Latest News

Sometimes Trying to Contain This Juror 'Contamination' Actually Ends Up Spreading It

By Mike Maslanka |

Litigators can't be reminded of this tip enough.

Paul F. “Chip” Ferguson Jr.

Partners in Provost Umphrey Battle With Former Partner

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Partners in Provost Umphrey Law Firm allege in lawsuit filed in Jefferson County that former partner Paul "Chip" Ferguson Jr. betrayed the firm and partners by negotiating "side agreement" with Walter Umphrey.

John Zavitsanos, a partner in Houston’s Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing

Oil Field Equipment Supplier Wins Defense Verdict in Race Bias Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

At trial, the defense team showed similarities between the allegations against NOV and those in another earlier discrimination lawsuit against another Houston employer brought by different plaintiffs, but the same plaintiffs counsel.

Linda Bray Chanow, Executive Director of the Center for Women in Law, University of Texas, School of Law.

Diversity Scorecard for Texas Courts

By Angela Morris |

The face of the Texas judiciary has changed over the past 10 years to include more female judges as well as more judges of color in some—but not all—of the types of courts in the state.

VerdictSearch: Plaintiff Claiming Considerable Soft-Tissue Injuries Gets $23K

On Aug. 13, A jury awarded $23,000 to a woman who claimed extensive and persistent soft-tissue injuries in a rear-ender.

Newsmakers: Week of October 12

Dara Hegar has been named managing attorney of The Lanier Law Firm. She will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating litigation efforts in the firm's Houston, Los Angeles and New York offices.

District Attorney Launching In-House Cyber Forensics Unit

By Angela Morris |

"Launching the Cyber Forensics Unit will be a tremendous benefit in handling specific criminal cases within the district attorney's office," Bexar County Criminal DA Nico LaHood said in a statement.

Go Track 'Alice'

By John Council |

Since the U.S. Supreme Court issued Alice v. CLS Bank last year, the decision has hit the intellectual property world like a hurricane, causing federal courts to dismiss a whole host of patent infringement cases in which litigants lay claim to "abstract ideas."

Monica Blacker, Partner, Jackson Walker, Dallas, Texas.

Q&A: A Guide to Bankruptcy Law for O&G Attorneys

By Angela Neville |

Monica Blacker, an experienced bankruptcy attorney and partner with the Dallas firm of Jackson Walker, discusses how oil and gas practitioners can assist their clients who are seeking information about bankruptcy law.

The Texas Legislature uses the state’s vast distances to impede people’s rights.

Sunset Scrutiny Sets on State Bar

By Angela Morris |

In a self-evaluation, the state bar told the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission about issues in the disciplinary system that need changes. It also suggested a change to the rules referendum process, among other things.

Litigator of the Week: Bracewell Partners Get $30M Claims Dismissed for Client

By Miriam Rozen |

Phillip Sampson and Christopher Dodson, two partners in Houston's Bracewell & Giuliani, scored a major defense victory last month for their client Vopak Terminal Deer Park, a bulk liquid terminal operation with a flagship in the Houston Ship Channel, thanks to their discovery findings.

Participate Now in Our 2015 Managing Partners Survey

This survey invites managing partners of Texas firms and the partners-in-charge of their firms’ Texas offices to share their opinions about the Texas legal market. The survey closes at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23. This is a confidential survey. Aggregated, not individual, results will be reported in Texas Lawyer’s Nov. 23, edition.

George Kurisky, partner in Houston's Johnson DeLuca Kurisky & Gould.

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Defense Lawyer Gets Checkered Flag in Porsche Case

By John Council |

"It was a battle of a forms deal," said George Kurisky, who convinced Houston's First Court of Appeals that a warranty claim filed against his car dealer client over a blown-up Porsche engine should be heard in arbitration. "Clearly this transaction is covered by the arbitration provision."

