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Attorney Phil C. Appenzeller Jr. of Munsch Hardt in Dallas.

Munsch Hardt's Revenue and Profit Rose in 'Fantastic' Year

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With all practices busy, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr of Dallas posted big increases in gross revenue and net income in 2016 compared with the year before.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Non-Unanimous Verdicts

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |
Yvette Ostolaza of Sidley Austin.

Newsmakers: Week of Feb. 20

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Yvette Ostolaza, managing partner of the Dallas office of Sidley Austin, has been elected to the firm's managing committee. Ostolaza also is coleader of the firm's securities and shareholder litigations practice.

Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Fifth Circuit Mulls Whether Police May Be Sued For Arrest of Wrong Person

By John Council |

May the police be sued when they arrest the wrong person? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is currently considering that very question in a civil rights case filed by a man who spent 16 days in jail for no other reason than he shared the same name as person wanted on an assault charge.

Ethics Rule Has Lit Funders Treading Carefully in Class Actions

When the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California became the first federal court in the nation to set down transparency requirements for litigation funding, it focused on a particular segment of the industry: class actions. The major funders such as Burford Capital and Bentham IMF reacted with a shrug, saying that class actions are a small or nonexistent part of their business.

Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

Buzbee Says He Won't Follow Perry to Department of Energy

By Miriam Rozen |

If former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as Secretary of Energy, wins confirmation on the floor of the U.S. Senate, he will not be taking Tony Buzbee with him to Washington, D.C.

Energy Industry Vexed by Possible Re-emergence of Resource-Extraction Rule

By MIRIAM Rozen |

If energy clients want to stop too blunt of a resurrection of an energy extraction disclosure rule — which President Donald Trump killed by signing a resolution this week — they should stress its anti-competitiveness rather than its costs.

Jerry K. Clements

Locke Lord's Revenue Down But Income Up

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gross revenue declined by 6.4 percent in 2016 at Dallas-based Locke Lord, but net income improved by 11.1 percent with lawyers in many practice areas very busy.

Gerrit M. Pronske.

Fifth Circuit Blocks Wife of Indicted Dallas Car Dealer From Collecting on Sale of $3.4M Home

By John Council |

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked the wife of an indicted exotic-used-car dealer from collecting $500,000 from the sale of their multi-million dollar Dallas luxury home after the couple tried to partition the ownership of the house one hour before her husband filed for bankruptcy.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon Saw Small Drop in Revenue But Increased Income in 2016

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Net income improved by 2.2 percent in 2016 at Houston-based Andrews Kurth Kenyon, which added a large group of IP lawyers late in the year.

Rachel Lindsay

Texas Trial Lawyer Will Be Newest 'Bachelorette'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Rachel Lindsay, a trial lawyer at Cooper & Scully in Dallas, has been selected as the bachelorette on the upcoming season of ABC's reality show "The Bachelorette."

Kim Rivera, Hewlett Packard

HP's GC Says 'Diversity Mandate' Embraced by Law Firms

The legal profession has long struggled with diversity and inclusion. HP Inc. took a novel step in announcing that the company may withhold legal fees from law firms that don't meet diversity staffing requirements. Kim Rivera, HP's chief legal officer and general counsel, on Tuesday detailed the genesis of the fee-holdback program—and the early responses. "I spoke to GCs and law firm partners across the country and much to my gratification, they were very open and collaborative," Rivera said.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

6 Candidates Trump Wants to Place on the Fifth Circuit Set for Vetting

By John Council |

President Donald Trump is wasting no time making a big impact on the Texas federal judiciary as a special committee is beginning the process of interviewing at least six of his candidates for two seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Trending on #AppellateTwitter: A Georgia Judge’s Dog

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Dillard’s dog, Irish, may not hunt. But she sure can tweet.

John Creuzot.

Creuzot Launches Bid for Dallas DA as Field Takes Shape for Historic Election

By John Council |

In what's shaping up to be a historic election for Dallas County, former state district judge John Creuzot announced his Democratic candidacy for district attorney — an election in which all of the announced candidates are African-American.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Moving Your Law Firm? What Client Files Should Go With You?

By Shari Klevens and Randy Evans |

Law firms are moving more often with fewer complications, but a change of address should not be undertaken without giving due consideration to the proper retention of client files.

What to Expect From Neil Gorsuch on IP, Patents and Trade Secrets

Robert Greenspoon believed he was close. His constitutional challenge to new administrative procedures for reviewing patent validity was distributed three times at U.S. Supreme Court conferences last year before the court finally denied certiorari in October. The Flachsbart & Greenspoon partner wonders if his challenge fell one vote shy on the eight-member court.

David Condon, left, and Aaron Tobin, right, of Condon Tobin Sladek Thornton.

Dallas Firm Hires Seven Litigators

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of seven litigators from Anderson Tobin join Condon Thornton Sladek in Dallas.

Jennifer Littlefield.

Newsmakers: Week of Feb. 13

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Jennifer Littlefield, formerly a lawyer at the Public Utility Commission of Texas, has joined Haynes and Boone's Austin office as an associate. Littlefield is a member of the firm's energy, power and natural resources practice group.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Blind Strike v. Alternate Strike

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

Bull was off for the primetime announcement of Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination, but returned to attend an Esporting event in this week's episode. Esports are a form of high-stakes competitive video game playing on which spectators gamble huge sums of money. At this particular event, a world-renowned player named Jace underperformed.

Trump's Trade Policies Seen as Risk to U.S. Natural Gas Export Boom

By Miriam Rozen |

Do President Donald Trump's "America First" policies put the US energy players, particularly exporters of natural gas to Mexico, on less certain footing? Yes, according to some lawyers and consultants who advise such clients.

Ricardo Corona, left, and his son Ricky (Ricardo M.) Corona, right, of the Corona Law Firm.

Foreclosure Litigation Strategy Takes Aim at Seniors, Attorneys Say

By Samantha Joseph |

Plaintiffs attorneys are catching defense lawyers off guard with this weird trick involving reverse mortgage foreclosures.

Daniel Johnson, left, and Juan Garcia, right, partners in Johnson Garcia in Houston.

2 Former Sutherland Lawyers Leave to Form a Plaintiffs Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Two trial lawyers who formerly practiced at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in Houston formed their own plaintiff's personal injury firm in Houston.

Houston Attorney Wins Rare Malice Finding Against Insurer in $1.8M Verdict

By John Council |

Houston litigator Greg Cox convinced a South Texas jury that an insurance company's treatment of his client was so bad that it amounted to malice, turning what was originally a $76,500 hail storm claim into a $1.8 million verdict recently.

Scalia's chair and the bench were draped in black after his death on Feb. 13.

5 Ways Scalia’s Death Changed the Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

It's been a year since the larger-than-life justice died unexpectedly, and in many ways, according to lawyers, the court feels like a different place.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where a three-judge panel heard arguments on the halting of the immigration ban.

Ninth Circuit, Asserting Its Role, Keeps Nationwide Block on Travel Ban in Place

By Ross Todd |

If there's a way to respond to a president who has taken aim at the federal judiciary, it's to speak with one voice. That's just what the Ninth Circuit did on Thursday with its per curiam opinion that struck back at the notion that a president's actions are unreviewable.

President Donald Trump.

For Companies, Trump's Tweets Create 'New Category of Risk'

President Donald Trump has been tweeting from the hip, targeting companies over their plans to move jobs overseas or, in the case of Nordstrom, over the retailer's decision this week to pull Ivanka Trump's clothing brand from shelves. All of this has the business community on edge. And that means questions for lawyers. The National Law Journal caught up with James Garland to talk about how companies are preparing for Trump's Twitter ire.

Ken Paxton

Paxton Slams Eastern District in U.S. Supreme Court Patent Amicus Brief

By John Council |

While the Lone Star State's IP Bar frets over the possibility of losing the Eastern District of Texas as the nation's most favored patent infringement jurisdiction because of a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision, they'll get no sympathy from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

President Donald Trump.

Energy Players React with Flurry of Questions To Trump's All-American Steel Plans

By Miriam Rozen |

"American pipelines made with American steel." That was the principle President Donald Trump announced in late January to no roaring applause from the oil and gas pipeline industry and the lawyers who advise it. Instead, they raised a flurry of questions.

James Baker speaking during Baker Botts’ 175th Anniversary Celebration at the National Archives on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Courtesy photo.

Will James Baker's Proposed Carbon Tax Idle Lawyers?

By Miriam Rozen |

If former Secretary of State James Baker, a senior partner at Baker Botts in Houston, gets his way, there may be less work for litigation lawyers suing and defending the energy industry.

Revenue, Profits Soar at Baker Botts Amid Contingency Wins

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Boosted by some big contingency fees and strategic investments, Houston-based Baker Botts posted a record year in 2016, with revenue up 20.2 percent compared with 2015, and profits per partner up 36.6 percent.

Trinity East Gets Another Chance at Payment in Mineral Rights Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

Trinity East Energy won an opportunity to take another crack at getting $30 million out of the city of Dallas, based on allegations that it leased mineral rights for city-owned property to the company but then refused its applications to drill for oil and gas.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn

DOL Wins Fiduciary Rule Case in Texas

By Melanie Waddell |

Texas federal trial Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn ruled in favor Wednesday of the Labor Department in the case brought by nine plaintiffs against Labor’s fiduciary rule.

Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters

Expect No New Interstate Gas Pipelines with No Quorum of FERC Commission

By Miriam Rozen |

Don't credit or blame all those protestors for the screeching halt that has come to the building of new interstate natural gas pipelines nationwide. Instead, pin responsibility for that likely scenario to the Trump's administration's failure to address a dearth of Washington bureaucrats.

Richard Clifton, Michelle Friedland, and William Canby.

In Travel Ban Appeal, Judges Don't Accept 'We’re in a Rush' Excuse

By Scott Graham |

Lawyers prepared for Tuesday's Ninth Circuit arguments under extreme time pressure. But the judges wouldn't cut them any breaks.

Richard Clifton, Michelle Friedland, and William Canby.

In Travel Ban Appeal, Judges Don't Accept 'We’re in a Rush' Excuse

Lawyers prepared for Tuesday's Ninth Circuit arguments under extreme time pressure. But the judges wouldn't cut them any breaks.

Celia Catlett

Texas Roadhouse GC Ready to Fight EEOC Age Suit Again

By Sue Reisinger |

After five years of battling federal regulators over an age bias lawsuit that ended in a mistrial on Feb. 3, Texas Roadhouse Inc. general counsel Celia Catlett is gearing up to do it all over again.

Lost Profit Versus Lost Business Value

By Jeff Compton, Margaret Bryant and Michael Shapiro |

A business has a value equal to the expected future economic benefits to its owner, discounted to a present value. This concept has broad acceptance and appears in multiple economic, finance and valuation texts.

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

Former Supreme Court Justice Scores Big Insurance Defense Win

By John Council |

In the first Hurricane Ike-related insurance case filed by a municipality, Dale Wainwright secured a take-nothing judgment and made sure it stuck on appeal.

Thomas Queen, Andrea Schutz and Paul Saenz of Queen Saenz + Schutz.

Bit by Entrepreneurial Bug, Three Austin Lawyers Form Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Thomas Queen, Paul Saenz and Andrea Schutz form a business law boutique in Austin.

U.S. Labor Department in Washington, D.C.

The DOL's New Fiduciary Rule may be in Jeopardy, But it is Not Dead

By Nelson S. Ebaugh |

Before President Obama left office, the DOL issued a new fiduciary rule that imposed a fiduciary duty upon all advisers that make investment recommendations to retirement plans or accounts. This new rule became "effective" on June 7, 2016, and is scheduled to become "applicable" on April 10, 2017. The DOL created this implementation period to give the financial services industry adequate time to adjust its business model to the new rule. However, on the eve of its applicability, the Trump administration and the financial services industry are vigorously challenging the rule.

Legal Departments Find Value in Keeping Work In-House, Report Says

According to a new report from ALM Legal Intelligence, legal departments are bringing more work in-house, rather than relying on outside counsel.

John McMullan of Winstead.

Newsmakers: Week of Feb. 6

By Mary Alice Robbins |

John McMullan has joined Winstead as a shareholder in The Woodlands office, where he is in the firm's energy law practice. Among other things, he focuses on buying and selling oil and gas assets and developing, constructing and financing gas, petrochemical and power projects.

Winston & Strawn's eDiscovery Review Center at their Washington, D.C. office. February 1, 2016. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Winston & Strawn Moves into Dallas, Poaching 21 Lateral Partners

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Chicago-based Winston & Strawn opens an office in Dallas today with 21 lateral partners from eight firms.

