Latest News

Judges Who Do Weddings Can't Refuse Same-Sex Couples

By Angela Morris |

In direct contradiction to an attorney general opinion, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan said today that judges must perform same-sex weddings if they do so for heterosexual couples and clerks cannot refuse same-sex licenses.

Timeline of Separation-of-Powers Dispute

By Angela Morris |

Elected judges and county commissioners in Galveston County have started a war about separation of powers over the firing of a court administrator. Here are important events in the dispute.

Judge Eric M. Shepperd of Travis County Court-at-Law No. 2

New Judge Takes Helm of Austin Bar

By Angela Morris |

Eric M. Shepperd, judge of the Travis County Court-at-Law No. 2, said that he would spend his year as president of the Austin Bar Association highlighting pro bono and legal aid volunteerism in Austin.

Bar Exam Agency to Begin Online Transactions

By Angela Morris |

Soon law graduates who are signing up to take the Texas bar exam will be able to fill out applications and pay exam fees electronically.

Austin solo Jody Scheske

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Same-Sex Divorce Before Same-Sex Marriage

By John Council |

"It's very reaffirming for us," said Jody Scheske. He and Jason Steed became the first appellate lawyers to successfully defend the right of a lesbian couple to be divorced before Texas' highest court—seven days before the rest of the state's LGBT population would win the right to be married from the U.S. Supreme Court.

BP to Settle Oil Spill Claims for $18.7B, Payout Over 18 Years

By Angela Neville and Amanda Bronstad |

After five long litigious years in the wake of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil giant BP recently reached an agreement in principle to settle for up to $18.7 billion all federal, state and local claims arising from the 2010 event.

Privacy Protections in Bankruptcy

By Frances A. Smith |

In bankruptcy, the trustee or debtor-in-possession has a fiduciary duty to maximize the value of the estate for the benefit of creditors and a business's customer information often is among its most valuable assets.

Supreme Court Won't Hear Appeals From BP, Anadarko Over Oil Spill Fines

By Angela Neville |

On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeals of BP and Anadarko Petroleum over potential federal fines for their role in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Same-Sex Marriage Is Sea Change in Family Law

By Angela Morris |

Attorneys say they expect that litigation will answer such questions as how people of failed same-sex marriages will divide their property in divorce. The ruling also revolutionizes how same-sex spouses will become legal parents.

How Many LGBT Lawyers in Texas?

By Angela Morris |

The 2014 Dallas Law Firm Diversity Report Card includes data from 16 of Dallas's biggest law firms. The firms said they had 11 LGBT lawyers among 1,203 associates and nonequity lawyers, and six of 681 partners were LGBT.

We All Eventually Stumble Into Dark Times—These Books Will Help Find the Way Out

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Each and every one of us suffers loss. We all lose our way. Dante instructs us on how to return to the path, and leave the dark wood wherein we all will— sooner or later—find ourselves.

Same-Sex Marriage Decision a Win for Employers?

By Jackie Ford |

Truth to tell, most employers would prefer not to become involved in the details of their employees' personal lives. But from tax withholding to benefits administration, employers have no choice but to collect identifying information about their workers and, in many cases, those workers' family arrangements.

Dallas Federal Court Grants Yahoo's Motion to Compel

By Miriam Rozen |

The court did so in a breach-of-contract dispute between Yahoo and Dallas-based prize insurer SCA Promotions, which began more than a year ago, after Yahoo decided to halt an online betting contest for the 2014 NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.

Susan Wetzel

SCOTUS Same-Sex Ruling Stirs Up Questions for Employee Benefits Bar

By Miriam Rozen |

Employee benefits lawyers face, as a result of the high court's ruling, a whole host of perplexing and many urgent questions.

Ex Parte Communications with Putative Class Members in an FLSA Collective Action

By Mark D. Temple and Peter J. Stuhldreher |

It is important to develop a fair, consistent message to be communicated with employees who are potential class members.

Ken Paxton

Paxton Lawyers Up as Case Heads to Grand Jury

By Angela Morris |

Joe Kendall will be Texas AG Ken Paxton's lawyer in a case that alleges that Paxton violated state securities law. The AG is also getting legal advice from other high-profile Dallas lawyers, Matt Orwig and Bob Webster.

Houston Lawyer Settles Some Legal Problems

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston bankruptcy lawyer Calvin Braun negotiates plea deal in criminal case.

