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

'Yes, at Google,' a Fiduciary Rule Compliance Checklist, and CFPB Faces New Challenge in 9th Circuit

By C. Ryan Barber |

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau faces a new challenge in the Ninth Circuit over the Obama-era agency's structure. Uber's paying tens of millions to drivers in New York who were shortchanged on the amount they received for rides. Lobbyists prepare to ramp up a new fight against against the Obama administration's retirement-savings rules that put a new focus on client interest ahead of profit. And Google employees are sharing workplace complaints on an anonymous bulletin board. This is a roundup of regulatory and compliance news from ALM and other publications.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Judge Tosses Racial Discrimination Suit Against Cleary

By Cogan Schneier |

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., dismissed the suit, brought by former Cleary Gottlieb project attorney Lyle Silva.

Austin solo Joe Longley

Austin Attorney Elected State Bar of Texas President-Elect


Austin solo practitioner Joe K. Longley has been elected president-elect of the State Bar of Texas in a record-setting runoff election.

Attorney Rachel Ambler of Odessa, Texas.

Lawyer and Former Firm in Dispute Over Clients

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The deportation of attorney Rahul Malhotra, founder of Malhotra Law Firm, has led to an unusual dispute over the representation of clients.

Law Firms, Staff Wait for Answers on Employee Overtime Rules

By Miriam Rozen |

By this time next month, law firm staff and other U.S. workers may know whether the Trump administration wants them paid overtime pay for overtime hours, even if they haven't qualified previously.

Robert S.

Robert S. Bennett Gets Probated Suspension

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A judge imposes a sanction that means Houston lawyer Robert S. Bennett will have six months of probated suspension for violating a Texas disciplinary rule.

Josh Zive, Bracewell

In New Podcast, a Bracewell Lobbyist Reports from the Swamp

By Miriam Rozen |

"It's been a hell of a week," Josh Zive, a lobbyist and senior principal in the Washington, D.C., office of Bracewell, told his podcast audience last week.

Seven BigTex Firms Appear on the 2017 Am Law 200

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Seven large Texas firms are among the 200 highest-grossing U.S. firms included in the Am Law 200 list.

Mobile phone Telecommunication Radio antenna Tower with sunset sky, silhouette

Fifth Circuit: No Expectation of Privacy in Cell Tower Records

By Ross Todd |

Police can use real-time cell tower records to track a suspect’s location without a warrant, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled Monday.

How Much Do Clients Care About Law Firm Layoffs?

By Miriam Rozen |

"A smart firm would be reaching out to their clients and getting ahead of the story," said one former GC.

Target to Pay $18.5M to States Over Data Breach

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

California will receive more than $1.4 million from the settlement, the largest share of any state.

Tech Wins Big in TC Heartland, but ‘A Lot of Fighting’ Remains

By Scott Graham |

The TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group decision means many tech companies won't have to defend patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas.

Law School Mulls Pioneering Approach to Boost Enrollment

Will relocating South Dakota’s only law school to the state’s largest city help reverse an enrollment slide? Officials at the University of South Dakota are exploring the possibility that new environs would equate to more students. University president James Abbott announced May 19 that it will create a task force to examine moving the school from Vermillion, a town of less than 11,000 people on the state’s southeast border with Nebraska, to Sioux Falls, about 63 miles to the north. Sioux Falls, which lies near South Dakota’s border with Iowa, has a population of about 168,000.

Morgan Lewis Expands Latin America Practice with Two Hires in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

New partners come from King & Spalding.

The Bachelorette.

Dallas Lawyer Drops Houston Law Student and Others on Season Opener of 'The Bachelorette'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Rachel Lindsay, a trial lawyer in Dallas who is starring on "The Bachelorette" reality TV show, gave her "first impression" rose to a chiropractor from Miami who impressed her by complimenting her in Spanish.

US and Swiss Law Firms Advise on Big Chemical Company Merger

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Huntsman Corp., based in The Woodlands, plans to merge with Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant.

Patent Suits May Target Retailers to Stay in Texas

By Scott Graham |

The U.S. Supreme Court’s "TC Heartland" decision will limit where companies can file patent suits, a ruling that could undercut Texas’ Eastern District.

'Speaking the Same Language': Leaders From Big Law Make the Case for Metric Sharing

By Ian Lopez |

Companies and their outside counsel are both collecting useful information that they're not sharing with one another. Should both parties be more transparent to achieve their goals?

U.S. Supreme Court building

Supreme Court Limits Venue Shopping in Patent Litigation

By Tony Mauro |

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for an 8-0 court in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, said “a domestic corporation ‘resides’ only in its state of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute.”

Transgender ADA Case Against Cabela's OK'd

The first known transgender rights lawsuit alleging Americans with Disabilities Act discrimination based on the condition of gender dysphoria can move forward, a federal judge has ruled.

Dallas Real Estate Attorney Julie Pettit of The Pettit Law Firm.

Newsmakers: Week of May 22

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Julie Pettit, founder and managing partner of The Pettit Law Firm in Dallas, has received the 2017 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers.

Server Room

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Search and Seizure

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

The penultimate episode of Bull's first season deals with a privacy issue not unlike that which Apple Computers faced in 2016. A computer server company called Heptix is in possession of encrypted computer servers that likely contain information leading to terrorists.

Richard Warren Mithoff, founder, Mithoff Law, Houston

'Powerful Story' Wins $27.7M Judgment for Family of Man Killed in Bicycle Accident

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Topping the list of what Richard Mithoff has learned in 46 years as a trial lawyer is this useful gem: "I always believe the plaintiff is exhibit A."

Rachel Lindsay

Texas Lawyer Finds Love on Reality TV Show 'The Bachelorette'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Trial lawyer Rachel Lindsay stars on Season 13 of "The Bachelorette, " an ABC reality television program.

As Clients Press for Discounts, Are Firms Too Quick to Show Their Cards?

By Miriam Rozen |

Are some law firms making a mistake by handing clients their billable hour data despite working for flat or fixed fees?

JAMS' principal outside counsel, Long & Levit partners Joseph McMonigle and Jessica MacGregor

Jury Clears JAMS in Resume-Padding Trial

By Scott Graham |

The jury couldn’t decide if retired appeals judge Sheila Sonenshine made misrepresentations on her JAMS bio, but they decided that didn’t cause harm to venture capitalist Kevin Kinsella.

Appeals Court Grounds FAA Registration for Hobby Drones, Planes

By Cogan Schneier |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled the FAA's registration rule for personal drones and model planes violates federal law.

U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno.

4 Automakers Agree to Pay $553M on Takata Air Bag Claims

Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW agreed to pay $553 million to settle consumer claims over recalled Takata air bags in multidistrict litigation consolidated in Miami federal court, plaintiffs counsel announced Thursday.

Fantasy Sports Operators Eye Calif. Ruling on Horse Racing

By Todd Cunningham |

A federal judge’s decision this week that entry fees paid to play on the fantasy horse racing website Derby Wars are wagers could be a warning signal to the booming fantasy sports industry.

Mark Lanier.

Plaintiffs Lawyer Lanier Makes Tit-for-Tat Attack in $500M Hip Implant Appeal

By Amanda Bronstad |

Accused of not disclosing payments to two expert witnesses, Houston plaintiffs attorney W. Mark Lanier is throwing a similar charge at Johnson & Johnson's defense.

What Happens When Your Practice Management Software Goes Dark?

Buying new software comes with the risk of developing a relationship with a vendor who might not always necessarily be there. While attorneys may be perfectly content to use the same software forever, vendors routinely update, retool, or even shutter their platforms.

Paul Hanly of Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher & Hayes, a firm that has now merged with Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd to form Simmons Hanly Conroy. HANDOUT.

Meet the Plaintiffs Lawyers Signing on to Help Gov'ts Sue Big Pharma Over Opioid Epidemic

By Kristen Rasmussen |

A growing wave of plaintiffs lawyers are joining state and local governments in filing lawsuits against big pharmaceutical companies blaming them for the prescription opioid addiction epidemic and trying to recover taxpayer funds spent dealing with it.

6 Things We Learned About JAMS During Resume Padding Trial

Evidence is complete in venture capitalist Kevin Kinsella’s fraud trial against JAMS Inc. and neutral Sheila Sonenshine over their alleged padding of her online resume.

Ex-Prosecutors at Big Firms Weigh Costs of Speaking Out on Trump

By Miriam Rozen |

Did the president expose himself to obstruction of justice charges in the unfolding scandal involving James Comey? If anyone has an opinion on that burning question, it's the country's pool of former federal prosecutors. But not all of them are willing to share it.

Discrimination Complaints Against Frontier Airlines by Employee Moms Mount

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday broadened its legal battle on behalf of pregnant and breast-feeding mothers by filing another discrimination complaint against Frontier Airlines.

Alistair Dawson, partner with Beck Redden.

Houston Bar Association President to Launch Program to Help Individuals with Special Needs

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Incoming Houston Bar Association president Alistair Dawson plans to launch an initiative to help special needs students get pro bono assistance for getting accommodations at school.

IBM Says New Watson Tool Could Dramatically Reduce Outside Counsel Spend

By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez |

A new tool from IBM, called "Outside Counsel Insights," uses the power of Watson to reveal billing insights to legal departments.

Morgan Lewis Takes the Heat, but Who Gets the Last Laugh?

All publicity is good publicity, right? For the right kind of celebrity, maybe. For a law firm? Not so much. Still, some law firm marketing experts said that Morgan, Lewis & Bockius shouldn’t be overly concerned about its unusual turn in the public eye last week, when its ties to President Donald Trump and its past work in Russia were again in the news.

Napping Pods: One Firm's Solution for Tired Lawyers

By Leigh Jones |

White & Case has installed two "energy pods" at its office in Washington, D.C.

Young Lawyers Demand More Feedback, Firms Deliver

Large law firms have been seeking feedback about how they give feedback. And what they’re finding is that associates want to know whether they’re doing well, far more than once per year.

The State Bar of Texas, Austin.

Protecting Religious Beliefs Becomes Tense Issue in State Bar Sunset Bill Debate


At one point during the debate, Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, asked Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, "Do you believe homosexuality is a sin?" "Yes, I do," responded Schaefer, a supporter of the amendment.

BigTex Firms Advise on Eagle Ford Shale Acquisition

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three Texas firms represent WildHorse Resource Development of Houston in its pending purchase of Eagle Ford assets from Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Orly Lobel, a professor of employment and labor law at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Use of Noncompete Clauses Grows Even as More States Move to Limit Them

By Sue Reisinger |

Companies and law firms increasingly are inserting noncompete clauses into employment contracts but more of those contracts are winding up in litigation and more states in the United States are passing laws to restrict their use.

Buyer Beware: Former Foley & Lardner Partner Arrest Reveals Lateral Hiring Risks

Insider trading charges and an arrest on Thursday of lawyer Walter “Chet” Little set off a quick dismissal from his most recent law firm, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. But Little’s alleged misconduct relates back to his days at Foley & Lardner. Did that firm, or the federal government, have a duty to warn Bradley Arant about an investigation before it hired Little?

Sabina Walia, Caldwell Boudreaux, Houston.

Newsmakers: Week of May 15

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Sabina Walia has joined Houston-based oil and gas pipeline firm Caldwell Boudreaux Lefler as an energy regulatory partner. Among other things, Walia has represented natural gas pipelines in a variety of matters before the Federal Energy Commission.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Rules of Evidence

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

As the curtain on Bull's first season starts to close, certain subplots are coalescing. This week, prosecutors finally brought charges against Dr. Bull's in-house counsel, Benny, for allegedly fabricating evidence while working at the District Attorney's office nearly a decade ago.

Texas Capitol building in Austin Texas.

Lawyers Take Aim at Texas Law Capping Punitive Damages

By Amanda Bronstad |

Five plaintiffs who saw a $502 million jury verdict cut to $150 million last year say the state law unconstitutionally discriminates against the old and the poor.

John Zavitsanos.

Jury Awards $40M to Offshore Oil Well Owner in ‘Message’ to Insurer

By Greg Land |

The six-week trial revolved around claims by Houston-based equity firm Prime Natural Resources that the well’s insurer, Lloyd’s of London, improperly refused to reimburse some of the expenses it incurred to repair and replace it.

AMC movie theater.

What’s Next in Antitrust Probe of Mega Movie Theaters?

By Todd Cunningham |

Makan Delrahim, nominated to head the DOJ Antitrust Division, is a Los Angeles lawyer with ties to the film industry, stirring talk in Hollywood that the investigation may be all but dead.

