Latest News

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

Supreme Court Takes Up Amgen-Sandoz Dispute Over Biosimilar Drugs

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

Dan Garrison of Texas' Garrison Brothers Distillery.

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

By John Council |

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

David Abraham, left, and Hector Chichoni, right.

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

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

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

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

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

Legal Heavy Hitters Slated for Anti-Trump Conference

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

Richard Cheng, shareholder Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr in Dallas

Munsch Hardt Adds ERISA, Health Care Practices with Lateral Hires

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Mark Stratton, Greenberg Traurig in Austin

Shannon Gracey Lawyers Join Greenberg Traurig in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

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

Jason Boatright.

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

By john council |

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

Neill Fuquay of McGuire, Craddock & Strother.

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 9

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

‘Swipe Fee’ Law Poised to Survive Supreme Court Scrutiny

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

Girl's Supreme Court Justice Costume Gets Ginsburg Shoutout

By Richard Binder |

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

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

Strasburger Grows in Three Cities as Shannon Gracey Lawyers Find Homes

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Judge Kristen Hawkins, 11th District Court

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


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

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

By Shannon Mader, Adam Yarian and Arevik Stepanyan |

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

Oil Drilling Gulf of Mexico.

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

By Susan Postlewaite |

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

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

By John Council |

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

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

For Advice on Shedding Exxon Ties, Tillerson Tapped Wilmer

By Miriam Rozen |

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

New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

By Shari Klevens and Randy Evans |

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

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

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

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


Sunset Commission Sends Recommendation to Legislature Regarding Membership Fee Voting


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

Washington, D.C.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Elyse Lyons of Jones Day.

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 2

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Brian Sanford of Dallas' The Sanford Firm.

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

By John Council |

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

152nd District Court Judge Robert Schaffer.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Marianne Auld.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Larry Macon

Akin Gump Trial Vet Launches New San Antonio Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Big-Name Lawyers Divulge New Year's Resolutions

By Leigh Jones |

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

The State Bar of Texas, Austin.

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


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

Shannon Ratliff.

Energy Firm Davis Gerald Beefs Up As Permian Basin Booms

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

The Facebook Follies

By John G. Browning |

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

Jack Balagia.

Starting a New Chapter

By Kristen Rasmussen |

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

Verdicts: Jury Awards Worker Nearly Hit by Cement Truck

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

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

An 'Interesting' Year

Legal Tech Skills Are No Longer Optional

By Steve Thomas |

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

Derek Mergele.

Leaving an LGBT Law Legacy

By Angela Morris |

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

Baylor University Law School in Waco Texas.

Inadmissible: Month of January

Local law school makes good on job placement.

How to Manage a High-Stakes Divorce

By R. Scott Downing |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

John Grand of Vinson & Elkins in Dallas.

Firms Finding Work in Distress

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By Julie Machal-Fulks |

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

Texas Family Code Chapter—Post Divorce Proceedings

By Jonathan J. Bates |

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

Michael P. Maslanka

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


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

Rob Crain, partner in Crain Lewis Brogdon.

Newmakers: Month of January

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

Securities Litigation in The Trump Era— Now What?

By Bradley W. Foster |

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

The Most Important Substantive Law Developments of 2016


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

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

Texas Law Firms Among Most Frequently Retained in Litigation Against Apple

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

US Women’s Soccer Team Ousts Dallas Leader

By Brian Baxter |

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

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

By David Ruiz |

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

Video Appears to Show Texas Police Shooting Man Walking Away

By Associated Press |

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

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

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

By Associated Press |

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

4 Critical Energy Issues to Watch in 2017

By Associated Press |

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

David Boies

Halliburton $100M Settlement Would End 14 Years of Litigation

By Celia Ampel |

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

Lawyers Behaving Badly 2016: Deposition Edition

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

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

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

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

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

Women Now Dominate Law School Classes. So What?

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

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

By Angela Neville |

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

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

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

By Gina Passarella |

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

Barack Obama.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

By Charles Toutant |

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

Vuk Vujasinovic, VB Attorneys, Houston.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Apple Accuses Nokia, Acacia of Antitrust Conspiracy

By Scott Graham |

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

Justice Karen Valihura, Delaware Supreme Court

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

By Tom McParland |

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

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

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


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

American Airlines.

10 Airplane Horror Stories That Spawned Damage Suits

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

SCOTUS 2016: Highlights and Lowlights

By Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle |

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

Jonathan J. Bates

FAQ: Family Violence Protective Orders

By Jonathan J. Bates |

What is a family violence protective order?

