Latest News

Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Apple Loses to Samsung in Supreme Court Design Patent Case

By Tony Mauro |

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

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

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

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

Faith Johnson

Former Judge Faith Johnson Appointed as Dallas County DA

By john Council |

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

Mark Lanier.

Q&A: Lanier on Billion-Dollar Verdicts and the Trump Effect

By SCOTT FLAHERTY |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

By Karen Sloan |

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

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

Supreme Court Dives into Patent Exhaustion with Printer Cartridges

By Scott Graham |

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

Billion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme Case Returned to Chancery Court

By Tom McParland |

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

Edward Blum.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Brian Loncar.

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

By John Council |

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

U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

Fifth Circuit Scraps $340M EDTX Antitrust Verdict

By Scott Graham |

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

Elite Law Firms Increasingly Suing Clients to Collect Fees

By Christine Simmons |

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

Business Demands Overshadow Cybersecurity Needs at Law Firms, Survey Finds

By Ricci Dipshan |

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

The VW logo of the brand

Independent Lawyers Ask for Fees in VW Exhaust Class Action

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

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

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

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

By Angela Morris |

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

Kelley Drye Enters Texas With Acquisition of 14-Lawyer Boutique

By Meghan Tribe |

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

Houston's Edison McDowell Expands to Southeast with Florida Hires

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Leading Ladies

By Heather Nevitt |

A Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

By Angela Neville |

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

Crazy But True Defenses

By John G. Browning |

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

To Self-Report or Not to Self-Report?

By Jason Varnado and David Woodcock |

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

Tracy Preston, general counsel for the Neiman Marcus Group.

Q&A With Neiman Marcus GC Tracy Preston

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Alfredo Ramos of Bernstein & Associates.

Newsmakers: Month of December

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

Lisa Blue Wins Prestigious Dallas Woman Lawyer Award

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

Mike Maslanka

The Goal for 2017? Practice the 'Big G'

By MICHAEL P. MASLANKA |

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

The Impact of the New TTAB Rules of Practice

By Scott Harper |

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

Top Women in Energy Law

By Staff |

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

Passenger Claiming PTSD in Motorcycle Fall Awarded $18.6M

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

Tracy Preston, general counsel for the Neiman Marcus Group.

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

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

By Gregory V. Novak and Matthew Frontz |

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

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

By Michael Nasi |

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

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

Self-Reporting of FCPA Violations on the Rise

By Kristen Rasmussen |

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

Three Firms Pump for Fees in Baker Hughes Fracking Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

November 29, A Big Day For Big Law Mergers

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

What's the Most Corrupt Country in the World?

By Sue Reisinger |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By Shonn Brown |

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

Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in New York.

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

By W. Gary Fowler |

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

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

By MARY ALICE ROBINS |

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

A Cowboy Shoot-Out Over Whiskey Commences in Texas Court

By Miriam Rozen |

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

L-R Mark Wasserman and Bryan Hughes

Sutherland and Eversheds Are in Talks to Combine

By Meredith Hobbs |

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

Houston's Legge Farrow Inks Merger With Leading UK Firm

By Chris Johnson |

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

Drilling Operations (North Dakota, July 2012)

Three Firms on $855M Permian Basin Acquisition

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Donald Trump

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

By Zoe Tillman |

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

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

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

Muslim Lawyers Plan Strategy for a Trump Era

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

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

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

Stanford Loses Bid to Get High Court Review of Conviction

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Newsmakers: Week of Nov. 28

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Healey Fights Order to Appear for Deposition by Exxon Lawyers

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Donald Trump.

Jones Day Partner Tapped as Trump's White House Counsel

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

President Barack Obama.

Five Labor and Employment Rollbacks That May Happen Under Trump

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

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

By Nicholas Bruch |

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Former Houston Controller Joins Greenberg Traurig

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

Help, a Customer Filed for Bankruptcy!

There are strategies to maximize your company's recovery.

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

By John Council |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Latham, Vinson Lead on $21B Pipeline Merger

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Clip from the movie

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

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

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

Texas Federal Judge Halts Obama Administration's New Overtime Rules

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Many Large Companies Are Slashing Legal Budgets, Study Finds

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

Voting booths

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

U.S. Department of Justice

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

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

Trump's Picks for Labor Board Could Raise Conflicts Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Quotable Jeff Sessions: Supreme Court Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JPMorgan Chase Settles Foreign Bribery Claims for $264M

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

Sources Say Shannon Gracey to Close By Year's End

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By John Council |

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

What Impact Will Trump's Policies Have on Immigration?

By Karen-Lee Pollak |

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

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

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

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

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

Arizona's Resnick & Louis To Launch Dallas Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

UNT Dallas College of Law

ABA Delays Accreditation Decision for UNT College of Law

By KAREN SLOAN |

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

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

By Angela Neville |

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

Lawyer Gets Green Light to Sue Gawker Over Rape Comments

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

Trump's Election Fuels Worry Over Lawyer Loan Forgiveness

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

Tetra Pak

China Fines Tetra Pak Record $97 Million for Antitrust Violations

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

Texas Firms Rank Last in Revenue Growth, Top Expense Management

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Texas A&M University School of Law

Texas A&M Launches Tax Law Clinic

By Angela Morris |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Couple Settles Suit Against Baker Botts Over Shared Email

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

Mary Jo White.

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

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

Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

Buzbee Frets Little For Plaintiff Bar Under Trump

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By John Council |

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

Move Over LSAT, There's Another Test in Town

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

United States Supreme Court

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

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

Campaign Statements Tentatively Allowed Into Trump University Fraud Case

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

What Trump Presidency Means for Lawyers, Clients and the Courts

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

Newsmakers: Week of Nov. 11

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Donald Trump.

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

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

Leah Aden.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C.

How GCs Should Prepare for Trump's ACA Repeal

President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something, well, more affordable. Beyond that broad declaration, though, Trump has been less than forthcoming with details about what exactly he would do, leading to widespread uncertainty in the health care industry. Nonetheless, there are many things companies, health care and otherwise, can be doing now to prepare for the potential dismantling of the six-year-old law, experts say.

U.S. International Trade Commission building.

Patent Hearing Raises Stakes for Clean Energy Competitiveness

The International Trade Commission will consider whether to block imports of a material used in lithium-ion batteries for violating a domestic company's patent.

Trump a Tort Reformer? Not a Sure Thing, Lawyers Say

The election of Donald Trump as president made it all but certain that conservatives will be joining the U.S. Supreme Court, but there is far greater uncertainty among tort reform groups and the defense bar when it comes to legislative and regulatory efforts aimed at curbing class actions and widening the use of arbitration.

Trump Win Is Bad News for Obama Court Picks

For the 52 nominees to the federal courts waiting for action by the U.S. Senate—some for nearly two years—last night’s Republican sweep of the White House and Congress spells the end for their hopes of making it onto the bench.

Five Possible Trump Nominees Who Would Diversify the Supreme Court

With speculation spreading across Washington about possible Trump administration nominees, at least one concrete list of names is already public: 20 people Trump would appoint to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Texas Immigration Lawyers Already Seeing Uptick in Calls After Trump Win

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Immigration lawyers in Texas would get a lot of work if Trump follows through on his campaign promise to enforce laws and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.

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

Veteran DC Lobbyist Leads Trump's Labor Transition Team

President-elect Donald Trump has named J. Steven Hart, a longtime Washington lobbyist who focuses on tax and employee benefits, as the leader of his labor transition team.

Arnold & Porter, Kaye Scholer Agree to Merge

Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer’s ongoing tie-up talks have finally been consummated, as the two firms announced Thursday morning their plans to combine on Jan. 1, 2017, into Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer.

In Trump Administration, Plaintiffs Lawyers to the Rescue?

“The courts have often served as a defense against injustice and abuse. They will need to do so again.” That’s what Paul Bland, the executive director of Public Justice, wrote Wednesday in his blog, where he pledged that the non-profit will “continue bringing, and winning, the most impactful cases.”

Trump Win Is Bad News for Obama Court Picks

For the 52 nominees to the federal courts waiting for action by the U.S. Senate—some for nearly two years—last night’s Republican sweep of the White House and Congress spells the end for their hopes of making it onto the bench.

Lawyer Who Served in Vietnam Helps Fellow Veterans

By Angela Morris |

Richard Pena's experience—his recollection of it all the more poignant as the nation recognizes Veterans Day on Nov. 11—changed his life, shaped his legal career and now fuels his passion to help today's veterans with their legal problems.

In Transgender Bathroom Battle, Federal Judge Sets Nov. 15 for Texas' Next Move

By Miriam Rozen |

This summer, President-elect Donald Trump recommended the government take no stance on the issue of transgender bathrooms. "There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate," Trump said.

Newsmakers: Week of Nov. 7

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Anne-Marie Rábago has been hired by the State Bar of Texas as the first director of the Texas Opportunity and Justice Incubator program.

President-elect Donald Trump with wife Melania Trump and son Barron Trump during an election-night rally.

Mostly Dismayed, Law Profs React to Trump's Win

Within hours of Donald Trump clinching the presidency, legal academics across the country were offering their thoughts on the outcome and parsing how a Trump White House will affect their areas of interest in the law.

U.S. Supreme Court.

Q&A: Why Supreme Court Was 'Pivotal' in Trump's Victory

McGuire Woods partner John Adams, a former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, says voters want a court that "does not step out as boldly."

Donald Trump

US Election Shock is Like Brexit All Over Again

A shock result following a highly divisive campaign with worrying racial undertones, stock markets crashing, currency tumbling, social media in uproar…anyone else getting a strong sense of deja-vu? The Dawn of Trump: It’s like Brexit all over again.

U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump's Win Will Change the Supreme Court, but Not 'Automatically'

President-elect Donald Trump said during the last debate in October that if he became president, the U.S. Supreme Court would "automatically" overturn Roe v. Wade, sending the contentious issue of abortion back to the states. But the high court does not make change "automatically"—or quickly.

Nothing Unusual in FBI’s Eight-Day Clinton Email Review: E-discovery Experts

In raw numbers, it can seem a daunting task: 650,000 emails, eight days, and arguably, one presidential election hanging in the balance.

Trump Poised to Have Huge Impact on Texas' Federal Judiciary

By John Council |

Whether lawyers like it or not, President-elect Donald Trump is poised to make a lasting impact on the federal judiciary in Texas. The state currently leads the nation with 12 federal judicial vacancies including two seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court and emergencies have been declared in all four of its federal divisions.

Mikal Watts, partner at Watts Guerra poses at his office in San Antonio.

Lawyers Jockeying Over Leadership of Taxotere Chemo Drug Liability MDL

By amanda bronstad |

Litigation over a chemotherapy drug that causes permanent hair loss has attracted an unusually large number of submissions from plaintiffs attorneys hoping to be appointed lead counsel, with an informal group led by Mikal Watts competing against a slate led by Karen Barth-Menzies and Christopher Coffin.

David Dawson

Texas Law Firm Leaders Focus on Energy, Mexico Relations Amid Trump Win

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Leaders of Texas firms expect the new administration will provide work in several areas including health care, energy, infrastructure and tax.

President-elect Donald Trump holds Vice-President-elect Mike Pence's hand as he gives his acceptance speech during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York.

Trump's Victory Will Reshape Financial Rules, Supreme Court

President-elect Donald Trump on the campaign called for the repeal of the Wall Street reform law Dodd-Frank, and he advocated for U.S. Supreme Court justices in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia. We take a snapshot of Trump's transformative regulatory positions as a new day unfolds in the nation's capital.

Federal Judge Denies Bid to Hold RNC in Contempt of Consent Decree Over Trump Poll-Watching Plans

A federal judge in Newark has denied a motion to find the Republican National Committee in contempt of court for cooperating with Donald Trump’s election day poll-monitoring plans.

Loose Talk Gets Dallas Lawyer's Client Out of $60,000 Settlement

By John Council |

The first — and really only — rule about confidential settlements is that litigants aren't supposed to talk about them. And when an opposing party did talk about a $60,000 settlement, Griffin Collie recently convinced Dallas' Fifth Court of Appeals that his client should be excused from paying it.

Hillary Clinton, left, and Donald Trump, right.

Behind Clinton and Trump, an Army of Lawyers on High Alert

If post-election litigation erupts, both sides have lawyers at the ready in key battleground states.

Attorney General Janet Reno, center, flanked by Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, left, and Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard, gestures during the National Summit on Children Exposed to Violence, Thursday June 24, 1999, in Washington.

'In the Room' With Janet Reno: Remembering the AG in Action

She had zero tolerance for politics and was driven by the impact her decisions had on real people, say the lawyers who worked with Reno at Main Justice.

Law School’s Presidential Poll Stands Alone

The 2016 presidential election is still a day away, but Charles Franklin crossed his election marathon finish line last Wednesday when the Marquette Law School Poll released its final predictions of the protracted campaign season.

Attorney General Janet Reno testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a oversight hearing on 1996 campaign finance investigation, June 27, 2000

Janet Reno Dies After Long Battle with Parkinson’s

Janet Reno was many things. A South Florida icon. The first woman U.S. attorney general. And the first woman state attorney for Miami-Dade County. Reno died Monday after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 78.

Baker Hughes

GE's Proposed Baker Hughes Tie-Up Could Invite Regulatory Scrutiny

By Angela Neville |

General Electric Co.'s oil and gas business and Baker Hughes Inc. announced in late October their agreement to create a global oilfield technology giant with $32 billion of combined revenue and operations in more than 120 countries.