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher offices in Washington, D.C.

Gibson Dunn Opens Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Adding eight oil and gas transactional partners in a new Houston office, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher expands its Texas presence.

Gibson Dunn Opens Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Adding eight oil and gas transactional partners in new Houston office, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher expands its Texas presence.

Dorsey & Whitney Moving into Dallas and Schiff Hardin Moving Out

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney will open an office in Dallas on March 1 with lawyers from Schiff Hardin.

Ken Cutler and Larry Makel of Dorsey & Whitney, Dallas

Dorsey & Whitney Moving into Dallas and Schiff Hardin Moving Out

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney will open an office in Dallas on March 1 with lawyers from Schiff Hardin.

Lexie White

Houston Litigator Turns Last-Minute Click-Fraud Case Into $2.3 Million Verdict

By John Council |

Two months ago, Houston lawyer Lexie White was handed the file for a complicated internet click-fraud dispute with two years of litigation history and was told to try it. And White, a partner in Susman Godfrey, took a trial-worthy case at the last minute and turned it into a win, this time a $2.3 million verdict from an Austin federal jury.

Behind the $500M Curtain: How Skadden Handed Wilkinson Her First Trial Loss

By Jenna Greene |

After three days of deliberating, the federal jury in Dallas was back, ready to answer a $6 billion question: Did Facebook Inc. steal virtual reality technology for the Oculus Rift from Skadden's client, videogame maker ZeniMax Media Inc.?

Lawyers Respond to Trump's Immigration Order

A growing number of higher education institutions are looking to their law schools to help protect and guide fellow students, faculty and staff in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order.

US Senate Vote Cheers Oil and Gas Industry, Disheartens Transparency Advocate

By Miriam Rozen |

Oil and gas industry cheers were expected after the U.S. Senate, in the early hours of Feb. 3, passed a resolution to prevent what's known as the "resource extraction" regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission going into effect.

Susan Kidwell of Locke Lord in Austin.

Trump's Proposed Cuts to Legal Services Corp. Will Burden Other Legal Aid Organizations

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

If federal funding for legal aid is cut or reduced, three large legal aid organizations would be affected.

Norton Rose Fulbright, Chadbourne Chase Merger as Project Pipeline Thaws

By Christine Simmons |

A vote could come soon, with consideration by some committees and the firms’ partnerships within the next few weeks, according to a partner at one of the firms who has been involved in the talks.

Rex Tillerson.

Exxon Insists Its Free Speech Case Against Attorneys General Be Heard in Texas Court

By Miriam Rozen |

Exxon Mobil Corp. Wednesday argued that Texas courts had jurisdiction to take up its claims against the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts that they are abusing the corporations' free speech rights and seeking to unreasonably search and seize its business records in pursuing their climate-change litigation against the oil giant.

A GC’s Headache: The End Run Around an Arbitration Clause

Across industries and jurisdictions, one particular challenge corporate counsel face on a consistent basis: when an employee, vendor, or party to an agreement tries to circumvent a seemingly iron clad arbitration agreement. Often, a disgruntled party (or non-party) to an agreement that contains an arbitration clause will seek to bring its claims in non-arbitration forums that it perceives to be more favorable (typically, United States courts).

Thousands of protestors decended on SFO in response to President Trumps executive order denying refugees and foreign citizens from predominantly Muslim countries entry into the U.S

Beneath the Chaos, Strategies Coalesce in Suits Against Trump

Advocacy groups and state governments are beginning to coordinate their efforts, taking lessons from past court battles over immigration.

VW Agrees to Pay Another $1.2B in Diesel Emissions Cases

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle the last of the consumer claims brought over its diesel emissions scandal.

Gaines West.

Ex-Football Official Sues Baylor, Pepper Hamilton for Libel Over Sexual Assault Scandal

By JOHN COUNCIL |

A former Baylor University football official has sued the school and the Pepper Hamilton law firm for libel in a Dallas state court alleging he was defamed by media reports of his perceived failure to address numerous reports of sexual assaults committed by football players.

Chief Justice Nathan Hecht

Texas Chief Justice Calls for Better Judicial Security and Pay

By John Council |

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht advocated for better security and pay for the hundreds of judges that serve the Lone Star State, and he introduced Austin jurist Julie Kocurek as the main reason why during his annual address to lawmakers.

Dallas Jury Slaps Facebook With $500M Verdict in Oculus IP Case

By John Council |

In a win for lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a Dallas jury found Facebook-owned Oculus with a $500 million verdict.

Ken Paxton.

Q&A with Texas Attorney General on Consumer Protection Priorities

In recent years, state Attorney General’s offices have been increasingly active in enforcing consumer protection issues. Given the array of interesting issues currently being explored in Texas, I spoke to Attorney General Ken Paxton on his office’s recent work surrounding consumer protection. Following is a transcript of that conversation.

Lisa Blue Baron.

Volunteer Lawyers Serving Detainees at DFW Get Financial Boost

By Miriam Rozen |

Lawyers volunteering at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport—more than 150 of them—just got a financial boost in the arm.

Assistant Harris County Attorney Rosemarie Donnelly.

With Texas Bar's Hands Tied, Harris County Prosecutor Aims to Stop Houston Lawyer in Alleged Fraud of Immigration Clients

By John Council |

While the State Bar of Texas is normally responsible for stopping lawyers from defrauding the public, in an unusual move, the Harris County Attorney's Office has stepped in to stop the practice of a Houston immigration attorney who allegedly took $140,000 from over 50 clients and offered them no legal work in return.

A Day in the Life of an Immigrant in Detention: Rights, Wrongs and Release

By Diego Rodriguez |

What an ICE hold is like from a detainee's perspective and what rights you have against lengthy detention.

Joint and Several Liability for Indivisible Injuries

By Quentin Brogdon |

"Indivisible injuries"–The general rule in Texas is that a wrongdoer is liable only for his share of the injured party's damages. But, the rule is different when two or more wrongdoers join to produce an "indivisible injury"–an injury that cannot be apportioned with reasonable certainty to the wrongdoers.

Jerry Alexander, current president of the Dallas Bar Association, at the George Allen Courthouse Murals dedication ceremony.

Inadmissible: Month of February

The Dallas Bar Association ended the year by dedicating five murals in the garage of the George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Building.

Bus Driver Prevails in Suit That Could've Cost Millions

A public transit bus driver wasn't liable for a crash that rendered a passenger a quadriplegic.

Michael Maslanka.

Take it From Shakespeare—the Words 'Fair Play' Mean a lot More Than 'Don't Cheat'

By Michael P. Maslanka |

There is a lot more there. When you watch the movie, you will see the time clock in the Hickory High School gym. Two words, one concept, are printed on it: "Fair Play." Know where the concept comes from? The very first to use it? Shakespeare.

The Slowpoke Report: Vacancies, Crushing Caseloads Take Toll on Texas Bench

By John Council |

A review of long-pending cases and motions in 2016 shows efficient federal judges, such as Sidney Fitzwater in Dallas, slipping behind due to unfilled judicial vacancies.

Eve Burton, senior vice president and general counsel of the Hearst Corp.

Eve Burton: Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Hearst Corp.

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Hearst's legal department has about 100 lawyers and professionals globally.

Whatever Your Political Beliefs, They Usually Stem From Your Childhood

By James H. Dolan |

It occurs to me that a person's political orientation is not so much a choice as it is bequeathed by our origins.

Danny G. Worrell, of Katten Muchin Rosenman in Austin.

New Trump Era for O&G Sector

By Angela Neville |

The White House is gearing up to rein in regulations that impact the U.S. oil and gas industry. Danny Worrell, an Austin partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman, recently spoke about what effect the new Trump administration will have on the U.S. energy sector.

Waco district attorney Abel Reyna walks off the stage during an announcement concerning the West explosion May 2016.

Biker-Defendant Looks to Remove Waco DA Abel Reyna From the Case

By Miriam Rozen |

In the mandamus petition, Broden, who represents one of the indicted bikers, argues that his client will be denied due process unless Reyna is removed from the case. He alleges that the DA has a "huge" financial interest in the bikers' prosecutions.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Slowly but Surely

Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Trump Chooses Neil Gorsuch, Ivy League Conservative, for Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

In choosing Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court, President Trump opted for a candidate with traditional credentials shared by most modern-day justices. A Colorado native with a degree from Harvard Law School, Gorsuch clerked for Justice Byron White and Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. "In our legal order, it is for Congress and not the courts to write new laws. It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives," Gorsuch said at the White House.

For Immigration Help, Universities Turn to Law School Clinics

Narges Bayani, a Ph.D. student at New York University, was returning to New York from Iran on Jan. 28 when she was detained by authorities at John F. Kennedy International Airport under President Donald Trump’s new immigration ban.

Left to right, immigration lawyer Junaid Sulahry stands in the international arrivals hall of San Francisco International Airport with fellow attorney volunteers Julie Hiatt and Marianna, who declined to give her last name.

On the Bright Side, Lawyers Are Suddenly Popular

By Jenna Greene |

If there’s any silver lining to the first 11 days of the Trump administration, it’s this: lawyers are suddenly beloved—at least by the masses who oppose the president’s policies.

Royal Ferguson.

UNT Law Hangs on to Accreditation Hopes

By Angela Morris |

It's taken a huge emotional toll—stress, anxiety and uncertainty—for students at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law to watch their school struggle to win accreditation.

Gordon Quan

'There's a lot of Fear,' Gordon Quan on Immigration Ban

By Angela Morris |

He thought the United States would have learned its lesson from the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Reglan Litigation Reaches Tentative Global Accord

Litigation over the alleged dangers of the drug Reglan has reached a tentative global settlement, which could resolve thousands of cases pending across the country.

Texas Supreme Court building.

After a Tough Week, Media Scores Texas High Court Win

By Angela Morris |

In contrast to the hit last week that the media took from the Trump administration, a Texas reporter and newspaper—and their pro bono lawyers of 13 years—have won a First Amendment victory in the Texas Supreme Court.

Natalie L. Regoli and Brian T. Polley of Baker & McKenzie.

Three Key Energy Developments from President Trump in Week One

By Natalie Regoli and Brian Polley |

In his first week in the White House, President Trump penned a series of executive actions including several targeting the energy industry.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon Partner Rose Cordero Prey.

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 30

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Rose Cordero Prey, partner in the Houston office of Andrews Kurth Kenyon, has been selected by the firm to be a member of the 2017 class of Fellows, a program created by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Plea Bargaining

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

This week's episode of Bull was simultaneously the show's most outrageous yet, and at the same time the first to deal meaningfully with one of the most pressing issues facing criminal justice: the explosion in plea bargaining. It opened with Dr. Bull and his team organizing a mock jury for a mundane commercial dispute.

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

SMU Dedman's Moot Court Gets New Name

By Angela Morris |

The moot court competition was named after law firm Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst.

Vester Hughes.

Prominent Tax Attorney Vester Hughes Has Died

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vester T. Hughes, a prominent Dallas tax lawyer, died on Jan. 29 at at age 88.

What Will Immigration be Like Under the Trump Administration?

By Gordon Quan |

From the beginning of his campaign, Trump had made it clear that a more-restrictive immigration policy would be a centerpiece issue.

Dallas Fort Worth Airport

Amid Chaos, Texas Lawyers Join Pro Bono Response to Refugee Ban

By Miriam Rozen |

Roughly 100 Texas lawyers went to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport over the weekend to help fight President Donald Trump's executive order. Organizers said they would keep up the resistance until everyone has been released.

Thousands of protestors decended on SFO in response to President Trumps executive order denying refugees and foreign citizens from predominantly Muslim countries entry into the U.S

Immigrant Advocates Plot 'Beginning of Legal Resistance' to Trump

By Marcia Coyle |

More than 4,000 lawyers had signed up to volunteer legal services across the country by Sunday in response to the Trump administration's swift move to restrict immigration travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. President Donald Trump's executive action Friday brought nationwide confusion—and mass protests—as lawyers, major airlines and national companies struggled to assess the scope of the travel bans.

Texas Lawyer Seeks Nominations for 2017 In-House Legal Departments of the Year Awards

Texas Lawyer's 2017 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.

Lawyers Spar Over Rex Tillerson Depo in Climate Change Class Action

It seems the U.S. Senate isn’t the only place you’ll find folks fighting about Rex Tillerson. Tillerson, the former CEO and chair of Exxon Mobil Corp. and President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, deftly avoided answering questions about climate change during confirmation hearings earlier this month.