Law Grad Employment Rate Rose, As 2016 Class Shrank

A smaller class of law graduates in 2016 once again helped bolster new lawyer employment rates. According to new jobs data released Thursday by the American Bar Association, 78.6 percent of 2016 law graduates had secured jobs that either require a law degree or for which a law degree is an advantage within 10 months of leaving campus. That’s up more than 2 percent from the previous year.

Christopher Mohr and Jack Simms.

Long-Term Friendship Helps Austin Firm Land Client

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Friendship between partners in Austin firm and a lawyer at a trade association gets firm put on short list for contract.

Tom Carper (D-DE), left, and Chris Coons (D-DE), right.

Who's in the Mix for Delaware's Federal Judgeships

By Tom McParland |

With the court nearing a vacancy crisis, at least five Republican lawyers have expressed interest. But one prominent state Republican said the process is "very much in limbo."

Computer Scientist Sues Facebook, Alleging It Purloined His Ideas

By Andrew Denney |

A computer scientist who in 2010 received a $625 million jury award in a patent infringement dispute with Apple is now turning his sights on another major Silicon Valley player: Facebook, which he said ripped off a concept he invented for features like Timeline and News Feed.

Ken Starr

Ken Starr: Accusations Against Lanier ‘Way Off Base’

By Kenneth W. Starr |

Corporate opponents who Houston plaintiffs attorney Mark Lanier "vanquished, fair and square, in the courtroom" concocted allegations that he concealed payments to expert witnesses, writes Kenneth Starr.

Allen & Overy Drops Performance Reviews, and Everyone Cheers (Especially Women)

Anyone who says that performance reviews are useful is full of it. Really, who comes out of a review feeling the least bit enlightened or empowered? Certainly not the employee.

Ashish Mahendru of Mahendru PC in Houston.

What's In a Name? Houston Firms in Dispute Over Use of 'P&M Law'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Paranjpe & Mahadass sued P&M Law Firm, seeking a declaratory judgment that is it not infringing on any of P&M Law Firm's common law trademarks.

Left to right: David Wilson, Mike Magee and Preston Hutson, MehaffyWeber

MehaffyWeber Adds 5 Litigators in Houston; Opens Office in Las Vegas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group led by shareholders David Wilson and Michael Magee move to MehaffyWeber from LeClairRyan's Houston office.

Two Kasowitz Litigators Join McKool Smith in NY

By Scott Flaherty |

The hire of Christopher Johnson and Zachary Mazin continues McKool Smith's expansion in New York, currently its largest office, and will bolster McKool Smith's financial litigation group, the firm said.

Treating Meeting Addiction: How a Legal Team Cut Back on Meetings—and Found Happiness

By Anna Zhang |

The team of lawyers, from Herbert Smith Freehills and Australia's Telstra Corp., cut back on unnecessary meetings, freeing them up to do actual work.

Michelle Haws and Clinton J. Kuykendall.

Meet the Top Scorers of the February Texas Bar Exam


According to Susan Henricks, executive director of the Texas Board of Law Examiners, 1,253 individuals took the exam in February. The top score that could have been made was 1,000 and exam takers had to score at least 675 to pass, Henricks said. Kuykendall and Haws each scored 842.

Robert S.

Judge Denies Bob Bennett’s Request For Mediation Before Sanction Hearing

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston lawyer Robert S. Bennett asked a judge to order mediation before he holds a hearing to determine the sanction against Bennett in a disciplinary suit.

James Comey

What's Next For Ex-FBI Director James Comey?

By Cogan Schneier |

Citing his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server, President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired FBI Director James Comey. His actions may weigh heavy on his future employment prospects, as big law firms may be wary of questions that would accompany his hiring. Still, as a prominent attorney with high-level experience in government and business, he may find a home at a law firm, as some other former FBI directors have.

Law Firms Take Notice as Salary Gag Rules Loom

By Miriam Rozen |

A look at how wage history laws brewing in Texas and recently passed in NYC and Philly will and (mostly) won’t affect big law firms in those places.

Drone Law Practices Taking Off — Again

Drone law practices may finally be taking off. After an initial flurry of activity that saw the proliferation of drone law practice groups several years ago, the anticipated steep trajectory of drone-related legal work failed to come to pass as regulations on the commercial use of the unmanned aerial vehicles restricted industry growth.

5 Takeaways from JAMS Fraud Trial: Frequent Objections, Vetting

The fraud trial against JAMS Inc. and retired appellate justice Sheila Sonenshine for allegedly padding her online resume is through its first week, and it already appears the judge is having some regrets about the case.

Making the Future Now: Corporate Legal Operations Experts on How They Use AI

The opening keynote of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium’s (CLOC) 2017 institute showed a live demo of various technologies using Amazon .com, Inc.’s Alexa. But while the automated file and contract searches elicited “oohs” and “ahhs” from the assembled crowd, one question remained: How exactly does artificial intelligence (AI) technology apply practically in the legal department?

LSAT-Maker Gets New CEO, Eyes Additional Test Dates

University of Washington School of Law Dean Kellye Testy will be the next president and chief executive officer of the Law School Admission Council—the nonprofit organization that administers the Law School Admission Test and runs the central clearinghouse for law school applications.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Joint Defense and Common Interest Agreements: The Basics

By Shari Klevens and Randy Evans |

Complex litigation and multi-party negotiations may result in unique dynamics, with groups of parties aligned. Counsel in such cases should recognize the potential benefits of joint defense and common interest agreements.

When Organizations Fall Short on Cybersecurity, Do Law Firms Pick Up the Slack?

By Ian Lopez |

BakerHostetler’s cybersecurity report highlights the nature of company cybersecurity while illustrating the law firm’s changing role in the tech age.

Denis Braham.

Newsmakers: Week of May 8

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Denis Braham, a shareholder in Winstead's Houston office and the firm's chairman emeritus, has been appointed to the Mayor's International Advisory Council in Houston.

Fourth Circuit Grills Trump Administration on Travel Ban

A large crowd rallies on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, led by top Democrat lawmakers, to denounce President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from 7 Muslim-majority countries, on January 30, 2017.

Richard Roper.

As Obama's US Attorneys Find Homes, Advice from a Veteran

By Miriam Rozen |

Wondering how all those federal prosecutors entering private practice are coping with the transition to private practice? Ask Thompson & Knight's Richard Roper.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Reading Minds

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

Bull has touched on almost every legal cliché imaginable, which makes it surprising that this week was the show's first foray into temporary insanity.

Johnson & Johnson's baby powder.

J&J Takes $110M Hit in Talc Trial, Adding to String of Losses

By Amanda Bronstad |

Johnson & Johnson was hit with a record $110 million verdict Thursday in the fifth trial over the safety of its talcum powder.

Emojis taken from Surveying the Law of Emojis paper, published by Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University - School of Law.

What You Need to Know About Emoji Law (Yes, That's a Thing)

By Ross Todd |

How will the courts deal with questions of interpretation raised by emojis?

Mark Lanier.

Elite Plaintiffs Lawyer Accused of Concealing Payments to Expert Witnesses

By Amanda Bronstad |

Hoping to reverse a $502 million loss, lawyers for Johnson & Johnson are attacking Houston attorney W. Mark Lanier. But he says the campaign "fails to tell the whole story."

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Law School Receives $1.27M Gift for Indigent Defense From Anonymous Donor

By Michael Booth |

South Texas College of Law Houston has received a $1.27 million gift aimed at launching a criminal defense certification program, which is meant to train defense lawyers to more effectively represent indigent defendants in the city's courts.

Kevin Fine.

Ex-District Judge Gets Arrested Again in Drug Bust


For the second time in two years, former district judge Kevin Fine was arrested in a sting operation and charged with felony attempted drug possession.

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

Munsch Hardt Hires Ex-Dallas City Councilmember for Land Use Practice; Gardere Wynne and Akerman Also Make Lateral Hires

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Angela Hunt, who served on Dallas City Council from 2005 through 2013, will revive a zoning and land use practice at Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr.

Samuel Dibble, Farella Braun & Martel partner..courtesy photo

In Rare Departure, Farella Braun Partner Joins Baker Botts

By Rebecca Cohen |

Baker Botts, an Am Law 100 firm that has been busy expanding in the Bay Area in recent months, has hired Farella Braun + Martel business transactions chair Samuel Dibble as a partner in San Francisco.

State Bar Race for President-Elect Heads for a Runoff

By Mary Alice Robbins |

With 27,190 votes cast, the race for State Bar of Texas president-elect is headed for a runoff.

Five Big Texas Firms Among Nation's Highest-Grossing

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Five Texas firms are among the 100 firms on the Am Law 100 2017 ranking of the nation's highest-grossing firms.

Neal Manne, managing partner of Susman Godfrey.

Houston Lawyer Wins Ruling Stopping Harris County from Jailing Poor People

By John Council |

It's always admirable when a lawyer works to free a single person from prison who shouldn't be there. But Neal Manne just won a monumental ruling from a Houston federal judge that will release thousands of people jailed for minor offenses who are stuck behind bars for no other reason than they are poor.

David James and mark Freeman.

Strasburger & Price Opens Office in Beaumont

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas-based Strasburger & Price expands in the Gulf Coast region with an office in Beaumont and two lateral partner hires who do admiralty and maritime work.

Oral Argument in Federal Court Becoming a Lost Art

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Oral argument—the once commonplace art of making one's case before the judge—is slipping into obscurity in the nation's federal courtrooms after steadily going out of fashion.

Stuart Bumpas, of Locke Lord, standing next to an Andy Warhol painting at the firm’s offices in Dallas, TX. April 5, 2017.

Art Law May Be the Next Big Thing in Texas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

While lawyers in Texas and elsewhere have been doing art law for many years, the multi-disciplinary practice is gaining more attention.

Dallas Lawyer Shocks GE With Verdict Expected to Be Worth More Than $130M in Antitrust Damages

By John Council |

A Dallas lawyer convinced an Eastern District of Texas federal jury that General Electric had monopoly power over an anesthesia gas machine repair business and won $43.8 million in damages for 17 plaintiffs. Under the Sherman Act, the recovery is subject to trebling to $131.4 million.

Beck Redden co-founder and partner David J, Beck.

Newsmakers: Week of May 1

By Mary Alice Robbins |

David J. Beck, partner in and co-founder of Beck Redden in Houston, has been selected for inclusion in the inaugural Legal 500 U.S. Hall of Fame in the Dispute Resolution—Leading Trial Lawyers Category.

Parties Settle Over Collision in Fog

A driver who claimed that he sustained disc hernations in a foggy collision agreed to a $25,000 settlement.

Steve Roberts, Patterson + Sheridan LLP

Newsmakers: Month of May

Chad Dougherty and Steven Roberts have been promoted to partners in Patterson + Sheridan in Houston.

The Shifting Sands of Personal Jurisdiction

By Ladd Sanger |

In the past few years, we have seen an uptick of cases addressing personal jurisdiction spurred by the United States Supreme opinions in a trio of cases: J. McIntyre Machine, Walden, and Daimler.

2017 Annual Report on Firm Finance


Gross revenue at the 20 highest-grossing firms in Texas improved by 3.5 percent in 2016 compared with 2015.

Daniel Reat, vice president and chief legal officer for operations and business affairs at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Meet a Co-Chief Legal Officer at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Meet a Co-Chief Legal Officer at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

New Perimeter trainers and DLA Piper partners Jenifer Smith, third from left, and Andrew Valentine, center, during their trip to Nepal, on March 31, 2017.

Female Nepali Lawyers Get CLE

Jenifer Smith, a partner in DLA Piper in Austin, is one of eight lawyers from the firm who recently spent six days training 60 women lawyers in Nepal, where women lawyers do not have the same opportunities for training as women do in the United States.

Reese Arrowsmith, vice president and head of legal operations at Campbell Soup Co.

Digital Pillars: Essential Technologies in Corporate Legal

By Rhys Dipshan |

As modern legal departments look to become more cost-effective and efficient, many cannot do without vital management and analytic technologies.

Jones Act Critics Care More About Personal Profit Than Protecting Our Country

By brian beckcom and kenneth b. fenelon jr. |

It's not often that you find someone like me (a plaintiff lawyer who regularly sues marine companies on behalf of injured maritime workers) agreeing with anything coming from those companies. But when it comes to attacks on the Jones Act and shadowy corporate groups spreading false propaganda with the sole aim of increasing their own profits, we both find ourselves aligned in support of the Jones Act.