Final Judgment Sought in Bellwether Hip Replacement Case

By Miriam Rozen |

"Entry of judgment in the bellwether cases is important to ensure that any appellate issues are timely resolved and that the bellwether process resolves individual cases rather than just providing advisory verdicts," states the motion, filed on Oct. 5 by Johnson & Johnson.

7 Antitrust Concepts that Every Lawyer and Business Person Should Know

By Anna Rotman |

Business people and lawyers can benefit from understanding the basics of antitrust laws. Here are seven essential antitrust concepts to train your team on.

Brent Walker, a partner in Aldous Walker in Dallas

Nina Pham's Lawyers to Start Depositions in Ebola Case

By Miriam Rozen |

A plaintiffs lawyer who represents the Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a patient, said his team will begin taking depositions in the lawsuit his client filed against the parent company of the hospital where she worked.

Texas State Flag

Toxic Tort Firm Opens Offices in Dallas, Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson hires 32 laterals from a Jackson, Mississippi, litigation firm, and opens offices in Houston and Dallas with the new hires.

How to Train HR to Put Together a Flawless Investigation Report

By Alan Bush and Lee Winkelman |

Emmy red carpets and HR investigation reports: Both put you on display. The red carpet critics will mercilessly pick apart every last detail—from hemline to cuff line, from wing tip to stiletto. No doubt, plaintiff's counsel will play the critic on an HR investigation report. There's no hiding the flaws.

New Hampshire High Court Affirms $236M Verdict Against Exxon

By Angela Neville |

In its recent appellate decision, the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld the trial court's rulings on the merits, affirmed the $236 million jury verdict for the state of New Hampshire and against Exxon Mobil.

Geoffrey L. Harrison, partner with Susman Godfrey, Houston

Retired Military Leaders File Amicus Brief in KBR Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

No fewer than 11 retired U.S. generals and admirals, including two former judge advocates general, have marched lockstep into a debate about evaluating in U.S. courts the potential liabilities of KBR Inc. for human trafficking allegations that took place overseas.

Thomas C. Wright, a founding partner in Houston's Wright & Close

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Wealthy Oil Heir's Case

By John Council |

Tom Wright said it's time for Albert Hill III to pay his law firm clients. "We hope that the word from the highest court in the land makes Mr. Hill realize that he owes the judgment,''he said.

Morris Atlas

Remembering McAllen Lawyer Morris Atlas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Morris Atlas, founder of McAllen firm now known as Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez, passed away at home on Oct. 4.

'Soft Skills' Are What Make Good Lawyers Great

By Elizabeth Moeller |

These important skills will help you discover what you want in a career, enable you to learn about unique opportunities that may not be posted anywhere, help you land jobs and clients and, ultimately, become a successful professional in the career path of your choosing.

How to Clinch That 'A' and Not Lose Your Mind

By Nina T. Martinez |

I offer a disclaimer: Take my advice and the advice you receive during your time in law school with a grain of salt.

social media keys

Question No. 1 for the Lawyer on Social Media: What Not to Share?

By Julie Langdon |

Attorneys have the option to use social media to enhance their careers and businesses. But each attorney should keep in mind a few precautions before sharing anything. Failure to take these seriously can cost lawyers their jobs, or worse, their bar licenses.

Investor Sues Lawyer For Legal Malpractice

By Angela Morris |

A New Orleans company has sued an Austin solo, alleging that he committed malpractice and cost the company a $925,000 investment in one matter and caused it to get sued in another.

Dr. Brian Stacy, NOAA veterinarian, prepares to clean an oiled Kemp's Ridley turtle, as part of ongoing animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

BP Gets 'Punishment it Deserves,' Feds Say in Record $20B Settlement

By Mike Sacks and Amanda Bronstad |

BP PLC has agreed to pay $20 billion in fines—the largest in U.S. history—for the Deepwater Horizon disaster spill and cleanup of 3.1 million barrels of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and onto the shores of coastal states, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday.