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

South Texas College of Law Announces New Name to End Trademark Row

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Amid a trademark dispute with another local law school, South Texas College of Law announced a new name that tacks Houston onto the end of its old name.

Latin America's Continued Cooperation with the U.S. Hinges on Election

The United States' relations with Latin America will pivot on Tuesday's U.S. election, a Brookings Institution foreign policy expert said Monday.

Texas Supreme Court building

Trump's Shocking Victory Helps GOP Win All Major Texas Judicial Elections

By John Council |

In helping push Donald J. Trump to a shocking presidential victory on Tuesday, Texas Republican voters also made sure that all of the state's most important judicial seats remained firmly in the hands of the GOP.

Lynne Powers, an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Houston, Texas.

Meet the Woman With the Highest Score on the Texas Bar Exam

By Angela Morris |

Lynne Powers is remarkable in more ways than one. Even though she earned her law degree outside the Lone Star State, she snagged the highest score on the Texas bar exam.

Penn State Fined Record $2.4 Million for Its Handling of Sandusky Allegations

Penn State has been hit with a $2.4 million fine for ignoring many duties the university is required to do under the Clery Act, AP reports. The fine issued is the largest under the law.

Outrage Spreads over Law Prof’s Blackface Costume

The legal academy is responding with outrage and disgust that a white professor at the University of Oregon School of Law wore blackface to an off-campus Halloween party attended by some fellow law faculty and students.

Religious Health Care Systems Push Back Against Pension Suits in Supreme Court

Three religious-affiliated, nonprofit health care systems are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step into a multimillion-dollar battle with two plaintiffs firms that claim the pension plans of the medical networks are not exempt from federal law.

John Paul Stevens, Lifelong Cubs Fan, on Staying Up Late for ‘Wildest’ Game

Chicago Cubs fans who clung to their seats Wednesday night—wherever those seats were—had some high-powered company rooting for the World Series winners: Justice John Paul Stevens.

Adderall in Law Schools: A Dirty Little Secret

It’s a law student’s steroid. Adderall, the drug of choice for nearly all law students who admit to using prescription medication without a doctor’s approval, is attributed with intensifying focus, stimulating thought and eliminating the need for breaks or sleep.

Stephen Susman, partner at Susman Godfrey (Photo by C2 Photography).

Check Out Stephen Susman's American Lawyer Lifetime Achiever Acceptance Speech

After winning what was then the highest jury award ever in the United States, Stephen Susman went on to open his own firm and pioneer the use of contingency fees in big commercial litigation.

K&L Gates Gives $10M to Client Carnegie Mellon for AI Study

In the same year K&L Gates helped client Carnegie Mellon University secure a $750 million patent infringement settlement that netted the firm $210 million in fees, K&L Gates is giving back to its client in the form of a $10 million endowment to study the ethical implications of artificial intelligence.

As Election Nears, Obama’s Legacy on Federal Courts Comes Into Focus

A president’s judicial picks are an imperfect lever for shaping policy. And yet their influence long outlasts any executive’s time in the White House. With the clock ticking down on Barack Obama’s presidency, we examine the stamp he leaves on the nation’s courts.

Obama Years Brought Crucial Boost to Border Benches

During his eight years in office, President Barack Obama filled crucial judicial vacancies in districts along the U.S. border with Mexico, where immigration matters make up a large part of the docket.

Texas Bar Pass Rates on the Rise, Latest Results Show

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Results of the July 2016 Texas Bar Examination are posted on the Texas Board of Law Examiners website.

Federal Circuit Softens Stance on Patent Eligibility

For the fourth time this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has rescued software patents that a district found ineligible for patenting.

Gawker Ends Legal War With Hulk Hogan and His Billionaire Backer

Former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan agreed to settle his case against Gawker Media for $31 million, according to bankruptcy court documents filed Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton. Shutterstock

Understanding the Reality of Review in the Clinton Email Investigation

The data set is relatively small, but other factors may push answers beyond Election Day.

Law’s Culture of Wimpiness

How ironic that lawyers have reputation as pitbulls who can’t resist a tough fight. From my perch—as a former lawyer and current journalist—I’d say the opposite is often true. Although lawyers can be royal pains in advocating for their clients, there’s also a side of them that’s oddly passive-aggressive and, sometimes, just cowardly.

Newsmakers: Week of Oct. 31

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |
A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

Porter Hedges, Latham Advise on Marcellus Joint Venture Split

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Lawyers who helped Noble Energy of Houston and Pittsburgh-based CONSOL Energy form a natural gas joint venture in the Marcellus Shale in 2011 are now working to split the two companies' operations.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Coerced Confessions

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

Dr. Bull and his team were back at it again, this week dealing with the issue of coerced confessions.

Cravath, Hogan Lovells Advise on $1.5B Crown Castle Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston's Crown Castle International Corp. is acquiring FPL FiberNet Holdings from Florida's NextEra Energy.

How Obama Reshaped the Federal Courts

President Barack Obama sought to expand the representation of women and minorities on the federal bench, and many consider diversity gains his most important legacy on the courts. By the numbers, 42 percent of Obama’s judicial appointees are women and roughly 37 percent classify themselves as a race or ethnicity other than white.

Are Obama Judges ‘Less Friendly’ to Business?

President Barack Obama’s appointees to the federal appeals courts have started to leave their mark on the business world, to the chagrin of corporate executives. Appellate lawyers say it’s too early to see major swings in the law, but individual rulings on labor, class actions and administrative law show signs of a shift to the left.

Fifth Circuit bench Texas Judges Stephen A. Higginson, James E. Graves Jr. and Gregg J. Costa.

Obama Judges Lead Fifth Circuit Toward Center

By Miriam Rozen |

In the last eight years, the Fifth Circuit bench has begun shifting away from predictable conservative patterns, appellate lawyers said.

David J. Beck, co‐founder and partner of Beck Redden in Houston

Jury Hands Up $43M Verdict in Oil Patch Contract Dispute, But Lawyers Disagree Over Its True Value

By Miriam Rozen |

Susman Godfrey lawyers secured a $43.2 million verdict for their client, Apache Deepwater, against W&T Offshore. That outcome followed a two-week trial in Houston federal court about an oil patch contract dispute between the two companies over the abandonment of a well in the Gulf of Mexico. But there remains wide disagreement over what the jury's decision means.

K&L Grabs International Arbitration Partners From Cozen O’Connor

Two international arbitration partners in New York have joined K&L Gates from Cozen O’Connor, opting for a larger, global platform and allowing K&L to fill a gap in its international arbitration practice.

Law Firms See Bright Future in Latin America's Booming Renewable Energy Sector

The big flashy solar projects were a clue that Latin America's renewable energy sector is booming. Growth in Mexico is a example of what is happening in the region.

Ernest A. Raba Building at the St. Mary’s University School of Law

The State Bar's Original Denial of a Religious CLE Course Caused Quite a Kerfuffle. But Was it Just Miscommunication?

By Angela Morris |

Law professor Bill Piatt said the "Holy Spirit had bigger plans" for him when he helped organize a faith-based continuing legal education program at St. Mary's University School of Law last year. At the time, Piatt said he only planned to throw in one Christian CLE and be done with it, but instead the school is offering the program again on Nov. 18. Piatt said he has also talked with law professors around the country who want to emulate the program.

Surviving in Today's Low Energy Price Climate

By Angela Neville |

From the upbeat summer days of 2014 when crude oil was flirting with prices over $110 per barrel to the deep descent in February 2016 when oil plunged below $27 per barrel, oil prices have been on a rollercoaster ride in recent years that rivals Six Flags' Texas Giant.

Never a Dull Moment

By John G. Browning |

Fortunately for lawyers, the boredom of our professional lives is broken up by the myriad odd, and often amusing, "did that just happen" moments in the legal system.

The Continuing Struggle Over Mandatory Vaccination of Health Care Workers

By Charles S. Johnson III |

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has long recommended that all health care workers receive an annual influenza vaccination. Throughout the United States, employers in the health care industry have experimented with strategies to encourage voluntary influenza vaccinations of health care workers. However, voluntary immunization policies have not had a significant impact on the overall coverage rate. During the 2010-2011 flu season, for example, the CDC found that 95 percent of health care workers received the flu shot when their employer required it but, when vaccinations were made voluntary, the rate of immunization fell to less than 64 percent.

Marguerite Woung-Chapman, senior VP and GC for EP Energy Corp..Sept 27, 2016

Q&A With the GC of EP Energy Corp

Texas Lawyer spoke with Marguerite Woung-Chapman senior vice president of land administration and computer assisted drawing services, general counsel and corporate secretary of EP Energy Corp.

Christmas gift

Early Christmas for Plaintiffs Overtime Counsel

By Alan Bush |

If I were still a plaintiffs overtime lawyer, this Dec. 1 would feel like Christmas morning.

Charles Shewmake, of Thompson & Knight, Dallas office, (handout)

Newmakers for the Month of November

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Charles W. Shewmake has joined the Dallas office of Thompson & Knight as a partner in the firm's trial practice group.

Workplace Equity: Striving to Become Gender-Neutral in the Office

By Danielle K. Herring |

As a woman, mother of two young daughters, and shareholder at a global employment law firm, I find these issues intriguing and ones we should seek to understand and appreciate not only for women in the workplace today, but for those women in the next generation who will occupy our seats— and hopefully many seats within the C-suite—as they are counting on us.

U.S. District Judge Walter Smith.

Walter Smith's Unsatisfying Goodbye

By John Council |

The Waco federal judge accused of sexual harassment retired before the Fifth Circuit could recommend impeachment—and he gets to keep his 200K salary for life. Is this justice?

Michael P. Maslanka, Assistant Professor of Law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

Deceit: Damaging, Dangerous and Dumb

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Thinking about putting a private investigator on opposing counsel? Think again.

Tips for Effective Management of Insurance Industry Arbitrations

By Mark Whittington |

There's been an uptick in insurance industry arbitrations in recent years. These proceedings involving corporate insureds can raise complex and time-consuming issues. But early and focused efforts by the insurer and the insured can help provide for a fair and efficient process.

Texas Lawyer's Litigation and Legal Departments of the Year

As part of our annual Litigation and Legal Departments of the Year awards, Texas Lawyer invited firms and legal departments across the state to tell us about the great work they did this past year.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

The Month of Thanks

By Heather Nevitt |

Crude Oil Exports from the US: Current Issues and Future Outlook

By Natalie Regoli & Brian Polley |

After 40 years in place, President Barack Obama lifted the ban on exporting crude oil from America on Dec. 18, 2015. Some of the largest oil companies in the U.S. had aggressively lobbied Congress to end the ban since at least Oct. 2014, when the lobbying group called Producers for American Crude Oil Exports (PACE) was formed.

Marguerite Woung-Chapman, senior VP and GC for EP Energy Corp..Sept 27, 2016

Lawyer Takes on Many Roles as GC of Energy Company

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Marguerite Woung-Chapman helped effectuate private equity firms' acquisition of oil and gas exploration and production assets of one corporation and the use of those assets to create a new stand-alone entity that became her current employer.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, at mic, and the state's Solicitor General, Scott Keller, first from right, meet the press outside the U.S. Supreme Court after arguments in the immigration case United States v. Texas. April 18, 2016. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Challenging the Federal Government Buoys Texas AG

By Miriam Rozen |

"It used to be AGs would band together to fight big battles, but now there is a red and blue state divide." said Neal Devins, a professor at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia, who tracks state attorneys general.

Lawyers Who Sue Lawyers Win Thanks and Derision

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

One Houston plaintiff's lawyer gets critical message at the office from lawyers unhappy with his "I Sue Lawyers" billboards.

Texas ADR Trailblazers

By Miriam Rozen |

Two established veteran arbitrators discuss fixing the industry gender gap.

Hair Stylist Claiming Claustrophobia Settles

A hair stylist who claimed she was fired due to her claustrophobia agreed to a $60,000 settlement.

The Houston Bar Association Veterans Legal Initiative supporting those who served at Houston's Salute to American Heroes on Nov. 10, 2015.

Inadmissible: Veterans Legal Aid Week

It's great to honor veterans by having a day off work and attending a Veterans Day parade. But a practicing lawyer could go farther and pay "ultimate respect" by providing veterans with a much needed service—free legal advice or representation, said Betty Balli Torres, executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

The New Overtime Laws: What Employers Should Be Doing

By Carrie Hoffman |

On May 18, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its final regulations establishing a new salary threshold for employees exempt under the "white collar" exemptions.

Trump Libel Article Will Run in ABA Publication

An article calling Donald Trump a “libel bully” and a “libel loser” will run in an American Bar Association publication after all, over the concerns of ABA officials who worried about running afoul of the group’s nonpartisan stance and inviting a lawsuit from Trump.

Baker Hughes.

Baker Hughes Turns to Davis Polk in Multibillion-Dollar Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Davis, Polk & Wardwell represents Baker Hughes of Houston in its pending combination with General Electric's oil and gas business.

Appeals Court Throws Out Suit Against Off-Duty Policeman Who Broke Up Then-Law Student's Hot Tub Party

By John Council |

Houston's First Court of Appeals recently dismissed a civil lawsuit filed against an off-duty police officer over his alleged actions breaking up a law student's hot tub party at the apartment complex where they both lived.