Ken Paxton

Emails Between Texas Clerks Reveal Frustration With Texas Leaders

By Mark Bauer |

The emails, obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in an information request, indicate that the Texas clerks feel a little hung out to dry regarding those who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Best Practices: Expertise and Responsiveness

By Anne Belli Perez |

NLRB Further Extends Its Reach Into Non-Unionized Workplaces with Guidance About Company Handbooks

By Steve Fox and Jonathan Clark |

While the standards and suggestions in the memorandum are often imprecise, employers and their counsel should take heed of the recommendations when reviewing and drafting rules.

Ken Broughton

Reed Smith Picks Managing Partner for Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Kenneth Broughton, who helped launch the office in 2013, is now managing partner in Houston.

Impacts of Marriage Equality on Benefits

By Rebekah Mintzer |

After the U.S. Supreme Court's 'Obergefell' decision, employers should go back and take a fresh look at how their policies treat same-sex married couples.

Frank D'Amore

Five Things Your In-House Client Is Unlikely to Tell You

By Frank Michael D'Amore |

This month's column is the first in a series that examines "five things" that various key persons in the practice of law may not volunteer to their most interested audience.

Michigan State Helps Lawyers, Students Harness Social Media

By Karen Sloan |

Attention law students and lawyers: Is your LinkedIn profile up-to-date, with a professional-looking photo? Are you blogging on legal topics in your areas of expertise and interest? Do you use Twitter to follow potential career contacts and make connections?

Before Hiring, Bring the Family for an Interview?

By Marlisse Silver Sweeney |

A novel interview technique to screen potential candidates has popped up in Silicon Valley, the hub of innovation and all things entrepreneurial. But according to Zosha Millman of LXBN, the process, which involves speaking with the interviewee’s family, may be innovating outside the bounds of the law.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas High Court Broadly Defines When Qualified Attorney Immunity Applies

By Miriam Rozen |

In the 5-4 split decision, the court held that Cantey Hanger conclusively established its protection under the qualified attorney immunity doctrine by showing that it acted within the scope of representing its client.

High-tension power transmission towers at twilight in North texas. September 26, 2009. Photo: David R. Tribble via Wikimedia Commons.

SCOTUS Rules for Power Industry in EPA Case

By Angela Neville |

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court justices held that the EPA should have examined the costs to the electric power sector before electing to restrict the levels of the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.

Bill Wirskye

Prosecutor Bill Wirskye Oversees Controversial McKinney Police Case

By John Council |

After winning a death penalty sentence against a judge and questioning the stability of the Dallas DA, prosecutor Bill Wirskye will now look into the actions of a former McKinney police officer who pulled his gun on teens at a pool party. "It's been an interesting past year or so," he said.

A solitary worker in the oil and gas field stands next to an oil derrick.

O&G Promoter Slapped With Cease and Desist Order for Alleged Fraud

By Angela Neville |

Securities commissioner John Morgan, acting on behalf of the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB), recently entered an emergency cease and desist order against San Antonio-based Petro-San Resources and its president and managing member, Sean Patrick Riley.

David Dow

Next Step for Death Row Defense Lawyer David Dow

By Miriam Rozen |

Now that the Texas Supreme Court has ruled against him, Dow's lawyers plan to allege in federal court that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals violated their client's constitutional rights to due process.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of the Western District of Texas

Judge Lifts Stay on Earlier Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

By Angela Morris |

A U.S. district judge lifted a stay on a previous order that barred the Texas government from enforcing its same-sex marriage ban, related provisions in the Texas Family Code and any other law that prohibited same-sex marriages.

SCOTUS Halts 5th Circuit Ruling Allowing for Abortion Clinic Shutdowns

By Miriam Rozen |

The Center for Reproductive Rights, representing the clinics, had asked the nation's highest court to block the Fifth Circuit ruling.

Energy XXI in $245 Million Pipeline Asset Sale

By Angela Neville |

In a new development, Energy XXI recently announced that it has executed a purchase and sale agreement to sell the Grand Isle Gathering System (GIGS) to CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. for $245 million in cash plus the assumption of abandonment liabilities related to the assets. The GIGS is a subsea, midstream pipeline system with related onshore facilities serving oil-producing fields in the shallow portion of the Gulf of Mexico.

After Suit Filed Against Clerk, Couple Issued Marriage License

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A same-sex couple in East Texas, who allege that Smith County clerk Karen Phillips denied them a marriage license, seeks a court order to force Phillips to issue them a license in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in "Obergefell v. Hodges."