Lara Pringle, back left, and Lincee Ray, in front, with four of the Child Sponsorship Officers, leaving the school and walking back to catch the bus after spending one day with the Arise Africa staff helping out at the school.

To Africa With Love: Volunteer Service Trips to Zambia Puts Life Into Perspective for Houston Litigator

By John Council |

Volunteer service trips to Zambia puts life into perspective for Houston litigator Lara Pringle.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

The Money Issue

Michael P. Maslanka, assistant professor of law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

How Reading Poetry Helps You With Your Lawyering


Feeling down as a lawyer? Seeking transcendence? Needing a mindset transplant? Here's a suggestion: read poetry.

Employees on Social Media: Avoiding Potential Litigation Traps

By Matthew Coolbaugh |

For some employers, social media can prove to be a litigation trap.

How to Handle Digital Damage Control

By Lee Winkelman and Alan Bush, Bush Law Firm |

How much (legal) trouble can one employee get into with a smartphone and a social media account or two? Hint, hint: It's more than most in-house counsel would want to admit.

Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey

A Column That Really Ties the Room Together

By John G. Browning |

The Big Lebowski has impacted our legal system, joining the pantheon of pop culture references to pop up in judicial opinions.

Staton M. Childers, Adams and Reese, Houston, TX

Adams and Reese Picks Up Five Litigators in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group, led by partner Staton Childers, joins Adams and Reese in Houston.

Salman Bhojani, left, and Nick Nelson, right, of Bhojani and Nelson in Texas.

Big Law Defectors Make Bet on Muslim Clients

By John Council |

Salam Bhojani and Nick Nelson see opportunity in building bridges with Muslim and South Asian business owners.

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price

Dallas Federal Jury Hands Major Defeat to Government in Public Corruption Case

By John Council |

In a stinging defeat to federal prosecutors in a major public corruption case, a Dallas jury Friday acquitted John Wiley Price of bribery and conspiracy charges.

Students taking a simulated multi-state bar examination in 2014 at the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Texas Bar Exam Results Unveiled

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Texas Board of Law Examiners has posted the list of individuals who passed the February 2017 bar exam.

Bad News: Rainmakers Aren't Lounging in Their PJs

Can we get real? The idea that lawyers can drop out of the rat race, run off with the firm’s clients and make buckets of money, all from their cozy apartment, beach house or suburban manse, is a fantasy.

America's Richest County Has 800 People—and One Lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

Kimberly Kay Krieder-Dusek does a little bit of everything in McMullen County, Texas.


Legendary Texas Lawyer Richard 'Racehorse' Haynes Dies

By John Council |

Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, the famed Houston lawyer whose dramatic courtroom style made him one of the most famous criminal defense attorneys in the nation, died today at the age of 90.

For Big Law Partners, a Trump Tax Giveaway?

Details surrounding the tax plan that President Donald Trump announced Wednesday are still sketchy. But one thing’s for sure: Partners at the country’s biggest law firms would enjoy a massive cut if the plan becomes reality.

Client Sues Divorce Lawyer Alleging Job Negotiations With Firm Representing Wife Was Conflict


A client alleges that he accepted his divorce lawyer's self-serving advice and took a low-ball settlement in his divorce, not knowing that the lawyer was secretly negotiating a lucrative job offer with the law firm that represented the wife. But the lawyer, James "Jake" Gilbreath and other defendants have denied everything.

Uber Takes to the Air, and Lawyers Take Notice

By Miriam Rozen |

Three years ago the legal issues surrounding drones had law firms creating new practice groups. Now some lawyers are seeing glimmers of a future when VTOLs—vertical takeoff and landing aircraft—may be both a transport option and a business opportunity for their firms.

Akin Gump partner James Tysse

Fifth Circuit OKs $600,000 in Attorney Fees for Akin Gump's Texas Marriage Equality Win


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ordered Texas to pay nearly $600,000 in attorney fees to Akin Gump lawyers who defeated the state's same-sex marriage ban nearly a year ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic Obergefell v. Hodges decision.

Partners, Gibson Dunn; Houston office..Bottom Row: left to right:  Mike Darden and Shalla Prichard. Top Row:  left to right:  James Chenoweth, Gerry Spedale, Hillary Holmes, Justin Stolte, and Tull Florey.

Gibson Dunn Nabs Six Baker Botts Energy Partners for New Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of six energy transactional partners in Baker Botts today joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's new Houston office.

Texas Supreme Court building

5 Rules of Insurance Bad Faith, According to the Texas Supreme Court

By Steven A. Meyerowitz, Esq., Director, FC&S Legal |

The Texas Supreme Court has issued a decision setting forth five rules about statutory bad faith under the state’s Insurance Code.

Do Women Really Choose the Pink Ghetto?

I know some people cringe when I use the term “pink ghetto.” I’ve been told it’s degrading, misleading, misunderstood. Maybe it’s not a politically sensitive term, but isn’t that an apt description for low-prestige, low-paying practice areas where women lawyers tend to flock?

Ronald Machen Jr., left, and David Ogden, right.

Wilmer Partners Win Tenet Health Care Work as Monitor Gigs Stay Hot

By Katelyn Polantz |

In another sign that independent monitorships are attracting top-shelf legal talent, Tenet Healthcare Corp. has tapped David Ogden and Ronald Machen to monitor its compliance under a non-prosecution agreement.

Should You 'Facebook' the Jury? Yes. No. Probably.

By Ben Hancock |

Social media is now a fixture in our lives. But court rules around researching jurors online still vary from state to state and judge to judge.

Rehan Alimohammad, partner at Wong Fleming in Sugar Land, Texas.

New Texas State Bar Chairman of the Board is First Asian and Immigration Attorney to Hold the Post

By Angela Morris |

The State Bar of Texas' board of directors accomplished a "first" recently by electing Rehan Alimohammad as its chairman of the board.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

FDCPA Ban on Deceptive Collections Practices Extends to Conduct by Lawyers in Court

By Shari Klevens and Randy Evans |

The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), which bans deceptive and abusive debt collection practices, is often viewed as a regulation targeting only debt collection agencies. However, a recent ruling in the Eleventh Circuit clarifies that an attorney's conduct in court may also violate the Act.

Tony Buzbee.

Houston Lawyer Tony Buzbee Donated $500,000 to Trump's Inauguration Committee

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The donation from Tony Buzbee, of the Buzbee Law Firm, came weeks after he said he could no longer support Donald Trump.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, Northern District of California

Breyer Denies Fee Motions in VW Diesel Fraud Case, But Opens Door for Lawyer to Seek Payment From Clients

By Amanda Bronstad |

The federal judge in the Volkswagen diesel emissions litigation has denied 244 motions for attorney fees but lifted an earlier injunction which had prevented law firms from suing their own clients for payment.

Judge James E. Graves, Jr., of the U.S.  Circuit Court for the Fifth Circuit.

Fifth Circuit Allows Woman to Sue Police For Five-Hour Warrantless Interrogation

By John Council |

A woman who witnessed her mentally ill father's fatal shooting by police officers—and was only narrowly missed herself—will be able to sue a Texas Ranger who later interrogated her for five hours about the incident without a warrant, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has said.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Proceeding Pro Se

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have once said, "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." That legal adage is precisely the subject of this week's episode of Bull.

Left to right: Kevin Jordan, Walter Lynch and Michael Cancienne, partners of Jordan, Lynch & Cancienne in Houston.

Three Baker Botts Partners Form Litigation Boutique

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts civil litigators Kevin Jordan, Walter Lynch and Michael Cancienne—partners in the firm's Houston office—have left to start Jordan, Lynch & Cancienne.

Symphony Tower at 1180 Peachtree St. in Atlanta, where King & Spalding has its offices.

King & Spalding Nabs Tort, Medical Device Group in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Six lawyers, including three partners, are leaving Norton Rose Fulbright for King & Spalding's office in Austin, Texas.

From Bridgegate to Bill O'Reilly, Probes Put Law Firms in the Hot Seat

For American media audiences, the Bill O’Reilly saga had pretty much everything, from sex and celebrity to money and politics.

Would Big Law Boot Bill O'Reilly?

First, I did a happy dance when I heard that Bill O’Reilly was getting booted from Fox News. Look, it’s been a brutal year for women—and, sadly, a fabulous one for male chauvinists of the “Mad Men” vintage. I won’t revisit all the indignities, but let’s just say that electing a man to the presidency who boasts about grabbing women’s genitals wasn’t exactly uplifting.

Jason Bloom, a partner in Dallas' Haynes and Boone.

Dallas Lawyer Gets Defamation Case Over Alleged 'Party-Crashing' Tossed on Appeal

By John Council |

A former Dallas Symphony Orchestra volunteer may have had reason for hurt feelings after D Magazine published an article implying he was a "party-crasher" who "blustered" his way into society photographs. But Jason Bloom recently convinced Dallas' Fifth Court of Appeals that the man who allegedly duped his way into Dallas society could not sue the magazine because the rhetorical flourishes used in the article did not amount to defamation.

Tom Melsheimer of Winston and Strawn’s Dallas office.

Newsmakers: Week of April 24

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Tom Melsheimer, one of the managing partners of the recently opened Dallas office of Winston & Strawn, has been elected to the firm's executive committee.

Lobbyists Enjoy the Ride as Uber, Lyft Push Texas Law

By Miriam Rozen |

"Biggest lobbying operation I've seen for a long time. They started early and worked hard," said a lobbyist for the City of Houston.

Back row from left: Jackson Gorski, Sarah Kelly, Mary Rios, Crystal Fletcher, Andrew Bernick, Mario Cantu, and TOJI Director Anne-Marie Rabago. Front row from left: Carolyn Cadena, Kori Martin, DeVondolyn Arrington, and Claire Vaho

First Participants in the State Bar Legal Incubator Program Help to Close the Justice Gap

By Angela Morris |

It's the first day of the rest of the lives of 10 lucky lawyers who are the first group of participants in the State Bar of Texas's new legal incubator.

David Wille of Baker Botts.

Dallas Attorney Secures $12.2 Million Award in Medical Device False Advertising Case

By John Council |

For 13 years, a small medical device company named Lexion Medical has relied on Dallas attorney David Wille to protect its intellectual property rights. And after building a case that a competitor's false statements caused Lexion's sales to tank, Wille persuaded a Delaware jury to award $12.2 million in damages in favor of his client.

Jeff Dorrill, third from the left, is pictured with some fellow members of the University of Alabama triathlon team at the Rocketman Triathlon in Huntsville, Alabama, in August 2016.

Tax Lawyer, 55, to Compete on University’s Triathlon Team

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Jeff Dorrill, a partner in Haynes and Boone in Dallas, will compete against athletes half his age in a national championship.

David Sochia.

McKool Smith MP on Market Doldrums, Winning on a Budget and Why Alternative Fees Aren’t the Answer

By Jenna Greene |

These are not the best of times for the business of litigation. Multiple reports in recent years have painted a similar, lackluster picture: the market is stagnant, with clients shying away from bringing new suits, keeping more work in-house and pushing back hard on costs.

(Clockwise from top left) Brian Martinotti, Vince Chhabria, Kentanji Brown Jackson, Paul Engelmayer, Indira Talwani, Gary Feinerman, Andre Birotte, and Lorna Schofield.

Meet the Next Generation of MDL Judges

By Amanda Bronstad |

Here’s a look at eight judges who are handling their first multidistrict litigation assignments and why they’re likely to be tapped again.

Houston IP Lawyer Sued by Former Firm Calls Allegations 'Baseless'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Erik Osterrieder, facing a suit filed by his former firm, alleges in an answer that claims that he "stole" client information and sent it to his personal firm are "baseless."

Houston IP Firm Sues Ex-Lawyer, Alleging She Steered Clients to Other Firms

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

JL Salazar Law Firm, an intellectual property firm in Houston, seeks up to $1 million in damages from former member Valerie Friedrich, who departed the firm on March 1.

Layne Walker of the Provost Umphrey Law Firm.

Fifth Circuit Tosses Malicious Prosecution Case Against Ex-Beaumont Judge

By John Council |

While a similar state law claim against him has been allowed to go forward, the Fifth Circuit has dismissed a federal malicious prosecution case filed against a former Beaumont state district judge who allegedly had a process server arrested for showing up at the courthouse to serve a lawsuit on him.