Jury Awards $51.5M in Lockheed Martin Age Discrimination Suit

A federal jury in Camden has issued a verdict that would require Lockheed Martin Corp. to pay $51.5 million, including $50 million in punitive damages, in an age discrimination suit by an engineer, according to court records.

Retired U.S. District Judge Walter Smith.

Disgraced Ex-Waco Judge Has Been Punished Enough, US Judicial Committee Rules

By JOHN COUNCIL |

Even though it previously ruled than an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against former U.S. District Judge Walter Smith was warranted, a Judicial Conference Committee has decided that no further punishment of the disgraced Waco jurist is neccesary because he retired from the bench. Smith was originally punished by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's Judicial Council in 2015 after they concluded he made unwanted sexual advances against a female court employee in 1998. The Fifth Circuit ordered Smith to undergo sensitivity training and suspended his new case assignments for a year.

Rex Tillerson.

Lawyers Spar Over Rex Tillerson Depo in Climate Change Suit

By Ross Todd |

U.S. senators aren't the only ones with questions for President Donald Trump's State Department nominee. Bay Area plaintiffs firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy wants a chance to grill Rex Tillerson in litigation over climate change.

McDermott Four-Lawyer IP Team Moves to Vorys Sater

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Group of four patent lawyers leave McDermott, Will & Emery to join Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.

The Devil Is in the Details: A Litigator's 5 Tips for Drafting Board Minutes

Recent Delaware cases continue to emphasize that well-drafted board minutes are crucial to surviving and defeating challenges from shareholders in derivative and securities class actions. Although corporate counsel or the corporate secretary may be responsible for drafting board minutes as a matter of good corporate governance, the board minutes may well become the center of litigation.

Anna Nicole Smith

'I Beg You to Recuse Me': Anna Nicole Smith Judge Finally Gets His Wish

By John Council |

The case that put him in the spotlight had become a trial for him, said Houston probate Judge Mike Wood.

Baker Botts Highlight Prosecutorial Misconduct Allegations

By Miriam Rozen |

Pro bono appellate criminal defense lawyers from Baker Botts have labeled allegations against their client, Linda Carty, a British woman on death row in Texas, as a "story" that the Harris County District Attorney's Office created.

Foley & Lardner logo in Miami.

Florida DEP Official Joins Foley & Lardner as State Reveals Payments of Millions to both Foley and Latham

The head of the Florida DEP is leaving to work for Foley & Lardner amid scrutiny over how much the state agreed to pay in legal fees, just months after the firm won a state contract to handle money Florida received from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

Michael Tanenbaum.

Drinker Enters Dallas as Sedgwick Sheds 40 Lawyers in Texas, New Jersey

By Lizzy McLellan |

Fifteen partners are splitting from Sedgwick in the New York region and Texas, forming a boutique in the Northeast and launching a new office for Drinker Biddle & Reath in Dallas.

Texas Lawyer Seeks Nominations for 2017 Litigation Departments of the Year Awards

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

Steve Mostyn.

Tort Reform Group Aims New Push to Get Legislature to Curb Fees of 'Storm-Chasing' Lawyers

By Miriam Rozen |

Texans for Lawsuit Reform's proposal has drawn objections not just from Steve Mostyn but also a Haynes and Boone lawyer.

In-House IP Lawyers Increasingly Involved in M&A, Survey Finds

Intellectual property lawyers do more than just defend patents and copyrights. Some 75 percent of in-house IP counsel in a recent life sciences survey say they are also involved in company efforts on mergers and acquisitions.

Kristal Thomson of Langley & Banack, Inc. in San Antonio

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 23

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Philip Robert Brinson has been promoted to partner in the Houston office of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani. A trial lawyer, Brinson focuses on a variety of practice areas, including entertainment, hospitality and dram shop, intellectual property and professional liability.

Vinson & Elkins, Norton Rose and Locke Lord Advise on Large Energy Deals

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Two more big acquisitions in the Permian Basin announced this week, with Texas lawyers handling a lot of the work.

Four energy partners join Latham & Watkins this week: (Clockwise from top left) Joel Beauvais, from the Environmental Protection Agency, Janice Schneider and Tommy Beaudreau, from the Interior Department, and Steven Croley, from the Energy Department.

Obama Energy, Environmental Officials Land at Latham

By Katelyn Polantz |

The moves coincide with the vast turnover of federal government employees that's typical for a presidential transition. But lucky for this group, the new president has already placed the land use and natural resources issues they specialize in — such as the development of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines — in his crosshairs.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Trial and Settlement

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

Dr. Bull and his team tackled a case involving an affair between a high school teacher named Susan and her 17 year-old, football-playing student, Jordan. The episode, titled "Teachers Pet," opened with the exposure of the illicit relationship during one of Jordan's games.

Kara Farnandez Stoll.

Court of Appeals Injunction Dries Out Water Balloon Patent Fight

By Scott Graham |

The patent spat involves two competing devices that can fill multiple water balloons at a time.

Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Three Things to Know About Neil Gorsuch, SCOTUS Front-Runner

Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has moved to the front of the pack among possible nominees to the Supreme Court, according to several news reports Tuesday.

Liberal Lawyers Huddle Up in Hunt for Trump Conflicts

Two days after the inauguration, liberal lawyers huddled in downtown Washington to issue a call to action to scour President Donald Trump’s web of businesses for any conflicts of interest that could provide fodder for a lawsuit.

No-Fault Bill Could Make Divorce More Expensive, Increase Conflict

By Marie Briner |

House Bill 93, filed in the current legislative session by Fort Worth state representative Matt Krause, would remove insupportability as a reason to grant a divorce. Once again, litigants would have to go to court and prove that one of them was at fault.

Sally Pretorius, left, and Jenny Smith, right.

TYLA Candidates for President-Elect Talk Work-Life Balance

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Sally Pretorius and Jenny Lee Smith, candidates for president-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, share a common goal: to encourage young attorneys to focus on more than just work and to take better care of themselves.

Chris Trowbridge.

All Hat, No Cattle, Leads to $23.1M Verdict

By Miriam Rozen |

At a four-day trial, Midwestern Cattle, represented by Chris Trowbridge, alleged that the parents and their son engaged in a check-kiting scheme that involved the purchase and sale of cattle — animals , as it was discovered, were fictitious.

12 Jones Day Lawyers Take Key Posts in Trump Administration

Jones Day, whose lawyers served key positions in the Trump presidential transition and litigated against the nation’s health insurance law and for other major Republican objectives, will count 12 members in the new Trump administration.

How Many Plaintiffs Firms Does It Take to Run an MDL?

Lean and mean? Or strength in numbers? Competition to lead data-breach litigation against Yahoo Inc. is highlighting different strategies for divvying up work on complex class actions as well as the spin law firms put on their pitches when they seek lucrative lead counsel appointments.

Lawyers and paralegals from Ajamie LLP in Houston in the offices of client the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee. Front row, from left, lawyers Ryan van Steenis, Courtney, Scobie, Dona Szak, Tom Ajamie. Back row, from left, paralegals Tom Neumayr and Sam Campbell.

Texas Lawyers Quarterback the Legal Team for the Big Game

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Winstead and Ajamie LLP are doing work for the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee prior to the big game in Houston on Feb. 5.

Chief Justice John Roberts, left, and Ken Paxton.

US Supreme Court Denies Texas' Bid to Defend Voter ID Law

By Miriam Rozen |

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision Monday declining to hear Texas' appeal of a lower court's ruling that deemed the state's voter ID law, one of the strictest in the nation, as discriminatory.

Lindsay Hedrick of Jones Day.

Newsmakers: Month of February

Bobby Majumder has become managing partner of the Dallas office of Perkins Coie. He is a partner in the firm's corporate practice and also co-chairs its India practice.

Donald Trump

Want To Be One of Trump's Federal Judges in Texas? Here's Your Chance

By John Council |

Of the thousands of political appointments awaiting President Donald Trump's attention, none are more important in Texas than the 11 U.S. District Court vacancies and four U.S. attorney positions that must be filled. That's why the day before he was sworn into office on Jan. 20, Texas Republican U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz put out a call for qualified lawyers to fill those positions.

Contract Dispute

Patent Plaintiff Eyes Supreme Court in Prickly Fight Over Contingency Fees

By Scott Graham |

In a win for Jenner & Block, the court let stand a $4.4 million fee award for work performed in a patent suit before the firm withdrew and new lawyers secured a settlement.

What SCOTUS Insiders Know to Watch For at Trump's Inauguration

In defining his role as chief justice, John Roberts Jr. in 2005 famously compared the job to that of an umpire, and he added, “Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.”

Barry Ashe and John Cogan

Stone Pigman Expands in Houston with Five New Hires

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

New Orleans firm Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann opens Houston office with five lateral hires from Cogan & Partners.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

Texas Federal Judge Withdraws Sanctions Against DOJ Lawyers in Immigration Case

By John Council |

After issuing a scathing order sanctioning U.S. Department of Justice lawyers attempting to implement former President Barack Obama's immigration plan, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville decided to drop his punishment of the government attorneys in a decision issued the day before Donald J. Trump was sworn into office.

Tim Teter

Nvidia Snags Cooley IP Lawyer as General Counsel

By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez |

Computer graphics technology company Nvidia Corp. announced Wednesday that seasoned patent litigator Tim Teter is filling the general counsel role, effective Jan. 23. Teter is taking over for David Shannon, who informed the company of his intention to retire last June, according to the announcement.

Ringling Bros. Demise Gives Final Chapter to Long-Fought Litigation

In lengthy litigation over the treatment of performing animals, the real circus was in the courtroom. Lawyers for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey wrestled for 14 years with attorneys representing animal rights activists who accused the circus of abusing its elephants.

Bracing for the New Sexism

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Donald Trump has tapped into our primal insecurities about our looks, and how our physical flaws can diminish our professional success.

Brian Loncar.

Well-Known Dallas Plaintiffs Lawyer's Death Ruled Accidental Cocaine Overdose

By John Council |

Brian Loncar, the well-known plaintiffs lawyer known in Texas for his "Strong Arm" television commercials who was found dead a week after his daughter's suicide, died of an accidental cocaine overdose, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office.

 Patrick Nevins, Eugene Elrod and Sean Wheeler of Latham & Watkins.

Latham Adds Two Energy Regulatory Partners

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With its energy transactions lawyers busy in Houston and elsewhere, Latham & Watkins adds two energy regulatory partners in Washington, D.C.

Bernstein Osberg-Braun Name Partner Jumps to Arnstein & Lehr with Practice Group

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The employment-based-immigration practice — and one of the founding partners — of Miami immigration firm Bernstein Osberg-Braun has moved to Arnstein & Lehr to expand that firm's EB-5 practice.

Sanford Wadler.

Ousted GC Details ‘Paper-Only’ Compliance Program at Bio-Rad in Whistleblower Trial

By David Ruiz |

Bio-Rad executives were disinterested in conducting robust training in the Federal Corrupt Practices Act and shut down his efforts to report suspected violations, Sanford Wadler testified Wednesday in his whistleblower retaliation trial.

For Many Big Law Trump Donors, 'Stigma' Kept Support Below the Radar

It was no secret during the presidential race that Donald Trump trailed Hillary Clinton in financial donations from the legal industry. Lawyers and firms gave Clinton and affiliated groups more than $39.3 million, while they gave Trump and his groups $1.4 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In 'Slants' Case, Justices Skeptical of Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

It looks like the Asian-American rock band The Slants will get what it has wanted for years: a registered trademark—or as Justice Stephen Breyer put it, “a little circle with an R in it.”

Donald J. DeGabrielle, a partner in the Houston office of Bracewell & Giuliani

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 16

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Donald J. DeGabrielle, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, has joined Lewis Brisbois as a partner in its Houston office.

David George, partner in Houston's Baker Wotring.

Houston Attorney Wins Appellate Ruling that Client's Mental Illness Wasn't Relevant Evidence, Adding $400,000 to Judgment

By John Council |

Mary Turner's difficult life ended when she was mowed down by an 18-wheeler driver who didn't see her as she crossed a street. But what would normally be a straightforward legal claim against a trucking company was complicated by the fact that Turner suffered from mental illness and drug addiction. Not only did Houston appellate attorney Dave George help preserve a wrongful death jury verdict recently by convincing a court that Turner's mental illness and drug use did not belong in evidence, he also convinced the judges to add $400,000 to his clients' recovery.

Exxon Mobil headquarters in downton Houston, Texas.

Permian Deals Pile Up With Exxon, Noble Acquisitions

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Permian Basin continues to be a hot area for energy deals, keeping lawyers busy this week with two multibillion acquisitions involving companies linked to legendary Texas wildcatters.