High Court OKs Attorney/Client Arbitration Clause

By John Council |

The ethics of lawyers signing up clients with contracts that make sure fee disputes never reach a jury is certainly debatable, but such arbitrations clauses are not "unconscionable," according to a recent ruling by the Texas Supreme Court.

Pipeline to Profits: Mexico to Spend $10 Billion on Energy Projects, Should Provide Boost to Texas O&G Sector

By Angela Neville |

Faced with an exploding population, Mexico's state-owned electricty utility, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), recently announced plans to spend close to $10 billion to bolster the amount of electricity provided to its citizens. The largest gas pipeline project consists of a $3.1 billion underwater line from Brownsville, Texas, to the Mexican Gulf port of Tuxpan.

Abigail Fisher, plaintiff in Fisher v. University of Texas, walks outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the case. October 10, 2012.

Justices Take UT Affirmative Action Case for Second Time

By Tony Mauro |

Revisiting affirmative action, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take a second look at the constitutionality of the admissions policy of the University of Texas. Without comment, the court granted review in Fisher v. University of Texas, a sequel to its 2013 decision with the same name.

Ken Paxton

Ken Paxton Continues to Fight Same-Sex Marriage in Recent AG Opinion

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Two days after the U.S. Supreme Court held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion that Texas government employees have the right, on religious grounds, to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses or conduct same-sex marriages.

Responding to Shifting Blame

By Rob Crain and Billy McGill |

Several recent court opinions have addressed the extent to which the responsible third party statute, Tex.Civ.Prac. & Rem Code §33.004, is impacted by long standing common law rules and other statutes, such as the medical negligence statute.

Ricky Raven

Newsmakers: Week of June 29

Ricky A. Raven has joined Reed Smith as a partner in the firm's U.S. commercial litigation group in Houston.

How to Handle an Insurer Who Won't Pay Up

By Trey Branham and Jessica Dean |

Defendants with real punitive damages exposures have to be extremely vigilant in preserving their bad faith claims and then prosecuting them.

Fort Bend DA, Prosecutor Hit With Disciplinary Suits

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Commission for Lawyer Discipline filed disciplinary suits that seek to reprimand, suspend or disbar Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey and prosecutor Mark Hanna.

VerdictSearch: Pit Bull's Bite Results in $1.3 Million Award

A judge awarded $1.3 million to the owner of a dog boarding business who was bitten by a pit bull.

Judges, Commissioners Fighting in Separation-of-Powers Brawl

By Angela Morris |

In a separation-of-powers dispute of epic proportions, a visiting judge plans to grant a temporary injunction in the case of a district judge who sued Galveston County Judge Mark Henry in a fight over the firing of a court administrator.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

Texas Politicians React to Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

By Angela Morris |

Republican leaders condemned the high court's decision as an attack on religious liberty, while Democrats rejoiced in the ruling as a victory for human rights.

SCOTUS' Same-Sex Ruling Untangles Legal Remedies in Texas

By John Council |

The ruling now means Texas must not only grant gay couples marriage licenses, it must also recognize marriages that occurred in other states and use state laws to end them when necessary

Overhaul Needed for Truck Insurance Regulations

By Ron McCallum |

While the federal government works slowly to effect potential changes in the trucking industry as a whole, motor carriers are able to purchase umbrella policies to protect themselves as well as those they injure.

Fair Housing Ruling Opens Marketing Opportunity for Big Firm

By Miriam Rozen |

"It is now the law of the land," said Arthur Anthony, a partner in Locke Lord's Dallas office, who dispatched an alert prior to the ruling telling clients to pay attention to it, and now plans to assemble another missive explaining the court's decision.

Mitchell Katine in front of the U.S. Supreme Court

Lawyer Who Helped Convince SCOTUS to Strike Down Texas Sodomy Law Reacts to Ruling

By John Council |

"Is that a coincidence or what?" said Katine, of Katine & Nechman, who celebrated "Obergefell" in his office with his partner and his two 13-year-old children. "They really quote extensively from the 'Lawrence v. Texas' case," Katine said of the majority opinion in "Obergefell": "It makes me feel really good that we had a hand in getting it to this point."

Judge Roy Ferguson

Judge's Top 10 Tips for Winning Cases

By Angela Morris |

Here's the secret for lawyers to win all of their cases: Don't take losers, said 394th District Judge Roy Ferguson of Alpine.

Scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 25, 2015

Following Ruling, Clerks Must Immediately Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

By Angela Morris |

"If they do not comply with the ruling, same-sex couples denied a license can obtain a federal court order directing them to comply. If they did not follow that order, they would be held in contempt."