Addicted or Depressed Lawyers Need More than ‘Wellness’

Diet, exercise and stress-management activities are great, but they’re not a substitute for substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Plagiarism: Following the Rules Can Prevent Litigation

By Rogge Dunn |

We learn at an early age not to copy someone else's paper. Teachers mention this from the time we first learn to write. But plagiarism is more than just a moral or educational issue.

Austin, Texas.

Jackson Walker Poaches Energy Practice Trio in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three lawyers from Hays & Owens, an energy regulatory and litigation boutique in Austin, joined Jackson Walker's office in the city.

Wall or No Wall, Cross-Border Pipelines Keep Texas Lawyers Busy

By Miriam Rozen |

"A bunch of the anti-Mexico rhetoric that you heard from the president has now faded," says King & Spalding's James Bowe.

Jason Van Dyke

Attorney in Revenge Porn Twitter War Sues DA over Rescinded Job Offer

By John Council |

Plano attorney Jason Van Dyke thought he'd be starting a new job this month as an assistant district attorney in Victoria County so he shut down his solo law office and placed a contract on a house in what he thought would be his new hometown. But two weeks before Van Dyke was to start his new position, the job offer was rescinded with no explanation, he said.

Derek Potts, Potts Law Firm, Houston.

Houston's Potts Law Firm Opens Florida Outpost

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The 20-lawyer trial firm chose Orlando for its first East Coast office.

Dallas Lawyer Gets Greyhound Out of Case Over Crash Caused by Passenger Takeover

By John Council |

While United Airlines is facing major heat for kicking passengers off flights, Scott Self's bus company client got sued for allowing one to board: namely, a paranoid meth user who screamed "Everybody's going to die!" before grabbing the wheel from the bus driver and causing a crash that injured several people.

Will Law Schools’ LL.M Programs Suffer from Trump’s ‘America First’ Stance?

Law school administrators say concerns are growing from foreign students about how the myriad immigration and travel policies emerging from Washington could impact their plans to obtain LL.M degrees in the United States.

SCOTUS Takes Up Key Timing Question in Securities Suits

One of the first cases that Justice Neil Gorsuch will hear on Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court involves a procedural issue in securities class actions, an area of law that the new justice once criticized as a “free ride to fast riches” for the plaintiffs bar.

Gorsuch's SCOTUS Debut Offers Clues to Demeanor

New U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s first day on the bench Monday was no baptism by fire. The three highly technical cases argued before him produced no sparks or flames.

Facial Recognition Technology Used in Jury Consulting

Jury selection is generally a process relegated to psychology experts, folks trained to look at subtle body expressions and make assessments to help attorneys get an edge on the opposition. Analytics is thought to be based on hard calculus and objective criteria, completely distinct from the nuanced, emotional work of jury consulting, which makes The Jury Lab’s use of emotional facial recognition software for jury analysis a little surprising.

Second Circuit Revives Fraud Suit Against K&L Gates, Ex-Partners

A federal appeals court has reinstated a fraud lawsuit against K&L Gates and two of its former partners alleging that the attorneys exploited their past representation of a publishing executive to undermine his efforts to acquire assets from a bankruptcy sale.

G. Michael O’Leary, of Andrews Kurth Kenyon in Houston, Texas.

Andrews Kurth Sees IPO Appetite Return With Hess Midstream Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Hess Midstream Partners' initial public offering this month may signal a resurgence in IPOs for midstream master limited partnerships—along with billing opportunities for Texas lawyers in that practice niche.

Newsmakers: Week of April 17

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Aly Dossa has joined Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry in Houston as an equity shareholder.

Trump Company Faces $400k in Legal Fees to Fight $32K Lien

A Trump company fighting a roughly $32,500 bill could end up paying more than 10 times as much in litigation costs.

The United Airlines Fiasco Should Lead to Better Pay for Jurors

Writing for Bloomberg View, Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein said the simple solution to the outrage over Dr. David Dao being dragged off an airplane is to “substantially increase the compensation given to passengers involuntarily bumped because of overbooking.”

NY Judge's Suspected Suicide Shines Light on Silent Struggle

By John Council |

Judges are public figures, problem-solvers and make life-or-death decisions—all of which can make it difficult to seek help with depression or other mental health issues.

Should Firms 'Out' Lawyers on the Work/Life Balance Track?

This is either stigmatizing or wonderfully liberating. I’m talking about one firm’s policy of identifying lawyers who are on the work/life balance track. No ambiguity as to who’s gunning for partnership there.

Why is Flying So Terrible? Blame These Antitrust Lawyers

You don’t have to be beaten and dragged off a flight to conclude that flying coach has become a miserable experience these days. Wondering who to blame? Here’s a suggestion: antitrust lawyers.

Post-Shooting Courthouse Closure Doesn't Excuse Dallas Judge in Failure to Hold Hearing

By John Council |

Dallas' downtown civil courthouse was understandably closed for business on July 8, 2016 as police investigated a nearby sniper shooting that killed five of its officers. But that tragedy didn't excuse one Dallas civil judge from failing to holding a hearing in case according a recent appellate court decision.

Mark Lanier.

Led by Lanier, Tort Reform Foes Fete Republican Senator in Houston

By Miriam Rozen |

Here's a political riddle: What does Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have in common with Democratic-leaning plaintiff lawyers, including Lisa Blue, Mikal Watts, Bob Hilliard and Wayne Fisher?

Orlando Richmond at Butler Snow during talc powder suit

J&J, Backed by Battalion of Lawyers, Opens 5th Talcum Powder Trial

By Amanda Bronstad |

On the heels of a game-changing defense verdict last month, Johnson & Johnson came out swinging on Tuesday in the fifth trial over the safety of its talcum powder, with the company’s lead defense attorney telling a Missouri jury to prepare for a showdown.

MOSCOW - AUGUST 21, 2016: Aerial view to Moscow-city (Moscow International Business Center) over Moskva River. Moscow-city is a modern commercial district in central Moscow.

Diplomatic Breakdown Rattles Western Law Firms in Russia

By Miriam Rozen |

For U.S. and international law firms in Moscow, soured geopolitics are making a bad business situation worse.

Lawyer and Business Associate Plead Guilty to Fraud in $30M Central Texas Oil, Gas Scam

Prosecutors say a Central Texas lawyer and his business associate have pleaded guilty in a $30 million scam involving bogus oil and gas investments.

So Awkward! What to Do When a Justice Butchers a Pronunciation From the Bench?

Being human, U.S. Supreme Court justices sometimes make mistakes—including the mispronunciation of words or names during oral argument.

Scott Barnard, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump's Hometown Dallas Office Gets New Leader

By Miriam Rozen |

M. Scott Barnard has replaced managing partner J. Kenneth Menges Jr., who served in that role for 17 years, the firm said Wednesday.

Holland N. O'Neil

Gardere Reports 'Solid' Financials for 2016

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Revenue and profit were both up from the previous year.

Report: Dog Bite Claims Spike Nationally in 2016

Homeowner insurers felt the bite last year as dog bite cases jumped 18 percent across the country, spurring more than $600 million in claims—more than one-third of all homeowner liability claims for 2016.

What a Drag: Lawyers Tweet About United Airlines’ Passenger Pull

As a lawyer, you’ve likely done your share of traveling, and perhaps you’ve had the unfortunate luck of being on an overbooked flight, like United Airlines’ passenger Dr. David Dao. He was dragged off a plane on Sunday because the company had sold too many seats on the trip to Louisville.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Independent Counsel May be Obligated to Multiple Parties

By Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

Attorneys thus knowingly accept the benefits and risks of their client relationships. Attorneys may think, however, that the potential claimants are limited to those clients who directly retained the attorney. That is not always the case.

Layne Walker of the Provost Umphrey Law Firm.

He Got Served. What Happened Next Has Former Texas Judge in Hot Seat

By John Council |

Layne Walker, now an attorney with Provost Umphrey, is facing malicious prosecution claims for allegedly having a process server arrested in 2013 for showing up in his courtroom to serve a lawsuit.

United Airlines Airbus A320.

United's Social Media Response Ignores Reputational Risk

By Ryan McConnell and Meagan Baker |

We have all been there. The airline overbooks your flight and offers a $200 voucher to miss your flight and leave the next day. No one volunteers. Eventually, the voucher price creeps up enough (maybe a free night at the airport hotel is thrown in) and a passenger or two agrees to miss their flight. And, when no one volunteers, apparently, the airport police may drag a random passenger off the plane.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Courtroom Fashion

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

One character on "Bull" that had yet to take center stage is the team's in-house stylist, Chunk Palmer. Chunk's role is to ensure that the client's wardrobe matches the narrative that Dr. Bull constructs. While each episode has granted Chunk a few minutes of airtime, this week the entire plot focused on fashion. The case at hand involved the murder of a famous designer, and the episode was essentially an hour-long whodunit. The police have their man, but Dr. Bull is not convinced and takes up the defense.

John Helms is the principal of The Law Office of John M. Helms in Dallas.

Why I am Honest With my Criminal Defense Clients

By John Helms |

Aren't lawyers required to be honest with their clients? Of course. Does that mean lawyers are always completely honest with their clients? Unfortunately, my experience as a criminal defense lawyer indicates that some lawyers may not always be completely candid, especially when trying to get a client to hire them.

Newsmakers: Week of April 10

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Diana Marshall, principal in Marshall & Associates in Houston, received the 2017 Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award from the Anti-Defamation League on March 30. The award is presented annually to an outstanding member of the legal community who exhibits an exceptional commitment to equality, justice, fairness and community service.

Josh Blackman, assistant law professor, South Texas College of Law, Houston

South Texas Law Prof Becomes Go-To Guy for National Media

By Angela Morris |

As a rock star among the legal media, Houston law professor Josh Blackman is on a roll.

T. Gerald Treece, professor at South Texas College of Law.

John M. O'Quinn Foundation and Executor Settle Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Averting a trial, the John M. O'Quinn Foundation has settled a lawsuit seeking to remove T. Gerald Treece as executor of the estate of Houston trial lawyer John M. O'Quinn.

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco

Twitter Drops Suit Against DHS After Government Backs Off Demands

By Vanessa Blum |

Litigation is rarely the fastest way to resolve a dispute. But sometimes the threat posed by a lawsuit—and the publicity associated with it—can spur action more quickly than other tactics.

Judge Neil Gorsuch testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the second day of his confirmation hearing to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia at the U.S. Supreme Court. March 21, 2017.

Gorsuch's SCOTUS Vote Could Soon Prove Decisive on Many Cases

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro |

The final round of arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court this month will give soon-to-be Justice Neil Gorsuch opportunities to reveal how he would deal with a range of issues, including government support of religious institutions and requirements for securities and product liability claims.

Judge Neil Gorsuch testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia at the U.S. Supreme Court. March 20, 2017.

Welcome to the Fire Hose: What Awaits Gorsuch at the Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

Now that he's been confirmed by the Senate, incoming U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch won’t have much time for celebrating. He’ll need to get to work.

Mark Lemley

Federal Circuit Faces Facts: District Judges Call Shots on Fee Awards

By Scott Graham |

Appellate jurists suggest Eastern District ignored their instructions, but there's not much they can do about it.

Chris Hamilton, partner in Standly Hamilton in Dallas.

When Minutes Are Worth Millions — Timing of Pre-Hearing Settlement Can Mean a Lot

By Miriam Rozen |

One defendant settled for $1.2 million. Then, following a one and a half week hearing, a panel of three binding arbitration judges in a 2-to-1 ruling ordered a nonsettling defendant pay $18.1 million in damages.

V&E, Akin Gump, Advise on $3.3B Convenience Store Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represents Sunoco LP in its pending $3.3 billion sale of more than 1,000 convenience stores, some in Texas, to 7-Eleven, which turned to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Texas Supreme Court Considers No Geography Limit in Enforceability of Non-Competes

By Iona Kaiser |

The Supreme Court of Texas heard oral arguments on March 1 in a case that could expand the ability of employers to restrict future employment without any geographical limitations.

Stephen D. Susman

Susman Godfrey Rethinks Contingency Model, Looks to Oil and Gas Clients

By Miriam Rozen |

"I have 116 lawyers at this firm. They need to feed their families," says Steve Susman.

Dan Butcher, managing partner of Strasburger & Price

Strasburger & Price Reports Income Up Slightly But Revenue Flat in 2016

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gross revenue was unchanged at $93.5 million, but net income rose 1.9 percent to $27 million.


Texas State Bar Sunset Bill is Approved by Senate

By Mary Alice Robbins |

The Texas Senate has approved the State Bar of Texas sunset bill after adopting an amendment that partially restores bar members' right to vote on proposed dues increases.