Big Texas Law Firms Face New Competitors at Home

By Susan Beck and Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Texas firms are having to work even harder to compete in their own backyard. In the latest sign that Vinson & Elkins, Baker Botts and others are being forced to respond to the influx of out-of-town firms in the state, compensation for associates at Texas-based firms shot up in the first half of this year.

Texas Energy Firm Scores One Mexican Oil Block in Recent Auction

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based Fieldwood Energy and its partner Petrobal were one of three successful bidders in the recent auction for oil blocks put on by the Mexican government.

Amy Hancock, director of Professional Development, Andrews Kurth, Houston

Andrews Kurth Helps Houston Law School with Career Development Program

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The University of Houston Law Center launches a mandatory career development program for first-year students with help from Andrews Kurth.

Dee Kelly, founder of Kelly Hart & Hallman, Fort Worth

Remembering Fort Worth Lawyer Dee Kelly

By John Council |

Dee Kelly, who founded Kelly Hart & Hallman in 1979 and became Fort Worth's most recognizable and politically-influential lawyer, died on Oct. 2. He was 86.

David T. Schubauer

Immigrant Investors Program Up for Renewal

By BY Rebekah Mintzer |

Best Practices: Be Responsive and Efficient With Resources

By Anthony C. Williams |

Freelance reporter Anthony C. Williams emailed Nadalo some questions about best practices. Below are his answers edited for length and style.

Employment Lawyers: Bask in Trio of Fifth Circuit's Summer Cases

By Michael P. Maslanka |

These pro-employee cases should prove to lift the spirits of employment lawyers.

Jeff Nadalo

Buc-ee's GC Jeff Nadalo: A Busy Beaver

By Anthony C. Williams |

Many Texans who tire of the weekday hustle and bustle and ache to get away from the city might find themselves at one of the famed Buc-ee's fuel centers while on their way to fish or enjoy any other leisure activity. But for Buc-ee's general counsel Jeff Nadalo, he relaxes by volunteering as a sheriff's deputy. Seriously.

How The 'Obergefell' Decision Affects Texas Same-Sex Couples and Everyone Who Practices Law

By J. Daryl Hinze |

Essentially, after Obergefell, once the legal impediment to recognition was lifted on same-sex couples based on its holding, thousands of people became instantaneously married the moment the opinion was issued.

What to Tell a Client Who Wants to Sell His Company

By James D. Shields |

How does the lawyer advise him? What should he be concerned about and how long will this process take?

Newsmakers: Week of October 5

Vianei Lopez Braunhas joined Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller as a partner in the firm's labor and employment group.

Jack Ayres, attorney with Ayres Law Office, Addison, TX

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Lawyer Wins Ruling for Teen Shot By Police

By John Council |

"The Fifth Circuit has taken the moral and legal high ground that conduct like this is not going to be tolerated," Jack Ayres said of a Fifth Circuit decision that allows the majority of his clients' case against three police officers to go to trial. "We hope this opinion will save lives."

Understanding the Rules for Estate Taxes and Non-Citizens

By Olivia Carbajal de Garcia |

Legal and illegal immigrants make up a growing portion of the population of this country and as such it is important to be familiar with the general rules that may impact the estate planning approach when non-U.S. citizens are involved.

Conoco Fights Medical Center, Alleges Insurance Kickbacks

By Angela Neville |

In July, ConocoPhillips responded to a lawsuit filed against it by North Cypress Medical Center Operating Co. by filing its original counterclaim against the medical center in which it stated that "this is a fraudulent medical billing and illegal 'kickback' case."

Dietary Supplement Maker Gets Another Bite at Texas AG

By Miriam Rozen |

A Utah-based dietary supplement maker may pursue constitutional claims against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in his official capacity, according to a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Lee Wallace

Defense Contractor Pays $4.6 Million to Settle Whistleblower Suit

By R. Robin McDonald |

One of the nation's largest defense contractors has agreed to pay $4.63 million to settle a whistleblower's claims that for six years it overbilled the federal government.

Sanchez Energy to Sell Eagle Ford Assets to Sanchez Production Partners

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld represents Houston-based Sanchez Energy Corp. in sale of assets for about $345 million.