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court moments before the court announced its opinion in the same-sex marriage case Obergefell v Hodges.  June 26, 2015.

Same-Sex Marriage Wins in Historic Supreme Court Ruling

By Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle |

Same-sex couples have a constitutionally protected right to marry, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday in a history-making victory for the gay civil rights movement. Justice Anthony Kennedy, adding to a trilogy of landmark rulings in which he has emphasized the equal rights and dignity of gay and lesbian Americans, led a 5-4 majority in holding that the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause prohibits states from denying marriage licenses to those citizens. The ruling also requires states to recognize the same-sex marriages of other states.

A Paralegal's Role in Expert Witness Prep

By Christine M. Flynn |

It is imperative that a paralegal utilize knowledge, education and experience when working closely with an expert witness.

Cow in Road Case Is Now Stuck in Road

By John Council |

Cultivate Optimism to Grow Your Practice and Your Life

By Dena Lefkowitz |

For me, optimism is not a default setting. Raised in a deeply cynical home by a mother whose family fled Europe to avoid persecution, I was not inclined to look for that spot of silver in a dark cloud.

(l-r) Fordham University School of Law Professor Susan Scafidi, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and Fordham University Provost Stephen  Freedman announced Monday that the law school will offer an LL.M. and a separate master's degree for nonlawyers in fashion law.

Fordham Expands Fashion Law Studies With Degree Programs

By Karen Sloan |

Now the school is following up with two first-of-their-kind degree programs in fashion law: an LL.M. for attorneys and a master of studies for nonlawyers.

A No-Pregnancy Policy Is a No-Go Policy

By Marlisse Silver Sweeney |

Hot tip of the day: if you want to implement a particularly bad employee policy at your company, try a “no pregnancy in the workplace” policy.

The scene outside the Supreme Court on Thursday, June 25.

Health Care Law Subsidies Survive Supreme Court Challenge

By Marcia Coyle and Zoe Tillman |

Fletcher Brown a partner in the Austin office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis said the decision is huge for Texas' hospitals and the millions of patients they treat each year --- especially public hospitals that treat indigent patients. "That means that instead of no pay to a hospital, there will be something paid," said Brown who represents both public and for-profit hospitals. "For day-to-day operation in hospitals, they will have fewer uninsured and underinsured and it will offset some of the losses they incur," he said. "If you have health insurance, perhaps you can afford to get preventative health care. That's 10 times cheaper than going to an emergency room.''

Health Care Data Breaches and 'Actual Injury'

By Paula Knippa |

Cybersecurity experts report that a patient's personal medical information is worth at least ten times more than the credit card information typically sought by hackers.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

Judge Hammers Obama Administration Again

By Miriam Rozen |

At the hearing, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville ordered that the federal immigration authorities rescind three-year work permits for 2,000 immigrants in the country illegally that had been issued in violation of his injunction.

Dallas Private Equity Company Plans $7.6B Acquisition

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Lone Star Funds of Dallas has agreed to acquire Home Properties, of Rochester, for $7.6 billion, including assumed debt.

Ex-Client Sues, Says Lawyer Took $241K

By John Council |

A Plano woman sued Tuan A. Khuu alleging that she paid him an exorbitant $50,000 fee for a criminal case, but he failed to perform substantial legal services; told her he could prevent her co-consipirators from testifying against each other; and used a power of attorney to collect her family's money.

When Technology Helps Waive Privilege

By Steve Thomas |

Technology offers so many opportunities for inadvertent disclosure, and of course waiver of the attorney-client privilege isn't the only concern.

Punch List: What To Do When You Are Threatened or Sued

By Scott D. Marrs and Andrew B. McGill |

Be flexible (as these guidelines are also flexible) and be ready to adapt, as every case is going to be different and present its own challenges, pitfalls, and brand new twists.

Gray Reed’s Jack Emmott Honored by State Bar of Texas and the Houston Bar Association

Jack Emmott Honored for Collaborative Law Work

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Gray Reed & McGraw member in Houston gets awards from Houston Volunteer Lawyers and the Collaborative Law Committee of the State Bar of Texas.

Jon Suder, a partner in Fort Worth’s Friedman Suder & Cooke

Federal Circuit Affirms Texas 'Cybor' Killer Case

By John Council |

"It's a message to federal district judges that when you do your work right, we're going to recognize it," Jon Suder said of his client Lighting Ballast's win before the Federal Circuit.

