice

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In an amended petition, an Austin businessman adds Andrews Kurth as a defendant in a lawsuit he filed against an Austin venture capital firm and two of its executives.

The Family Law Practitioner's Guide to Surviving the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act and HIPAA

By Kelly Burris |

As a covered entity, family law attorneys, their staff and contractors are required to comply with all aspects of HIPAA. Additionally, under TMRPA, attorneys and firms must provide training to all employees on the specifics of HIPAA and TMRPA.

Justice Lana Myers of Dallas Fifth Court of Appeals.

5th Court Issues Sanctions in Cow in the Road Case

By John Council |

Why did the appellants in the Cow in the Road Case go to Dallas' Fifth Court of Appeals and stay there? Apparently to get sanctioned for filing a frivolous appeal, according to a recent ruling in the unusual dispute.

Lisa Hobbs, partner, Kuhn Hobbs, Austin

Ex-Client Defends $1.29M Verdict Against DLA Piper

By Angela Morris |

An attorney for an ex-client of the international law firm DLA Piper was at the Texas Supreme Court today defending his $1.29 million jury verdict.

Terra Energy Spends $910M for Acquisition of WPX Energy's Subsidiary

By Angela Neville |

Terra Energy Partners, the Houston-based independent oil and natural gas company, is to acquire WPX Energy Rocky Mountain, WPX Energy's subsidiary, for $910 million in cash.

Man Sues Lawyers Over Handling of Bill of Review

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Louisiana man sued two Houston lawyers after he represented himself and won an opinion from an appeals court reversing and remanding a bill of review.

In Blocking Obama's Energy Plan, a Surprise Move From the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court's action on Tuesday halting implementation of the Obama administration's clean energy plan was an assertive move that surprised advocates on both sides. Responding to the pleas of 29 states as well as business and energy industry advocates, the court stayed the extensive power-plant regulations even though the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied a stay in January and has not yet ruled on the merits of the dispute. The plan requires states to cut carbon dioxide pollution from power plants, sharply curtailing the use of coal.

Neal S. Manne

Court Order Allows Syrian Resettlement to Go On in Texas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

U.S. District Judge David Godbey of the Northern District of Texas denies a request from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for a preliminary injunction to stop Syrian resettlement in Texas.

Neal S. Manne

Board Upholds Ex-Prosecutor's Disbarment for Egregious Conduct

By John Council |

An appellate board has upheld the disbarment of Charles Sebesta, swatting back his technical argument for why he should retain his bar card after the ex-prosecutor sent an innocent man to death row and hid exculpatory evidence in the process.

Attorney Fee Fight Over Hefty Personal Injury Settlement

By Angela Neville |

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Horan recently dealt with a fierce dispute over a fee sharing among attorneys who represented a plaintiff in a personal injury case in Dallas that concluded with a substantial settlement with Fluor Intercontinental.

Mimi Marziani

New Leader Takes Helm of Civil Rights Firm

By Angela Morris |

"Given the growing threats to social, racial and economic justice in Texas, TCRP must step boldly into this next chapter," said Mimi Marziani, the new executive director of the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright, now a partner in Bracewell & Giuliani in Austin

Legal Community Part of Zika Virus Task Force

By Angela Morris |

Several people from the legal community—including a former Texas Supreme Court justice—will serve on a task force to prepare Texas to respond to the Zika virus and other infectious diseases.

Ben Brafman, right, counsels his client Martin Shkreli during his appearance before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Feb. 4.

Letter: Congress Versus Shkreli

Benjamin Brafman writes: I accompanied Martin Shkreli to a congressional hearing on pharmaceutical pricing that he was compelled to attend, despite advance knowledge that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege. Indeed, in my judgment, the only reason for the committee to force Shkreli to appear in person was to try to publicly humiliate him.

Michael Hurst, a partner in Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank in Dallas

Michael Hurst, 6 Other Lawyers Join Mike Lynn's Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Michael Hurst, A. Shonn Brown and five lawyers leave Gruber Hurst Elrod Johansen Hail Shank for firm now called Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst.

Ria & David - Give Me Mercy, CD Album , back cover

Houston Lawyer, Daughter Record Charity Album

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

David Gerger, a white-collar crime defense lawyer in Houston, writes and records songs about trials, justice and family on "Give Me Mercy."

Steven Miles is a Washington, D.C. partner with Baker Botts who chairs the firm’s energy practice and also heads its LNG practice

Energy Bill's Impact on Liquefied Natural Gas Exports

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Senate's proposed energy bill, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, seeks to expedite the governmental approval process related to exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Derek Willis, GC for Volusion, in Austin, TX.