About his former more spacious office, Paul Hastings chairman Seth Zachary says,

Overview: Big Law Gets Smaller

Bye bye, corner office. Firms are cutting building footprints to reduce real estate costs, and dramatically redesigning space to appeal to millennials.

The centerpiece of Gardere’s evocative, handpicked art collection is a one-of-a-kind, custom floating staircase, handcrafted from white oak and steel, seen here at Gardere’s new offices in the McKinney & Olive building in Uptown Dallas.

Market, Design Trends Drive Texas Firms' Real Estate Moves

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Everything's bigger in Texas, including the real estate. But some things—like lawyer offices—are getting smaller.

News Corp. headquarters in New York City.

Approving Big News Corp. Settlement, US Judge Cuts Class Attorney Fee Request by One-Third

By John Council |

While describing their work on the case as "extraordinary," a New York federal judge nevertheless chopped a $73 million attorney fees award sought by five law firms in the case by one-third in a recent order approving a $224 million settlement of a class action lawsuit against News Corp.

Clarence Thomas Groping Allegations Land in Oversight Vacuum

Seventeen years ago, the woman who claims Justice Clarence Thomas groped her in 1999, and the friends who heard her claim, felt they had no recourse. Seventeen years later, there is still no formal process within the judiciary for complaining about a justice’s conduct off the bench.

Jay Stuemke, shareholder in Dallas' Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett.

Dallas Attorney Secures Quick Settlement After Winning $18M Verdict in Talc Asbestos Case

By John Council |

After winning an $18 million verdict in an unusual asbestos case, a Dallas attorney hammered out a settlement with cosmetic talc supplier Whittaker Clark & Daniels recently&mdasha move that kept the defendant from facing the potential of even greater damages from a California state jury.

James Gilliland, Kilpatrick Townsend partner. Photo by Jason Doiy.

California Kilpatrick Partner Killed in Shooting

Colleagues are mourning the Kilpatrick Townsend IP litigator, who was fatally shot on his porch Thursday, according to news reports.

What Pharma GCs Can Learn From Those Personal Injury TV Ads

The pharma and medical device industries think someone is targeting them. And they're not paranoid, insists attorney Rustin Silverstein.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Forecasting Energy Policy in a Clinton or Trump Presidency

By Angela Neville |

Energy security, renewable fuels and pollution control have been dominant energy topics in this year's presidential race. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, and her Republican rival, Donald Trump, offer different regulatory approaches to the oil and gas industry.

Anita Hill Calls for Investigation Into New Thomas Allegation

Anita Hill, whose testimony at Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing in 1991 blew open a nationwide conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace, said she believes there should be an investigation into new allegations of harassment against Thomas.

Twitter Responds to Clarence Thomas Groping Allegations

As an allegation surfaced accusing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of groping a young lawyer in 1999, social media responded by connecting the dots. Moira Smith, now vice president and general counsel to Enstar Natural Gas Co., in Alaska wrote on Facebook about her encounter with Thomas at a dinner party. “He groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should sit ‘right next to him,’ ” Smith wrote in a Facebook post Oct. 7.

Latham, V&E work on $1.15B Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Latham & Watkins represents Houston's Buckeye Partners in its pending $1.15 billion purchase of a half interest in VTTI, a global marine terminal business.

J&J Hit With $70M Verdict in Third Talc Powder Loss

The damages award for plaintiff Deborah Giannecchini follows two eight-figure verdicts against Johnson & Johnson earlier this year in the same Missouri court.

Partner Pay Equity Long Overdue, Say Women Law Firm Leaders

For many of the women who head large law firms, gender-based pay equity isn’t just a management issue, it’s a bitter memory.

Young Scholar, Now Lawyer, Says Clarence Thomas Groped Her in 1999

The anticipation of meeting a U.S. Supreme Court justice for the first time turned to shock and distress for a young Truman Foundation scholar in 1999 when, she says, Justice Clarence Thomas grabbed and squeezed her on the buttocks several times at a dinner party.

How Much Does Discrimination Explain the Gender Pay Gap?

In July, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released the most recent data highlighting the gap in pay between women and men. For all workers, median full-time weekly earnings were $824. For men it was $909, and for women it was $744, or 81.8 percent for median earnings for men.

Meet the World Series’ Legal Heavy Hitters

They won’t be throwing pitches, taking swings or running bases, but a handful of lawyers have helped shepherd the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians to the World Series, which starts Tuesday night in Cleveland. Both teams are owned (at least in part) by lawyers. And baseball experts call Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations and a 2000 law graduate, the architect of the “lovable losers’” recent turnaround and bid to end their long title drought. Let’s meet these high-powered clubhouse lawyers.

Andrews Kurth, Latham Work on Texas MLP Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Andrews Kurth Kenyon represents Dallas' Energy Transfer Partners in its pending $640 million purchase of an interest in PennTex Midstream Partners of Houston.

Newsmakers: Week of Oct. 24

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Gibbs & Bruns Added to Lawsuit about John O'Quinn's Body

By Miriam Rozen |

In her amended petition, filed Oct. 25, O'Quinn's companion Lexington alleges that "certain documents, emails, and testimony obtained since this lawsuit was first filed now definitively establish that SCI Texas was not the only bad actor involved."

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Houston Law School Working on New Name Amid Trademark Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

South Texas College of Law, which changed its name to Houston College of Law in June, is negotiating with a "benefactor" whose name will be part of the downtown Houston law school's new name.

ExxonMobil world headquarters in Irving, Texas

Judge Finds PwC and Exxon Must Comply With NY Subpoena

Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager decided Oct. 25 that the subpoena served by AG Eric Schneiderman's office against PricewaterhouseCoopers and ExxonMobil on Aug. 19 as part of an investigation into whether the companies misled investors and consumers about climate change is valid and directed them to comply with it.

ExxonMobil world headquarters in Irving, Texas

Judge Finds That PricewaterhouseCoopers and Exxon Must Comply With NY AG's Subpoena

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge decided Oct. 25 that the subpoena served by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office against PriceWaterhouseCoopers and ExxonMobil on Aug. 19 as part of an investigation into whether the companies misled investors and consumers about climate change is valid and directed them to comply with it.

Law Firms a ‘Petri Dish’ for Bias, Gender Inequity

When a female lawyer files a public complaint against her firm alleging gender discrimination, the firm’s response tends to fit a standard model: a denial of any discrimination and a confirmation of the firm’s commitment to advancing women lawyers.

How ABA’s Unease Over Trump Article Hatched a First Amendment Flap

As of early October, an article about Donald Trump’s history as a libel plaintiff—one that called him a “libel bully” and a “libel loser,” based on his track record in court—was slated to run in the November issue of Communications Lawyer, a quarterly newsletter from one of the American Bar Association’s member groups.

Retired Judge Walter Smith.

In Appeal, Lawyer Says Punishment of Waco Ex-Federal Judge Was Too Lenient

By John Council |

After the Fifth Circuit concluded there was nothing more they could do to punish former Waco U.S. District Judge Walter Smith on sexual harassment allegations after he retired from the bench, Smith's chief accuser — arguing Smith was treated with too much leniency — has again appealed its decision.

Energy Deals to Lead M&A Activity in Coming Year, C-Level Execs Forecast

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

According to the Dykema M&A Forecast, corporate executives expect to see the most M&A activity over the next 12 months in the energy industry.

Defense Denies Mouthing Words to Witness During Deposition, Seeks Sanctions Over Allegation

By Miriam Rozen |

In a fraudulent conveyance lawsuit in Dallas federal court, a defendant labeled as "baseless" allegations that two defense lawyers — Gregory Shamoun and Stephen Khoury — attempted to influence a witness' deposition testimony by mouthing words and making hand gestures.

The White House.

Federal Court in East Texas Enjoins Part of 'Blacklisting' Rule for Federal Contractors

Judge Marcia Crone of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas enjoined part of the Obama administration's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order on Oct. 24, a day before its implementation date. The injunction applies nationally.

Doug Bacon

Freshfields M&A Pro Returns to Houston Roots, Joining Kirkland

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

After 13 years in New York, Doug Bacon joined Kirkland & Ellis' Houston office this week.

Plaintiffs Lawyers May Struggle to Cash In on Pay Equity Suits

When David Sanford earned a record $250 million jury verdict for a sex discrimination and gender pay class-action in 2010, he made more than history. He outlined a business plan for a practice many lawyers say can be a difficult business: Taking on the gender pay gap.

Weil, Sidley Snag Roles on Two More Big Energy Bankruptcies

The ongoing energy bust has claimed two more victims in Houston-based Key Energy Services Inc. and Fort Worth-based Basic Energy Services Inc., both of which filed for Chapter 11 protection this week in Delaware.

How AT&T’s $85B Time Warner Deal Could Pass Regulatory Scrutiny

AT&T Inc.’s proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. will face intense regulatory scrutiny from antitrust enforcers, members of Congress and consumer advocates. But, even in an aggressive antitrust climate, the deal could still find a path to regulatory approval.

What the Data on Law Firm Comp Shows About Partner Pay Equity

The trend lines look like the great divide, a gap that might never narrow. Female partners at law firms have earned less, on average, than male partners for at least the six years since ALM has tracked such data. They’ve billed less, too.

'Game Not Over' for SEC in Paxton Case, Says Lawyer Who Defended Mark Cuban

By Miriam Rozen |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is far from finished in its pursuit of charges over alleged deceptive trading by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton when he was seeking capital for a tech startup, says the lawyer who successfully defended Mark Cuban in an insider-trading trial two years ago.

Four Firms Land Roles on $2B American Midstream Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Locke Lord is advising American Midstream Partners in its pending acquisition of JP Energy Partners, which tapped Latham & Watkins.

Tony Buzbee Obtains Near $55 Million Verdict for Grocer

By Miriam Rozen |

Tony Buzbee went before a jury again this month for his client Rafael Ortega, a Mexican grocery store chain owner, and secured a verdict of nearly $55 million in a case over breaches of fiduciary duty owed to Ortega.

Rupert Bondy, BP’s Group general counsel.

BP's Top Lawyer Is Stepping Down

BP's group general counsel, Rupert Bondy, is leaving the oil giant after eight years, many of which were spent managing the legal fallout from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Scientists Create Artificial Intelligence Software That Can Predict Trial Results

Artificial intelligence has become one of the hottest trends in Big Law, with a number of major U.S. and international law firms starting to use machine learning technology in an attempt to cut costs and improve efficiency.

States Look to Give Teeth to National Pay Equity Legislation

It has been nearly 20 years since the Paycheck Fairness Act, meant to remedy pay inequality between men and women in the workplace, was first introduced in Congress. Since then, this legislation has been reintroduced and failed to pass over and over.

Tighter Bar-Pass Rule Adopted by ABA Accrediting Body

The American Bar Association body that accredits law schools voted on Friday to tighten the bar exam-passage standard that schools must meet in order to get the organization’s accreditation blessing.

Assault on Wage Gap Forcing Industry to Pay More Than Lip Service

The movement to bring gender pay equity to the American workforce has been around for more than 50 years, but in the last two has hit a seemingly fever pitch. Women are filing multimillion-dollar class action lawsuits against their employers, more than half of the United States has moved to enact some form of tougher pay equity legislation and the concept of pay equality has become a focal point of the presidential election.

Buzbee, Lawyer and GOP Fundraiser, Revokes Support for Trump Over Nominee's Sexual Comments

By Miriam Rozen |

Thank Trump's videotaped comments about groping women and Buzbee's college-age, oldest daughter's persuasive powers for the revocation of the lawyer's support for the candidate.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas Supreme Court Sets Legal Malpractice Case Against Andrews Kurth For Review

By John Council |

Can Houston-based Andrews Kurth be sued for allegedly failing to convey a $450,000 pre-trial settlement offer to its former clients in a fraud case in which those clients were eventually hit with a $3 million jury verdict?

Lawyer Found Guilty in Money Laundering Case

By Angela Morris |

A Texas attorney and two co-conspirators face 40 years in prison after a federal jury on Friday convicted them in a case involving defrauding lawyers and law firms across the nation out of at least $8.8 million.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: East Texas, Patents and Juries

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

The fourth episode of Bull sees our protagonist and his team defend a woman accused of patent infringement. The woman previously worked for a prescription company, but split off to independently develop an incredibly successful drug to treat people suffering from Hemophilia.

Attorney Bob Clements in Alvin, TX. August 8, 2016. Clements represents the ex-husband of former wife whose lawyers are battling reversal of a $400 million judgment and sanctions against her ex-husband's family company based on their alleged forum shopping. Photo: John Everett (FREELANCE - OK TO USE BY ALM)...

$150,000 in Sanctions Against Divorcing Wife

By Miriam Rozen |

In a divorce case that drew attention because it includes an overturned $400 million judgment and allegations of incessant forum-shopping, a Galveston, Texas, state judge most recently issued a sanctions order against the wife, which could cost her $150,000.

Baker Hughes.

Oil Drilling Patent Infringement Case to Stay in Delaware

A lawsuit accusing Baker Hughes Inc. of infringing on two patents for oil and gas drilling equipment will proceed in Delaware, a federal judge ruled this week.