Unclaimed Property Reform Bill Set for Panel Hearing

By Tom McParland |

A Senate panel is set to consider Wednesday a bill to overhaul Delaware's system for collecting unclaimed property, a significant source of state revenue that has recently come under attack.

Podcast: An Insider’s Take on Litigation Funding

Vaughn Walker, the retired chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, made waves last fall when he teamed up with Bentham IMF as a member of its investment vetting committee.

Dr. Seuss' Aphorisms Apply in Houston Legal Battle Pitting Defamation Against Free Speech Claims

By Miriam Rozen |

In a legal battle unfolding in state court in Houston, four white Bengal tigers, a billionaire, an aquarium, a restaurant, a very small pool and a few artificial tree branches all figure into the allegations.

Mark Zuckerberg Testifies in Dallas IP Case, Defends Facebook-Oculus Deal

By John Council |

Zuckerberg insisted that Facebook's 2014 purchase of the virtual reality developer Oculus wasn't tainted by stolen technology.

Cadwalader to Close Houston Office in Core Practice Pivot

A few days after Willkie Farr hired two energy partners from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Allen & Overy and Haynes and Boone have picked up three more partners from the firm. The moves come as Cadwalader seeks to refocus itself on financial services work, a process that will see the Wall Street firm close its Houston office.

Houston-Heavy Lineup at Latham and Kirkland Guides $2.3B Anadarko Asset Sale

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Anadarko unloads shale assets in South Texas to Sanchez Energy and Blackstone, roping in deal lawyers from at least four firms.

How VW's In-House Lawyers Screwed Up a Litigation Hold

The obstruction of justice charge filed against Volkswagen AG on Wednesday pertains not only to lies by employees to federal regulators, but also to actions by VW’s in-house legal team, according to statements attached to the plea agreement.

Supreme Court Takes Up Amgen-Sandoz Dispute Over Biosimilar Drugs

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider for the first time requirements laid out in a 2010 law that created a fast track for the approval of biosimilar medications.

Dan Garrison of Texas' Garrison Brothers Distillery.

A Shot of Red Eye: Texan Beats California Company In Trademark Fight Over 'Cowboy Bourbon'

By John Council |

Just as Cowboy Bourbon was becoming recognized as one of the nation's finest whiskeys, Garrison Brothers became the target of a trade infringement lawsuit filed in a Northern District of California federal court by Allied Lomar, an international liquor distributor. Allied Lomar alleged they had registered a trademark for "Cowboy Little Barrel" in 2001 and that Garrison Brothers were infringing on their product.

David Abraham, left, and Hector Chichoni, right.

Elimination of 'Wet-Foot, Dry-Foot' Policy Will Have Impact on Immigration Law Firms

Elimination of the so-called "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy that gave Cuban immigrants an automatic path to citizenship once they reached U.S. shores will deal a heavy blow to many small and solo immigration law firms in South Florida and other places where many Cubans live.

Takata airbag components presented before a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation at a hearing on Nov. 20, 2014.

How Takata's $1B Settlement Could Impact Civil Class Action

Takata's $1 billion settlement with the U.S. government over defective air bags will not affect the nationwide class action against the company and automakers, according to plaintiffs counsel in the civil case.

Legal Heavy Hitters Slated for Anti-Trump Conference

The day after Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president the United States, hundreds of attorneys and activists are slated to gather in Washington to strategize on how best to resist “bad government” and coordinate pro bono efforts to protect civil rights.

Richard Cheng, shareholder Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr in Dallas

Munsch Hardt Adds ERISA, Health Care Practices with Lateral Hires

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The firm gained two shareholders in Dallas from dissolving Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller.

Former Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. Rex W. Tillerson

Tillerson's Take on Sanctions Opaque, But Lawyers Eyeing Their Enforcement Under Trump

By Miriam Rozen |

When Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil Corp. chairman and CEO, appeared before the U.S. Senate for the hearings about his nomination to serve as Secretary of State, economic sanctions against Russia dominated the dialogue.

Mark Stratton, Greenberg Traurig in Austin

Shannon Gracey Lawyers Join Greenberg Traurig in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Greenberg Traurig expanded its litigation strength in Austin this month with three lateral hires from dissolving firm Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller.

Jay Old, partner with Hicks Thomas in Austin, TX.

Hicks Thomas Adds Six Lawyers, New Offices in Austin and Beaumont

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Trial lawyer Jay Old and five others from his firm join Houston-based litigation firm Hicks Thomas.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Man, Machine and Negligence

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

Dr. Bull and his team returned from vacation to tackle a deadly accident involving a self-driving car.

Jason Boatright.

Abbott Appoints Former Assistant Attorney General to Dallas' Fifth Court of Appeals

By john council |

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Jason Boatright, a lawyer who once served as chief of the opinion division during Abbott's tenure as Texas Attorney General, to fill a vacant seat on Dallas' Fifth Court of Appeals.

Neill Fuquay of McGuire, Craddock & Strother.

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 9

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Neill Fuquay has been promoted to shareholder in McGuire, Craddock & Strother in Dallas. Fuquay is in the firm's real estate and commercial and mortgage lending sections.

Texas Judge Puts at Risk Medical Care for Transgender Folks, ACLU Lawyer Says

By Miriam Rozen |

The notion that an individual who identifies as transgender or a woman who has sought to terminate a pregnancy could be denied as miniscule a request for medical care as asking for a Band-Aid rankles ACLU lawyer Joshua Block.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

‘Swipe Fee’ Law Poised to Survive Supreme Court Scrutiny

A U.S. Supreme Court case that was touted as a significant retail business dispute with First Amendment ramifications seemed to fizzle fast Tuesday as justices questioned whether freedom of speech was involved at all.

Girl's Supreme Court Justice Costume Gets Ginsburg Shoutout

By Richard Binder |

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a superhero to Michele Threefoot, an 8-year-old girl in Columbia, MD, who dressed as the Supreme Court justice for her school’s “Superhero Day.”

Daniel L. Butcher, managing partner of Strasburger & Price in Dallas

Strasburger Grows in Three Cities as Shannon Gracey Lawyers Find Homes

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Strasburger & Price has added six lateral hires in three Texas offices, including five lawyers from Fort Worth-based Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, which had begun to shutter its doors at the end of 2016.

Judge Kristen Hawkins, 11th District Court

History is Made as Texas' Oldest Court Gets First Woman Judge

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Kristen Brauchle Hawkins made history on Jan. 9 when she was administered the oath of office as judge of the 11th District Court in Houston.

If My Client Sues Me, Can I Blame the Judge?

By Shannon Mader, Adam Yarian and Arevik Stepanyan |

Much is expected of attorneys these days, but they cannot be expected to "guarantee a perfectly functioning judiciary or an error-free trial."

Oil Drilling Gulf of Mexico.

Mexico’s Energy Reforms Mean Billions in Investment and More Work for Lawyers

By Susan Postlewaite |

Sweeping reforms in Mexico's energy sector are luring billions in investment, keeping lawyers busy.

Fifth Circuit Rejects Appeal of Serial Killer Who Had Lawyer Ask Jury for Death Penalty

By John Council |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has rejected the appeal of a confessed Houston serial killer who had his trial counsel request a jury sentence him to death, only to change his mind later and file an appeal alleging the attorney failed to present mitigating evidence.

Former Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. Rex W. Tillerson

For Advice on Shedding Exxon Ties, Tillerson Tapped Wilmer

By Miriam Rozen |

In advance of a Senate confirmation hearing, Rex Tillerson also agreed to relinquish roles with the Ford's Theatre Society, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Boy Scouts of America.

New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

By Shari Klevens and Randy Evans |

New Year's resolutions are not just for your personal life. You can make important resolutions that will drastically improve your law practice in the coming year. And despite statistics that suggest resolutions fail more often than not, you can be successful in developing new and improved habits for your legal practice. You can protect your professional resolutions from failure if you plan them right.

Marcos Carrasco Menchaca, left, and Alejandro Nemo Gomez Strozzi, right, of Gardere’s Mexico City office.

Gardere Expands in Mexico City with Addition of Five International Trade Attorneys

Gardere's Mexico City office has hired five international trade attorneys from local firms. Mexican trade attorneys expect Trump administration will mean more work for lawyers.

Sunset

Sunset Commission Sends Recommendation to Legislature Regarding Membership Fee Voting

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

State Bar of Texas members would no longer vote on bar membership fee changes under a recommendation submitted to the Legislature by the state's Sunset Advisory Commission.

Washington, D.C.

Austin's Pirkey Barber Launches D.C. Area Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A two-lawyer trademark and copyright firm based in Washington, D.C., merged into intellectual property firm Pirkey Barber of Austin.

Elyse Lyons of Jones Day.

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 2

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Elyse Lyons, Dallas associate with Jones Day, has been chosen to join the Dallas Regional Chamber's LEAD YP Class of 2017. This is a leadership development program for young professionals.

Brian Sanford of Dallas' The Sanford Firm.

Dallas Lawyer Beats Labor Union At Its Own Game Before Texas Appellate Court

By John Council |

Labor unions usually take on the role of defending a worker's legal rights if their employer decides to terminate them while on sick leave. But Dallas lawyer Brian Sanford took on that job for a worker and ended up beating the union that fired him before a Texas appellate court.

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, Northern District of Texas, Dallas

Dallas Federal Judge Cuts in Half $1 Billion Hip Implant Verdict Against J&J

By John Council |

A Dallas federal judge has slashed a $1.04 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson nearly in half, a month after a jury punished the company over a hip implant device made by its DePuy Orthopaedics division.

152nd District Court Judge Robert Schaffer.

Judge Adds $700K in Attorney Fees to $150K Award in Age Bias Case

By Miriam Rozen |

Apache's defense counsel, led by John Zavitsanos of Houston's Ahmad Zavitsanos Anapaikos, pledged to appeal.

Marianne Auld.

Appellate Pro Takes Over Leadership at Fort Worth's Kelly Hart

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Marianne Auld, a partner who heads Kelly, Hart & Hallman's appellate practice group, is the new managing partner effective Jan. 1.

Larry Macon

Akin Gump Trial Vet Launches New San Antonio Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

R. Laurence "Larry" Macon left Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld after 25 years to open his own firm in San Antonio, where he plans to try a lot of suits.

Big-Name Lawyers Divulge New Year's Resolutions

By Leigh Jones |

It's time to make those New Year's resolutions, when waistbands are tight, wallets are empty and even a dry martini has lost its appeal.

The State Bar of Texas, Austin.

State Bar Board Member Says He Will Abstain from Vote As Wife Runs for President-Elect

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

The State Bar of Texas board of directors that will decide Jan. 20 whether to approve two nominees for the position of president-elect includes the husband and law partner of one of the nominees.

Shannon Ratliff.

Energy Firm Davis Gerald Beefs Up As Permian Basin Booms

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Davis, Gerald & Cremer, a Midland energy firm, hired lateral shareholders Shannon Ratliff and Lisa Paulson for its Austin office.

The Facebook Follies

By John G. Browning |

With over 1.7 billion people worldwide using Facebook, roughly a billion tweets processed every 48 hours, and folks Snapchatting, Instagramming, and YouTubing away, it's hardly surprising that law enforcement has found social media to be a rich treasure trove of people incriminating themselves.

Jack Balagia.

Starting a New Chapter

By Kristen Rasmussen |

After 18 years at the energy giant, Jack Balagia retires as general counsel with respect and admiration.

Verdicts: Jury Awards Worker Nearly Hit by Cement Truck

A jury awarded $46,240 to a paving worker who injured his knee when he jumped out of the way of a runaway cement truck.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

An 'Interesting' Year

Legal Tech Skills Are No Longer Optional

By Steve Thomas |

If you are relying on your teenager to help you, the time is now to learn.

Derek Mergele.

Leaving an LGBT Law Legacy

By Angela Morris |

Derek Mergele was already out of the closet for 20 years when he moved to Lubbock to study at Texas Tech University School of Law. The openly gay, married law student's mission was to knock down LGBT stereotypes in the conservative West Texas community and to be so visible that anyone questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity knew that Mergele was a friend and available to talk.

Baylor University Law School in Waco Texas.

Inadmissible: Month of January

Local law school makes good on job placement.

How to Manage a High-Stakes Divorce

By R. Scott Downing |

By nature, divorces are traumatic for spouses. However, with the introduction of litigation involving questions such as whether property will be characterized as separate or community, valuing that property, litigating which parent will provide the primary residence for the child, and whether the parent may move away with the child, the proceedings will quickly take on a very high-stakes tenor.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor Distances Himself From the Pack in His Rulings Against LGBTQ Issues

By Miriam Rozen |

Perhaps no federal judge has ruled more often to stall the recent pace of acceptance of the LGBTQ community than O'Connor.