Deadline Extended: Apply Today for NU's Excellence in Cyber Security Risk Management Award

Three winners will receive feature profiles in our December issue and be flown to New York City to take part in a special panel at ALM's CyberSecure conference.

VerdictSearch: Plaintiff With Alleged Back And Neck Injuries Awarded

On Aug. 4, a driver who claimed back and neck injuries in a collision was awarded $10,000. On July 3, 2013, Cecilia Tangoma, then 62, was driving a 2003 Ford Taurus in Dallas.

Volkswagen diesels are shown on a storage lot near a VW dealership Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Salt Lake City.

VW Hit with Onslaught of Class Actions Across 31 States

By Amanda Bronstad |

Volkswagen’s legal problems jumped into overdrive this week. More than 175 class actions in 31 states have been filed over an emissions scandal that erupted last month.

Texas AG Launches Website Showing Detail, Demographics of Police Shootings

By Miriam Rozen |

According to the OAG's website, since Sept. 1, when the OAG's site launched, Houston, Freeport, El Paso and Balch Springs police departments have each reported one shooting by police officers; no police departments statewide have reported shootings of police officers during the same time period.

Judge Michelle Slaughter (center) and Charles

Court: Judge Not Guilty of Ethics Violations for Facebook Posts

By Angela Morris |

A special court of review found that 405th District Judge Michelle Slaughter's Facebook activity amounted to "errors of judgment," not willful ethical violations. The opinion gives guidance for other judges' social media use.

William R. Schlecht

Retired AT&T Lawyer Files Civil Rights Claim for Hairstylist's Son

By Miriam Rozen |

William Schlecht, who, after retiring from the telecommunications giant, began a part-time business law practice in San Antonio, filed the lawsuit in San Antonio federal court. Schlecht filed it as a proposed class action on behalf of Marcus Barroso, his hairstylist's son, and unnamed others who allegedly also were unconstitutionally confined beyond their sentences.

Uber iPhone app.

Hearing Officer: Uber Drivers Aren't Employees

By Celia Ampel |

Uber is on the road to defeating a state decision that its drivers should be considered employees, not independent contractors.

Energy Express Hit With Class Action Claiming It Failed to Pay Proper Wages

By Angela Neville |

Energy Express Services, a Houston-based oil field services company, recently got hammered with a federal class action suit in Pennsylvania brought by former employees who allege that the company carried out illegal pay practices.

clocking system

Turbulent Time in the Oil Patch: What to Know When Facing RIFs

By Derek J. Anchondo and Shira R. Yoshor |

As companies deal with the many implications of low oil prices on their revenues, they will invariably consider employee cuts as a way to deal with decreasing budgets.

Richard Warren Mithoff, founder, Mithoff Law, Houston

Mithoff to Represent Harris County in Emissions Suit Against Volkswagen

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The county's lead attorney, Richard Mithoff of Mithoff Law Firm, secured a $2.2 billion settlement in 1998 for Texas counties against tobacco companies.

Family Sues Firm for Barratry, Seeks Fee Forfeiture

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Louisiana family who hired Houston's Arnold & Itkin for negligence suit related to a train crossing accident files suit alleging contingency fee contract was "barratrous."

Ninth Circuit Rejects Pay for Student-Athletes

By Marisa Kendall |

Judge Jay Bybee's decision says colleges can cover the full cost of attendance, but scraps compensation for use of players' names, images and likenesses.

Steve DeWolf and his 1942 AT-6 Texan, which was used to train U.S. Navy pilots for WWII

Solo Defends His Love for Noisy Old Airplanes

By John Council |

Solo lawyer and amateur pilot Steve DeWolf is in love with WW II-era training planes—especially the distinctive yellow 1942 AT-6 Texan that he stores and flies from Dallas' Executive Airport.

4 Firms Work on $37.7B Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Energy Transfer Equity of Dallas turned to Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Latham & Watkins for $37.7 billion pending acquisition of The Williams Companies of Tulsa.