Circuit Rebukes Judge for Awarding Fees in Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake Patent Case

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake may be exceptional entertainers, but they did not properly prove that a patent infringement case filed against them is “exceptional” and worthy of $755,000 in attorney fees, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Thursday.

‘Bush v. Gore’ Lawyers Sound Off on Trump’s Debate Comments

Barry Richard bristles at comparisons between Donald Trump’s refusal this week to commit to accepting the results of the November election and Bush v. Gore in 2000.

Samsung Sued Over Sluggish Response to Smartphone Dangers

Although the cellular world moves fast, Samsung Electronics has taken too much time to address reports that multiple generations of its devices’ batteries overheat and pose a danger, according to a plaintiffs’ lawyer who filed one of the most recent in a string of lawsuits filed against the Seoul, Korea-based maker of smartphones.

Let Your People Go . . . to Vote

By Audrey Mross |

Are you still undecided about Election 2016? One decision has been made for you by state legislatures across the U.S., including Texas. If you are an employer in Texas, you must let your employees go to the polls to vote, often with pay during their absence from the workplace.

Website of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (UPLC) of the State of Texas.

Texas Supreme Court Committee Sues Mediation Service to Prevent It From Practicing Law

By John Council |

The Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee has sued an Irving mediation service seeking to prevent it from practicing law after alleging its nonlawyer staff provided legal advice to hundreds of customers including preparing pleadings for them to use in employment and family law cases.

Dementia Dilemma: When Older Partners Pose a Liability

He’s a senior partner at the firm—an accomplished, 50-year attorney and beloved mentor—who has begun to arriving late for court. He forgets key facts in cases. He dresses a little sloppily. He’s frequently impatient and quick to anger.

Condemned murderer Gregory Paul Lawler died by lethal injection late Wednesday night at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. Lawler was sentenced to death in 2000 for the murder of Atlanta Police Officer John Sowa.

Witness to an Execution: Quiet End to a Case That Began With Gunfire

Nineteen years after killing Atlanta Police Officer John Sowa and leaving fellow Officer Patricia Cocciolone permanently brain-damaged with a hail of gunfire, Gregory Paul Lawler met his end late Wednesday night.

Michelle Banks.

Legal Departments Have Leg Up on Firms in Closing Gender Pay Gap

While in-house legal departments are not immune from pay inequity problems, they may be far better poised than their law firm counterparts to address the problem by analyzing pay data and making adjustments where gender inequities arise.

Observations on the Wells Fargo Scandal

By STEVE KARDELL |

Bias in the Law Press; Efforts to Kill the CFPB and Restraint in Political Debates.

Energy Spree Continues for Vinson & Elkins with $1.6B QStar Deal

The firm represents Houston's QStar in its pending $1.6 billion sale of assets to SM Energy Co. of Denver, which will also sell assets in North Dakota to Houston's Oasis Petroleum for $785 million.

Claud L. (Tex) McIver.

Autopsy Report Released in Shooting Death of Georgia Lawyers Wife

The Fulton County Medical Examiner has released the autopsy report for Diane McIver, who was fatally shot in the back Sept. 25 when a gun discharged through the back seat of the vehicle she was riding in.

Too Much Mommy Time?

Maybe Donald Trump has sensitized me to the plight of men who feel they’re not getting a fair shake. Or maybe I’m just skeptical of what seems to be too good to be true. In any case, I’m getting nervous about some of those wonderfully generous policies aimed at women, particularly new moms. I’m talking about the way that law firms and corporations are tripping over themselves to show how much they want to retain women.

'Spinal Tap' Actor Sues to Recoup Profits Owed From Movie

Harry Shearer has filed a $125 million lawsuit against Vivendi S.A. over profits from the 1984 cult film “This Is Spinal Tap,” in which he starred as fictional rock band member Derek Smalls.

Ronak Patel, Austin partner in Kelly Hart & Hallman.

Newsmakers: Week of Oct. 17

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Moves and honors of lawyers from all over Texas.

Attorney Accused of Copying NFL Concussion Complaint in Suit Against WWE

The legal equivalent of folding chairs and ladders are flying in World Wrestling Entertainment’s concussion litigation involving some 50 former wrestlers.

In Confronting White House, Texas AG Builds His Brand

In late September, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton scheduled a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol. Paxton arranged the event so he could talk to reporters after arguments concluded in one of the many lawsuits his office has filed against the White House.

Judge Reaffirms Ruling Halting U.S. Guidelines for School Transgender Bathroom Policies

By Miriam Rozen |

The Texas federal judge who previously blocked a nationwide mandate by President Barack Obama's administration to allow transgender public school students to use bathroom facilities matching their gender identities reaffirmed his ruling this week.

Lawyer's Appellate Win Allows Client to Sue Insurance Company Over Policy He Didn't Read

By John Council |

When a plaintiff fails to read an insurance policy, they usually don't have much of a case against an insurer if they're denied coverage. But Keith Gross recently convinced Houston's Fourteenth Court of Appeals that his client could sue an insurance company over a policy he'd never laid eyes on before filing a claim.

Howard University School of Law.

HBCU Law Deans Say ABA Bar-Passage Rule Changes Will Hurt Profession's Diversity

OPINION: The proposed changes to the American Bar Association's bar-passage standard need to consider the impact on historically black colleges and universities.

Lawyer Faces Sanctions Motion Over Alleged Intimidation of Diamond Dealers

By Miriam Rozen |

Did a Nashville, Tennessee attorney, who is a defendant and a counterclaimant in a case brought by a diamond retailer, intimidate and harass potential witnesses by threatening subpoenas for non-existent litigation through a surrogate? That's a question a Sherman, Texas, federal judge will review at a hearing scheduled next month about a Dallas diamond retailer's motion for sanctions that makes those precisely those allegations against the lawyer.

‘The Good Wife’ Actor Asks for Law Students’ Help on Election Day

The Clinton campaign is asking attorneys and law students to volunteer as poll observers or to staff voter-protection hotlines on election day as part of the Hillary for America Victory Counsel. Actor Josh Charles, who played a lawyer on the television show The Good Wife, made the pitch in a cheeky video released Monday on Clinton’s Twitter feed that lawyers are uniquely positioned to protect voter rights—or at least more qualified than the “fake lawyers” that populate the small screen.

Elite In-House Lawyers' Club Strategizes Against Class Actions

An annual meeting of top in-house lawyers for some of the world’s most powerful banks focused on class action attorneys looking for billion-dollar payouts over alleged market manipulations. The takeaway? Hang together and don’t settle so quickly, or so sources told Bloomberg.

What Should Fox’s Chris Wallace Ask Clinton, Trump About SCOTUS?

From litmus tests to same-sex marriage to outside-the-box nominees, lawyers in Washington and around the country have U.S. Supreme Court questions in mind for Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate.

In Clash Over Trump Article, a Lawyer’s Letter Goes Viral

David McCraw is used to working behind the scenes at the country’s largest metropolitan newspaper. Last week, he became part of the news.

Three Firms On $2.4B Permian Basin Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represents RSP Permian, a company it took public in 2014, in a pending $2.4 billion acquisition of two companies with Permian Basin assets.

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

The third episode of Bull concerns a high-profile case. A young woman is facing charges on a reopened murder and she claims innocence.

Shale Group Sues DEP Over New Drilling Regulations

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, a group representing energy producers, has asked the Commonwealth Court to put the brakes on significant portions of the new oil and gas drilling regulations enacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, less than a week after the rules went into effect.

Norton Rose Fulbright Reps Buyer in Texas Monthly Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Norton Rose Fulbright represents an affiliate of Genesis Park L.P. in its pending $25 million purchase of Texas Monthly magazine from Emmis Communications Corp.

News to Them: Gary Johnson Names 2 Law Profs as His SCOTUS Picks

Jonathan Turley entered his torts class at George Washington University Law School Wednesday to a student commanding, “All stand for Justice Turley.”

Is Origination to Blame for Women Partners’ Lower Pay?

In the face of a glaring pay gap between male and female partners, some firm leaders point to the emphasis on origination credit as the key culprit. But moving away from such a model may not be so easy.

Exxon Bids to Halt NY Attorney General's Probe Into Impact of Fossil Fuels on Climate

By Miriam Rozen |

Exxon Mobil Corp. reversed course and no longer plans to cooperate, and instead intends to engage in a legal battle with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, according to a motion filed by the energy company Monday.

Judge Agrees to Block Law School Name Change in Win for University of Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The school won a preliminary injunction forcing the newly rebranded Houston College of Law to revert to its old name, South Texas College of Law.

Ex-Philadelphia Eagle Files $10M Suit Against Houston Texans Over Field Conditions

By John Council |

Former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the Houston Texans and the NFL alleging that he suffered a career-ending injury because of the field conditions at NRG Field, which were once ranked the very worst in the league.

Darby Dickerson

Texas Tech Law Dean to Depart for Chicago's John Marshall Law School

By Karen Sloan |

Darby Dickerson, dean of Texas Tech University School of Law, will leave her post in December to become the next dean of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

How Are China’s Arbitration Agreements and Awards Enforced in U.S. Courts?

Much has been written regarding the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in China, but relatively little consideration is given to the treatment in U.S. courts of awards entered by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), or to the enforcement of CIETAC arbitration agreements.

6 Things Every Young Partner Should Do to Improve Their Finances

Being a younger partner at a law firm comes with great opportunity — but tremendous pressures as well. There are demands on your time, extraordinary expectations for your career, and impulses to spend more of your newly increased income on upgrades like a larger home or luxury car. A few simple guidelines can help you avoid lifestyle inflation and increase your wealth significantly in the long run:

Jolie Adds Firepower to Legal Team in ‘Brangelina’ Split

Angelina Jolie has bolstered her divorce team with the addition of Pierce O’Donnell and Bertram Fields, two powerhouse litigators known for their work navigating some of the most turbulent family disputes in Los Angeles.

Dallas, Texas.

Bracewell Snags White-Collar Group from K&L Gates

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The firm beefed up its white-collar team with a four-lawyer group in Dallas led by partners Barrett Howell and Brandon McCarthy.

Texas Lawyer Announces its 2016 Women in Energy Honorees

By Heather D. Nevitt |

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

V&E, Andrews Kurth Advise on $1.3B Phillips 66 Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The two Texas firms landed key roles in a $1.3 billion deal that will see Phillips 66 Partners acquire midstream energy assets from parent Phillips 66.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau building in Washington, D.C.

Little-Discussed Aspect of CFPB Ruling Could Be Boon to Lawyers

Lawyers who advise banks, mortgage lenders and other industries regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were hit by a blizzard of calls and inquiries this week by clients who are feeling more confident in challenging the agency after a court ruling limited its authority and rejected its statutory interpretations.

Appeals Court Justice David Lewis

Dallas Court of Appeals Judge Resigns After Colleagues Detail Mental Impairment

By John Council |

After his colleagues came to the conclusion he'd become too mentally impaired to function as a judge, Dallas Fifth Court of Appeals Justice David Lewis has resigned rather than face formal removal proceedings by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Hogan Lovells Forms Association With Law Firm in Shanghai

Hogan Lovells has formed a formal association with China’s Fidelity Law Firm in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, making it the third international law firm to take advantage of a special pilot program that enables foreign firms to incorporate Chinese legal advice in its offering.

Attorney John O'Quinn is photographed at the University of Houston Law Center's O'Quinn Law Library in Houston, Tx. on 2-14-05.

John M. O'Quinn Estate Trial Delayed

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A lawsuit alleging the executor of John M. O'Quinn's estate has treated it as a "personal slush fund" and seeks to remove him as executor has been delayed until January.

Class Action Filed Against World’s First Publicly Listed Law Firm Over Share Price Crash, With Another on the Way

A group of Slater and Gordon shareholders have launched a class action against the Australian personal injury law firm following a catastrophic U.K. acquisition that led to its share price crashing 95 percent in less than a year.

Male Partners Make 44 Percent More Than Women, Survey Shows

By Lizzy Mclellan |

The average compensation for male law partners is about 44 percent higher than that of female partners, a new survey released Thursday by Major, Lindsey & Africa found.

Texas Attorney General's Appeal Rejected, Trial Likely

By PAUL J. WEBER |

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's hopes of avoiding trial on criminal securities fraud charges all but vanished Wednesday when a court rejected his third attempt at dismissing indictments that have shadowed nearly his entire time in office.

D.C. Circuit Strikes ‘Massive, Unchecked Power’ of Consumer Bureau Director

A federal appeals court in Washington on Tuesday declared the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unconstitutional, saying the “massive, unchecked power” wielded by its single director lacks necessary supervision and direction from the president.

'Flip This House' Star to Face Renovated RICO Case

More than 160 students who took real estate seminars from Armando Montelongo, the Texas investor made famous from “Flip This House,” have dismissed their $12 million racketeering case with plans to bring new claims in Texas.

Mylan’s $465M EpiPen Settlement Unlikely to End Scrutiny

Just before the close of business last Friday, Mylan N.V. announced it would pay $465 million to the U.S. Justice Department and other agencies to resolve regulatory questions about the company’s alleged misclassification of the EpiPen device for purposes of Medicaid rebates.

Employment Bar Shaken by Ruling That Restricts Age Bias Protections

Days after it came down, the employment bar is still dissecting a complicated en banc ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that says older job applicants can’t bring discrimination suits based on a theory of disparate impact.