Derek Willis, General Counsel for Volusion Inc. Made The Right Move

By Mary Alice Robbins |

After 17 years as a corporate and securities attorney, Derek Willis suddenly found himself responsible for managing a contentious piece of litigation as the secretary and general counsel for Volusion Inc., an Austin-based software company.

Q&A With Volusion Inc. Derek Willis on Best Practices: Expertise, Efficiency and Experience

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Texas Lawyer spoke with Derek Willis, secretary and general counsel for Volusion Inc., an Austin-based software company, and asked him questions about best practices when dealing with outside counsel. Here are his answers, edited for style and length.

Proposed Federal Well Control Rule Criticized as Too Costly

By Angela Neville |

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, the U.S. Department of Interior is proposing a new rule to enhance the safety of offshore drilling, but it is running into fierce resistance from a coalition of industry groups -- including the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the American Petroleum Institute and the International Association of Drilling Contractors.

Reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program: a Boon for Foreign Investors and the National Economy

By Karen-Lee Pollak |

From the investor perspective, going the EB-5 investment visa route through a regional center avoids the usual requirement of having family connections, securing a job or running an actively traded business, which makes it an attractive option for retirees or students.

Corporate Restructure: What Happens to H-1B Employees Still in Process for a Green Card?

By Karen Chong |

An employer can help protect a worker's immigration case and safeguard workforce stability by filing strategically and gathering key documentation of the restructure.

Tips for Avoiding Pitfalls in I-9 Compliance

By Ruth M. Willars |

This precarious position presents liability for employers who view the completion of I-9s as a perfunctory part of the new hire process, or who view a notice of inspection as benign. Employers should take the following steps to proactively address I-9 compliance.

Harris County Judge Consolidates Suits Involving Houston Lawyers, Firms

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A judge in Harris County consolidated two suits involving Houston lawyer Scott Clearman and his former partners.


Federal Judge Retirements Hit Texas Hard

By John Council |

Texas now has 12 current or future federal judicial vacancies—including two seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit—caused by a rash of retirements by the state's longest serving judges.

Mark Geragos

Los Angeles Lawyer Mark Geragos With Celebrity Clients to Teach Cross-Examination Course in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Mark Geragos, who has a long list of celebrity clients, will teach at the National Family Law Trial Institute in Houston in May.

T.J. Campbell

Howard Energy's Pipelines to Link Texas Refineries to Northern Mexico

By Angela Neville |

Currently, San Antonio-based Howard Energy Partners is working on two cross-border pipeline projects that will connect Texas refineries with Mexico.

Jury Sides With Driver Claiming Back And Neck Injuries; And Other Verdict News

On Jan. 7, a driver who claimed back and neck injuries in a rear-ender was awarded $11,956. Clarence R. Fuentes was struck by Rebekka Kelly on a Dallas highway. Kelly stipulated to liability. Fuentes claimed lumbar spondylosis and 3-millimeter disk protrusions at C5-6 and C6-7.

Former Judge D. Michael Lynn, Senior Counsel, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP, Fort Worth

14-Year Veteran Judge, D. Michael Lynn Joins Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

D. Michael Lynn, a 14-year veteran judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division prior to his recent retirement, has joined Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller as senior counsel.

Presidential Politics: Lawyers Join Grassroot Contributors

By Miriam Rozen |

Ted Cruz's campaign, which he proclaimed as financed by a grassroots movement, received 1,423 donations from contributors who identified themselves as lawyers or attorneys. The average amount of each of those contributions was $577, according to calculations based on the Federal Election Commission reports.

Brad Caldwell

Apple Inc. Seeks Mistrial After $625M Jury Verdict

By Miriam Rozen |

Brad Caldwell, a principal in Dallas' Caldwell, Cassady & Curry, represents the plaintiff VirnetX, which filed against the iPhone maker. He has no illusions that the verdict, one of the largest an East Texas federal jury ever issued, will end the lengthy litigation saga between the two companies.

Steve Mostyn of Houston’s Mostyn Law Firm

Steven Mostyn's Clients Win Order in Pelvic Mesh Case

By Miriam Rozen |

In the 55th District Court in Houston, Judge Jaclanel McFarland issued an order barring Boston Scientific, the medical equiment and devices company, from disposing or altering supplies of a resin material, allegedly used in surgical vaginal mesh products.