5 Tips for Defending Immigrants in Criminal Court

By Gordon Quan and Alexandre I. Afanassiev |

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this summer, in a precedent-setting decision in U.S. v. Batamula, defined in more detail what the court expected of criminal defense attorneys in advising their immigrant clients of the legal ramifications, notwithstanding the warnings given by any criminal court judge.

In a Global Marketplace, What Are the Rules for International Production of Electronic Records?

By Julie Machal-Fulks |

Recently, the Second Circuit heard oral arguments between Microsoft and federal prosecutors regarding whether officers can use the SCA to compel an email hosting company to produce the secured email records of one of its customers that are stored solely in Ireland.

Akin Gump Advises Valero in $465M Purchase of Oil Terminals

By Angela Neville |

With the legal assistance of the Houston firm of Akin Gump, Valero Energy Partners is in the process of buying the Corpus Christi Terminal Services Business from a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corp. for $465 million.

District Attorney Drops Lawyer's Assault Case, Files Drug Charge

By Angela Morris |

The motion to dismiss Robert "Bob" Thomas Jr.'s charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon said Thomas was "to participate in drug court on a new case."

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

Fifth Circuit Upholds Trustee's Removal After He Expenses Hotel Stay with Family

By Miriam Rozen |

A court ordered to have W. Steve Smith removed as Chapter 7 trustee from bankruptcy cases, basing that ruling in part on allegations that for oral arguments Smith traveled in 2011 to New Orleans with his wife, who served as his appellate counsel, and his two children. The family arrived three days early, stayed one night afterwards, and then Smith submitted an un-itemized bill that included a request to distribute $3,486 in estate funds to his firm for the trip costs.

Rule 11 Sanctions Motion: Opposing Counsel on 'Fraud Crusade'

By Miriam Rozen |

Andrews Kurth's clients filed a Rule 11 sanctions motion in San Antonio federal court that targets plaintiffs counsel William H. Oliver of San Antonio's Pipkin & Oliver. The motion argues that the plaintiffs counsel flouted procedures that he "and everyone who has completed first-semester civil procedure knows."

James Rodney Gilstrap, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall

Gilstrap Dismisses 168 Patent Cases, Considers Attorney Fees

By John Council |

The nation's busiest patent judge recently eliminated nearly 10 percent of his docket by ruling that a serial plaintiff's claims were not eligible for a patent. He will now consider whether the litigation amounts to an "exceptional case," which allows parties to receive attorney fees for defending baseless claims.

Seven Texas-Based Firms Among Nation's Most Fearsome

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Two Houston firms are listed in "Awesome Opponents" category in BTI Litigation Outlook 2016 survey of in-house lawyers.

Carey Gunn Venditti, a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig

Three Real Estate Lawyers Leave Winstead for Greenberg Traurig

By Miriam Rozen |

Despite the firm's international reach, Greenberg's management honors local autonomy, she said. "It's not a New York firm coming along and telling us what to do," Venditti said.

League City solo Trey Apffel

New Rules OK Social Media for State Bar Candidates

By Angela Morris |

The State Bar of Texas board of directors on Sept. 25 approved a change in the bar's election rules that opens the floodgates on social media campaigning. It's a significant change in the rules over the past five years.

Unitholders Settle With Crestwood in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

By Angela Neville |

The Crestwood Midstream unitholders who filed a suit in May against the company's board of directors alleging breaches of fiduciary duty by the company's board of directors in connection with a proposed merger with Crestwood Equity now have announced that they have reached a settlement with the company.

Edward Valdespino

Judge OKs $40 Million Stanford Settlement

By John Council |

Lawyer Denies He Represented Plaintiff Who Wants $670,000 in Damages

By John Council |

A real estate company recently sued Adam Schiffer and his Houston law firm, claiming that they unjustly paid themselves $225,000 as part a settlement of a shareholder dispute and refused to return its client files.