Endo Prevails in Patent Fight With Two Rivals Over Opioid Pain Medication

A Delaware federal judge on Oct. 7 upheld Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s patent for its opioid painkiller Opana ER, rejecting arguments by Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA that the patent claim was invalid as obvious and that Teva had obtained permission to use its active ingredient.

Justices Appear Stumped in Apple-Samsung Tussle Over Patent Damages

The U.S Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed eager to split the baby—or the smartphone— in the titanic design patent battle between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., but it struggled to find a way to do it.

New Firepower in Shocking Suit Against Trump

If you thought the presidential election couldn’t get any uglier, guess again. Because a suit against Donald Trump alleging that he raped a 13-year-old girl has new life.

Norton Rose Fulbright Taps Texas M&A Pro as Next U.S. Leader

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Daryl Landsale Jr., based in Houston and San Antonio, will succeed Linda Addison as the firm's next U.S. managing partner.

Businessman Sues Dykema Cox Smith, Alleging Botched Bankruptcy Cost Led to Loss of $1M Home

By John Council |

A Dallas businessman and former client of Dykema Cox Smith has sued the firm and one of its partners alleging they botched the defense of an involuntary bankruptcy so badly that he lost a $1 million house — a property that should have been protected under Texas' strong homestead exemption laws.

7th Circuit Rejects Taxi Companies’ Challenge to Chicago’s Uber Ordinance

Just as dogs aren’t like cats, Uber isn’t the same as a taxi cab service. And there’s no reason that all of them should be regulated the same way according to a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit which blessed the Chicago ordinance which allows smartphone-based ride sharing services to operate in the city.

NY Cybersecurity Regs Could Spur Legal Work Nationwide

Attorneys around the country are already fielding calls from clients about New York’s recently proposed cybersecurity regulations for financial institutions and insurers, which, if enacted, could have both immediate and long-term implications far beyond the state’s borders.

Doug Welch, Chief Compliance Officer of Baylor University.

Scandal-Plagued Baylor Hires First Compliance Chief From Within University

The private Christian university announced on Oct. 7 that it has named Doug Welch, the Waco school's associate general counsel since 2006, as its chief compliance officer.

In Debate with Trump, Clinton Says She’d Look Outside 'Big Law' for Supreme Court Nominees

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested Sunday night she might avoid lawyers who worked at “a big law firm and maybe clerked for a judge” without “real life experiences” in picking nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court if she is elected.

Hollywood Lawyer Christensen Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Throw Out Wiretap Conviction

Celebrity lawyer Terry Christensen, whose trial on wiretapping charges sent shockwaves throughout the Hollywood’s legal community, has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse his 2008 conviction in a final bid to avoid serving three years in federal prison.

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role: Juror Biases

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

The second episode of Bull, CBS's new procedural-drama following a jury consultant named Dr. Bull, explores the issue of juror bias. The episode opens with a commercial airplane crash during a severe electrical storm.

Paxton's Prosecutors Undeterred After Judge Tosses SEC Civil Fraud Lawsuit

By Miriam Rozen |

A Sherman,Texas, federal judge's tossing of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's civil fraud complaint against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has not deterred the special prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against the state's top lawyer.

Panel Rules Forced Ultrasound Probe Violates Women’s Rights

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta has revived a lawsuit filed by former students who sued faculty members at a public college in Florida for requiring women to endure invasive ultrasound probing, saying the practice violates the Constitution.

Giuliani’s Leave From Firm Highlights Lobbying Tightrope in Divisive Election

Greenberg Traurig’s announcement that Rudy Giuliani will temporarily step away from the firm to focus on his advocacy of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign highlights the increasingly tenuous tightrope walk law firms’ lobbying arms are staring down in the final month of one of the most divisive elections in modern history.

Judge Christopher

Judge Rejects Public Access to EPA 'Revolving Door' Investigation

By Angela Neville |

An environmental group has lost its bid to view documents about a "revolving door" investigation in which a former federal chemical safety official later advocated for his client Chevron Corp. in front of his previous employer.

FCC Pushes Revised Privacy Obligations on Web Providers

The Federal Communications Commission outlined a privacy proposal Thursday that would require internet service providers to obtain consumers’ consent before sharing their sensitive personal information, including web browsing histories and their location.

Law Firm Mergers See Major Dip in Third Quarter

While law firm mergers may pick up in the final months of 2016, combinations slowed in the third quarter, as firms competed for a smaller pool of acquisition targets, according to the latest merger report from consulting firm Altman Weil.

The Aftermath of Deepwater Horizon: Responding to a Catastrophe

By Jack Massey |

The movie "Deepwater Horizon" depicts the blowout and explosions that killed 11 men and caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history in April 2010. Fast-paced and scary, the film focuses on the decisions that caused the catastrophe and the heroics that followed.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on March 29 filed an action in Washington seeking to force Carl Ferrer and Backpage.com to comply with a subpoena.

Backpage.com CEO Charged With 'Pimping' in Calif. Case

Carl Ferrer, the chief executive of the internet classifieds company Backpage.com, was arrested Thursday on felony charges his website functioned as an "online brothel" that facilitated sex trafficking, state authorities in California announced.

Partner Says Giuliani Initiated Leave from Greenberg Traurig Until Campaign Ends

With the presidential election nearly a month away and Rudy Giuliani increasingly visible in his support for Republican nominee Donald Trump, the former New York mayor will step away from Greenberg Traurig, a partner in the firm confirmed on Thursday.

Law Schools in Southeast Shut Down as Hurricane Closes In

As Hurricane Matthew barrels up from the Carribean, law school campuses across Florida and along the southeastern coast shut down on Wednesday. The majority of Florida’s 12 law schools canceled classes by 5 p.m. yesterday and planned to reopen on Monday, meaning a loss of as many as three class days.

Ann Ryan Robertson, with Locke Lord, and Jennifer Smith, with Hogen Lovells

ADR Trailblazers on Fixing Industry Gender Gap

By Miriam Rozen |

Ann Ryan Robertson of Locke Lord and Jennifer Smith of Hogan Lovells say the male-dominated field of international arbitration is becoming more inclusive.

Justices Wary of Tinkering with Insider-Trading Prosecutions

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared reluctant Wednesday to loosen the rules that have governed insider-trading prosecutions for more than 30 years, brushing aside the 2014 Newman appeals court decision that made it harder for the government to go after tippers and tippees.

Texas Tech University School of Law

Banned from Campus, Alleged Harasser Loses Libel Suit Against Law Student

By Karen Sloan |

A Texas appeals court has dismissed a libel suit brought by a political hopeful against a recent graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law, whose allegations of sexual misconduct got him banned from the Lubbock law campus.

The Jewelry Channel

Sanctions Sought for Stopping Witness from Sharing Any Criminal History During Deposition

By MiRIAM ROZEN |

In a proposed class action lawsuit targeting The Jewellery Channel, plaintiffs are seeking sanctions, arguing that a defense lawyer told a defense witness during a deposition to not answer questions about his criminal history.

ADR Business Wakes Up to Glaring Deficit of Diversity

It’s no secret that Big Law firms and courthouses around the country have struggled with diversity. But even amid incremental progress on those fronts, alternative dispute resolution has been a stubborn enclave of homogeneity.

Law Profs Turn to Hamilton (Yes, the Musical) as Teaching Tool

What can law students learn from the hit musical “Hamilton”? Quite a bit, according to University of Chicago Law School Professor Will Baude, who made the musical’s recent arrival in the Windy City the centerpiece of his welcome address to new law students last month.

Aetna Accuses Feds of ‘Serious Delay and Misconduct’ in Antitrust Case

Lawyers defending Aetna Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Humana Inc. accused the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday of “serious delay and misconduct” as the two health insurance companies demand access to regulatory information to defend their $37 billion deal.

Law Firms Come to Terms with Shifting Space Needs

The legal profession may have been slower to adopt current workspace trends than other occupiers, but a new report from Savills Studley makes it clear that change is coming.

Newsmakers: Week of Oct. 3

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Texas lawyer moves, appointments and honors.

Beau Grenier and Ian Faria of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.

Bradley Arant Opens in Houston With Coats Rose Team

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, based in Birmingham, Alabama, opened an office in Houston with nine lawyers, including eight coming from Coats Rose.

Texas Uses an Additional Tool to Collect Child Support Payments

By Brad LaMorgese |

Parents perpetually behind on child support payments will soon realize, if they haven't already, the state of Texas has added yet another arrow to its collection quiver.

Three Bites at Apple Leads to $302M Verdict in Eastern District of Texas

By MIRIAM ROZEN |

Three equals the number of times the Caldwell Cassady & Curry lawyers have persuaded a jury that Apple infringed on the same Nevada-based VirnetX-owned patents.

Class Action Alleges Misleading Marketing by American Airlines

A multimillion-dollar class action in Miami federal court accuses American Airlines of misleading travelers about its vested interest in "aggressively" marketed travel insurance sold on its website.

Pathetic Parallels: Big Law and Corporate America

Female lawyers of America, take heart: You are not the only ones stuck in your careers. Your sisters in Corporate America are just as screwed.

Wary of Delivery Apps, Restaurant Industry Turns to Government Lawyer

By kristen rasmussen |

A longtime Texas government lawyer is advising the restaurant industry on how to respond to upstart third-party food delivery services like Amazon Prime Now and UberEATS.

Ex-Client Sues Dallas' Cooper & Scully for $1 Million

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Former clients of R. Brent Cooper and Cooper & Scully say the firm bungled the defense of a copyright infringement case in federal court.

Partner Paul Yetter founded Houston-based Yetter Coleman in 1997

2016 Attorney of the Year: Paul Yetter

By Miriam Rozen |

Paul Yetter leads the fight for the forgotten foster children in Texas.

Texas-based Tenet Healthcare Pays Whopping $516 Million to Settle Kickback Cases

Texas-based Tenet Healthcare, which owns hospitals across the nation, and two former Tenet hospitals in metro Atlanta have agreed to pay more than $516 million to settle federal whistleblower cases.

Navigating the First Deepwater Joint Venture with Pemex in Mexico

By Glenn Pinkerton and Eduardo Marquez Certucha |

While the story is not yet fully written on Mexico's energy reform, a key new chapter is about to begin with its auction process.

John

Newsmakers

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Moves and honors of lawyers from all over the Lone Star state.

Challenges of Preserving Cross-Border Attorney-Client Privilege

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Texas Lawyer spoke to Cowman and other practitioners about in-house privilege and cross-border issues and what corporate legal departments can do to help preserve it in a multinational legal landscape.

Crimmigration: Today's Legal Reality

By Alexandre I. Afanassiev |

Criminal attorneys have been effectively put on notice that, if their clients are not U.S. citizens, they better check if a plea deal they are negotiating will not result in deportation, lest they face a grievance for ineffective assistance of counsel.

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Major US Immigration Reform in Store for 2017

By Charles C. Foster |

The 2016 presidential election is unlike any prior one in that the two major nominees represent polar extremes in terms of their approach toward U.S. immigration policy.

Texas Campuses' Response to Sexual Assault Allegations Stirs Controversy

By Miriam Rozen |

With a wide range of agendas and goals, lawyers have waded into the troubled waters of how universities should best cope with allegations of sexual assault on campus.

The Belles of the Ball: Bankruptcy Lawyers

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With energy industry bankruptcies on the rise, Texas firms are on the prowl for restructuring and bankruptcy lawyers.

Ethics Opinion Questions Use of Swiss Verein Firm Names in Texas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The State Bar of Texas Professional Ethics Committee concluded in a recent opinion that Texas lawyers may not use the name of an organization as their firm's name unless all names in the organization name are current or former lawyers of the firm or a predecessor.

SCOTUS Won't Reconsider Texas Challenge to Obama Immigration Policy

By MIRIAM ROZEN |

"This is the latest setback to the president's attempt to expand executive power and another victory for those who believe in the Constitution's separation of powers and the rule of law," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said about U.S. Supreme Court ruling to not rehear immigration case.

Retired Judge Walter Smith.

Fifth Circuit Rules Against Waco Judge's Impeachment for Sexual Harassment

By John Council |

The Judicial Council for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that now-retired U.S. District Judge Walter Smith's sexual harassment of a Waco courthouse employee was serious, but not enough to warrant the "extraordinary step" of impeaching a judge no longer on the bench. In so ruling they also determined that Smith will be allowed to keep his lifetime salary.

3 Backup Tips to Protect Your Firm's Data

By Julie Machal-Fulks |

A law firm's electronic data can be critical to the firm's efficiency. If a firm's electronic information were lost or otherwise unusable, it could hinder or even cripple the firm's ability to successfully represent its clients.

Scalia's Environmental Law Legacy

By Angela Neville |

The rulings by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in a number of Clean Air Act cases continue to have important lasting impacts.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett.

The Social Media Justice: Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett Gets Attention With His Tweets, and His Opinions

By John Council |

Willett spoke with Texas Lawyer senior reporter John Council about his prolific use of social media, his place on the conservative court and whether he now regrets his Trump tweets.

The Texas Supreme Court Again Finishes Its Term With No Backlog

By John Council |

For the second year in a row, the Texas Supreme Court ended their term on Aug. 31 with no backlog of cases. It was another huge accomplishment for a court that has long struggled to dig out from under a mountain of appeals.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

On Schedule

Elaine Flud Rodriguez.