John Grand of Vinson & Elkins in Dallas.

Firms Finding Work in Distress

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Texas firms with energy transactional and bankruptcy/restructuring practices are reaping business from the sales of distressed assets both inside and outside of bankruptcy court.

How to Assist Clients with Estimating Expenses in Annual Budgets and Corporate Transactions

By Julie Machal-Fulks |

For many corporations, the end of the year signifies that it is time to look to the coming year and identify a corporate or department budget for technology expenditures.

Texas Family Code Chapter—Post Divorce Proceedings

By Jonathan J. Bates |

When the divorce decree is signed, most litigants assume the legal process is finally over. Unfortunately, that is not the case when one party fails to comply with the decree's property terms.

Michael P. Maslanka

Recent Cases Moves Sexual Orientation Closer Than Ever to Protected Classification Status Under Title VII

By MICHAEL P. MASLANKA |

Is sexual orientation a protected classification under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? The answer was once a "no." But there were two November surprises that will likely start to change the answer to "yes."

Rob Crain, partner in Crain Lewis Brogdon.

Newmakers: Month of January

Rob Crain, partner in Crain Lewis Brogdon, is serving as the 108th president of the Dallas Bar Association.

L.O. Daniel house. Built in 1905 by Lark Owen Daniel, a prominent millenary company owner (his company made hats) who served as president of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. Daniel named the home Cedar Crest and it is one of the few surviving Victorian-era mansions in Dallas.

Law Partners Invest in Piece of Dallas History by Restoring One of City's Last Remaining Victorian Mansions

By John Council |

Ten years ago, Leighton Durham, Kirk Pittard and Thad Spalding gladly left their downtown Dallas office buildings behind and headed due west across the Trinity River to set up their law practice a mile and a half away in a cozy Oak Cliff rent house.

Securities Litigation in The Trump Era— Now What?

By Bradley W. Foster |

Even prior to the presidential election, this was an interesting and tumultuous year for securities litigators.

The Most Important Substantive Law Developments of 2016

By JOHN COUNCIL |

Donald Trump's election and the continuing energy industry slump in Texas will change how many attorney practice law in the state.

New York City, NY, USA - October 14, 2015: Apple store. Apple won numerous architectural awards for store design, particularly for this store on 5th Ave in Midtown, Manhattan, whose glass cube was designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.

Texas Law Firms Among Most Frequently Retained in Litigation Against Apple

By Miriam Rozen |

Apple Inc., known worldwide for its iPhones, holds another, less favorable distinction: The company ranks as one of the most popular targets for patent infringement plaintiffs nationwide and particularly in the Eastern District of Texas, where more of these cases have been filed than in any other federal district, and where courts, lawyers and even former judges have big stakes in the litigation.

U.S. Women’s National Team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on July 5, 2015.

US Women’s Soccer Team Ousts Dallas Leader

By Brian Baxter |

Richard Nichols, a Dallas-based lawyer who once worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and K&L Gates predecessor Hughes & Luce, has been let go from his role as executive director of the U.S. women's national soccer team. The move comes as the team seeks a new collective bargaining agreement.

Finally, Will 2017 Mean R.I.P. for the Billable Hour?

By David Ruiz |

The technology to kill it off is there. But there still might be a place for it.

U.S. Judge Keith P. Ellison of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston

Judge: Texas Must Give Number of Heat-Related Prison Deaths

By Associated Press |

A judge handling a civil rights suit orders the state to disclose the number of heat-related prison deaths since 1990.

Video Appears to Show Texas Police Shooting Man Walking Away

By Associated Press |

A newly released dashcam video appears to show the shooting of a black man as he walked away from two off-duty officers. The shooting victim was paralyzed.

4 Critical Energy Issues to Watch in 2017

By Associated Press |

Top priorities for the Donald Trump transition team and cabinet nominees include rolling back eight years of Obama administration climate regulations and restrictions on coal, oil and gas development.

David Boies

Halliburton $100M Settlement Would End 14 Years of Litigation

By Celia Ampel |

Halliburton Co. agreed to a $100 million securities fraud settlement in a case brought by Boies Schiller & Flexner.

Lawyers Behaving Badly 2016: Deposition Edition

Evidently some lawyers and litigants don’t understand what it means to be “on the record” during a deposition. Either that or they don’t mind being caught saying or doing something untoward, ridiculous or downright horrible

Chinese Nationals Charged With Hacking Firms to Steal M&A Info

Three Chinese nationals face federal charges for allegedly hacking into two major U.S. law firms in a scheme to trade on information about imminent mergers and acquisitions.

These Are Some of the Best Laugh Lines at the Supreme Court This Year

Laughter in U.S. Supreme Court arguments is usually not of the belly-shaking kind, but more of the quick quip or self-deprecating moment. In 2016, the court, as several justices said, was a "grayer place" partly because of the absence of the quickest quipper on the bench, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. But there were some notable moments. Here are some of the highlights.

Women Now Dominate Law School Classes. So What?

I know it’s a milestone for women, but I can’t summon much excitement. In fact, no one I know (male or female) feels anything close to exhilaration. Most of us just shrug our shoulders. Here’s what we’re not excited about: Women have crossed the 50 percent mark in the nation’s law schools: 50.32 percent of all law students, to be exact.

Q&A: What Scott Pruitt at EPA Could Mean for Texas Lawyers

By Angela Neville |

Texas Lawyer recently spoke with David Patton, a Houston partner at Locke Lord and co-chairman of the firm's energy practice group, about what the selection of E. Scott Pruitt could mean for lawyers in the oil and gas space.

Made in Space products created with Braskem materials, as seen from the International Space Station.

How a Team of Akerman Lawyers Launched 3D Printing in Space

By Gina Passarella |

Several months ago, Felipe Berer's longtime plastics manufacturing client came to him with a rough draft of a marketing plan for what turned out to be the most fascinating—and geographically far-flung—deal Berer has worked on in his 15-year career.

Barack Obama.

Under Trump, What Will Happen to Texas' Lawsuits Challenging Feds?

By Miriam Rozen |

Now that the Oval Office expects a new Republican occupant, the question arises: What will happen to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's brand as a White House challenger and --more significantly--to all those lawsuits?

92nd Street in Rockaway, Queens, after Hurricane Sandy.

Texas Law Firms Settle Claims Over Fees in Hurricane Sandy Damage Claims

By Charles Toutant |

Two Texas law firms that represented hundreds of New Jersey owners in property damage suits after Hurricane Sandy have reached a confidential settlement in a proposed class action accusing them of using runners and charging excessive fees.

Vuk Vujasinovic, VB Attorneys, Houston.

Winning Tips for Litigators for 2017 from Those Who Won in 2016

By Miriam Rozen |

Why not learn from winners? Texas Lawyer asked Texas litigators who won at trial in 2016 what they would each recommend as three litigation tips for 2017.

Apple Accuses Nokia, Acacia of Antitrust Conspiracy

By Scott Graham |

Apple claims Nokia is using nonpracticing entities to harass the company with exorbitant patent royalty claims.

Justice Karen Valihura, Delaware Supreme Court

Finding Claims Derivative, Del. Supreme Court Reverses $171M Ruling in 'El Paso' Case

By Tom McParland |

The Delaware Supreme Court has dismissed a shareholder lawsuit that left the energy company Kinder Morgan liable for the bulk of a $171 million damages award related to its acquisition of El Paso Corp. and its affiliates, finding that the claims involved were derivative and thus transferred to the buyer.

 Maria Ivanez, left, and South Texas College of Law Houston President and Dean Donald J. Guter celebrate her recognition as the Texas Access to Justice (ATJ) Commission’s 2016 “Law Student Pro Bono Award” recipient at the State Bar of Texas’ recent New Lawyer Induction Ceremony in Austin.

South Texas College of Law Houston Student, Former Undocumented Immigrant Receives 'Law Student Pro Bono Award'

By ANGELA MORRIS |

Maria Ivañez recently received the Law Student Pro Bono Award and a $2,000 stipend from the Texas Access to Justice Commission for her dedication and commitment to pro bono services for low-income and underserved people.

SCOTUS 2016: Highlights and Lowlights

By Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle |

Between the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia and election year politics, it's been far from business as usual at the U.S. Supreme Court.

American Airlines.

10 Airplane Horror Stories That Spawned Damage Suits

By Amanda Bronstad |

'Tis the season for cramped airplanes – and lawsuits. Luggage falling on heads and hot tea spilling in laps &ndash are just some of the routine incidents on today's flights that sometimes end up in injury suits.

Jonathan J. Bates

FAQ: Family Violence Protective Orders

By Jonathan J. Bates |

What is a family violence protective order?

Kathleen Hopkins Alsina, Senior Assistant City Attorney with the City of Houston Legal Department.

Houston Attorney Wins Ruling Protecting Ex-Mayor From Paying Pastors' Legal Fees in Equal Rights Fight

By John Council |

As the first openly lesbian mayor of Houston, Annise Parker was clearly stung in 2015 when voters rejected an equal rights ordinance known as HERO, which protected LGBT people from discrimination in city services after opponents claimed the measure would effectively open women's bathrooms to men. But at least Parker doesn't have to pay the legal fees of a group of pastors who sued her in state court to get the ordinance repealed, according to a recent ruling won on her behalf.

John Zavitsanos.

Jury Consultants Need Not Apply — Winning Litigator Relies On Web Instead

By Miriam Rozen |

John Zavitsanos never intends to return to the old-fashioned style of jury selection. The partner in Houston's Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing won last September a $5.3 million verdict against a union for his employer, based on allegations of wrongful disparagement and tortious interference.

Tim Chandler, of Sidley Austin in Houston.

Newsmakers: Week of Dec. 19

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Aaron J. Rigby and Tim Chandler have been promoted to partners in Sidley Austin.

Ken Paxton

ABA Anti-Bias Rule Violates Free-Speech Rights, Texas Attorney General Says

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday issued an opinion concluding that an American Bar Association Rule of Professional Conduct barring discriminatory conduct by its members would violate First Amendment rights if applied in his state.

Kindle Oasis

Last-Minute Shoppers: Top 10 Gadgets for Your Lawyer

By Alan Cohen |

The year's best devices and accessories for your loved ones—or you.

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, Northern District of Texas, Dallas

Tillerson May Steer Clear of Distraction of Climate-Change Litigation Against Exxon

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas federal judge offered no explanations for multiple orders he issued on his own this month in Exxon Mobil Corp.'s battle with Massachusetts and New York Attorneys General. But the effect of those orders could be that when Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson seeks Senate confirmation as secretary of state, the process will not be competing for attention with his company's battle with the attorneys general.

 E. Scott Pruitt.

Q&A: What Scott Pruitt at EPA Could Mean for Texas Lawyers

By Angela Neville |

Texas Lawyer recently spoke with David Patton, a Houston partner at Locke Lord and co-chairman of the firm's energy practice group, about what the selection of E. Scott Pruitt could mean for lawyers in the oil and gas space.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Change of Venue

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

An explosion at a small-town diner opens this week's episode of Bull. The arsonist had rigged the propane stove so that it would erupt late at night. Unfortunately, the owner happened to stop in at the wrong time and died by the blast. The explosion further sparked a wildfire that destroyed cabins and lowered property values.

Sutherland Atlanta Headquarters exterior signage, 999 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta Ga. 30309. Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Sutherland-Eversheds Deal Catapults Atlanta Firm Onto Global Scene

By Meredith Hobbs |

A deal approved Friday to launch Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan into the international arena wasn't something even contemplated by the firm a year ago, its managing partner said.

Latham Tapped for Two 'Prepack' Energy Bankruptcies

By Meghan Tribe |

The firm is advising Stone Energy Corp. and Illinois Power Generating Co. on their recent Chapter 11 filings in Houston. Andrews Kurth Kenyon and Porter Hedges are working with Latham on both new cases, the latest so far this year as the U.S. energy industry copes with sagging oil and gas prices.

Texas Patent Attorneys Fear for Eastern District's Patent Docket as Supreme Court Eyes Venue

By John Council |

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to review the much-watched TC Heartland patent venue decision comes as unwelcome news to Texas intellectual property lawyers who've made a profitable living off filing and defending cases in the Eastern District of Texas.

Plaintiffs Firm Touts Texas-Sized Bonuses to Top Cravath

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Reid Collins & Tsai, with offices in Austin and New York, boasted bonuses of up to $150,000 for associates, with salaried junior partners getting as much as $229,000.