Mississippi State Flag.

Fifth Circuit Rejects Black Lawyer's Challenge to Mississippi State Flag

By John Council |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has rejected an equal protection case filed by an African American attorney after ruling he couldn't prove he was injured by something that is displayed in every courthouse where he practices — the Mississippi state flag, which is adorned with the image of the Confederate battle flag.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Class Action Narratives

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

Dr. Bull returned after a brief hiatus to handle a class action.

Weird Science: Man Wants to Marry His Computer, and Judge Doesn’t Say No (Yet)

By Thomas Phillips |

A Utah man's quest to marry his laptop to protest same-sex marriage isn't an instant no-go for U.S. Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse, according to TV station Fox 13 in Salt Lake City.

Deborah Hankinson

Newsmakers: Week of April 3

Deborah Hankinson, former justice on the Texas Supreme Court, recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas Dallas, where she earned a master's degree in special education in 1977.

95th District Court Judge Ken Molberg

Dallas Lawyers, Judges Oppose Legislature's "Meat Axe" Approach to Civil Courts

By John Council |

Dallas lawyers and judges are banding together to oppose a move by the Texas Legislature to eliminate three civil trial courts in their city, an ill-conceived budget cutting measure they believe would cause a work pileup in a courthouse than hasn't had a new civil bench in 30 years.

Alberta Oil Sands Production.

Deal Watch: Five Firms Help ConocoPhillips Escape Oil Sands

By Meghan Tribe |

One of the world's largest independent oil exploration and production companies is bidding adieu to Canada's massive oil sands. Three leading Canadian firms and a pair of Am Law 100 shops have grabbed lead roles on a $13.3 billion deal by Houston-based ConocoPhillips' to unload the bulk of its assets up north.

Dallas Legal Market is Smoking Hot in 2017

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With firms opening Dallas offices and laterals moving from firm to firm, the Dallas legal market is in play in 2017.

Cybervillains Lurk on LinkedIn

By Steve Thomas |

Hardly a day goes by without news of another data breach, online scam, new malware threat, or other success story from the annals of organized cybercrime.

Seana Willing

The Enforcer: Seana Willing Is the One Lawyer That None of Texas' 3,800 Judges Ever Wanted to Cross

By John Council |

Now that she's left her job as executive director of State Commission on Judicial Conduct, judicial discipline may never be the same.

US Supreme Court Tackles Issue of Restaurant 'Tip Pooling'

By Marcia Coyle |

Ruling may have an impact on Texas as a tip credit state.

Updates in Federal Trade Secret Law

By Austin Champion |

With the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), federal courts are now wide open for trade secret litigation.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Cheers to The Big D

The Renaissance of Noncompetition Agreement

By Patrick J. Maher |

In Texas, the enforceability of noncompetition agreements ("noncompetes") has widely varied. By the end of the 1980s, noncompetes were highly disfavored by Texas courts. The Texas Legislature responded with the Texas Covenants Not to Compete Act. (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 15.50-52), which was intended to favor noncompetes. That Act required enforcement of noncompetes so long as they are (1) ancillary to an otherwise enforceable agreement, (2) serve a legitimate business purpose, and (3) contain reasonable limits as to time, and geography and scope of activity restricted.

Transportation Worker Prevails on Age Discrimination Claim

A maintenance assistant for the state Department of Transportation was awarded $254,440 on his age discrimination claim.

Kathleen J. Wu, a partner in Andrews Kurth in Dallas

Benign Neglect Is Just as Harmful as Overt Acts

By Kathleen wu |

When talking about gender bias, we tend to focus on acts of commission rather than acts of omission. But much of what harms women (and other underrepresented groups) is simply being ignored or left out of the room.


Newmakers: Month of April

Pamela R. Metzger, a criminal justice scholar, has been named director of the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law's new Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center.

Danielle Hunter, executive vice president, general counsel and chief risk & compliance officer at C&J Energy Services.

Meet the GC of C&J Energy Services

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Covering corporate law departments and in-house attorneys for Texas Lawyer and other ALM publications, reporter Kristen Rasmussen profiles Danielle Hunter, executive vice president, general counsel, chief risk & compliance officer and corporate secretary at C&J Energy Services.

Businessman texting

Sanctions Imposed Against Nonpracticing Entity, Its Principal and Its Lead Counsel in What Judge Gilstrap Found to be the 'Clearest Example of an Exceptional Case' Yet

By Mark Nelson and Heather Khassian |

On Jan. 25, Judge Gilstrap found plaintiff and its principal (Brian Yates) jointly and severally liable for $355,000 in fees and costs under 35 U.S.C. Section 285.

Michael P. Maslanka, assistant professor of law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

5 Questions to Help Determine If You Will Succeed as a Lawyer

By Michael P. Maslanka |

And now for "Aspiring Lawyer," in which a would-be lawyer declares to an already-admitted lawyer that she'd be fantastic, because behind Door No. 1: "I relish arguing." Or behind Door No. 2: "I have a photographic memory." Or behind Door No. 3: "A jury will just love me because everyone does." Or perhaps all three reasons plus "I want to make some serious coin."

Nada Culver, Senior Counsel and Director, BLM Action Center.

Trust a Roadblock for Ex-Energy Attorneys Seeking to Switch Sides

By Miriam Rozen |

The chances of success are narrow for lawyers who seek to switch from representing corporate energy clients to pursuing environmental and climate change advocacy. "There are a lot of trust issues that arise," said Lucy Deakins, a partner in Denver's Dunsing & Deakins, and former associate for Fulbright & Jaworski (now, Norton Rose Fulbright) who has failed to make such a transition, despite repeated attempts to do so. Some lawyers, including Michael Freeman, a staff attorney at EarthJustice and Nada Culver, senior counsel for The Wilderness Society, have overcome hurdles and won environmental advocacy jobs, despite having toiled for years in the corporate world. But they succeeded at that switch only after years of trying.

Retired Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jack Pope

Pets for Vets

Like most dog lovers, Jan Potts understands how owning a canine can improve a person's life.

Big Law Rainmakers Spill Their Secrets

What’s the secret to developing great client relationships? We asked the rainmakers. They told us it takes building your brand, fostering teamwork, understanding your clients, and yes, great lawyering.

Doctor Sues McGuireWoods for Legal Malpractice

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Bay City, Texas, doctor and his company seek more than $5 million in damages from McGuireWoods, alleging it was negligent when representing them in connection with joint venture contracts.

Houston Surgeon Wins $6.3M Defamation Verdict Against Hospital

By John Council |

Attorney Mike Doyle fought to admit medical peer review documents and said that evidence made all the difference in convincing a Harris County jury that the hospital conspired to wreck his client's medical practice.

Ken Paxton

Unpaid Bills Put Trial of Texas Attorney General in Limbo

By Paul J. Weber |

As courtroom twists go, this one is practically unheard-of: On the brink of bringing Texas' attorney general, Ken Paxton, to trial on felony securities fraud charges, the government's prosecutors are threatening to bail out of the case unless they get paid.

Lawyers Using Social Media Lack Framework for What's Allowed

In late January, a Google lawyer posted to her personal Twitter account a photo of herself and several colleagues outside the office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, asking the senator to vote against Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General. The Google employees arrived in person, the attorney wrote on her Twitter, because Feinstein’s office phones were down, and the team was “not taking any chances.”

If It’s a New Law Dean, It’s Likely a Woman

Six of the eight new law deans appointed this month are women, with a seventh taking on an interim dean role for the coming academic year. As of now, well over half of the new deans taking the reins starting this summer are women—an unusual development given the long-standing dominance of men in the top job on law campuses.

Negative Ratings

What's a Law Firm To Do About Anonymous Online Reviews? Sue, of Course

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A small Houston construction firm seeks damages from John and Jane Doe, alleging in a lawsuit that they authored false and defamatory reviews on various online websites.

Houston Lawyer Finds Way to Make Police-Shooting Case Stick

By John Council |

Steve Couch may have found a way to make police shooting cases viable—by suing the government for failing to take away a bad cop’s gun.

Facebook Photo of Judge Holding Beverage Is Not Proof of DWI Release Violation, Judge Says

Photographs posted on Facebook showing a judge holding a beverage at a Thanksgiving gathering don’t prove that she violated post-release terms of her earlier drunken-driving conviction, a court has ruled.

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

Texas Judge Ships Exxon Climate-Change Fight to NYC

By Miriam Rozen |

The move, opposed by Exxon Mobil, puts the AGs of New York and Massachusetts on their home turf as they try to enforce a subpoena for decades of records related to global warming.

Retailers Win Round in SCOTUS Credit Card 'Swipe Fee' Case

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a state law preventing retailers from telling shoppers they are imposing a “surcharge” on credit card purchases could be unconstitutional.

Coal-fired power plant on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Lawyers Backing Clean Power Plan Fight to Keep Appeal On Track

By Miriam Rozen |

Don't stop the game in the final minutes. That's the sports analogy that best fits environmentalist lawyers' reaction to a Trump administration bid to halt Clean Power Plan litigation pending in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Dallas, Texas.

Dallas' Increase in Lawyer Billing Rates Among Highest in Country

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A analysis of rates charged corporate legal department clients indicates rates rose 6.8 percent in Dallas in 2015 compared to prior year.

Plaintiffs lawyer Evan Fray-Witzer attached a photo of his cat in the court filing.

OMG! Lawyers Suing Buzzfeed Get Creative With Clickbait Court Filing

By Celia Ampel and Amanda Bronstad |

You won't believe what lawyers suing BuzzFeed in Miami court attached to a recent filing.

Donald Trump.

Communicate Like President Trump to Grab Your Jury

By Lisa Blue, Robert Hirschhorn and Kellye Raymond |

Simple Messages. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, every trial lawyer can learn from Donald Trump's communication techniques.

Tom Brandt.

By Defusing Emotion, Dallas Lawyer Wins Take-Nothing Verdict in School Sexual Assault Case

By John Council |

Tom Brandt, who has developed a reputation for defending school districts against heartbreaking allegations, discusses his latest win in a case involving a 14-year-old student who reported she'd been raped.

Lawyers Using Social Media Lack Framework for What's Allowed

In late January, a Google lawyer posted to her personal Twitter account a photo of herself and several colleagues outside the office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, asking the senator to vote against Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General. The Google employees arrived in person, the attorney wrote on her Twitter, because Feinstein’s office phones were down, and the team was “not taking any chances.”

Calculus Shifts in Texas Haze Fight Under Trump EPA

By Miriam Rozen |

"Hazy" pretty much describes the forecast after a ruling this month sending the Texas Regional Haze Rule back to the Environmental Protection Agency for retooling.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Bar Rules and Attorney-Client Agreements in Texas

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

In the world of business, parties can freely negotiate their contractual relationships, with few limitations. Attorneys are often called on to draft agreements, which specifically address their clients' unique needs and protect their interests. Although conventional contracts like employment and service agreements can be formulaic, there is always room for negotiation and few limitations on the permissible terms.

U.S. Supreme Court building.

Supreme Court May Preserve EDTX Grip on Patent Cases

By Tony Mauro |

During arguments Monday in the closely watched TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, several justices seemed resistant to shaking up the status quo, which allows broad latitude in where patent cases may be filed.

 Scott Pruitt.

Labor, Other Legal Groups Prepare for New Chapter in Clean Power Fight

By Miriam Rozen |

Lawyers in the fight had already begun writing motions and responses, even before Scott Pruitt, the Trump-appointed director of the EPA, announced that the White House would issue an order on March 27 withdrawing the Clean Power Plan.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, left, and Travis County Criminal District Judge Julie Kocurek, right.

Judge Kocurek Testifies Before the Senate State Affairs Committee to Support Security for Texas Jurists

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Kocurek was coming home from a high school football game with her family in late November 2015 when she was attacked outside her home. Bullets hit Kocurek in the arm and hand, causing her to lose a finger.

Newsmakers: Week of March 27

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Tyler VanHoutan has joined the intellectual property litigation and patents department at McGuireWoods in Houston. VanHoutan is joining the firm as a partner. He has handled investigations before the International Trade Commission and litigation in federal courts across the country.

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

Irritated 5th Circuit Kicks Structured Settlement Purchasers' Duel Out of Federal Court

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The panel said they were not happy that jurisdiction was "a late show-up" after nearly four years of litigation.

U.S. Supreme Court building

Patent Lawyers, Anticipating a Shake-Up, Warily Watch SCOTUS

By Scott Graham |

The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to reassert a previous interpretation of the rules, which limited patent suits to the districts where companies are incorporated.