John Zavitsanos.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Tim Chandler, of Sidley Austin in Houston.

Newsmakers: Week of Dec. 19

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Ken Paxton

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Kindle Oasis

Last-Minute Shoppers: Top 10 Gadgets for Your Lawyer

By Alan Cohen |

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

 E. Scott Pruitt.

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

By Angela Neville |

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

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

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

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

Sutherland-Eversheds Deal Catapults Atlanta Firm Onto Global Scene

By Meredith Hobbs |

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

Latham Tapped for Two 'Prepack' Energy Bankruptcies

By Meghan Tribe |

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

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

By John Council |

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

Plaintiffs Firm Touts Texas-Sized Bonuses to Top Cravath

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Pepper Hamilton Faces Lawsuit Over Baylor Report

By Lizzy McLellan |

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

U.S. Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant of Sherman.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Oil rigs.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A busy year continues for Texas deal lawyers.

Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg, Texas.

'Judicial Hellholes' Report Trains Fire on South Texas County

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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


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

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

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Blockbuster Patent Venue Case

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

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

By John Council |

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

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

New San Antonio Firm Sets Sights on Startup Scene

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

UNT Dallas College of Law

Texas Supreme Court Allows UNT Law Grads to Take Bar Exam

By Angela Morris |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Texas State Capitol

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Stephen D. Susman

Susman Godfrey Touts Top-End Associate Bonuses

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Chrysta Castañeda, partner at The Castañeda Firm in Dallas.

Lawyer Helps Pickens Win Over Jurors, $146M Award

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

By Rebekah Mintzer |

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

Steve Mostyn.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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


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

Newsmakers: Week of Dec. 12

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

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


Supreme Court Rejects NFL Settlement Challenge

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Are the Best, Brightest Women Skipping Law School Altogether?

By Kathleen Wu |

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

Forget Toys for Tots — Texas Firm Offers Taxis for Tipplers

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

Michael Jordan Wins Trademark Case in China's Top Court

By Anna Zhang |

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

5th Circuit Grants Expedited Hearing in Overtime Rule Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Mark Perry, Gibson Dunn partner

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


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

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

By Angela Morris |

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

Wallace Jefferson, a partner in Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Michael Warner of Cole Schotz.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By C. Ryan Barber |

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

10 Most Underrated Law Schools in America

By Vivia Chen |

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

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

Escargot and Employee Lawsuits

By Alan Bush and Lee Winkelman |

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

Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Apple Loses to Samsung in Supreme Court Design Patent Case

By Tony Mauro |

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

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


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.

Mark Lanier on Billion-Dollar Verdicts and the Trump Effect


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?

Newsmakers: Week of Dec. 5

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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.

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.

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'


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.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Leading Ladies

By Heather Nevitt |

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

By Gregory V. Novak and Matthew Frontz |

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

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

By Michael Nasi |

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

A Cowboy Shoot-Out Over Whiskey Commences in Texas Court

By Miriam Rozen |

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

L-R Mark Wasserman and Bryan Hughes

Sutherland and Eversheds Are in Talks to Combine

By Meredith Hobbs |

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

Houston's Legge Farrow Inks Merger With Leading UK Firm

By Chris Johnson |

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

Drilling Operations (North Dakota, July 2012)

Three Firms on $855M Permian Basin Acquisition

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Donald Trump

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

By Zoe Tillman |

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

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

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

Muslim Lawyers Plan Strategy for a Trump Era

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

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

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

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

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

Stanford Loses Bid to Get High Court Review of Conviction

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

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.

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.

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

Texas Federal Judge Halts Obama Administration's New Overtime Rules

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Clip from the movie

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

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

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.

UNT Dallas College of Law

ABA Delays Accreditation Decision for UNT College of Law


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

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.

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.

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

By John Council |

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

Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

Buzbee Frets Little For Plaintiff Bar Under Trump

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Move Over LSAT, There's Another Test in Town

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

United States Supreme Court

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

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

Campaign Statements Tentatively Allowed Into Trump University Fraud Case

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

What Trump Presidency Means for Lawyers, Clients and the Courts

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

Newsmakers: Week of Nov. 11

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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.

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.

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.

Newsmakers: Week of Nov. 7


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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

Newmakers for the Month of November


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Newsmakers: Week of Oct. 24


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.

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?

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.