Business Continuity Risks for Hosted and Cloud Services

By Julie Machal-Fulks |

Counsel for businesses that are considering hosted or cloud services arrangements should encourage the business teams to look past the costs to some of the business continuity risks both during the agreement and after one of the parties terminates the agreement.

Energy Transfer's $53B Merger Bid Rejected

By Angela Neville |

Recently The Williams Group publicly rejected the $53.1 billion acquisition offer made by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity.

Signing of SB 534 Civility Oath, Austin. From left to right, standing: Don Jackson, immediate past president of TEX-ABOTA; Mark Kincaid, TTLA; Justice Phil Johnson, Supreme Court of Texas; Senator Kirk Watson, Senate Sponsor of SB 534; Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, Supreme Court of Texas; Trey Apffel, President of the State Bar of Texas; Pam Madere, TADC; Rep. John Smithee, House Co-sponsor of SB 534, David Chamberlain, President of TEX-ABOTA and 2015-16 Chair of the State Bar Board of Directors. Governor Greg Abbott sits at the desk.

News Laws on the Horizon

By Angela Morris |

Lawyers will no longer have to pay the $200 attorney occupations tax each year. But clients will pay more to e-file in civil cases. These changes and more come from new laws going into effect soon after earning the governor's approval.

Panelists Scrutinize Firms' Lawyer Diversity

By Angela Morris |

"I think when I prepared for this meeting, I talked to law partners about attitudes to diversity and they said, 'What you talking about?'" said Gary Schumann of Austin.

Greenberg Traurig attorneys Christina Tate, Derek Anchondo and Hiba Kazim

Greenberg Traurig Hires Three Texas Laterals

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Greenberg Traurig, which has three offices in Texas, hires two lateral shareholders and one associate.

Facebook Lobbyists Win to Tax Fight at Legislature

By Miriam Rozen |

A new Texas law extends tax exemptions for "mega-large" data centers, including one that the Menlo Park, California-based company plans to open in Texas.

Yahoo Spars in Post-March Madness Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

The Dallas-based prize insurer filed a breach of contract lawsuit after Yahoo decided to halt an online betting contest for the 2014 NCAA basketball tournament.

SEC Charges O&G Company With Alleged Investment Fraud

By Angela Neville |

A longtime geologist turned investment adviser who operated Norstra Energy Inc., an oil and gas company in Southlake, Texas, recently was charged with allegedly making false and misleading statements about Norstra's oil reserves, drilling plans and business prospects.

Judge Jerry Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. HANDOUT.

5th Circuit Blocks Contraception Challenge

By John Council |

Judge Jerry Smith wrote that the controversial "Hobby Lobby" decision was of "no help" to religious organizations that oppose offering insurance contraceptive coverage to their employee.

William Brewer III

Bickel & Brewer Has New Name, Location

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

More than a year after founding partner John Bickel left Bickel & Brewer, the firm changes its name.

Lawyer Training Amid Vanishing Jury Trial

By Angela Morris |

Lawyers might be able to do something to recover the "vanishing civil jury trial" in federal courts, according to three U.S. district court judges who also discussed initiatives in their courtrooms to help to train young trial attorneys.

A whooping crane photographed at the International Crane Foundation located in Barbaboo, WI.
Photo by Ryan Hagerty/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

SCOTUS Denies Hearing in Whooping Crane Battle

By Miriam Rozen |

The federal government has designated whooping cranes, 5-foot-tall, spindly-legged birds, as members of an endangered species. Initially, in the long-running dispute, a district court ruled in favor of The Aransas Project and issued an injunction barring TCEQ from issuing the permits to allow withdrawal of water from rivers that feed an estuary in the Gulf Coast—home to the birds.

Firm, Four Lawyers Added as Defendants in Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A San Antonio dentist and his dental company filed an amended petition in a Dallas County lawsuit, adding Baker & Hostetler and two current and two former lawyers as defendants.

Hercules Offshore Headed Toward Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

Hercules intends to file in Delaware a prepackaged plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to facilitate the financial restructuring.

Laura Gibson

An Opera Among Houston Bar President's Plans

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Laura Gibson, new president of the Houston Bar Association, is working on projects including an opera fundraiser for the Houston Volunteer Lawyers.

Apps Lawyers Can't Live Without

Lawyers who want to update their law practices with the newest technology? There's an app for that.

wedding cake divorce

Texas Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Divorce

By Angela Morris |

"The attorney general and the state of Texas don't have any business intervening in those cases," said Austin solo Jody Scheske. "It's not up to the attorney general to instruct trial judges how they apply the law."