Texas Capitol

Texas Bill Would Mandate Insurance Coverage for 3-D Mammograms

By Victoria Prussen Spears, FC&S Legal |

A bill pending in the Texas legislature would, if adopted, require certain health insurance plans to cover three-dimensional mammograms for women.

‘Lawyers Behaving Badly’: Firm Sues Former Lawyer, Alleging He Stole Client Information and Operated His Own Firm on the Side

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston trial and intellectual property firm sued former lawyer Erik Osterrieder, alleging he took confidential client information and stored it "off-site" at his private firm.

Four Pitfalls to Avoid in a Cyberinsurance Policy

By Stephen T. Raptis |

As more and more companies enter the burgeoning cyberinsurance marketplace, they often ask policyholder counsel like me how they can choose the best cyberpolicy when confronted with so many choices. When the marketplace was still in its infancy just a few years ago, this was a considerably harder question because the policy forms, including the scope of first party and liability coverages being offered by different insurers, varied so drastically.

Robin Cohen, partner at McKool Smith in New York City.

When Insurers Refused to Pay Verizon’s $48M Legal Bill, This Lawyer Hit Back

By Greg Land |

McKool Smith insurance recovery practice head Robin Cohen won big in Delaware, forcing insurers to pay Verizon's massive legal bill to several elite firms that successfully defended the company after a failed spin-off.

Lawyers Sound Off on First-in-a-Decade Class Action Changes

A professional objector arrested at a Red Roof Inn. A plaintiff who bought 35 cell phones and phone numbers just to troll for lawsuits. And a futuristic vision of class notices that sound like they’re straight out of the film “Minority Report.”

Environmentalists, Energy Industry, Press for Better Texas Railroad Commission Database

By Miriam Rozen |

For the Texas Railroad Commission, there is one proposed reform that appears on the wishlists of both energy industry and public watchdog groups. It's the creation of a searchable data base, particularly about complaints filed, and which, if properly developed, would be useful for lawyers who represent clients before the Texas Railroad Commission.

Some of Varsity Brands' designs.

Did SCOTUS Miss Chance to Fine-Tune IP Protection for Apparel?

By Scott Graham |

While the U.S. Supreme Court's copyright decision on cheerleader uniforms strengthens IP protection for fashion designers, some copyright lawyers said the high court missed a golden opportunity to provide more clarity.

Natalie Nanasi, assistant professor of law, director, Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women at SMU Dedman School of Law, with students at the Karnes City Family Detention Center.

SMU Law Professor, Students Volunteer to Help Detained Immigrants

By Angela Morris |

Ever since she moved to Dallas, law professor Natalie Nanasi wanted to take students and volunteer to help immigrant mothers and children gain release from detention in South Texas. Nanasi said she took the idea off the back burner after President Donald Trump's election.

McDonald's Trump Tweet Reveals Social Media Dangers for Legal

By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez |

A recent tweet from McDonald's shows how important it is to have a plan to handle—and sometimes vet—social media at companies.

Dale Jefferson.

Houston Lawyer Admits Mistake, Tells Client He Can 'Sue My Law Firm For Legal Malpractice'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Louisiana man, injured in an offshore platform accident in 2014, seeks more than $1 million from Houston plaintiffs firm and two lawyers.

Barry Smitherman.

Ex-V&E Partner in Limbo, Awaiting Trump's Nod for Regulatory Post

By Miriam Rozen |

Austin partner Barry Smitherman resigned from Vinson & Elkins in January and was said to be in line to run the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Weeks later, he's mum on his prospects.

House Committee Reviews Bill That Would Affect Around 100K Lawyers

By Mary Alice Robbins |

A House committee on March 21 got its first look at a bill that would take away State Bar of Texas members' right to vote on increases in their dues and require all approximately 100,000 of them to be fingerprinted.

Texas Judge Denies Emergency Request to Block DOL Fiduciary Rule

By ThnikAdvisor |

Plaintiffs failed to satisfy four factors required to obtain an injunction pending appeal

Rex Tillerson.

Tracking 'Wayne Tracker': State AGs Targeting Email Trail of Tillerson's Alleged Alter Ego

By Miriam Rozen |

Hard-luck reporters assigned to the State Department who must chase reticent Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for his rare comments now have company: the lawyers lining up to learn what "Wayne Tracker" had to say.

Mark Kelly of Vinson & Elkins.

Vinson & Elkins Has 'Best Year Ever' in 2016, Reports Record Financial Results

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Houston-based firm's profits per partner exceeded the $2 million mark in 2016.

Understanding Your Efforts Clause

By Curtis R. Waldo |

Litigators familiar with pharmaceutical collaboration and merger agreements have surely run into the ubiquitous "efforts" clause.

HERSHEY, PA - DECEMBER 15, 2016: President-Elect Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he arrives on stage to deliver a speech at a Thank You tour held at the Giant Center.

Trump Comments Highlight Need for a Plan When Clients Go Rogue

By Cogan Schneier |

Attorneys said there's little they can do when it comes to controlling what a client says publicly, but they still have a plan to handle the ensuing controversy.

Michael S. Goldberg, a partner in the Houston and New York offices of Baker Botts.

Baker Botts Helping Cobalt with Feds' Probe into Angolan Payments

By Miriam Rozen |

Baker Botts' client Cobalt International Energy disclosed that SEC has initiated an "informal inquiry" about Cobalt's payments for a technology center in Angola.

Lawyer, Lawyer, Pants on Fire

By John G. Browning |

I've seen some strange things in the courtroom, and I've occasionally listened to an adversary's closing argument and thought how appropriate it would be for him to be struck by lightning or for his pants to catch on fire. But I never thought it would actually happen. Too bad I wasn't in a courtroom in Miami in March watching 28-year-old lawyer Stephen Gutierrez make his closing argument when his pants suddenly caught fire.

Newsmakers: Week of March 20

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Timothy C. Langenkamp has joined Bracewell's Houston office as a partner and is part of the firm's corporate and securities practice. He focuses his practice on the energy industry.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch meets with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

Here's What to Expect at Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing

By Tony Mauro |

Apart from political fireworks, we predict long-winded statements from senators, careful answers to questions about hot-button issues, and plenty of tributes to the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Legal Services Corporation offices at 3333 K Street, N.W. in Washington, D.C. March 18, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Legal Services Corp., Under Trump, Faces New Threat to Existence

By Marcia Coyle |

The Legal Services Corp., created in 1974 under the signature of President Richard Nixon, is once again on the chopping block as another Republican president—Donald Trump— proposes to zero out its funding in his first budget. The group’s 2017 budget request was $502 million.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht

Chief Justice on Proposed Legal Aid Cuts: 'You Can't Just Be for the Rich Folks'

By Angela Morris |

Justice Nathan Hecht said it's critical to keep access to justice for the very poor.

Texas Couple Accused of Cyberbullying 18-year-old to Suicide

A Texas couple are charged with driving a teenager to commit suicide in front of her family.

11 Bikers Sue Over Arrests After Texas Bar Shootout

A federal civil right suit claims Waco officials and others are liable for the arrests of motorcyclists after a deadly bar shootout.

Jeffrey Melcher, Atlanta.

Wilson Elser Enters Atlanta With Defense Litigation Focus

By Meredith Hobbs |

Fast-growing Wilson Elser has opened an Atlanta office—its first in the Southeast—with a six-lawyer team from Gordon & Rees led by Jeffrey Melcher.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye

California Chief Justice Accuses Feds of 'Stalking' Immigrants at Courthouses

By Cheryl Miller |

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on Thursday accused federal authorities of "stalking undocumented immigrants" at state courthouses to make arrests. In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Cantil-Sakauye said the use of California trial courts "as bait" is generating mistrust of the judiciary.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith.

When Are Degrees From SMU and Yale Not Enough Education?

By Miriam Rozen |

When are degrees from Yale and Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law not enough education? When they are held by that U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science Committee, according to 314 Action, a nonprofit advocacy group for promoting science education.

Remington Model 700

This Factor Is Drawing Increasing Scrutiny in Class Action Settlements

By Amanda Bronstad |

The claims rate, or percentage of class members filing actual claims, can often run under 1 percent. That's getting more attention from judges, Congress and the FTC.

National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

Dozens of Companies Await SCOTUS Ruling on Workplace Class-Action Bans

By Marcia Coyle |

Dozens of companies in retail, banking, health care and technology await the U.S. Supreme Court's answer to whether workplace arbitration agreements that ban class actions violate federal labor law.

Texas A&M University School of Law Dean Andrew Morriss.

How Did Texas A&M Law Crack US News' Top 100?

By Angela Morris |

The law school reached a goal officials set in 2012.

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

Business Groups Want Texas Court to Freeze Fiduciary Rule

By Melanie Waddell |

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and industry groups are urging a Texas federal judge to block an Obama-era retirement advice rule pending an appeal and as federal regulators consider halting implementation of the rule for 60 days.

Dorsey & Whitney Adds 10 More Lawyers in Dallas

Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney has added 10 more lawyers to its new Dallas office, which opened Wednesday with a total of 15 lawyers who formerly worked at Schiff Hardin in Dallas.

Jani Maselli Wood

A $13.07 Win Could Save Millions for Criminal Defendants in Texas

By John Council |

Perhaps no lawyer ever has fought harder to win $13.07 for her client than Jani Maselli Wood. For years Wood, a Houston public defender, has waged a one-woman battle against the consolidated court fees assessed to convicted criminal defendants — money that is collected and divided up in different government accounts that are supposed to be dedicated to legitimate criminal justice purposes.

Diana Liebmann, partner at Haynes and Boone in San Antonio.

Five Reasons Why Wind Power's Prospects Are Bright in the Era of Trump

By Miriam Rozen |

Diana Liebmann, a partner in Haynes and Boone, who has developed the firm's electrical power legal practice from scratch, and knows that the Lone Star state ranks top in the nation for producing wind energy.

Timothy Davis, with Cantey Hanger

Newsmakers: Week of March 13

Timothy Davis has joined Cantey Hanger in Fort Worth as a partner in the firm's litigation section. In his litigation practice, Davis focuses on commercial, health care and employment matters.

The Chief Efficiency Officer's Role in E-Discovery

By Lauren Abeyta |

Whether you are in-house counsel of a corporation or a partner of a law firm, you are always on the hunt for two elements which seem to be in short supply: time and money. Legal budgets are heavily scrutinized and legal departments are operating with a leaner staff. Partners are focused on increasing revenue and staffing their matters as efficiently as possible.

Judge Jerry Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. (2009.)

Fifth Circuit Judge Assails DOJ 'Arrogance' in Voting Rights Case

By Miriam Rozen |

Departing from his colleagues in a redistricting ruling, Judge Jerry Smith said the DOJ lawyers left the impression that they viewed state officials as "backwoods hayseed bigots."

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

Creditor Exclusion: The Perils of D&O Coverage

By Shmuel Vasser and Yehuda Goor |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that a Creditor Exclusion provision in a directors and officers (D&O) insurance policy may result in significant limitations on the coverage provided to the D&Os, when the underlying dispute is with a creditor acting in its creditor capacity.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Special Prosecutors, Citing Lack of Pay, Seek Delay of Paxton Trial

By Miriam Rozen |

Special prosecutors asked for a postponement of the criminal trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton citing their lack of compensation as the reason for the delay.

More Than 150 Law Firm Leaders Urge Govt to Continue Funding of Legal Services

Leaders of more than 150 U.S. law firms with offices in all 50 states sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget Thursday, urging it to continue funding the Legal Services Corp.

Jeffrey Scott Kelly's payment in pennies.

Round 2 in Sanctions Fight Against Penny-Paying Lawyer

By Angela Morris |

If an Austin lawyer wins sanctions against from his client's former attorney, he'll make a point—spelled out in a proposed order—that the sanctions must be paid by check.

Donald J. Guter, president and dean of South Texas College of Law Houston.

Houston Schools End Trademark Dispute

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

South Texas College of Law Houston and the University of Houston complete settlement of trademark litigation over the law school's name change.

U.S. Justice Department

US Implicates In-House Lawyers at China's ZTE in Sanctions Case

By Sue Reisinger |

Inside the billion-dollar plea agreement this week between the U.S. government and the Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp. sits a tale of lawyers gone bad. And at least one who didn't. U.S. authorities pointed fingers at in-house lawyers for their alleged roles in a scheme to violate trade sanctions.