Technological Advances Help to Resolve Disputes

By Kimberly Taylor |

The modern lawyer has a very different lexicon from her predecessors, and an entirely new array of tools for practicing law and managing the practice of law.

An Early Look at the 2016 Am Law 100

Ahead of The American Lawyer's final Am Law 100 and 200 rankings, see the latest early reports on 2015 financial results from The Am Law Daily and its regional affiliates.

Houston solo Brian W. Wice

Lawyer Reflects on Win After Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Flip-Flop

By Angela Morris |

A man convicted in 1998 of killing a toddler won a new trial from the state's highest criminal court in November 2014, only to see it taken back—and then granted again. His pro bono lawyer reflects on the flip-flop.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Independent Candidate Intervenes in Suit Against Ted Cruz

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Fort Worth man who is an independent candidate for president intervened in a Houston federal lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment on Cruz's eligibility to run for president or vice president.

L to R: Chris Pittard, Dara Smith

Discrimination Laws Apply to Federal Disabled Workers and Independent Government Contractors

By John Council |

In a case of first impression, Chris Pittard and Dara Smith both help convince the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that a seminal employment law meant to protect the rights of the federal disabled workers should also be applied to independent government contractors.

There is No Finish Line, Be Mindful in Your Practice, Life

By Michael P. Maslanka |

The challenge: GCs are busy, gasping for time for reflection on the meaning of being a lawyer. The solution: pausing to reflect on a little known but powerful commencement speech. So, here, courtesy of Vince Foster, is some oxygen.

Fort Worth Attorney Bryan Wilson, the Texas Law Hawk

Texas Law Hawk Attorney to be Featured in Super Bowl Commercial

By John Council |

Millions more will be exposed to Bryan Wilson's antics as he's being featured in a Taco Bell Super Bowl commercial.

Study: Many Lawyers Suffer From Alcoholism, Depression

By Angela Morris |

A newly published study shows that 21 percent of attorneys qualify as problem drinkers, 28 percent struggle with depression and 19 percent have anxiety.

L to R: Sandy Brown and Michael Tankersley

5 Lawyers Move to Alston & Bird From Bracewell

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of five corporate lawyers join Alston & Bird's Dallas office in the financial services and products group.

Judge Edith Brown Clement of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

5th Circuit: Expert Witness Can't Sue Over Censure

By John Council |

A Texas doctor expert witness who was censured by a professional association for the testimony he gave in a medical malpractice case can't sue the organization over his lost business expenses, according to a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Donna Peavler

Target Wins Take-Nothing Verdict

By Miriam Rozen |

How many shopping carts does it take to win a take-nothing jury verdict for Target Corp.? The answer: 200,000, or about four years' worth of carts an attendant returned to a store, according to Donna Peavler.

Eric Taube

Taube Summers Lawyers Move to Waller Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Nashville firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis acquires Austin firm Taube Summers Harrison Taylor Meinzer Brown, with 13 lawyers moving to Waller's Austin office.

Mary Keeney, left, and Laura Burney

Texas Supreme Court Clears up Royalty Fractions Confusion in Will Case

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently dismissed the Fourth Court of Appeals' ruling and instead held that interpretation of the will concerning conveyence of oil and gas royalties was governed by an analytical approach that required consideration of all of the language in the will and the context in which the will was executed.

Mitchell Zuklie c/o Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

15 Lawyers So Far Working at Orrick's New Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A total of 15 Houston lawyers from six firms have started working at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe's new Houston office over the last two weeks.

HSBC Ruling Could Bring Big Changes to Monitorships

In a ruling with major implications for companies with corporate monitors, a judge has ordered HSBC Bank to make public a monitor’s report on its efforts to comply with anti-money laundering laws.

Texas Appleseed Celebrates 20th Anniversary

By Angela Morris |

Founded in 1996, Texas Appleseed works to find justice and solutions to social and economic problems for underrepresented Texans, such as children, disabled people and low-income families.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett

Cheerleaders, 'The Lion King' Reference Together in Justice's Opinion

By Miriam Rozen |

Leave it to Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett to squeeze characters from Disney's "The Lion King" and cheerleaders into a concurring opinion. No one who follows Willett's Twitter feed would be surprised to see his popular culture references.

14th Court of Appeals Reverses $21M Verdict Over Oil Blast Death

By Angela Neville |

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals recently overturned a Harris County jury's $21 million judgment based on wrongful death and personal injury cause of action against Oiltanking Houston, involving an explosion that killed a contract worker.