GC of DFW International Airport Handled Initial Turbulence With Ease

By Mary Alice Robbins |

As general counsel for Dallas/
Fort Worth International Airport, Elaine Flud Rodriguez often gets asked unusual questions, like whether employees in the airport's Wildlife Management Department need hunting licenses. "You get those kinds of questions you would never get in other environments," said Rodriguez, who is responsible for managing and directing all legal functions at the airport.

Elaine Flud Rodriguez.

Q&A With the GC of One of the Country's Busiest Airports

By Mary Alice Robbins |

A Q&A with Elaine Flud Rodriguez, general counsel for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Mexican Energy Reform, Three Years Later

By Gabriel Salinas and Rodrigo Dominguez Sotomayor |

Almost three years after passing the reform, Mexico has successfully developed a new energy regulatory framework, which has created a brand-new energy play in the North American region.

Brad Houston of the Law Office of Bradley Houston.

Inadmissible: The 'Cycling Lawyer'

Many lawyers are passionate about practicing law, but not like Brad Houston, who built his whole law firm around his passion for riding bikes.

Verdicts & Settlements

Pregnant worker settles for $20K

Practical Tips to Help Prepare Associates for Their First Trial

By Andrew Zeve & William A. Moss |

Preparing for a complex trial is difficult; there are no shortcuts. it can be especially difficult for first-year associates who have never taken a case all the way through trial.

John Browning

Who Was the First African-American Lawyer in Texas?

By John G. Browning |

My curiosity was piqued by the fact that one question was conspicuously unanswered: Who was the first African-American lawyer in Texas?

Michael P. Maslanka.

6 Advice Clichés to Avoid Like the Plague

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Bad advice floats. Why? Because it is repeated so often, and stated with such conviction, that we think "Surely, this advice is righteous and good and wise." Think again. My goal: Sight it, sink it.

Four Supreme Court Business Cases to Watch

More than half of the 39 cases the U.S. Supreme Court has already granted for argument in the new term are business-related—including some criminal law disputes that involve business. Here are four issues worth following:

SCOTUS Term That Starts Off Slow Could End With a Bang

As the court gets ready to open its fall term on Oct. 3, the political tussle that has left it one justice short may make invisibility impossible. But the court’s caseload for the fall is unlikely to make too many front pages—at least through Election Day.

Supreme Court Takes Up ‘Slants' Trademark Case. Now What?

As was widely expected, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed Thursday to decide whether the government’s ban on “disparaging” trademarks violates the First Amendment.

Supreme Court To Weigh Limits on What Merchants Can Say About Swipe Fees

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to decide a high-stakes retail business case with a First Amendment twist: can states dictate what merchants say to their customers about the different prices they charge for credit card and cash payments?

Law Firm Mergers Hold Steady in 2016, Driven by Smaller Deals

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Nine firm mergers were completed during the third quarter of 2016, according to a new report, bringing the total for the first nine months of the year to 43.

Eastern District Texas Case Ending in $22M Verdict Against Apple Was in Many Parts a Private Affair

By Miriam Rozen |

Even in-house counsel for plaintiff had to leave the courtroom at times.

Royal Bank of Scotland to Pay $1.1B in Credit Union Suits

Lawyers representing the federal credit union regulator have scooped up a $1.1 billion settlement from The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC over its role in the subprime mortgage crisis.

Federal Judge, Facebook and Kirkland Make Amends in Court

Days after a federal judge blasted Kirkland & Ellis and its client Facebook Inc. for sending a junior associate alone to court, a team of five lawyers representing the social networking giant, including deputy general counsel Paul Grewal, appeared before the judge Tuesday, offering an apology that a partner didn’t appear.

iStockphoto/Federico Caputo

Artificial Intelligence and the Law: Smarter Than You?

Applying artificial intelligence to the practice of law is no longer the stuff of science fiction. But what does legal AI really offer right now? How fast is it improving? And who stands to benefit the most? Meet the people and firms pioneering the answers to those questions below. New technologies will change the way you practice. Here’s how.

Inside ROSS: What Artificial Intelligence Means for Your Firm

One of the most potentially transformative new technologies in the legal field was on display over the summer in a conference room at Milwaukee’s von Briesen & Roper. There, an executive from the small startup ROSS Intelligence led a demonstration of the artificial intelligence system that the company has created for legal research in the bankruptcy field.

Law Schools Must Confront Students’ Alcohol, Mental Health Problems: Opinion

The first-ever national study of drinking, drug use, depression and anxiety in the legal profession, published in February in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, showed that “grossly wanting” would be a charitable characterization of the current state of health and well-being among lawyers. “Awful” is the undissembled truth.

‘Informed by What I Am’: Judges Talk Faith, Duty and the Law

Over the past eight years, President Barack Obama has boosted diversity on the federal bench with his judicial picks. This month he added a name to his list of barrier-busting nominees: Abid Qureshi, believed to be the first Muslim tapped for a federal judgeship.

Five AI Pioneers to Watch

These AI tools aim to transform the practice of law.

Prestigious Pets Yelp site

Pro Bono Lawyers Want Fees for Defending Bad Yelp Review Case

By John Council |

Defense lawyers for a Plano, Texas, couple who were sued after leaving a bad Yelp review for a pet-sitting service are looking to recover $166,000 in fees, plus another $200,000 in sanctions.

Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant storefront

Jury Delivers $7M Verdict Against Chipotle Following Alleged Sexual Assaults on Minor Employee

By Miriam Rozen |

Benjamin Hall, lead trial counsel, said he welcomes the big verdict despite lack of punitives.

Principal deputy associate attorney general William Baer, of the Antitrust Division at the U.S. Department of Justice

The Yates Memo Reaches Into Civil Cases Too

The DOJ issued new guidance on what it expects from defendants in civil cases. William Baer, principal deputy associate attorney general, delineated the guidelines in a speech Wednesday to in-house counsel and compliance officers attending the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Conference in Chicago.

AB InBev Pays $6M to Settle Foreign Bribery Claims

International brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to pay $6 million to settle claims that its joint venture in India used third-party promoters to bribe government officials in an effort to boost sales and production of the corporation's beers in the country, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday.

Evaluating a Valuation

By Jeff Compton and Kennedell Amoo-Gottfried |

When an intangible asset, usually a business ownership interest such as stock, is valued, the report will necessarily reflect the professional judgment of the appraiser. Evaluating the report will be facilitated by the application of rules or principles that are supplied by relevant professional standards.

Paul Hastings Left Embarrassed Over Shock Partner U-Turn, But It’s Not Alone

Two weeks ago, Paul Hastings issued a press release boasting of its hiring of “pre-eminent” finance partner Nigel Ward from Ashurst’s London HQ.

Yahoo Security Breach Sparks Class Actions

At least six class actions have been filed against Yahoo! Inc. in the wake of last week’s announcement of a security breach that compromised an estimated 500 million account holders.

Justin Bieber.

Houston Man Drops Suit Against Justin Bieber

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston man who alleged in a lawsuit that Justin Bieber smashed his cellphone and had him kicked out of a Houston club filed a nonsuit even before the pop singer filed an answer.

Pumping and Practicing: A Delicate Balance for Breastfeeding Lawyers

Riding the elevator down after a day of work, associate Shannon White had some awkward conversations when colleagues asked innocently, “What’s in the ice chest?”

4 Key Points on Additional Leave as an Accommodation to Employee Disability

How should an employer respond when an employee exhausts other leave entitlements and then claims that, because of a disability, even more leave is needed before returning?

Dr. Bull and the Jury's Role

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

How do you win a jury trial? Well, according to jury consultant Dr. Bull on CBS' new procedural-drama Bull, you need to "know how they'll vote even before they do."

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

$50M Securities Fraud Verdict Against Vivendi Upheld on Appeal

Vivendi's rosy statements about its prospects while it was struggling to pay massive debts run up during its global media acquisition spree justified a jury verdict for securities fraud, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held Tuesday.

Judge Clears Path for PACER Overcharge Suit

The federal government is having trouble extinguishing lawsuits that accuse the federal court’s PACER system of overcharging users to access case information and documents online.

BP Spill Movie Got Action Right, Villain Wrong, Lawyer Says

The film “Deepwater Horizon,” which is set to be released in theaters on Sept. 30, tells the story of one of the workers who was injured on the oil rig when it exploded six years ago, causing the largest spill in the history of the Gulf of Mexico. The attorney who represented that worker in his subsequent lawsuit was Paul Sterbcow, a member of the plaintiffs steering committee that went to trial against BP PLC.

Will Texas Courts Upend Recent Decisions Applying Texas Law and Striking Down Midstream Contracts?

By Mark W. Wege and Kwame N. Cain |

The crash of oil prices beginning in late 2014 has led to over 90 exploration and production companies in the United States and Canada filing for bankruptcy over the last 21 months, companies with combined debt obligations well over US$60 billion.

William Brewer III

In Sanctions Appeal, Dallas Lawyer Defends Pretrial Jury Survey

By John Council |

Prominent Dallas lawyer William Brewer III argued that he should not have been sanctioned for directing a telephone survey of potential jurors in a case over gas tubing product defects.

Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Climate Change Policy in Spotlight as Appeals Court Opens Review of Clean Power Plan

Mammoth litigation over a pillar of the Obama administration’s climate-change policy goes before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today. And depending on your point of view, the so-called Clean Power Plan is either a “blunderbuss” and “power grab,” or a classic “exercise in cooperative federalism.”

Michael Noe, left, Jennifer Jasper and Michael Rodriguez, partners in the Austin office of Munck Wilson Mandala.

Munck Wilson to Open Austin Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The Dallas firm decided to open an Austin office after a partner expressed interest in moving there.

Law School Admission Council President Dan Bernstine Dies

Longtime Law School Admission Council President Dan Bernstine died late last week, according to the organization, which administers the Law School Admission Test and oversees the centralized law school application process.

Newsmakers: Week of September 26

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Newsmakers from week of the week of Sept. 26.

Man ID’d as Houston Gunman Was a ‘Good, Competent Lawyer,’ Ex-Partner Says

The former law partner of Nathan DeSai said the pair dissolved their partnership for economic reasons in February and had not spoken for months.

DLA Piper Tops Social Media Ranking

DLA Piper uses digital marketing and social media more effectively than any of its Big Law counterparts, according to results of The Social Law Firm Index 2016 prepared by Good2bSocial, a digital marketing agency in New York that does work for lawyers and firms.

Defense Counsel's Alleged Lip-Syncing Should Be Sanctioned, Plaintiffs' Lawyer Says

By Miriam Rozen |

At a civil deposition, two Dallas defense lawyers—Gregory Shamoun and Stephen Khoury—engaged in "outrageous, shocking and offensive behavior," according to a plaintiffs motion seeking sanctions. Their alleged tactics included objecting more than 500 times during the seven-hour session and, in Shamoun's case, making attempts to direct the witness by mouthing words to him, the plaintiffs motion filed Sept. 23 alleges.

Three Firms on $1.3B Shale Asset Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Jones Day represents DTE Energy in its planned buy of midstream natural gas assets from M3 Midstream and Vega Energy Partners, both of Houston.

Katherine

Rangers Expand Management Team by Signing GC

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Katherine "Katie" Pothier is stepping up to the plate today as executive vice president and general counsel of Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers.

Houston Shooter, a Lawyer, Was Wearing Uniform With Nazi Symbol

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Houston police officials said a man who shot nine people earlier in the day, identified by media outlets and the Houston mayor as lawyer Nathan DeSai, was wearing a vintage uniform with a Nazi symbol on it.

Travis County District Judge Julie Kocurek greets APD Chief Art Acevedo during a welcome back party held for her after her attempted assassination.

Three Indicted for Racketeering, Fraud in Connection With Attempted Murder of Judge Kocurek

By Angela Morris |

Federal officials announced today that three men were indicted for roles in fraud and racketeering schemes that involved the attempted capital murder of 390th District Judge Julie Kocurek of Austin. But the 11-count indictment doesn't include the charge of attempted capital murder.

Trump Avoids Big Law Again in New List of Possible SCOTUS Picks

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is expected to announce on Friday a second list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees he would consider as president, underscoring his argument that the future of the high court is a prime reason for voters to elect him.

Overtime Pay Lawsuits Down Sharply in Energy Industry

By Miriam Rozen |

The number of lawsuits nationwide filed by workers in energy industry seeking unpaid overtime pay declined sharply over the past year, with less than half as many actions being filed when compared with the previous 12 months.

Dallas Judge Sends Exxon and Mass AG to Mediation

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to mediate within the next 16 days their dispute that brought them into his Dallas federal courtroom earlier this month.

‘Run Them Down’ Tweets Law Prof About Protestors

Twitter on Thursday briefly suspended the account of prominent University of Tennessee College of Law professor Glenn Reynolds over a tweet showing news photos of protestors in a Charlotte Interstate with the comment “Run them down.”

Litigation Demand Down for Law Firms Despite Steady Filings

A fresh analysis of 151 large firms finds that litigation work slowed at most of those firms in the first half of this year, continuing a fifth straight year of declines and echoing earlier bad news.

Plaintiffs Firms Pounce on Wells Fargo After Fake-Accounts Scandal

Wells Fargo has been hit with a new shareholder lawsuit accusing its board of directors and senior managers of “recklessly” allowing the creation of roughly 2 million fake customer accounts, adding to the bank’s legal woes since the government slammed it with a record fine.