U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Chamber Cheers and Advocates Fret as House Passes Sweeping Class Action Reform

By Amanda Bronstad |

Proponents of the measure bashed plaintiffs lawyers and said the bill would help stamp out frivolous suits. Opponents, calling the bill a "corporate handout," lament that it will hamper legitimate cases.

With ‘Eyes Wide Open,’ Blind Lawyer Recounts SCOTUS Clerkship, Unhappy Law Firm Life

Isaac Lidsky, who in 2008 became the first blind U.S. Supreme Court law clerk, has authored a book that comes out March 14 urging everyone to make choices in life with their “eyes wide open”—a phrase that happens to be the title of his new work.

Winston & Strawn's Washington, D.C. offices on K Street.

Winston & Strawn Adds Three More Partners in Dallas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Winston & Strawn brought on three more lateral partners for its new Dallas office.

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

Texas Federal Judge Allows 10 to Sue Baylor Under Title IX in Alleged Sexual Assault

By John Council |

A Texas federal judge has ruled 10 female plaintiffs may pursue Title IX claims against Baylor University over allegations that its inadequate response to attacks by fellow students created a heightened risk of sexual assault on campus.

Arabella Mansfield (1846–1911) First female lawyer in the United States.

International Women’s Day: You’ve Come a Long Way, Counselor

On International Women’s Day, let’s take a moment to remember the female lawyers who made U.S. history as firsts in their field. We’ve limited the list to those women who are no longer with us, with one notable exception.

Sanctions Imposed on Insured’s Attorney for Email He Sent in Insurance Coverage Dispute Are Upheld by Texas Appeals Court

By Steven A. Meyerowitz, Esq., Director, FC&S Legal |

A case that might otherwise have been considered a rather run-of-the-mill insurance coverage dispute instead has turned into an important story about a Texas trial court’s imposition of sanctions on an insured’s attorney for sending an email – and of the appellate court decision upholding those sanctions.

'There are enough ambitious men around' - female practice heads on making it to the top

By Anna Ward |

Despite efforts to boost diversity, men still outnumber women more than five to one when it comes to running global practices at the UK’s top law firms. Here, Legal Week speaks to some of those who have made it about how they achieved success, the reality of their roles and their advice to the next generation.

Haynes and Boone managing partner Timothy Powers.

Gross Revenue, Net Income Up at Haynes and Boone

By BRenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Tim Powers, managing partner of the Dallas-based Haynes and Boone, said the firm added laterals in 14 of 15 offices in 2016.

Texas High Court Tells BP Let Jury Decide on Lease Terms

By Miriam Rozen |

The Texas Supreme Court has rejected BP America Production Co.'s request that the justices take away decision-making power from juries.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works during a hearing on his nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

See You in Court: Environmental Groups Pledge to Fight Deregulation

By Miriam Rozen |

Environmental lawyers are promising court fights and public backlash in the wake of a regulatory rollback. They even brought up the mother of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

After Racist Rant, Houston Lawyer Agrees to Pay $1,800 to Minority Bar Association

By John Council |

Gary Riebschlager referred to a South Asian defendant as "POS Paki" in an email and called for his deportation, invoking the name of Donald Trump.

Matthew Moore of Latham & Watkins.

Financial Institutions Bank Another Win Over Intellectual Ventures at Federal Circuit

By Scott Graham |

The court found three patents cover ineligible subject matter and the fourth is not clearly owned.

Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

Bharara Relying on Little-Used Cyberstalking Law in Bomb Threat Prosecution

By Andrew Denney |

Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office is prosecuting a Missouri man suspected of making bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers to harass his ex-girlfriend under a relatively little-used cyberstalking law generally intended to address intimate partner violence.

Amazon, Avoiding First Amendment Clash, Drops Objections to Echo Warrant

SAN FRANCISCO ­­— Amazon Inc. has agreed to hand over recordings from an “Echo” device that was in the home of a murder suspect in Arkansas, after initially resisting doing so on First Amendment grounds.

Three Questions Trump's New Order Injects in Travel Ban Litigation

Lawyers who have been challenging President Donald Trump’s policy suspending immigration from a group of predominantly Muslim countries say that the president’s revised executive order remains vulnerable to legal challenges.

Jonathan Judkowitz of Winstead.

Newsmakers: Week of March 6

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Jonathan Judkowitz has joined Winstead's Houston office as of counsel. He is in the firm's finance and banking practice group.

Mark Trachtenberg of Haynes and Boone.

Dozens of Texas Firms Join to Support Same-Sex Couples' Right to Employment Benefits

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Lawyers at a dozen Texas law firms joined in an amicus brief filed Feb. 27 with the state Supreme Court in support of same-sex married couples' right to the same employment benefits as opposite-sex couples despite the disapproval by some on religious grounds.

Tony Buzbee.

Buzbee, DA, at Odds Over DWI Prosecution

By Miriam Rozen |

Famed Houston litigator Tony Buzbee is accusing Harris County DA of "playing politics" by refusing to honor an agreement to expunge a DWI case.

Bill Jones, a partner with Barnes & Thornburg in Dallas and Washington, D.C.

Barnes & Thornburg Gets Energy Boost as Rick Perry's Ex-GC Joins in Texas, DC

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Bill Jones, former general counsel to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has joined Barnes & Thornburg in Dallas and Washington, D.C., as a partner in the government services and finance department.

Reid Wilson, left, and Tony Marre, right.

An Aging Wilson Cribbs and Goren Planned Ahead for a New Generation at the Helm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The story of how the Houston-based law firm was able to pass the mantle to a new generation demonstrates how aging firms can successfully plan for their future.

U.S. Capitol.

What Lawyers Need to Know About Tort Reform Push in Congress

By Amanda Bronstad |

We review four bills set to go before the House Rules Committee this week in one of the most comprehensive efforts at legal reform in more than a decade. Plus, a look at three bills in the pipeline.

How Two Big-Name Plaintiffs Lawyers Became Rivals Over NCAA Concussion Cases

By Amanda Bronstad |

Jay Edelson, the charismatic founder of Chicago’s Edelson PC, and Steve Berman, co-founder of Seattle-based plaintiffs powerhouse Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, saw different paths for the litigation—and different price tags for settlement.

Endangered white tiger housed at Landry's Downtown Aquarium.

Houston Lawyer Uses Anti-SLAPP Statute to Roar in White Tiger Case

By John Council |

Houston attorney Adam Milasincic just used Texas' Anti-SLAPP statute in the classic way: winning $624,000 on behalf of an animal rights group after they were sued by a corporation for speaking out about the treatment of four endangered white tigers housed in a private exhibit.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Justice Ginsburg to Teach Course Abroad for South Texas Law

By Angela Morris |

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court justice will teach in Valletta, Malta, about significant U.S. Supreme Court cases of the 2016 term.

Robert Giuffra, left, and Brendan Cullen, right.

Litigators of the Week: Knocking Out the Last of the Enron Suits

By Miriam Rozen |

Some wins take time. Sullivan & Cromwell partners Robert Giuffra Jr. and Brendan Cullen know that for sure--it took them almost 15 years to win dismissal of a would-be class action against UBS stemming from Enron's collapse.

Fort Worth, Texas.

Kelly Decker Leaves Decker Jones, Forms Decker Poole With Husband Olyn Poole

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Kelly Decker left the Fort Worth firm that has her grandfather's name to form a firm with her husband.

University of Houston Law Center, left, and South Texas College of Law Houston, right.

Tentative Settlement Reached in Trademark Dispute Over Law School Name

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The South Texas College of Law Houston and the University of Houston have reached a tentative settlement in a trademark infringement suit.


EDTX's Rodney Gilstrap Is Still America's Most Popular Patent Judge

By John Council |

While patent infringement filings are down both nationally and in Texas according to a recent report, there's still no question who the King of America's patent docket is: U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap of Marshall.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Judge Extinguishes SEC Case Against Texas AG


U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant wrote that Ken Paxton had no "plausible legal duty" to disclose his commission arrangements to investors who bought shares in a tech startup.

The Aftershocks of Big Law's Associate Salary Hike Are Still Hitting

By Hugh A. Simons |

Last year's associate salary increases could have a big impact on law firm profitability. Middle-tier firms may be especially vulnerable—unless they act quickly.

 U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos

Texas Voter ID Challengers Press On Despite DOJ's Shift in Stance

By Miriam Rozen |

Private civil rights lawyers may still prevail on a claim that Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against blacks and Hispanics when they passed the state's voter ID law, even though the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions-led Department of Justice has abandoned that argument.

Brian Buss, Chris Cravey, Danny Williams, David Wooten, Drew Kim, Leisa Peschel, all new partners in Jackson Walker, Houston

Jackson Walker Adds 6 IP Litigators in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Six intellectual property lawyers, led by Danny Williams, leave boutique Williams Morgan to join Jackson Walker in Houston.

Questions Over Energy Company's Partnership Unit Issuances Headed to Trial

By Tom McParland |

Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III is leaving for trial open questions regarding the propriety of partnership unit issuances Energy Transfer Equity made in the run-up to its since-scuttled merger with The Williams Cos. Inc.

Gibson Dunn Raids Latham for New Houston Office

By Brian Baxter and Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Michael Darden, chair of the oil and gas transactions group and co-chair of the oil and gas industry team at Latham & Watkins, is headed to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's new office in Houston. Gibson Dunn confirmed in February that it would hire eight oil and gas partners in the city, but declined to name them.

password cracking

When Lawyers Become Hackers

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

A look at how attorneys might find “ethical hacking” useful in the e-discovery process.

Gina Betts.

Dorsey & Whitney Adds 10 More Lawyers in Dallas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A total of 10 of counsel and associates join five partners, all from Schiff Hardin, at Dorsey & Whitney's new Dallas office.

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

Three-Way Race on Tap for State Bar President-Elect

By Mary Alice Robbins |

For the third time since its creation in 1939, the State Bar of Texas has certified a petition candidate for the president-elect race.

John Zavitsanos of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing.

Mixed Verdict in Row Over Trade Secrets Promises to Spur Epic Post-Trial Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

A two-week trial pitted a Schlumberger subsidiary against National Oilwell Varco, cost both well-lawyered sides each more than $1.3 million, and ended this week with a mixed jury ruling. The panel's ruling also has set the stage for post-verdict battle for the ages between the two energy companies, which are fighting about a worker who switched employers, leading to allegations of trade-secrets theft.

Brett F. Miller of Ward, Smith & Hill.

Newsmakers: Month of March

This month's moves, awards and promotions in the Lone Star state.

Pipeline Safety Regs Remain in Limbo Under Trump

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Operators of pipelines transporting hazardous liquids are waiting to see if President Trump makes good on his promise to reduce regulation by 75 percent, including amendments to rules enforced by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

In Litigation, Sometimes All It Takes Is Saying 'Sorry'

By John Council |

Even with a $1.6 million settlement offer on the table, an apology may be all that's needed to end a lawsuit.

Minor Drive-Thru Crash Yields Small Award

A jury awarded $582 to a woman who claimed several injuries in a rear-ender in a drive-thru lane at a fast-food restaurant.

Michael P. Maslanka, assistant professor of law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

Work Matters: Employment Law Predictions for SCOTUS

By Michael P. Maslanka |

What's up with employment law? As usual, lots. Let's get up to speed on three issues heading ultimately to SCOTUS.

Rankin Gasaway, SVP, GC and Secretary, 7-Eleven.

Meet the GC of 7-Eleven, Rankin Gasaway

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Covering corporate law departments and in-house attorneys for Texas Lawyer and other ALM publications, reporter Kristen Rasmussen profiles Rankin Gasaway, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at 7-Eleven Inc.

Yvette Ostolaza and Penny Reid.

Tips for Being Successful in Your New Role as Partner

By Yvette Ostolaza and Penny Reid |

Most young lawyers dream of the day they will make partner. It's a monumental milestone in your career that represents years of hard work, determination and dedication.

Class of 2017 Baylor Law student Lena Proft.

At Baylor Law, CLE Comes Before the JD

By Angela Morris |

Innovative program follows a nationwide trend of law schools focusing on developing students' professional identities as lawyers.

Michael S. Goldberg, a partner in the Houston and New York offices of Baker Botts.

Client Faces Death Because Prosecutors Hid and Shaped Testimony, Baker Botts Lawyers Say

By Miriam Rozen |

Almost 15 years ago, a jury convicted Linda Anita Carty of capital murder and put the former teacher, who is now a grandmother, on Texas' death row. According to Houston prosecutors' allegations, Carty, who was born on the island of St. Kitts, at the time a British protectorate, and holds British citizenship and a U.S. passport, went inside a neighbor's apartment, directed the victim's kidnapping and ultimately held a bag over the victim's head, causing her death in 2001—all to get possession of the murdered woman's infant child.