Dispute Over Asbestos Docket Fees Spills Over to Courthouse

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

James C. Dean and Ron Hundley seek up to $1 million in fees they allege they are due from joint venture partners.

Halliburton Settles With Workers by Paying $18.2 M in Overtime Pay

By Angela Neville |

In one of the largest Department of Labor recoveries of overtime wages in recent years, Halliburton has agreed to pay $18,293,557 to 1,016 employees nationwide.

Ken Paxton

Additions to Paxton's Legal Team Speaks to Case's Complexity

By Angela Morris |

Philip Hilder will become co-lead counsel, Heather Barbieri will serve as local counsel and Bill Mateja will consult the team on securities law issues. The new additions join the defense team of Dan Cogdell and Terri Moore.

Enterprise Fights Energy Transfer Partners $535M Jury Award in Pipeline Case

By Angela Neville |

After losing at the trial court level over a business disagreement and being hit with a $535 million jury verdict, Enterprise Products Partners, along with its affiliate Enterprise Products Operating, went on the offensive with its appeal to the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas, seeking to overthrow the judgment awarded to Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and its affiliate Energy Transfer Fuel.

Businessman rolling large concrete gears another hold coin, in concrete wall background.

Tech Pros Commanding Higher Salaries at Law Firms

By Ed Silverstein |

Specialized tech pros can achieve 'lucrative' salaries at firms, but the number of the highest-paying positions is limited.

VerdictSearch: Plaintiff & Garbage Truck Driver Disputed Who Changed Lanes

On Aug. 18, A driver who claimed cervical, thoracic, lumbar, left knee and right elbow sprains and strains, as well as loose teeth, lost his case.

Newsmakers: Week of September 28

Jeff M. Petersonhas joined McGuire Woods as a partner in Dallas. In his practice, Peterson represents hospitals and health care systems in a wide range of transactions.

Justice Nathan Hecht

Zero Hour: Texas Supreme Court Eliminates Backlog

By John Council |

"We've wanted for years to finish by the end of June like the U.S. Supreme Court does,'' said Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht of the court's 2014-2015 term which ended with no pending cases for the first time in modern history.

Wallace B. Jefferson, a partner in Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend in Austin

Texas Supreme Court Hears Argument on Indigent Court Costs

By Angela Morris |

Wallace Jefferson returned to the Texas Supreme Court—now standing before the bench—to argue that a district clerk acted against the law and his duty by charging court costs to indigent litigants.

While Rules Evolve Telemedicine is Alive and Well in Texas

By Todd P. Kelly, Elizabeth G. Myers, Eric D. Jackson |

The eyes of the nation are focused on Texas, this time in relation to telemedicine—healthcare services that use the telephone, Internet and mobile technology to offer patients prompt, real-time access to medical professionals located elsewhere.

Jetta Diesel Owner Files Class Action Against Volkswagen

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Robert Hilliard of Corpus Christi represents a woman who alleges the German carmaker violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act when selling vehicles with device that overrides emission controls.

Judge Refuses to Throw out $8M Suit Against Lawyers

By Angela Neville |

Defendant Michael Pohl, individually and d/b/a the Law Office of Michael Pohl and defendant Jimmy Williamson and Jimmy Williamson P.C. recently failed to convince a Mississippi federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by a group of public relations professionals whom the attorneys had enlisted to round up possible clients in Mississippi after the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion.

Seismic Data Producer Targets Three O&G Companies With Copyright Claims

By Miriam Rozen |

Geophysical Service Inc., a Calgary, Canada-based producer of seismic data, filed lawsuits in Texas federal courts against Hunt Oil Co., ConocoPhillips, and Anadarko Petroleum. In three complaints, GSI alleges the three oil & gas exploration companies infringed on its copyrights by obtaining its valuable seismic data from a Canadian regulatory agency.

Recent Texas Energy Law in 5 Minutes or Less

By Scott D. Marrs and Brian T. Bagley |

There have been a number of recent developments in Texas energy law. Those developments are synthesized for readers to come up to speed in 5 minutes or less.