FERC Issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Controversial $3.5B Mountain Valley Pipeline Project

By ANGELA NEVILLE |

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a draft environmental impact statement recently for the controversial proposed $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) for natural gas in Virginia and West Virginia, saying the project would have "limited adverse impact with the exception of impacts on forests." The project will not be officially approved until FERC issues the final approved version of the impact statement.

Texas Asks US Supreme Court to Reinstate Voter ID Law

By John Council |

Attorney General Ken Paxton is petitioning for review of a Fifth Circuit decision that struck down the controversial measure.

Judge Resigns Amid Allegations He Sexted During Judicial Conduct Commission Meeting

By John Council |

A former member of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct has voluntarily resigned from the bench in lieu of discipline after the agency investigated whether he sexted with a woman during a commission hearing.

Atlanta's Red Mass to Honor Leaders for Work for Peace and Justice

Among those to be honored at the annual interfaith event is late Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore partner Jeff Bramlett.

Pipeline under construction

Delaware Riverkeeper Asks Congress to Probe FERC

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network and 180 environmental groups are demanding Congress investigate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for alleged abuses of power over oil and gas pipelines.

For Law Grads, Are the Big Bucks in Smallville?

Who knew that Hot Springs, Arkansas, the picturesque small town that draws thousands of visitors annually to its natural thermal springs, is the best location for new attorneys to practice?

Kirkland Launches Investment Funds Practice in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Led by a partner who moved to Houston from San Francisco, Kirkland & Ellis has started an investment fund group in Houston to capitalize on energy deal work in that market.

Wealthy Dallas Oil Heir Wins Ruling in Selective Prosecution Case

By John Council |

Although he just won a favorable ruling from Texas' highest criminal court, the legal struggles are still not over for wealthy Dallas oil heir Albert G. Hill III, who alleges he was selectively prosecuted for mortgage fraud charges as a favor to his former lawyer, Lisa Blue Baron.

Historic U.S. Courthouse, El Paso Texas.

Despite Odds, Group Pushes for Law School in El Paso

By Angela Morris |

A group of El Paso lawyers, judges and residents is pushing for a new law school in the West Texas city, but it faces tough challenges, and the project could take up to 15 years to complete—if at all.

In Texas, a Folksy Judge Enters Exxon Climate-Change Fray

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, although folksy in his manner, kept tight control of a hearing in his Dallas courtroom this week that pitted Exxon Mobil Corp. against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Why Do Women Leave Firms? Because They Can

Uh-oh, it looks like your firm just wasted a ton of money recruiting those bright young women from Columbia Law School.

Sagging July Bar Exam Results in Florida and Elsewhere Defy Predictions

A forecast for better bar pass rates is turning gloomy as scores from the July exam begin to trickle in.

Nelva G. Ramos.

Federal Judge Calls for DOJ, Challengers to Eye Texas' Voter ID Education Plan

By Miriam Rozen |

A Corpus Christi federal judge ruled Sept. 20 that Texas officials must get approval from challengers to its voter identification law, including the federal government, for all its press releases, polling location posters and advertisements targeted at educating voters of court-revised identification rules.

Getting Patents Quicker Without Breaking the Bank

The PTO's extended After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP) 2.0 program, which can speed patent prosecution, is even more helpful than it was when the authors first wrote about the initial version in 2014.

Brangelina Divorce Lawyer Seen as ‘Cool, Calm, Practical’

Laura Wasser, the lawyer representing Angelina Jolie Pitt in her divorce from Brad Pitt, is synonymous with Hollywood’s biggest celebrity breakups, with recent cases including Jennifer Garner’s divorce from Ben Affleck and Johnny Depp’s split from Amber Heard.

World’s First Publicly Listed Law Firm To Sue Over Disastrous Deal

Has there ever been a less successful law firm deal than Slater and Gordon’s acquisition of Quindell? Australian personal injury and employment claims specialist Slater paid almost a billion dollars for insurance outsourcer Quindell’s professional services division last year. The 677 million-pound ($960 million) acquisition established Slater as one of the U.K.’s largest insurance claims practices overnight.

U.S. District Judge Walter Smith.

Waco Federal Judge Walter Smith Retires Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal

By John Council |

In the midst of a sexual harassment scandal, Waco, Texas-based U.S. District Judge Walter Smith stepped down from the bench this week. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is still weighing potential harsher punishment for the judge's misconduct.

Law Schools Cut Tuition to Entice Applicants

Amid declining enrollment in J.D. programs nationwide, two law schools have unveiled tuition decreases for the upcoming school year.

K&L Gates Picks Leadership Pair to Take Reins from Kalis

K&L Gates has selected two lawyers to succeed chair and global managing partner Peter Kalis, who is stepping down early next year after two decades as leader, the firm announced Monday.

In Legal Malpractice Case, Dallas Appellate Lawyer Gives Client Shot at Exemplary Damages

By John Council |

Michael Jung of Strasburger & Price guided a commerical real estate client toward a chance at securing exemplary damages in a legal malpractice case.

Paxton Leads Suit Aimed at Foiling White House Overtime Regulation

By Miriam Rozen |

In another legal challenge to Obama administration policies, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with 20 other states' AGs, filed a lawsuit in a Sherman, Texas, federal court, alleging that a new federal regulation that doubles the salary threshold for overtime pay is unconstitutional.

Longview Lawyer Will be Remembered in Iconic 'Kissing Sailor' Photo

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Howard P. Coghlan of Longview, who died Sept. 15 at age 89, had a long career as an oil and gas attorney in Texas, and he appears in the famous 1945 "Kissing Sailor" photograph.

In-House Lawyer's DQ in Patent Case Offers Lessons for Legal Depts

Schlumberger Ltd. recently notched a victory against a patent licensing company that poached one of its top in-house IP lawyers. Ethics experts say the ruling offers lessons to in-house lawyers considering a career move, including the importance of setting up ethical screens.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Pillsbury Picks Up McKool Smith Bankruptcy Lawyer

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Hugh M. Ray III joins Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Houston, coming from McKool Smith.

Google, Phone Companies Escape Patent Infringement Suit

A Delaware federal judge has tossed three related suits accusing Google Inc., Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and BlackBerry Corp. of infringing a patent for location-tracking technology used on popular smartphone apps.

In Era of Reform, a Patent Pioneer Slips Out of Step

When the American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association honored Federal Circuit Judge Pauline Newman a few years ago, her longtime colleague Richard Linn described her as “a living legend.”

What Happens if a Self-Driving Uber Is in a Crash?

Uber patrons in Pittsburgh can now dial up an autonomous vehicle, climb inside and watch the steering wheel spin, untouched by human hands, as they scoot through downtown. But the sudden arrival of driverless technology ready for public use has regulators and attorneys still waiting for answers to some important questions, including how liability would be handled in the case of an accident.

Documents Too Voluminous for Pre-Review Confidentiality Stamps, Proskauer and Stanford Receiver Agree

By Miriam Rozen |

In a lawsuit against New York's Proskauer Rose, stemming from disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme, all the litigants jointly asked on Sept. 16 a presiding Dallas federal judge for a rare exception to his usual rules about protective orders.

Godwin Bowman Closing Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With managing shareholder and chief operating officer Alan York leaving Godwin Bowman & Martinez, the firm is closing its Houston office.

State Farm corporate headquarters campus in Bloomington, Ill.

State Farm Must Face $7B RICO Class Action, Judge Rules

A federal judge in Illinois has certified a class of nearly 5 million policyholders in a case alleging that the insurance giant used campaign contributions to influence the state's Supreme Court.

Patent Lawyers Launch PTAB Bar Association

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has transformed the practice of patent litigation. As of today, it officially has its own bar association.

Got (Breast) Milk? Latham Will Ship It

It’s hard enough pumping breast milk multiple times per day for working lawyer-moms, without the stress of figuring out how to ship milk home when traveling for work.

As Litigation Rises, A Glimpse of What Keeps Corporate Counsel Up at Night

Businesses are experiencing a rise in litigation and the main areas of concern for legal departments are contract disputes, labor and employment claims and regulatory investigations, according a recent survey of in-house lawyers and executives of more than 600 companies.

Law Profs See Michigan Case as Potential ‘Brown v. Board'

Literacy rates south of 10 percent. A dearth of textbooks and other key educational materials. Overcrowded classrooms and unsafe and unsanitary school conditions. That’s just a sampling of the jarring allegations in a 136-page class action filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of students in five struggling, overwhelmingly minority Detroit schools.

At a Glance: Where the Judicial Vacancies Are

There are currently 96 federal judicial vacancies, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Planned retirements will open another seven seats by Jan. 1, including two on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Clinton v. Trump: Close-Up on the Courts

Be it Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, the candidate elected president in November will put an enduring stamp on the federal courts. Read our complete coverage.

Left to right: David Oliver and Paul Kerlin Greenberg Traurig

Two Litigators Leave Vorys for Greenberg Traurig in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

David Oliver and Paul Kerlin leave the Houston office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease to join Greenberg Traurig in Houston.

BNSF General Counsel Leaves for Thompson & Knight

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Charles Shewmake leaves BNSF Railway Corp. to join Thompson & Knight as a partner in Dallas.

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

Department of Labor's 'Persuader Rule' Goes to Court in Three States

By Miriam Rozen |

Business advocates who criticize the DOL's proposed "persuader rule" as trampling attorney-client protections won a nationwide preliminary injunction in June halting implementation of the regulation. But neither side has called the fight over yet as cases are pending in Texas, Arkansas and Minnesota.

Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland Family's Settlement Calls for Statewide Campaign for Cell Sensors

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas jails might become safer places for inmates as part of Sandra Bland's legacy and as a conclusion to her family's lawsuit.

Mikal Watts, partner at Watts Guerra. Photo©Mark Sobhani Photography

Mikal Watts, Firm Nonsuited in Barratry Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The plaintiffs who seek millions in penalties for civil barratry in a Houston suit have nonsuited Mikal Watts and his firm because of a similar suit pending in San Antonio.

Stephen Susman, partner at Susman Godfrey (Photo by C2 Photography).

Susman Godfrey Boosts Bonuses for Ex-Federal Clerks

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The firm announced Wednesday that it's sweetening its bonuses for incoming associates, with new lawyers eligible to get as much as $100,000 if they've clerked for more than one judge.

Federal Circuit Loosens Up on Patent Eligibility

For the fourth time in four months, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reversed a trial court decision that found a patent ineligible for protection under Section 101 of the Patent Act.

Houston Lawyer Wins $1.5M Verdict from Ex-Firm in Fight Over BP Cases

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Harris County jury found Chandler, Mathis & Zivley breached agreements with lawyer Joby Hughes related to Gulf oil spill litigation.

Uber, NLRB Clash Over ‘Nationwide’ Subpoenas Targeting Labor Policies

Uber Technologies Inc. is urging a California judge to reject National Labor Relations Board subpoenas that seek nationwide information about the ride-sharing company’s relationships with its drivers.

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

Task Force Assigned to Study all Aspects of the Texas Bar Exam

By Angela Morris |

Fed up by years of declining bar exam passage rates—and looking for explanations—the deans of Texas's 10 law schools have convinced the state's highest court to hold a magnifying glass to the rigorous exam.

Ken Paxton.

Texas, Massachusetts AGs Face Off in Climate Change Legal Battle

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas federal judge set for Sept. 19 a hearing when he will consider a preliminary injunction sought by Exxon Mobil Corp. to halt Massachusetts Attorney General's investigation into allegations it misled consumers about climate change. In advance of hearing, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office led a 10-state coalition, which filed a friend of court brief supporting the oil company's strategy and proposed preliminary injunction.

Federal Circuit Slams Acacia for Fostering Attorney Conflict

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld a sweeping disqualification order caused by an in-house IP lawyer’s decision to join Acacia Research Corp. and then participate in a patent suit against her former employer.

Latham, Wachtell Handle $2B Gulf Asset Purchase

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Latham & Watkins represents Anadarko Petroleum Corp. of The Woodlands in its pending $2 billion purchase of deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets from Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas.

Lawyers Launch Insurance Policy for Contingency Cases

When Justin Leto was a young plaintiffs attorney, another lawyer in his building asked how he dealt with the financial risk of pursuing litigation. Could his firm somehow insure legal costs in case the jury returned a defense verdict?

Kirkland Acquires DC-Based Boutique Bancroft

Paul Clement, a former U.S. Solicitor General who left King & Spalding in 2011 to join Washington, D.C.-based appellate litigation boutique Bancroft, is moving to Kirkland & Ellis.

With Court in Recess, SCOTUS Justices Make Headlines Off the Bench

Before they hunker down for the fall term in September, justices of the U.S. Supreme Court often fan out in September to speak to incoming law school audiences and other venues.

Sept. 11, Still As Clear As 15 Years Ago

The word “memories” doesn’t seem to apply to 9/11. Fifteen years now have passed, but survivors and witness recall with perfect clarity the “beautiful” September morning interrupted by so much violence. Recollections are still so raw, fresh despite the passing years.

The O'Quinn Law Library entrance at the University of Houston Law Center.

Courtroom Fight Over Law School Name Affects Trademark Request

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

With the University of Houston and Houston College of Law in a lawsuit over one of the law school's new name, the USPTO has suspended Houston College of Law's trademark application for a logo.