Pepper Hamilton Faces Lawsuit Over Baylor Report

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pepper Hamilton is experiencing the backlash of its Title IX internal investigations work at Baylor University, as a former associate athletics director who blames the firm for his abrupt firing has filed a lawsuit.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant of Sherman.

Labor Dept. Asks Fifth Circuit to Toss Injunction Barring New Overtime Rules

By Miriam Rozen |

A Texas federal judge got it wrong and overlooked controlling precedents when he determined employers should evaluate job duties alone to decide if an employee is exempt from the nation's overtime laws, according to an appeal brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by the Obama administration's Department of Labor.

Oil rigs.

Akin Gump, Vinson & Elkins Advise on $2.43B Permian Basin Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A busy year continues for Texas deal lawyers.

Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg, Texas.

'Judicial Hellholes' Report Trains Fire on South Texas County

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas tort reformers couldn't have hoped for more favorable confluence of events. One month before Texas lawmakers are scheduled to start a new session, during which tort reformers are expected to lobby to curb hail-damage lawsuits filed against insurers, a Texas federal judge issued a stern warning to Steve Mostyn, a well-known Houston plaintiffs lawyer who files such suits and financially supports Democratic candidates. And then on Thursday the American Tort Reform Association issued its annual report on "judicial hellholes."

Joe K. Longley of the Law Offices of Joe K. Longley in Austin, Texas.

Solo Practitioner Sues State Bar of Texas in Effort to Get Signatures for President-Elect Run

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

An Austin attorney seeking signatures to get his name on the 2017 ballot for election of the next president-elect of the State Bar of Texas has filed an open records suit against the bar.

Eastern District of Texas,  Sam B. Hall in Marshall Texas.

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Blockbuster Patent Venue Case

In a win for the tech industry, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Wednesday to hear a case that could move patent cases out of the Eastern District of Texas.

Fifth Circuit Affirms Sanctions Against Texas Lawyers Who Failed to Turn Over Recorded Evidence

By John Council |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed sanctions leveled against two Texas civil defense attorneys who failed to initially disclose recorded phone conversations they later used to impeach a plaintiff who alleged she was sexually assaulted by an employee while incarcerated in a privately-run jail.

Debra Innocenti, left, and David Jones, right, of Innocenti Jones in San Antonio, Texas.

New San Antonio Firm Sets Sights on Startup Scene

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Innocenti Jones will offer "startup in a box" packages to fledgling tech companies in the region.

UNT Dallas College of Law

Texas Supreme Court Allows UNT Law Grads to Take Bar Exam

By Angela Morris |

The high court on Dec. 13 granted a request by UNT Law to waive a requirement that people who take the Texas bar exam must have graduated from law schools approved by the American Bar Association. Graduates now may sit for the July 2017, February 2018 and July 2018 bar exams in Texas only.

Texas Lawmakers Set to Weigh Treatment of 17-Year-Olds as Adults in Criminal Proceedings

By Miriam Rozen |

In Texas, if you are 17 and older and commit a criminal offense you will, if sentenced to serve time, go to an adult rather than juvenile facility. That could change.

Texas State Capitol

Tort Reformers, Trial Lawyers Offer Rival Wish Lists for Texas Lawmakers

By Miriam Rozen |

Tort reformers and trial lawyers have drafted competing wish lists for the 85th legislative session set to begin for Texas lawmakers the second week in January.

Stephen D. Susman

Susman Godfrey Touts Top-End Associate Bonuses

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Houston-based litigation boutique is doing its part this month in showing that many things are bigger in Texas, such as associate bonuses.

Chrysta Castañeda, partner at The Castañeda Firm in Dallas.

Lawyer Helps Pickens Win Over Jurors, $146M Award

By Miriam Rozen |

When wealthy people ask jurors to settle their battles, their lawyers run the risk of running headlong into popular sentiment against the "one percent."

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

Texas AFL-CIO, to Defend Obama's Overtime-Pay Rule, Wants to be Sued

By Rebekah Mintzer |

The Texas AFL-CIO wants to intervene as a defendant in the challenge over the U.S. Labor Department's overtime-pay rule, fearing that federal agencies under Donald Trump will not adequately defend the Obama administration regulations.

Appeals Court Reverses Dallas Jury's $16.7 Million Patent Award Over Camshaft

By JOHN COUNCIL |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently reversed a $16.7 million patent infringement verdict a Dallas federal jury awarded to a French citizen who alleged he owned the rights to a camshaft that is widely used in Chrysler vehicles.

V&E, Wachtell Advise on Latest Billion-Dollar Oil and Gas Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins has cinched another energy industry megadeal to round out 2016, representing Patterson-UTI Energy in the Houston company's pending acquisition of Seventy Seven Energy for close to $1.76 billion. Seventy Seven Energy, based in Oklahoma City, turned to Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Steve Mostyn.

Mostyn Firm Castigated by U.S. Judge for 'Hailstorm' of 'Baseless Claims'

By Miriam Rozen |

In a terse ruling, a McAllen federal judge described well-known Houston plaintiff lawyer Steve Mostyn's firm and its actions in far from flattering terms. But, significantly, the judge stopped short of sanctioning the Mostyn Law Firm, as an insurance industry defendant had requested.

Newsmakers: Week of Dec. 12

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Courtney Jamison Roane, an associate in Thompson & Knight's corporate and securities practice group in Dallas, has been named to the Mi Escuelita board of directors.

10 Goof-Proof Holiday Gifts for the Law Student in Your Life

Unsure what to give the law student in your life this holiday season? Not to worry. We’ve got you covered with this handy list of ideas for presents that will warm their hearts, or at least help them survive the rigors of legal education.

Football

Supreme Court Rejects NFL Settlement Challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked efforts by a group of retired professional football players to challenge the NFL’s $1 billion settlement over concussion-related litigation.

Deposition of Massachusetts Attorney General Canceled by Judge in Climate-Change Litigation Targeting Exxon

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas federal judge today canceled a scheduled deposition of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey that Exxon Mobil had planned to conduct in the attorney general’s climate-change litigation against the oil giant.

Are the Best, Brightest Women Skipping Law School Altogether?

By Kathleen Wu |

I had hoped that the passage of time would improve the rates at which women succeed in the profession, but if a recent study titled "The Leaky Pipeline for Women Entering the Legal Profession" is any indication, we may actually lose ground in the coming years.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Trial Consultants Add Value

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

Forget Toys for Tots — Texas Firm Offers Taxis for Tipplers

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In addition to tipping their bartenders this month, drinkers in East Texas might be thanking a local personal injury firm for getting them home safely.

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2015, file photo, former NBA star and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, smiles at reporters in Chicago. President Barack Obama is honoring Jordan, Cicely Tyson, Tom Hanks, and others with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Michael Jordan Wins Trademark Case in China's Top Court

By Anna Zhang |

China's top court has ruled that former NBA star Michael Jordan owns the trademark rights to his name in Chinese characters.

Austin Lawyer Hit With $175K in Sanctions for 'Bad Faith' Conduct in ADA Cases

By Miriam Rozen |

In a scathing 47-page order, a U.S. magistrate judge in Austin granted motions for sanctions against an attorney filed in six cases and awarded $175,672 in fees and expenses.

5th Circuit Grants Expedited Hearing in Overtime Rule Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted an expedited hearing for the Department of Labor in the overtime litigation.

Mark Perry, Gibson Dunn partner

Appeals Court Casts Doubts on Smartflash's Patent Win Over Apple

By SCOTT GRAHAM |

Two judges signaled the patents claim ineligible subject matter under Section 101 of the Patent Act.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Gap Commission Calls for Better Referral System, Training

By Angela Morris |

The high court's Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services recommends creating a statewide referral system to send modest-means clients to lawyers whom they can afford.

Wallace Jefferson, a partner in Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend

Help Urged for Texas Pro Se Litigants in Supreme Court Commission Report

By Miriam Rozen |

To expand civil legal services for Texans of modest means: Bolster resources at law libraries, collect more information about pro se litigants, and promote technologies that will help make it easier for more people to identify affordable legal counsel.

Michael Warner of Cole Schotz.

Gone to See a Lawyer About a Horse (Estate): Attorney Ropes In Unique Bankruptcy Gig

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Corporate restructuring lawyer Michael Warner, who lives on a ranch near Fort Worth, works as special equine counsel in a Chapter 7, tasked with advising the trustee on equine assets.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, left, and Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes, right, during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy & Consumer Rights addressing the impact of the two companies’s planned merger. December 7, 2016.

AT&T, Time-Warner Chiefs 'Confident' Merger Will Pass Antitrust Scrutiny

By C. Ryan Barber |

The chief executives of AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc. defended their proposed $85.4 billion merger in the face of skeptical U.S. lawmakers Wednesday, telling an antitrust panel that the deal would bring added competition to the media industry and widely benefit consumers.

10 Most Underrated Law Schools in America

By Vivia Chen |

News flash: A number of not-so-highly ranked schools managed to get a high percentage (70 percent or more) of their graduates into full-time jobs that require JDs or are JD-advantaged.

Charles Lee Winkelman, left, and Alan Bush, right.

Escargot and Employee Lawsuits

By Alan Bush and Lee Winkelman |

Escargot and employee lawsuits—both are often best gulped down, holding your nose. Squaring off against a single employee is tougher than it sounds. Damages may be relatively low. But defensive attorney fees can eat in-house counsel alive, which might make larger settlement numbers look tempting.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Apple Loses to Samsung in Supreme Court Design Patent Case

By Tony Mauro |

The unanimous decision by Justice Sonia Sotomayor wipes out Apple's $399 million in design patent damages and sends the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

U.S. District Court: County Can't Ask Constable Applicants Views on Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion or Their Religious Affiliation

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra wrote in his Dec. 2 opinion in Lloyd v. Birkman that Robert Lloyd's equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment were violated when he was asked about those issues during an interview conducted March 18, 2013, by the Williamson County Commissioners Court.

Faith Johnson

Former Judge Faith Johnson Appointed as Dallas County DA

By john Council |

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed former district judge Faith Johnson as Dallas County's new district attorney, replacing Susan Hawk, who resigned from office in September after a long battle with mental illness.

Newsmakers: Week of Dec. 5

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Quentin Brogdon, partner in Crain Lewis Brogdon, is the new president of the Dallas chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. The chapter's other new officers are Richard Capshaw, founding principal of Capshaw & Associates, vice president; James W. Grau, managing partner of Grau Law Group, treasurer; and Marquette Wolf of Ted B. Lyons & Associates, membership chairman.

Mark Lanier.

Mark Lanier on Billion-Dollar Verdicts and the Trump Effect

By SCOTT FLAHERTY |

After his latest trial win against Johnson & Johnson, Houston's Mark Lanier says he has as much as $13 billion in verdicts under his belt. But who's counting?

Massachusetts Attorney General Ordered to Deposition in Texas for Exxon Climate Change Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was ordered Monday to appear in a Texas federal court to submit to deposition questions asked by Exxon Mobil Corp. lawyers

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles dean Michael Waterstone handing out care packages to students on Nov. 28.

From A to Zen: Law Schools Offer More Antidotes for Final Exam Angst

By Karen Sloan |

Whether through yoga, meditation sessions or therapy animals, law schools nationwide are stepping up their efforts to reduce the stress of finals.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court Dives into Patent Exhaustion with Printer Cartridges

By Scott Graham |

The case hinges on Lexmark International's use of patent law to bar recycling and reselling of its used printer cartridges.

Billion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme Case Returned to Chancery Court

By Tom McParland |

A Delaware federal judge has sent back to the Delaware Court of Chancery a proposed class and derivative action over an alleged $1 billion "Ponzi-like scheme" at Texas-based limited partnership United Development Funding III, finding that claims for fiduciary breaches, waste and unjust enrichment called for state, and not federal, review.

Edward Blum.

White Male Lawyer Sues Over 'Quota' System for Texas Bar Board of Directors

By Miriam Rozen |

Greg Gegenheimer, an Austin solo practitioner, on Monday filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against members of the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas, alleging they have violated the Equal Protection Clause of the constitution by maintaining a race- and sex-based quota scheme for the composition of their panel.

Brian Loncar.

Well-Known Dallas Plaintiff Lawyer Found Dead a Week After Daughter's Suicide

By John Council |

Dallas plaintiff lawyer Brian Loncar, well known in Texas for his "Strong Arm" television commercials, was found dead at his law office on Sunday a week after his teenage daughter died by suicide.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn

In Litigation Over Labor Dept's Fiduciary Rule, Timing Seen as Key

By Miriam Rozen |

Since the U.S. Department of Labor secured favorable rulings from two federal judges preserving its new fiduciary rule, which is aimed at curbing retirement investment advisers' potential conflicts, many lawyers' eyes are trained on a third judge: U.S. District Chief Judge Barbara Lynn of the Northern District of Texas, before whom a challenge of the proposed regulation is pending.