John Browning

Straight From the Department of 'Bad Ideas'

By John G. Browning |

As lawyers, one of the most frustrating parts of the job can be when you take on a client and are stuck dealing with that client's bad facts, poor choices, or the difficult-to-defend positions that he's taken. As a result, sometimes our job becomes one of damage control instead of cavalry riding to the rescue.

Oil Rebound Demands Preventive Maintenance for Contracts

By Michael J. Wray and Jacob C. Esparza |

As the recent Permian Basin buying spree and increased offshore capital expenditures by super majors reveal, the energy industry downturn of recent years may be turning a corner.

Texas Supreme Court Establishes a Pipeline-Friendly Threshold

By Joseph A. "Tre" Fischer III and Benjamin R. Rhem |

This decision concludes an almost 10-year saga, with the court restoring balance to the interests of pipeline companies and landowners and making it relatively easy to establish common carrier status in many cases.

A Shot of Red Eye

For the better part of two decades, the fight over the estate of late billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall has remained a fixture on Mike Wood's docket, a case that unwittingly turned the once little-known Houston probate jurist into the "Anna Nicole Smith" judge. And Wood has finally had enough of it.

2017 New Partner Survey: Smaller First-Year Associate Classes During the Recession Leads to Fewer New Partners at Big Texas Firms

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Nineteen of the 25 firms with the most lawyers in Texas made fewer new Texas partners in 2017 compared with 2016.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch meets with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

Neil Gorsuch ‘Piercingly Textual’ and Often Pro-Defense on Class Actions and Arbitration

By Amanda Bronstad |

Antonin Scalia led a revolution in class actions and arbitration. Will Trump’s nominee pick up the mantle?

Nancy Pritikin

5 Ways to Manage Unreasonably Aggressive People in Litigation While Maintaining a Healthy Emotional Balance

By Nancy Pritikin |

How does one effectively deal with an attorney bully?

Asbestos fibers

Lawyers Prepare for Appeal of $75M Asbestos Verdict

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The New York jury apportioned liability across four defendants.

Georgia State University College of Law is making its debut on the Go-To Law Schools. (Welcome!) The Atlanta school sent 6.9 percent of 2016 grads into associate job at large firms.

NLJ's 2017 Go-To Law Schools Sneak Peek—No. 41-50

By ALM Staff |

The waiting is the hardest part, and we want to make it a little easier. The National Law Journal’s annual Go-To Law Schools report will publish in full on Monday, March 6, but we’ll be providing a taste of the rankings throughout the week.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

More About Using 'Contract' Attorneys

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

This is the second article in a series about the use of contract attorneys by law firms. The previous article identified four risks associated with hiring contract attorneys: the duty to supervise; exclusive versus non-exclusive contract attorneys; contract attorneys and overtime; and documenting relationships. Those risks materialize in various ways. Wage and overtime claims, in particular, have become increasingly of interest to law firms after a number of high-profile wage and overtime claims by contract attorneys.

Kathryn Marietta, King & Spalding

Lawyers Share Good News for Offshore Drilling Clients

By Miriam Rozen |

Last year, a federal agency issued orders that would have required many clients to add additional and expensive bonding for potentially liabilities incurred when decommissioning such offshore rigs. Those are off the table for now.

Social Media Gets Some Respect from SCOTUS in First Amendment Case

By Tony Mauro |

Mark the date: Feb. 27, 2017, may go down in history as the day that social media—from Facebook to Snapchat, Twitter to LinkedIn—entered the pantheon of expressions deserving First Amendment protection.

Why Companies are Heading to Texas

By Lisa Brown, |

The swathe of companies that call Texas home has driven high job growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, where 117,000 jobs (annualized) were created from 2015 to 2016.

An Immigrant's Story: From The Fields of Mexico To a Landmark Idaho Supreme Court Ruling on a Disabled Worker’s Compensation Rights

By Steven A. Meyerowitz, Esq., Director, FC&S Legal |

This is the story of how Rodrigo Rodriguez, who was born in Mexico and who worked in the fields there as a young child, and who later immigrated to the United States, just litigated a landmark worker’s compensation issue before the Idaho Supreme Court – and won.

C. Wade Cooper.

Jackson Walker Posts Big Gains in Income and Revenue

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gross revenue improved by 11.3 percent at Dallas-based Jackson Walker in 2016, compared with 2015, and net income jumped by 26.2 percent.

Dallas Lawyer Wins High Court Ruling Allowing Suit Against Steak 'n Shake for Sexual Assault

By John Council |

There is a big difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault. That's the legal point Dallas solo Matt Kita made stick with the Texas Supreme Court recently when he convinced them to revive a civil assault case his client filed against the restaurant chain Steak 'n Shake after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by her supervisor at work.

Newsmakers: Week of Feb. 27

By MAry Alice Robbins |

J. Kevin Gray, an intellectual property transactional and patent attorney, has been named managing principal of the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson. Gray has served as assistant managing principal in Dallas for the past six years.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Strategic Misconduct

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

A glass skywalk connecting two New York buildings violently collapsed and killed 15 people in the opening of this week's episode of "Bull." The construction company had used inferior materials to secure the structure. It did so because the original materials were unavailable and they needed to meet a tight deadline. The government brought 15 charges of manslaughter against the developer, a fantastically wealthy real estate magnet named Andrew Withrow.

Michelle Hunter, executive director of the Texas State Bar.

State Bar's Executive Director Stepping Down

By Angela Morris |

After 20 years working at the State Bar of Texas—the past nine as its top administrator—Michelle Hunter has announced plans to retire as executive director to spend more time with her family.

Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III.

Glasscock Sends Question of Advancement Rights to Arbitration

By Tom McParland |

The Delaware Court of Chancery has sent to arbitration an advancement dispute stemming from the messy wind down of a hedge fund during the 2008 financial crisis, finding an agreement between the firm and its investors had overcome the presumption that the court should decide the matter of substantive arbitrability.

Bracewell's Revenue Drops, But Income and Partner Profits Rise

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

While gross revenue at Houston-based Bracewell dropped 6.6 percent in 2016 compared with 2015, net income improved by 1.7 percent.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Boyd.

Texas Launches Its Own Version of PACER, But Only a Few Lawyers Will Have Access

By John Council |

A dream recently came true for many for Texas lawyers as a database has been created that keeps track of all state and county court civil pleadings, much like the federal court's beloved Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). And the Texas Supreme Court just approved a rule that grants access to the new state system, but only to a few attorneys.

Protestors opposed to deportation policies demonstrated in front of the Homeland Security office in lower Manhattan on Feb. 16th.

Stepped-Up Immigration Enforcement May Strain Court System, Lawyers

By Andrew Denney |

The new immigration enforcement guidelines issued this week by the Trump administration may impose a heavier burden on the country's immigration courts, which are already overwhelmed by growing case backlogs and, in some locales, face a dearth of attorneys.

Sanford Wadler.

Ex-GC of Bio-Rad Secures Additional $3.5M in Fees in Whistleblower Suit

By Ross Todd |

Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. has agreed to tack on $3.5 million in attorney fees and costs to the $11 million tally it already owes former general counsel Sanford "Sandy" Wadler.

David Wynne.

After Demise of $7.5B Accord, Restaurant Chain Sues for Relief From Credit Card Company Fees

By John Council |

After a $7.5 billion antitrust settlement between merchants and Visa and MasterCard over alleged fee fixing blew up last year, some big businesses have chosen to file similar claims in state court, including Texas-based Luby's Fuddruckers Restaurants who recently sued the credit card companies in a Harris County district court.

Mark Sloan.

Thompson & Knight Posts Gains in Revenue and Income

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Following a strong 2015, gross revenue improved by 2.9 percent at Dallas-based Thompson & Knight in 2016, and net income increased by 3.5 percent compared with the prior year.

Texas A&M University School of Law

Texas A&M Law Offers Two Online Graduate Degree Programs


Students of two new distance learning programs at Texas A&M University School of Law might be separated by cities, states or even countries—but they'll still be bound together in their "cultish" identities as Aggies, said William Byrnes, who created the programs.

Is Change on the Way for Patent Litigation Venue Rules?

By John D. Simmons and Keith A. Jones |

Patent litigation may soon undergo a seismic geographical shift.

Dan Binstock of Garrison & Sisson.

Is Your Firm Guilty of Playing Lateral Partner Bingo?

By Dan Binstock |

In selling their firm to lateral candidates, firm leaders are often using the same pitches as their competitors. Recruiter Dan Binstock offers advice on differentiation.

A section of the existing Mexico US Border Fence at Donna, Texas/Rio Bravo, Mexico.

Eminent Domain Lawyers Get Ready for Trump-Era Work

By Angela Morris |

We talk to attorney Justin Hodge about how President Trump's policies might boost the business for Texas lawyers.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works during a hearing on his nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

Big Law Shrugs Off Disclosure of New EPA Head's Emails

By Miriam Rozen |

After the U.S. Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general, as the Environmental Protection Agency administrator this month, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, said Republicans "will rue the day that they had this nomination rammed through the Senate on the very day that the emails were being litigated in Oklahoma, in order to get ahead of any counterpressure."

Sunset Bill to Determine the Future of the State Bar Up for Review

By Mary Alice Robbins |

The Texas Supreme Court could change State Bar of Texas membership dues and other fees, without a vote by bar members, under a bill filed Feb. 20 by state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston.

Dale Wainwright.

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright Leaves Bracewell to Join Greenberg Traurig in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dale Wainwright, who served on the Supreme Court of Texas from 2002 to 2012, has joined Greenberg Traurig's Austin office to chair its Texas appellate group.

(Clockwise from top left) Roxanne Almaraz, David Runnels, Stuart Zisman, Cindy Lin, Jason Peters, and Darren Inoff.

King & Spalding Hires 6 Lateral Partners in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Lawyers from two big firms in Houston, Andrews Kurth Kenyon and Bracewell, move to the Houston office of King & Spalding.

Bankruptcy Judge Approves Energy Future Reorganization Plan

By Tom McParland |

A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved a restructuring plan that sets the stage for Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings Corp. to settle a dispute with creditors owed $800 million in make-whole payments.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch

What Energy Producers Need to Know About Trump's SCOTUS Pick

By Miriam Rozen |

Neil Gorsuch, a Colorado native and the son of the first woman to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, has a mixed record in cases that pit the energy sector against environmentalists and regulators.

(l-r) Daryl Lansdale, Peter Martyr and Andrew Giaccia.

It’s Official: Norton Rose Fulbright, Chadbourne & Parke Catch Merger Fever

By James Booth and Christine Simmons |

The year is already shaping up to be a busy one for Big Law combinations.

 Kervyn B. Altaffer of Altaffer & Chen.

Public Has Right to Videotape Police Action, Fifth Circuit Says


Citizens have a First Amendment right to film the activities of police officers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled.

Stephen Pezanosky.

Haynes and Boone Tracking System Shows Increase in Energy Industry Bankruptcies

By Miriam Rozen |

The number of bankruptcies among exploration and production oil and gas companies has quadrupled in the new year through Feb. 15, compared with the same time period in 2016, according to a tracking system developed by Stephen Pezanosky, a bankruptcy partner in Haynes and Boone's Fort Worth office, and other partners at the firm.

Eric Chenoweth.

Bentham Hires Yetter Coleman Partner as It Expands to Texas


Bentham hired Eric Chenoweth, a commercial and intellectual property litigator, after last week's announcement on the creation of a fund to back U.S. litigation.

Russell Munsch.

Munsch Hardt Founder Russell Munsch Dies in Plane Crash

By John Council |

Russell Munsch, who founded Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr in Dallas 31 years ago and represented a wealthy Texas oilman in one of the largest personal bankruptcies in history, died in a plane crash while on a golfing vacation in Australia.

Daniella Landers, left, and Bart Huffman, right.

Reed Smith Picks Up Four Lawyers in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With the four new hires, which include two partners, Reed Smith has 63 lawyers in its Houston office.

Andrew Baker

Nine Norton Rose Fulbright Energy Partners Jump to Baker Botts

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In a major lateral move in Texas, nine transactional partners who work in the energy sector have joined Baker Botts in Houston, coming from the Houston office of Norton Rose Fulbright.