David Prichard, a partner in San Antonio’s Prichard Hawkins McFarland & Young.

Why Texas Has a Serious Judicial Vacancy Problem

By John Council |

With the highest number of open federal judge seats and a mounting case load, Texas has a significant judicial vacancy issue. What's behind it, and how might things change when the next president takes office after the November election?

Huntsville

Fifth Circuit Upholds Lethal Injection for Texas Death Row Inmates

By John Council |

Refusing to stay the execution of five death row inmates in Texas, a federal appeals court found that the state's use of lethal injection doesn't constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

Texas Lawyer Announces Its 2016 Litigation Departments of the Year

By Heather D. Nevitt |

Firms from across the state will be honored for the great work their litigation departments did this past year.

Houston Attorney Wins Ruling Striking Down Texas Ban on Political Advertising

By John Council |

Houston's Meredith Parenti recently secured a ruling that that would make it easier for politicians to post billboard advertising along Texas' highways.

U.S. Judge to Eye Sanctions for Alleged 'Trolling' in Case Where Plaintiff No Longer Owned Patent

By Miriam Rozen |

In a patent lawsuit, a Tyler, Texas, federal judge scheduled for next month a hearing to determine whether lawyers from Dallas' Buether Joe & Carpenter and their patent infringement plaintiff corporate client, Marshall, Texas-based Wireless Remote Systems, should be sanctioned for filing an infringement claim, given that the company no longer owns the disputed patents.

How Fantasy Sports’ Bet on State Strategy is Paying Off

Somewhere in New York today, a football fan will make his final picks on a roster of professional players, hoping the selections and the results from this weekend’s National Football League opening games will deliver a payout from DraftKings, FanDuel or one of a myriad of other daily fantasy sports sites.

Why This Federal Judge Just Told Plaintiffs Lawyers ‘Enough is Enough’

A federal judge in Georgia livid over lawsuits he views as meritless has threatened to sanction plaintiffs attorneys if they continue to pursue cases that “probably should never have been brought in the first place.”

Success in First-Year Civil Procedure Course Points to Bar Passage

Want to pass the bar exam on the first try? Pay extra attention in civil procedure and legal research and writing, and serve on a law journal or participate in moot court if possible.

Newsmakers: Week of Sept. 12

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Newsmakers for the week of Sept. 12.

Noted Dallas Lawyer Henry Gilchrist Retiring at 91

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Henry Gilchrist, who has practiced at Hunton & Williams in Dallas since 2007, represented the Clint Murchison family and the Dallas Cowboys.

Brad Edwards

Negligent Security Suit Filed in Home Invasion Slaying of Halliburton Heir

The victim's widower is suing security companies at a Davie gated community in the home invasion slaying of a Halliburton heir. The suspect made a daring courtroom escape weeks earlier.

Nonprofit Law Firms Benefit Disenchanted Attorneys, ‘In-Between’ Clients

Lee DiFilippo earned hefty paychecks for 13 years as a corporate transactional attorney in Big Law and later as in-house counsel to a couple of corporations.

Janitor Company Scores $5.3M Verdict Against Union

By Miriam Rozen |

Four months before it won a $5.3 million jury verdict against a union that allegedly disparaged it, Professional Janitorial Service of Houston hired a new team of litigators, led by John Zavitsanos of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing in Houston, to try the case.

U.S. District Judge Nelva G. Ramos

Texas State Officials Narrowing Voters Opportunities to Cast Regular Ballots, DOJ Says

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers filed a motion this week alleging that, in court-ordered educational voter educational materials, Texas state officials have recast language to communicate a narrowing of opportunities for voters to cast regular ballots.

Direct Energy Taps Former BG Lawyer as General Counsel

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Houston-based Direct Energy announced on Tuesday the appointment of Thomas Smith as executive vice president and general counsel. He will oversee all aspects of the company's legal operations in North America.

Mikal Watts, partner at Watts Guerra poses Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at his office in San Antonio. Photographed for Texas Lawyer Magazine. Photo©Mark Sobhani Photography

Texas Lawyers Face Fresh Accusations Over BP Spill Suits

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Less than a month after he was acquitted of criminal charges related to BP oil spill litigation, a group of oil spill claimants seek civil barratry penalties from San Antonio lawyer Mikal Watts, his firm and others.

Self-Help ‘Guru’ Takes Expensive Hit in Patent Suit

Keith Raniere is said to hold a lot of sway over the people who are drawn to his professional success training programs, be they girlfriends, wealthy heiresses or business associates.

silhouette of working oil pumps on sunset background

Houston Driller EOG Turns to Akin Gump for $2.5B Oil Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Thompson & Knight represents target Yates Petroleum on the deal, which expands EOG's presence in New Mexico and beyond.

'Made-for-Litigation' Science Scuttles Two Talc Trials Under NJ Judge's Ruling

A New Jersey trial court judge has struck two upcoming trials over talcum powder’s link to ovarian cancer after concluding that two plaintiffs’ experts had “made-for-litigation” scientific methods.

GM Settles Last Two Bellwether Cases Over Alleged Faulty Ignition Switch

General Motors Corp. has settled the last two bellwether cases scheduled for later this year over alleged faulty ignition switches following a number of successful outcomes before juries.

How to Help Mitigate That 'I'm Done Practicing Law' Feeling

By JAMES DOLAN |

Some simply want out of law practice, some want a simpler, less stressful type of practice, and others want out of leadership or group/firm practice. It is a menacing moment to understand that a life time of effort has now come into question and in order to honor one's deepest needs, it might be time to step away.

John Cornyn.

Senate Judiciary Gives Obama His Last Chance at Seating Five Judges in Texas

By John Council |

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday for five nominees for federal judge slots in Texas.

Peter Kalis to Transition Out of Role as K&L Gates Chairman

Peter Kalis will not seek re-election to the top post at the firm he has steered for 19 years, K&L Gates announced Tuesday.

Texas Lawyer Announces its 2016 Legal Departments of the Year

By Heather D. Nevitt |

Texas Lawyer's editorial department is pleased to announce the winners of our 2016 Legal Departments of the Year awards.

Houston Lawyer Resigns as Trump Adviser Over Immigration Stance

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Immigration lawyer Jacob Monty said he can no longer support the candidate after he 'demonized immigrants.'

Melania Trump Libel Suit Seen as Warning Shot

Apologizing won’t get you anywhere with Melania Trump. At least that’s how it looks in the wake of a fresh libel lawsuit against the UK’s Daily Mail and a Maryland blogger over articles referencing rumors that Republican presidential candidate’s wife was a sex worker in the 1990s.

Five Firms Land Roles as Spectra and Enbridge Ink $28B Megadeal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Wachtell, Skadden, and Sullivan & Cromwell are among the firms advising on the merger, which will create one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America.

Susan Hawk, newly elected Dallas DA

Dallas DA Susan Hawk Resigns After Struggle With Mental Illness

By John Council |

After surviving an attempt to remove legally her from office for alleged incompetence and coming public about her struggles with mental illness, Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk announced her resignation from office.

Regulators Boost Scrutiny of Bank Loans to Oil and Gas Companies

By Angela Neville |

In the wake of the U.S. mortgage industry meltdown that peaked in 2008, key federal agencies are now focused on avoiding a similar fiasco in the energy sector. Several agencies, including the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are increasingly taking a stricter approach to rating the risk level of banks' loans to exploration and production companies.

Intel, CNN Win Waivers to FAA’s New Drone Regulations

Dozens of companies, public institutions and individuals this week were granted waivers to the Federal Aviation Administration’s new drones regulations.

Surprisingly, Bar Exam Multiple-Choice Scores Improved in July

In an unexpected turn, law graduates’ performance on the multiple-choice portion of July’s bar exam rose slightly, indicating a reversal from the steep two-year slide in test scores overall.

In $100M Suit, Partner Alleges ‘All-Male Dictatorship’ at Chadbourne

A female litigation partner from Chadbourne & Parke has filed a $100 million class action complaint alleging that the firm is run by an “all-male dictatorship” that pays women partners less and provides them fewer leadership opportunities than men.

Mayer Brown Expands Mexico City Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Mayer Brown hires Ariel Ramos for the firm's Mexico City office, along with two associates.

Haynes and Boone Closes Merger, Opens London Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas-based Haynes and Boone merged today with Curtis Davis Garrard of London, giving the firm a London office and 20 lawyers.

Jeep Wrangler. Web Photo

Bid for Spoliation Sanction Against Plaintiff Rejected in Case Over Jeep Defect

By Miriam Rozen |

In products liability litigation, an East Texas federal judge denied a motion for sanctions for alleged spoliation sought by Chrysler Group against the widow of a man who died while driving a Jeep Wrangler.

DOJ Lawyers' Sanctions Again Deferred in Immigration Case

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, once again postponed any sanctions of U.S. Department of Justice lawyers.

Fifth Circuit Judge Thomas Reavley.

Meet One of the Oldest Federal Judges in the U.S. and He's Married to the 5th Circuit

By John Council |

Tom Reavley, one of the oldest federal judges in the U.S. who still hears cases, speaks about his job, his early stand against racial injustice and what it's like being the only circuit judge in the country who's married to a colleague.

September Newsmakers

Moves and promotions in Dallas, Houston, Austin and beyond.

Edward Vishnevetsky

September Inadmissible: Remembering Edward Vishnevetsky

Edward Vishnevetsky, a 34-year-old of counsel in K&L Gates' Dallas office, died in June on a trip in Costa Rica.

Tips for Meeting Your Mobile Device Ethical Obligations

By Trey Peacock |

With the controversy over various security aspects of phones and tablets, what are practicing lawyers' ethical obligations, and are we doing enough to protect our client(s)' confidences?

Privacy No Match for Robots of the Future

By Steve Thomas |

Governments want to be the fly on the wall, and technology is helping make it happen.

State Court Class Action Defendants to Face New Strategic Decisions

By Angela Zambrano and Robert Velevis |

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent Spokeo v. Robins decision has been heralded by the Texas business community as an important limitation on class action liability. The decision, however, has triggered concerns in at least some states that it might have the unintended consequence of creating more class action litigation in state court forums that are viewed by some defendants as less favorable.

Verdicts and Settlements

A collection of recent verdicts and settlements.

The Importance of the Venue Clause in Contracts

By Christopher M. LaVigne and P. William "Bill" Stark |

A well-crafted venue selection clause is essential to mitigating the risks of a hostile venue.

2016 Professional Excellence Award Profiles

It's our pleasure to present the honorees of our 2016 Professional Excellence Awards, which celebrates Lifetime Achievement honorees, Lawyers on the Rise and the Attorney of the Year finalists.

The Ultimate Do-Over Divorce

By Miriam Rozen |

Drama and divorces go hand in hand, but not usually from alleged 
forum-shopping and filing successive divorces in multiple Texas jurisdictions.

Who Are the Top-Paid GCs in Texas?

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Big-company general counsel in Texas pulled in less total compensation on average in 2015 than in 2014.

Kin Gill, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for Bazaarvoice.

Bazaarvoice GC Gets Top Review

By Mary Alice Robbins |

When Kin Gill joined Austin-based Bazaarvoice in January 2013, he faced a baptism of fire during his early days with the company.

Kin Gill, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for Bazaarvoice.

Q&A With Bazaarvoice GC Kin Gill

By Mary Alice Robbins |

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Attempts to Protect Marine Mammals From O&G Operations' Noise

By Angela Neville |

A powerful air-gun fires underwater as part of a seismic survey to find oil reservoirs. An underwater explosive breaks down a rig that's being decommissioned. Pile-driving hammers smash into the seabed. These are the sounds of oil and gas operations in the ocean—unheard by most humans but an auditory disruption, according to environmentalists, to the marine life of the seas, including dolphins and whales.

Michael P. Maslanka.

Five Lessons to Survive in the Practice of Law

By MICHAEL P. MASLANKA |

While I hope to instill a love for practicing law, I strive to caution about its dangers, seductions, and pitfalls. Want to clue into them?

District Attorney Nico LaHood in

DA Who Claims Vaccines Cause Autism Spars with Critics

By Angela Morris |

A Texas district attorney is defending himself from public backlash after he and his wife said in a video interview that vaccines caused their son's autism.

Charles

Firms Trade Blows for Feuding Asset Managers

By Miriam Rozen |

In a legal battle that pits Baker Botts against Jackson Walker, pretrial procedural and discovery battles have been testy.

(l-r) Jeff Dodd, Bob Jewell, and Edward Colbert.

Kenyon Deal Gives Andrews Kurth IP Credibility, NYC Mass

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

One advantage of the pending move of 55 intellectual property lawyers to Andrews Kurth from Kenyon & Kenyon is how Andrews Kurth will grow in New York.

Wave of ERISA Suits Puts Colleges in Crosshairs

The plaintiffs law firm that’s been Enemy No. 1 to Corporate America when it comes to litigation over retirement plans has a new target—the country’s largest universities.

Roger Ailes, former Fox CEO (Fred Prouser/REUTERS/Newscom).

Paul Weiss Investigates Fox News, Skeptics Abound

Even though Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison lawyers have yet to finish their task, no shortage of skeptics, critics and second-guessers trail a legal team led by Michele Hirshman, a partner in the New York firm tapped by Fox News’ parent company to investigate alleged pervasive sexual harassment of women at the network.