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

Fifth Circuit Scraps $340M EDTX Antitrust Verdict

By Scott Graham |

In a win for Becton Dickinson and its lawyers at Paul Weiss, a unanimous panel held that patent infringement can't give rise to antitrust liability.

Elite Law Firms Increasingly Suing Clients to Collect Fees

By Christine Simmons |

In an era when demand for legal services is softening, the country's largest firms are increasingly going to courts and arbitration against their former clients to collect fees in what consultants say is the "new normal."

Business Demands Overshadow Cybersecurity Needs at Law Firms, Survey Finds

By Ricci Dipshan |

Though important, cybersecurity for law firms takes a back seat to business and profit demands, according to Novitex and the Association of Legal Administrators' (ALA) "2016 Report on Trends Impacting the Legal Industry," a survey of over 800 law firms and legal administration professionals worldwide.

The VW logo of the brand

Independent Lawyers Ask for Fees in VW Exhaust Class Action

By Amanda Bronstad |

More than 30 law firms have asked a federal judge to award them legal fees and costs associated with a $14.7 billion class action settlement with Volkswagen, most filing after an order last week that barred attorneys from submitting liens against their clients' awards.

Texas Jury Hits Johnson & Johnson With $1B+ Verdict

By Amanda Bronstad |

Johnson & Johnson lost a $1 billion verdict on Thursday in a closely watched trial over a hip implant device made by its DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. division.

Trump's The Andrew Jackson of Our Time, Says Historian-Partner

By Angela Morris |

Talmage Boston, a civil litigator for 40 years, spoke with Texas Lawyer and about his perspective on Donald Trump's upcoming presidency, seen through a historical lens.

Kelley Drye Enters Texas With Acquisition of 14-Lawyer Boutique

By Meghan Tribe |

Kelley Drye & Warren has entered the Texas market through the acquisition of a 14-lawyer environmental litigation boutique.

Houston's Edison McDowell Expands to Southeast with Florida Hires

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The litigation firm picked up a pair of Big Law alums to open in Boca Raton.

Passenger Claiming PTSD in Motorcycle Fall Awarded $18.6M

A jury awarded $18.6 million to a woman who fell off a motorcycle and claimed post-traumatic stress disorder. Breisha Bell was a passenger on the bike operated by her then-boyfriend Kevin Genter.

Top Women in Energy Law

By Staff |

We are proud to profile the honorees of our 2016 Top Women in Energy awards. The following women are recognized for their work in the area of energy law—an area that has been particularly volatile this past year.

The Impact of the New TTAB Rules of Practice

By Scott Harper |

In an effort to create more efficiency in trademark trial proceedings and to lend clarity to the process, particularly following the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in B&B Hardware, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has amended its Rules of Practice.

Mike Maslanka

The Goal for 2017? Practice the 'Big G'

By MICHAEL P. MASLANKA |

Want to feel grateful at work? It is the place where we spend the most time other than being with loved ones. Ask not whether you are "happy" with your job but rather, as did the ancient Greeks, ask whether you are fulfilled in it.

(left to right): Dena DeNooyer Stroh, DWLA president-elect; Jennifer Ryback of McGuire Craddock & Strother, recipient of the Rising Raggio Award; Lisa Blue, Raggio Award recipient; Stacey Doré, Outstanding Corporate Counselor Award; Kit Addelman, Haynes & Boone, Outstanding Female Partner, large firm; Angela Zambrano, DWLA president; Hon. Tonya Parker, DWLA Outstanding Director; Dawn Estes, Estes Thorne & Carr, Outstanding Female Partner, small firm.

Lisa Blue Wins Prestigious Dallas Woman Lawyer Award

The Dallas Women Lawyers Association has presented trial lawyer and philanthropist Lisa Blue with the 2016 Louise B. Raggio Award.

Tracy Preston, general counsel for the Neiman Marcus Group.

Q&A With Neiman Marcus GC Tracy Preston

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Q&A with Tracy Preston, general counsel of Neiman Marcus.

To Self-Report or Not to Self-Report?

By Jason Varnado and David Woodcock |

This article examines key pros and cons to self-reporting potentially unlawful behavior to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Crazy But True Defenses

By John G. Browning |

Let's face it—lawyers don't get enough credit for their creativity. Sure, we're supposed to be zealous advocates, but when it comes to mounting a defense against a seemingly insurmountable mountain of evidence incriminating our clients, attorneys who come up with the most ridiculous (or ridiculous-sounding) defenses are all too often overlooked or ridiculed.

A Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

By Angela Neville |

In recent years, Texas and other central U.S. states have experienced a surprising jump in the number of earthquakes. That has led scientists and regulators on a quest to determine whether the earthquakes are being caused by human activities or are occurring naturally.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Leading Ladies

By Heather Nevitt |

Tipping the Scales: Weighing IP Protection Options Post-DTSA and Post-'Alice'

By Gregory V. Novak and Matthew Frontz |

Trade secret protection and patent protection have always overlapped. The question owners of these intellectual property rights always have to ask themselves is which protection would better suit their intellectual property needs, if in fact not both.

Fate of Obama's Clean Power Plan Pits Climate Goals Against Administrative Law

By Michael Nasi |

On Aug. 3, 2015, President Obama unveiled his Clean Power Plan, an EPA regulation imposing carbon dioxide limits on existing coal- and gas-fired power plants. It is likely the most impactful and most contentious rule ever issued by the EPA.

Tracy Preston, general counsel for the Neiman Marcus Group.

Neiman Marcus GC Helps Bring 'The Christmas Book' to Life

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Tracy Preston is one of very few people who knows what Neiman Marcus will offer as "fantasy gifts" in The Christmas Book long before the catalogue comes out.

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

Self-Reporting of FCPA Violations on the Rise

By Kristen Rasmussen |

The DOJ's new one-year pilot enforcement program, announced in April, encourages companies to self-report illegal payments under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Alfredo Ramos of Bernstein & Associates.

Newsmakers: Month of December

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Bruce W. Bowman Jr. has been named president and managing shareholder of Dallas-based Godwin Bowman & Martinez.

Three Firms Pump for Fees in Baker Hughes Fracking Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Davis Polk, Fried Frank and Kirkland & Ellis landed roles in creating a new North American land pressure pumping company called BJ Services.

November 29, A Big Day For Big Law Mergers

Yesterday was a big day for Big Law, with news of no fewer than three transatlantic mergers. Eversheds and Holman Fenwick Willan—the U.K.’s 13th- and 29th-largest law firms by revenue—both ended their long-running search for a U.S. combination, while Dentons emerged as a possible savior for the struggling European arm of King & Wood Mallesons.

What's the Most Corrupt Country in the World?

By Sue Reisinger |

Nigeria, Angola and Yemen are the countries with the highest risk of bribery, according to a report released today from the anti-bribery group TRACE International.

Lawyer in First 5th Circuit Case Nets Big Win for Prisoners' Rights

By Miriam Rozen |

Few would consider $2.44 million and $440,000 in attorney fees in a prisoner's rights case as a bad haul for a newcomer to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Following her first appearance there, Christine Stetson, an associate in Beaumont's Bernsen Law Firm, bolstered the odds that her clients, family members of detainee who died in an Orange County, Texas, jail, will win a final judgment of that size.

Solo Practitioner Joe Longley Puts Hat in the Ring for President-Elect of State Bar

By MARY ALICE ROBINS |

The campaign for the 2017 election of the next president-elect of the State Bar of Texas kicked off Tuesday when Austin solo Joe Longley sent emails to more than 60,000 bar members seeking signatures on his petition to get on the ballot.

David's Law Could Offer Balancing Act for Schools, Chance for More Education

By Shonn Brown |

In this digital age, technology forces us to evolve in how we communicate with each other. It's not an easy task, but it's imperative that, as a society, we must learn to combat behaviors that can lead to tragic consequences.

Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in New York.

President Donald Trump and the Enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act

By W. Gary Fowler |

Donald Trump's most memorable moment on the campaign trail regarding people with disabilities occurred when he appeared to mimic the physical appearance and distinctive movements of a reporter with a disability. In a report on Aug. 11, 2016, NBC News called it Trump's "worst offense" during the campaign, and during the Democratic convention Time magazine quoted Iowa Senator Tom Harkin to say, "Never has the issue of disability rights and inclusion been this prominent in an election." Trump denied that he had any intention to mock the reporter.

A Cowboy Shoot-Out Over Whiskey Commences in Texas Court

By Miriam Rozen |

On Dec. 5, a trial is scheduled to start before U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of the Western District of Texas to settle a dispute between two alcohol distilling companies, which each claim ownership to trademarks with the word "cowboy" as part of each of their marks.

L-R Mark Wasserman and Bryan Hughes

Sutherland and Eversheds Are in Talks to Combine

By Meredith Hobbs |

Atlanta-based Sutherland Asbill & Brennan is in talks to combine with Eversheds, one of the U.K.'s largest firms, the two firms announced Tuesday.

Houston's Legge Farrow Inks Merger With Leading UK Firm

By Chris Johnson |

Houston's Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown has agreed to merge with London-based Holman Fenwick Willan, one of the U.K.'s 30 largest law firms by revenue, according to leaders at both firms.

Drilling Operations (North Dakota, July 2012)

Three Firms on $855M Permian Basin Acquisition

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Latham & Watkins, Kelly Hart & Hallman and Weil, Gotshal & Manges are handling an $855 million, two-step asset purchase.

Donald Trump

As Trump Tests Legal Boundaries, Small DOJ Unit Poised for Big Role

By Zoe Tillman |

The Office of Legal Counsel often has the last word on murky areas of the law — and there are plenty trailing President-elect Donald Trump into the White House.

Lessig’s Op-Ed on Electoral College Prompts Flurry of Debate

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig sparked a national debate with a Nov. 24 Washington Post op-ed arguing that members of the electoral college should choose as president popular vote winner Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump on the grounds that everyone’s vote should count equally.

Muslim Lawyers Plan Strategy for a Trump Era

The agenda for the meeting of the Capital Area Muslim Bar Association on Nov. 29 is not what the group had originally planned. It all changed after Donald Trump won the election.

In the Room with Trump: Labor Lawyer Relates Unexpected Sit-Down

On Sunday afternoon, Cleveland labor and employment lawyer Peter Kirsanow unexpectedly found himself face-to-face with President-elect Donald Trump.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: A Check on State Power

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

This week's episode of Bull dealt with a politically motivated prosecution. The State brought a vehicular manslaughter charge against a man whose wife was killed when the car he was driving collided with a car that stopped suddenly in front of it.

Stanford Loses Bid to Get High Court Review of Conviction

By Amanda Bronstad |

Disgraced Texas financier R. Allen Stanford will remain in federal prison after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied his petition to reverse his conviction stemming from a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

Newsmakers: Week of Nov. 28

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Sam Peca, Dallas associate with Weil, Gotshal & Manges, has been named Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in recognition of, among other things, his more than 360 hours of pro bono legal service during his two-month tenure as a lend-a-lawyer with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.

Blocking OT Rules, Obama Appointee Mazzant Showed He's Not in Lockstep With White House

By Miriam Rozen |

Even a labor lawyer who typically represents employers expressed surprise about the pre-Thanksgiving ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant. Mazzant, who presides in a Sherman, Texas, courtroom, granted Texas and other states their request for a preliminary injunction to halt the Obama administration's proposed regulatory revisions that would have doubled for most employees the salary threshold for overtime pay.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Healey Fights Order to Appear for Deposition by Exxon Lawyers

By Miriam Rozen |

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has asked U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas to vacate his order requiring her to appear in a Dallas courtroom to submit to deposition questions posted by Exxon Mobil Corp. lawyers.

Donald Trump.

Jones Day Partner Tapped as Trump's White House Counsel

Donald McGahn II served as general counsel to Donald Trump's campaign and has continued as an advisor for the transition.

President Barack Obama.

Five Labor and Employment Rollbacks That May Happen Under Trump

For nearly eight years under President Barack Obama, labor and employment practitioners have been kept busy by a host of new federal policies, largely promulgated through regulations, that have changed everything from the legal definition of "joint employer" to how federal contractors report alleged labor violations.

The Law Firm C-Suite: Executive or Paper Tiger?