Judge Orders Lawyer to Pay Fees to Kirklin Law Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In a final judgment, a Houston state district judge orders Houston lawyer George Fleming to pay $53,950 in attorney fees for an anti-SLAPP motion.

E-Discovery Special Report

From the FRCP changes and burgeoning software options, here's a look at what's in store for e-discovery in 2016.

Laura Gibson, Partner, Dentons, Houston.

Laura Gibson Joins Dentons in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Laura Gibson leaves Ogden Broocks & Hall to become a partner in Dentons in Houston.

Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Asks US Supreme Court to Put Obama's Clean Power Plan on Hold

By Angela Neville |

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are currently heading a coalition of 29 states and state agencies that are seeking to have the U.S. Supreme Court put the brakes on President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which is designed to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.

Shell's $52 Billion Takeover of BG Group To Create Largest Global Liquefied Natural gas Trader Approved

By Angela Neville |

Recently, BG Group voted to approve Royal Dutch Shell's proposed $52 billion acquisition of it, setting up the path for the two firms to create the world's largest trader of liquefied natural gas.

Plaintiff Recovers for Collision on Icy Road

On Nov. 18, a passenger who claimed back and neck sprains and strains in a collision recovered $917. Lejon Harvey was in a sedan that was driven by Eric Williams.

Nelson Block, shareholder, Winstead, Houston

Joe Jamail Not 'The King of Torts', Writes Shareholder, Winstead PC

Your Jan. 4 article incorrectly described lawyer and philanthropist Joe Jamail as "The King of Torts." Joe's former law partner, Judge George Cire, made the definitive statement on this topic in 1977 when I clerked for the judge.

Spotify's Compliance Practice Striking a Chord

By Chris Castle |

While the government actively regulates songwriting, it largely avoids enforcing compliance with its licenses, essentially leaving enforcement to songwriters and music publishers.

What Happens When Your Arbitrator is AWOL?

By Robert B. Gilbreath |

Over the years, courts have struggled with the question of whether arbitration should proceed when the arbitrator the parties named is no longer available.

Karen Kennard, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Austin.

Greenberg Traurig Hires 3 Shareholders in Texas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The firm adds one shareholder in Austin and two in Dallas.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Opposing Counsel About Ted Cruz: 'He Wasn't a Jerk'

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz was not such a bad apple, according to appellate lawyers who identify themselves as Democrats and previously opposed him in court.

Brant Stogner

Brant Stogner Named Partner in Houston-Based Abraham, Watkins; Plus Other 'On the Move' News

Brant J. Stogner, a trial lawyer, has been named a partner in Houston-based Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend.

Mike Hull

Top Texas for Lawsuit Reform Lobbyist Switches Sides, Joins Tort Reform Foe

By Angela Morris |

Mike Hull, former outside counsel for Texans for Lawsuit Reform, is now working with Houston mass tort litigator Steve Mostyn on a transvaginal mesh class action.

Akin Gump Aids Diamondback in $226M Stock Offering

By Angela Neville |

Diamondback Energy recently announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 4 million shares of its common stock and its retention of the law firm of Akin Gump to advise it concerning the transaction.

Vinson & Elkins Work on $247M Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represents Trican Well Service in pending sale of U.S. assets to Houston-based Keane Group.

Fraud Convictions Overturned Due to Evidence Errors

By John Council |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has tossed out the convictions of two medical company executives for their roles in a $26 million securities fraud scheme after ruling the trial court excluded evidence it should have let in against the men—and admitted evidence that should have been kept out.

Gardere Wynne Sewell Hires 4 Lawyers, Opens Denver Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Two of Gardere Wynne Sewell's lateral partner hires will lead the firm's global supply network industry team from Dallas and Denver.

Texas Attorney General Files Motion to Dismiss Civil Charges Against State Trooper in Sandra Bland Case

By Miriam Rozen |

The Texas Attorney General filed a motion to dismiss civil rights claims filed by Sandra Bland's mother against Brian Encinia, a Texas state trooper.

Partner Paul Yetter founded Houston-based Yetter Coleman in 1997

Trial Firm Proud of Pro Bono Foster Care Fight

By Angela Morris |

"There are some things you do as a lawyer that you are simply honored to do, and you know make a real difference in the world, and this is one of them. I couldn't be more proud of this case and our firm," said Paul Yetter.