SCOTX Rules Against Kachina Regarding Gas Compression Fees

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently dealt with a complicated contractual dispute when it reviewed the appellate ruling in 'Kachina Pipeline v. Lillis'.

Jack M. Erskine

2015 Lobbying Scorecard: Big Texas-Based Firms Reducing Lobbying Practice

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys 
and Miriam Rozen |

As lawyer/lobbyists move from firm to firm, some of the largest Texas- based firms have a smaller Texas Legislature lobbying practice.

VerdictSearch: Age not a factor in termination, jury finds

The city of Corpus Christi didn't terminate its major projects engineer because of his age, a jury found on May 13. In 2012, Armando Gutierrez, then 57, lost his job due to poor performance, according to the city.

Applying Ancient Wisdom to Modern Problems

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Ancient wisdom is often the most useful wisdom. Law students and new lawyers often seek guidance in the latest self-help book. Yet the guidance they seek is often stored in taped up boxes in the attic, crammed with college books on philosophy.

Gemma Descoteaux

Newsmakers: Week of June 22

Gemma Descoteaux, a Dallas shareholder in Polsinelli's corporate and transactional practice, has been appointed by the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of Association for Corporate Growth to be its Women in ACG DFW chairwoman.

Drew Ten Eyck

After Violent Attack, Associate Family Law Judges Request Bailiffs

By John Council |

"It's really ridiculous. If I wasn't an associate judge, I'd be screaming about this," said Drew Ten Eyck, who presides over a courtroom without a bailiff.

The design of the proposed Texas state license plate.

Texas AG Welcomes SCOTUS Ruling on Confederate License Plates

By Miriam Rozen |

Ken Paxton: "Today's ruling upholds Texas' specialty license plate program and confirms that citizens cannot compel the government to speak, just as the government cannot compel citizens to speak."

New Practice Area: Suing Lawyers for Barratry

By Angela Morris |

So far, Tom Carse has filed 10 lawsuits in which his clients allege that the defendants violated a 2011 law prohibiting barratry, the solicitation of professional employment.

SCOTX Rules for Gas Royalty Owners in Chesapeake Case

By Angela Neville |

The high court ruled that Chesapeake had improperly deducted postproduction costs from the mineral estate owners' natural gas royalties.


East Texas Federal Judge Sets Rules for Post-'Alice' World

By Miriam Rozen |

In "Alice," the nation's high court issued one year ago this month a ruling that held that patents that merely implement an "abstract" idea on a generic computer are ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. Section 101.

The design of the proposed Texas state license plate.

Texas Can Keep Confederate Flag Off License Plates, Supreme Court Rules

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Texas can keep the Confederate flag off the specialty license plates it issues to drivers. Rejecting a First Amendment claim by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the justices ruled 5-4 that the license plates are a form of government—not private—speech, thereby giving the state leeway to decide which messages are allowed on the plates.

NY State Bar Updates Guidelines on Use of Social Media

By Joel Stashenko |

As ethics opinions proliferate around the country as to how attorneys use social media, the New York State Bar Association has nearly doubled its own guidelines since introducing them a year ago.

Unloading Liability Concerns from Open Carry Law

By Dianna D. Bowen |

Private employers and public colleges are sure to face obstacles as they shoot for compliance with the new gun legislation.

Arbitration: The Underused Alternative for Oil and Gas Disputes

By Glen M. Ashworth, John Burritt McArthur and Dick Watt |

Myths about delay, cost, and risk because of a limited ability to appeal are overblown and have led to an inefficient avoidance of this flexible consensual procedure.

SCOTX Upholds Plains' $83M Refund of Oil Lease Bonuses

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the relevant excluded-assets provisions in the 1996 purchase and sale agreement between Plains Exploration & Production and Torch Energy are unambiguous.

John Browning

Litigator of the Week: Not Being Served Properly Leads to Take-Nothing Verdict

"My client and I first found out about the lawsuit in spring 2013 when the plaintiffs' lawyer purported to have a $2.2 million default judgment against Life Time taken in state district court in Houston—despite the fact that we had never been served," John Browning recalled.

Josh Tucker

Pro Bono Lawyer Scores Robot Controller Patent

By Angela Morris |

Controlling your robots is now cheaper because of an invention by a group of teenagers, who recently won a patent thanks to the work of a pro bono lawyer.