Law School Admissions Officers Bracing for Influx of Applications

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Law school admiissions officers who participated in a survey expect to see more applications over the 2015-2016 application cycle than the previous year, according to a 2015 Kaplan Test Prep survey.

Brewery Crowdfunds Over $25,000 to Sue TABC

By Angela Morris |

A Dallas brewery has crowdfunded over $25,000 to pay for a federal lawsuit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission that makes constitutional claims about Texas alcohol laws.

Wooden gavel barrister, justice concept, legal system

Federal Judge Dismisses Civil Rights Claim Against County Judge

By Miriam Rozen |

A federal judge in Sherman dismissed a civil-rights suit filed by a plaintiff who alleged that Collin County Court at Law Judge Barnett Walker violated his protections under the 4th and 14th Amendments when he detained him for two hours because he "disrespectfully" asked for a copy of a court transcript.

How to Determine the Value of Business Ownership Interest

By Jeff Compton |

Unlike publicly traded companies, closely-held businesses have few if any transactions in their stock so a valuation expert will be needed who will follow the concepts described here.

Thomas Wilson

International Law Section Launches Human Rights Committee

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Committee may recommended amendments to Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct in regards to giving advice to clients doing business in countries with civil rights issues.

Houston Firm Faces Class Action Lawsuit

By John Council |

The Kovach Law Firm failed to identify itself as a third-party debt collector when contacting consumer plaintiffs and operated without a bond on file with the Texas Secretary of State's Office, according to allegations in a federal complaint.

Texas Considers Creating PACER-like System

By Angela Morris |

In advance of a final deadline, all 254 Texas counties have gone live on The state is now turning an eye to next-generation efiling projects like creating a statewide court document viewer.

State Launching Online Pro Se Tool

By Angela Morris |

"I hope [lawyers] think it's a good thing because we are working in areas we know there are a lot of self-represented litigants," said David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of Court Administration.

Benjamin Torres-Barron

Mexico's Upcoming Oil Auction Offers Opportunities for Lawyers, U.S. Companies

By Angela Neville |

Due to take place Sept. 30, the second auction for offshore oil blocks will offer five groups of shallow water fields in Mexico, according to the Mexico's energy department, the National Hydrocarbons Commission.

Government to Pay $1.5M in Attorney Fees in FLSA Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The U.S. Department of Labor has agreed to pay $1.5 million to a Corpus Christi company and its owner after the Fifth Circuit sanctioned the federal government for bad faith in suit alleging the company violated overtime laws.

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

Texas to Revamp Data on Court Cases

By Angela Morris |

Texas recently won a national award for collecting high-quality data about court cases. But the state is not stopping there.

From left: Sara Burgin, Kevin Collins, Matt Paulson and Whit Swift, all partners in the Austin office of Bracewell & Giuliani

Bracewell Adds Four Environmental Partners in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of four left Katten Muchin Rosenman's office to join Bracewell & Giuliani in Austin.

Lawyer Sued Over Ponzi Scheme Resigns

By John Council |

The high court order concluded that Gregory G. Jones decision to resign in lieu of discipline by the State Bar of Texas was in the best interest of the public and the legal profession. The Sept. 8 order cancels Jones' law license, orders him to surrender his bar card, and requires him to pay $30,000 in restitution to two former clients before he can seek reinstatement as an attorney.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn

Federal Judge Grants Sanctions Due to Spoliation in Golf Cart Dispute

By Miriam Rozen |

In a dispute about a six-passenger golf cart, a Dallas federal judge granted in part a Florida couple's motion for sanctions due to spoliation against Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

Texas Supreme Court Axes Whistleblower Suit Against AG

By John Council |

"Based on the law, I cannot even fathom how the Texas Supreme Court would come down with their ruling," said Ginger Weatherspoon who alleges she was fired from her job as an assistant Texas Attorney General after refusing to sign a false affidavit concerning a state district judge.