By Nicholas Bruch |

ALM's recently released report highlights the progress law firms have made over the past several years at incorporating non-lawyer executives into their leadership teams. It also highlights some of the challenges law firms are still struggling with to get the most out of their C-suites.

One Lawyer's Work to Rebuild a Practice After Surviving Cancer

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A few months after he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, Houston construction lawyer Thomas Barber decided to wind down his practice at Coats Rose. Six years later, after his cancer went into remission, the newly married Barber joined a new firm and has spent the last year embarking on the demanding task of rebuilding his practice.

Former Houston Controller Joins Greenberg Traurig

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Ronald C. Green, who spent a total of 12 years on Houston City Council and as Houston city controller, joined the Houston office of Greenberg Traurig.

Small Device, Big Problems: Three Key Challenges With Mobile E-Discovery

From ever-changing technical demands to security and access considerations, mobile discovery can be an intricate and arduous task.

Help, a Customer Filed for Bankruptcy!

There are strategies to maximize your company's recovery.

Dallas Lawyers Mourn Loss of George Bramblett, Haynes and Boone Founding Partner

By John Council |

Dallas lawyers are mourning the loss of George Bramblett, a well-known civil trial lawyer and founding partner of one of the city's largest law firms, Haynes and Boone. Bramblett, who had a heart attack in his home on Monday, was 76.

Texas Federal Judge Denies DOJ Request to Lift Ban on Transgender Bathroom Rule

By Miriam Rozen |

Continued lack of access in public schools to bathrooms matching transgender persons' gender identity won't cause them irreparable harm, a Texas federal judge has ruled.

Latham, Vinson Lead on $21B Pipeline Merger

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The two Am Law 100 firms are advising on an all-stock megamerger that will unite a network of oil and gas pipeline giants controlled by Dallas-based billionaire Kelcy Warren.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas

Texas Federal Judge Halts Obama Administration's New Overtime Rules

By Miriam Rozen |

A Texas federal judge issued an preliminary injunction halting the Obama administration's proposed regulatory revisions that would have doubled for most employees the salary threshold for overtime pay.

Clip from the movie

In 'Loving,' a Legal Love Story for the Whole Family

The love story behind the U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down state laws banning interacial marriages ensures the movie appeals to lawyers and their families.

Many Large Companies Are Slashing Legal Budgets, Study Finds

Did your legal department feel pressure to reduce spending in 2016? If so, you're far from alone, according to a report released by the consultancy CEB Global.

Voting booths

US DOJ, Texas AG Spar Over Motive for Voter ID Law

By Miriam Rozen |

Did Texas lawmakers intend to discriminate when they passed a voter identification law? Yes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. No, according to the Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Texas Energy Co. Left With Bill for Hundreds of Millions in Make-Whole Payments

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that Texas-based power company Energy Future Holdings Corp. must pay hundreds of millions of dollars for early redemption of notes in its bankruptcy.

U.S. Department of Justice

Anthem, Antitrust Enforcers Face Judge as Insurer Defends $48B Cigna Merger

Anthem Inc. drew the battle lines Monday in defense of its proposed purchase of Cigna Corp., faulting the U.S. Justice Department for refusing to see any benefit in the $48 billion deal as the blockbuster megamerger trial opened in Washington federal district court.

Trump's Picks for Labor Board Could Raise Conflicts Issues

President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January with the unusual situation of owning or co-owning companies that are involved in disputes with federal agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board, including at least two open matters at the board.

NY AG Announces $25 Million Settlement in 'Trump U.' Cases

A settlement was announced Friday in three suits that claimed President-Elect Donald Trump improperly promoted the now-defunct “university” through which he promised to teach people his real estate secrets.

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

Texas Court, After Trump Win, Is Asked to Put Immigration Case on Hold

The first major litigation effect of the election of Donald Trump took place in a Texas federal district court Friday when the lawyers in the case against the Obama administration's plan to delay deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants asked the judge to postpone proceedings until Feb. 20.

U.S. Labor Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Judge in Texas Case 'Very Hard' on DOL Rule, Lawyer Says

Lawyers who attended the oral arguments Thursday in a Texas federal district court in the case challenging the U.S. Labor Department's fiduciary rule had differing views about which way U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn was leaning.

The Quotable Jeff Sessions: Supreme Court Edition

In choosing Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions as his nominee for U.S. attorney general, President-elect Donald Trump selected a reliably conservative and outspoken critic of some the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent and most controversial liberal-leaning rulings.

Ted Cruz speaking at the Federalist Society 2016 National Lawyers Convention at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2016.

Ted Cruz for SCOTUS? 'History is Long,' Texas Republican Says

Sen. Ted Cruz dedicated his address Friday at the Federalist Society convention to the legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia—and the "great hope," for conservatives, that Donald Trump's presidential win delivered. What about the possibility that Cruz will serve on the Supreme Court? "History is long and can take unexpected paths," Cruz, a former Big Law partner, said in response to a question.

Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, is President-elect Donald Trump's pick for U.S. attorney general.

Reports: Trump Picks Sessions as U.S. Attorney General

President-elect Donald Trump has offered Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, the position of U.S. attorney general, according to multiple news reports Friday morning.

JPMorgan Chase Settles Foreign Bribery Claims for $264M

A subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. ran a nepotism program on a grand scale in China, Justice Department officials said Thursday, as the bank agreed to pay $264.4 million to settle allegations it hired the sons and daughters of government officials to bribe its way to investment deals.

Sources Say Shannon Gracey to Close By Year's End

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

After more than 80 years, Fort Worth's Shannon Gracey Ratliff & Miller will close at the end of the year, one current and two former partners said.

Dallas Attorney Beats the Fed at Their Own Game Before Patent Trial and Appeal Board

By John Council |

Dallas attorney Casey Griffith beat the government at its own game in more ways than one when he recently convinced the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to deny review to five out of his client's six patents that the U.S. Department of Justice wanted invalidated.

What Impact Will Trump's Policies Have on Immigration?

By Karen-Lee Pollak |

Although Trump's campaign speeches lacked substance, his position on immigration as set out in his immigration position paper is very detailed and specific.

US Justice Department Has a Duty to Defend—Only When It Doesn't

In 2011, the Obama administration’s U.S. Justice Department ignited controversy over its decision to stop defending a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that it found unconstitutional.

Fifth Circuit: $30M Verdict for Insurer’s Overbroad ‘Absurd’ Exclusion

By John Council |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Court affirmed a $30 million judgment against an insurance company after it refused to pay off a Houston law firm's legal malpractice claim by pointing to exclusion in a liability policy that was so broad it covered "every single thing an attorney does or does not do, wrongful or not."

Report: Nearly 40 Percent of Law Firms Waste C-Suite Talent

Are you a law firm executive? Do you feel underutilized by the partnership you serve? You’re not alone. A survey released Wednesday by ALM Intelligence found 39 percent of the growing law firm executive ranks did not feel they played a pivotal role affecting the future of their firms.

Jennifer Boldi, left, and Dean Siotos, right, of Resnick & Louis.

Arizona's Resnick & Louis To Launch Dallas Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Litigator Dean Siotos is leaving local firm Macdonald Devin to manage the office.

UNT Dallas College of Law

ABA Delays Accreditation Decision for UNT College of Law

By KAREN SLOAN |

That decision leaves current third-year students in limbo as to whether they will be eligible to sit for the July 2017 bar exam.

Q&A: Donald Trump's Energy Plan, and Regulatory Uncertainty

By Angela Neville |

Among the priorities Donald Trump spells out in his "America First Energy Plan," he promises to open untapped shale, oil and natural gas reserves, as well as onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands. Washington-based Baker Botts partners Steven Leifer, chairman of the firm's environmental team, and Megan Berge, this week shared their perspective about the Trump administration's agenda and its potential effect on the U.S. energy sector.

Lawyer Gets Green Light to Sue Gawker Over Rape Comments

A Chicago lawyer acquitted on sexual assault charges can pursue a defamation lawsuit against Gawker Media after an appeals court found that a comment posted to its former online site Jezebel “unequivocally” accused him “of committing a crime (rape).”

Trump's Election Fuels Worry Over Lawyer Loan Forgiveness

President-elect Donald Trump offered few specifics on the campaign trail about student debt and the government’s role in aiding those saddled with massive educational loans.

Tetra Pak

China Fines Tetra Pak Record $97 Million for Antitrust Violations

China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce has fined Swedish packaging giant Tetra Pak International S.A. $97 million for abusing market dominance.

Texas Firms Rank Last in Revenue Growth, Top Expense Management

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Texas lagged in revenue growth and demand growth during the first nine months of the year, according to a Citi Private Bank survey of law firms, but excelled in expense containment.

Federal Judge Issues Order Scrapping Labor Dept.'s 'Persuader Rule'

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings of the Northern District of Texas Wednesday issued a permanent injunction holding unlawful a federal Department of Labor regulation that would require employers seeking legal advice on labor issues to abide by additional reporting obligations.

Texas Counters DOJ Efforts to Lift Ban to Its Transgender Bathroom Initiative

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas and 13 other states challenging new public school bathroom policies affecting transgender students said a delay in their implementation would cause no harm to individuals. The argument was made in response to the U.S. government's motion to stay a nationwide injunction on introducing the new policy, which would require that transgender student be allowed to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.

Texas A&M University School of Law

Texas A&M Launches Tax Law Clinic

By Angela Morris |

Panic might be an initial reaction when the Internal Revenue Service comes calling, but some residents in Fort Worth have a new helping hand from law students who will gain hands-on tax law experience.

Couple Settles Suit Against Baker Botts Over Shared Email

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The plaintiffs who sued Baker Botts and a Houston partner, alleging the defendants negligently failed to maintain privileged communication, settled their claims for an undisclosed amount of money.

New Survey Examines Status of Social Media Use by Labor and Employment Firms

A new survey report suggests that social media isn’t just for cat photos and political arguments anymore. The inaugural Bloomberg Law Labor and Employment Practice Benchmarks Report highlights the use of Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter “as business development activities.”

Mary Jo White.

SEC's White: No SEC Fiduciary Rule Coming Before January

In her final House Financial Services panel testimony, White said that the agency is still ‘significantly’ underfunded.

Houston Attorney Gets Insurance Company Severed From Tort Case Involving Amputated Finger

By John Council |

There are plenty of reasons why insurance companies aren't supposed to be third-party defendants in tort cases under Texas law. And Jamie Carsey used all of them to convince Houston's First Court of Appeals to severe her insurer client from a personal injury lawsuit involving an amputated finger.

Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

Buzbee Frets Little For Plaintiff Bar Under Trump

By Miriam Rozen |

Prominent Houston trial lawyer Tony Buzbee hasn't yet tried to call President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate him, but he has told texas Lawyer he doesn't view the soon-to-be president-elect as bad news for plaintiffs' lawyers.

Move Over LSAT, There's Another Test in Town

A recent decision by the American Bar Association to allow alternatives nationwide to the Law School Admission Test and a successful experiment by a major law school to accept the GRE indicate the LSAT may have to learn to share.

United States Supreme Court

Eight of Trump's Potential High Court Picks to Appear at Federalist Society Convention

Eight of President-elect Donald Trump's 21 potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees will find themselves in a sea of enthusiastic faces later this week during the Federalist Society's annual national convention in Washington.

Campaign Statements Tentatively Allowed Into Trump University Fraud Case

A federal judge has tentatively denied President-elect Donald Trump’s motion to bar plaintiffs lawyers from using statements he made during his presidential campaign at a trial later this month in a fraud case brought by former Trump University students.

What Trump Presidency Means for Lawyers, Clients and the Courts

Change is coming to the regulatory environment and to the nation’s courts that will reverberate across the legal industry. We have the forward-looking analysis you need to advise clients, manage your business and respond to the new political forces.

Newsmakers: Week of Nov. 11

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Brian Bradigan and Jennifer Cheek have joined Hermes Law in Dallas as attorneys.

Baker Botts, Simpson Thacher Work on $1.16B Houston REIT Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts represents Hines Real Estate Investment Trust of Houston in its sale of West Coast office assets to an affiliate of Blackstone for $1.162 billion as part of a liquidation.

Donald Trump.

Trump Seeks Delay of University Trial During Transition; Offers to Give Closed-Door Testimony

President-elect Donald Trump has asked to delay a trial scheduled this month in a high-profile fraud case until after he gets inaugurated but has offered to undergo a video deposition or recorded trial testimony – as long as it's all confidential.

Leah Aden.

Shifting Stance of Trump's DOJ May Impact Voting Rights Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

Although the general election is in the rear-view mirror, battles over voting rights in Texas appear set to remain on federal court dockets for at least the rest of the year.