U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap Hammers Patent Plaintiff With $390K Fee Award

By John Council |

The bill has finally come due for the first Eastern District of Texas patent litigant found to have filed an "exceptional case"—one that was so baseless it warranted the litigant paying the other side's attorney fees—and U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap ordered the plaintiff to pay $390,000 for troubling 24 separate defendants with weak claims.

Thomas Saenz

Law Targeting Landlords Prompts Shelter Provider to Sue State Officials

By Miriam Rozen |

Two Texas landlords who do not ask tenants to prove their immigration status filed a legal challenge to a state law that targets individuals who provide shelter to undocumented residents.

Richard L. Burleson, managing partner in the Houston office of Burleson

Rick Burleson Joins Paul Hastings in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston oil and gas lawyer Rick Burleson, founder of Burleson LLP, which closed at the end of 2015, has joined Paul Hastings in Houston.

Former Judge D. Michael Lynn, Senior Counsel, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP, Fort Worth

Former Bankruptcy Judge Joins Shannon Gracey

By John Council |

After 14 years of presiding over complicated Chapter 11 cases, D. Michael Lynn has left his U.S. Bankruptcy bench to join Fort Worth's Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller as senior counsel.

Bill Brewer of Bickel & Brewer.

Judge Sanctions Bill Brewer Over Jury Survey

By John Council |

A state district judge has sanctioned William Brewer III after determining the prominent Dallas attorney engaged in an abusive litigation tactic by commissioning a pre-trial telephone survey meant to improperly influence a Lubbock County jury pool in a wrongful death case.

Katherine Stadler, a shareholder with Godfrey & Kahn

Kirkland & Ellis Tops $146M in Fees in Energy Future Holding's Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

The court-appointed fee committee in the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis is seeking approximately $21.3 million in attorney fees and expenses in connection with the mammoth Energy Future Holdings' Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Ex-Client Sues Lawyer for Accounting of Settlement

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston-area man brings a breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice lawsuit against Merrick Nepomuceno of Houston, alleging he failed to provide an accounting of how $80,000 in settlement money was spent.

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

The State Bar of Texas Board Opposes American Bar Association Guidelines Regulating Nonlawyer Legal Assistance

By Angela Morris |

The State Bar of Texas board of directors has reservations about an effort by the American Bar Association to create guidelines to regulate nonlawyers who provide legal assistance.

Ilisa Halpern Paul, Drinker Biddle & Reath's chief lobbyist, turns her attention away from her iPhone and BlackBerry to jot some notes in a House cafeteria before her meeting with Rochelle Dornatt, the chief of staff to Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.). July 17, 2012. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL..

Will the iPhone Continue as Lawyers' Smartphone of Choice?

Although iPhone sales are predicted to decline, the smartphone remains wildly popular among lawyers.

T. Boone Pickens, chair of BP Capital Management, Dallas

Prior to Selecting a Jury, T. Boone Pickens and a Son Settle Dispute

By Miriam Rozen |

T. Boone Pickens and his son Michael Pickens reached a settlement on Jan. 25, the day scheduled for jury selection to start in a trial pitting them against each other, according to the elder Pickens’ lawyer Leland de La Garza.

Harold K. Watson, a partner who works at the Houston office of Chaffee McCall.

5th Circuit Rules for Insurers in Oil Rig Coverage Case

By Angela Neville |

The Fifth Circuit recently upheld the verdict of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana that determined a group of 14 insurers, including Lloyds London, were not obligated to provide any coverage toward an almost $17 million claim in damages related to Seahawk's offshore oil rig, which was harmed during two severe weather events in February 2010 and July 2010.

Campbell Harrison Lawyers Move to New Firms

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The lawyers from Houston's Campbell Harrison & Dagley are now practicing at three separate firms in Houston.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Joseph Bergeron

San Mateo County Judge Admonished Over Treatment of Women

California's judicial watchdog agency has admonished a San Mateo County judge for acting disrespectfully toward women in his courtroom, including, in one instance, asking a female prosecutor to get him a cup of coffee.

Doug Kubehl, Baker Botts, partner, Dallas.

Baker Botts Scores $8.2M Verdict in Eastern District of Texas Patent Infringement Battle

By Miriam Rozen |

A patent infringement battle between two rival companies selling Voice over the Internet protocol (VOIP) technology has led to an $8.2 million jury verdict for Baker Botts' client GENBAND U.S.

Which Texas Cities Made the List of Best, Worst Places to Live as a Young Lawyer?

By Angela Morris |

But one Texas city made the list of the worst cities for young attorneys.