Latest News

Mexico Strengthens Anti-Corruption Laws

Mexico made amendments this week to its anti-corruption laws that will affect those doing business in Mexico and strives to change the way its people, and the world, perceive how business works there.

Taylor Swift, left, arriving at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, right, arriving at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Kim Kardashian vs. Taylor Swift: The Legal Implications of the Snapchat Recording

On Sunday, Kim Kardashian West posted a recording of a conversation on Snapchat between her husband Kanye West and Taylor Swift that was allegedly recorded without Swift’s consent — a potential violation of California state law requiring both parties to consent to the recording of communications.

Nelva G. Ramos.

Federal Judge to Texas: Aid Voters Without ID Before Presidential Election

By John Council |

A day after handing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed Texas a startling defeat over its voter I.D. because it discriminates against minority voters, a trial judge assigned to the case gave the state it's marching orders: come up with a plan that allows those without the proper papers to vote before the November general election.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Texas Judge Rules Against Gas Company in Dispute Over FERC Penalty

By Angela Neville |

A gas and power company has no recourse in federal court to interrupt ongoing administrative proceedings as regulators pursue claims of manipulation of the natural gas market, a Texas judge said.

Midland Firm, 2 Lawyers Sued for Alleged Forum Shopping

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Midland landman and his companies seek $1 million or more from Cotton Bledsoe Tighe & Dawson, a current shareholder, and a former shareholder for how they handled lawsuits for them in three Texas counties.

James Burnett.

Neither Side Pays in Law Firm Fee Dispute Accord

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

James Burnett of Sugar Land and his former firm, Whitley LLP Attorneys at Law of Houston, agree to a take-nothing judgment in a fee dispute.

Feinberg Testifies at Watts' Trial Over BP Claim Fraud Allegations

By Miriam Rozen |

Well-known victim funds administrator testified that he sought, but failed to receive, retention agreements showing Watts and his firm represented the 25,000 to 40,000 BP oil spill claimants, which the firm had identified on a spreadsheet as being represented by it.

(l-r) Joshua Rosenkranz, Peter Stris, and Allyson Ho.

Three Supreme Court Insiders From Outside the Beltway

Even with the dominance of Washington-based lawyers at the U.S. Supreme Court lectern, these advocates are familiar faces at the high court.

'You Don't Get Any Breaks': Tales of Pregnant Litigators

The demands of parenthood are intense for all working mothers and fathers, but litigators have the extra pressures of mandatory court appearances despite pregnancy or new-parent responsibilities. As Law.com reported on July 20, a rule under consideration in Florida would require judges to grant motions for continuance for parental leave, barring exceptional circumstances.

New Data Shows Texas Law Enforcement Shootings Led to Deaths in 29% of the Incidents

By Miriam Rozen |

New Texas data on law enforcement shootings reflects a national trend that could help plaintiff lawyers who pursue civil rights claims against law enforcement. Specifically, there are a growing number data banks that make it possible to compare police shootings by specific police departments, as well as by the race of the injured and killed. Such information could ultimately help such lawyers develop litigation strategies based on patterns and practices of police departments.

Fifth Circuit Rules Texas Voter ID Discriminates

In a split decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a trial court in part and found it discriminates against minority voters. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on a 9-5 vote asked for a fix of Texas' voter ID law.

Tony Buzbee.

Houston Firm Sued for Representing Son, Then Father

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston man seeks more than $1 million from a firm that once represented him, alleging it is negligent for representing his father in a lawsuit the son filed.

Texas Supreme Court building.

Latino Voters Challenge Voting Method for Texas Jurists

By John Council |

A group of Latino voters is challenging the way Texas selects members of its Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals, aiming to establish single-member districts that would represent a broader range of Texans.

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

Criminal Trial Over Oil Spill Claims Opens

By Miriam Rozen |

The prosecution's arguments took less than 20 minutes and Mike McCrum, a San Antonio criminal defense lawyer who represents Mikal Watts' co-defendant, his brother David Watts, spoke for 90 minutes--presenting the two Watts brothers' case.

Sunoco Settles with EPA Over Oil Spills in Texas and Oklahoma

By Angela Neville |

Sunoco Pipeline will pay the U.S. government $850,000 in civil penalties to resolve environmental claims tied to crude oil spills from the company's Barbers Hill, Texas facility and from the Cromwell, Oklahoma, facility. Sunoco Pipeline is a subsidiary of Sunoco Logistics Partners Operations.

A Waco Police SWAT vehicle is parked behind the Twin Peaks restaurant following a May 17, 2015, shootout between three rival motorcycle gangs earlier in the day. Gunfire erupted leaving  nine people dead.

Move to Recuse in Bikers-Melee Criminal Case 'Flattering' Waco DA Says

By Miriam Rozen |

What's McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna's reaction to defendants' attempt to have the courts remove him from Waco biker melee criminal cases? Reyna denies the allegations upon which the motions are based, but adds about the efforts: "I find it quite flattering."

Obama Still Has Shot to Fill Half of Texas' U.S. Judicial Vacancies

By John Council |

The window is quickly closing for President Barack Obama to fill 12 judicial vacancies in Texas—a state which leads the nation in empty seats on the bench and faces judicial emergencies in all four of its federal district.

Univ. of Texas in Austin Made the List of Nine of the Cheapest Cities with Law Schools

Want to attend law school in a city that will go easy on your bank account? We’ve identified the highest-ranked law schools in nine of the cheapest cities in the United States.

Baylor University Matter is One of 5 Cases That Could Shape Campus Sexual Assault Investigations

After Yale University expelled Jack Montague, a former basketball team captain determined by school officials to have sexually assaulted a female student, his lawyers went out on the offensive.

Should Judges Delay Trials for Pregnant Lawyers?

As his wife went into labor last year, it never occurred to attorney Marc Daffner that the judge might deny his motion for continuance of a preliminary hearing. Daffner even took a humorous approach to the motion, joking that “defense counsel will be killed by his wife if he does not get to the hospital immediately.”

Delegates celebrate as the New York state puts Donald Trump over the top in delegate votes to secure the nomination for president on Tuesday, Day Two of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Austin Lawyer Defused Bid to Derail Trump Nomination

By John Council |

When chaos broke out on the floor on the opening day of the Republican National Convention as anti-Trump delegates attempted to force a vote to break the binding pledges of delegates to vote for Donald Trump, an Austin lawyer was at the center of the storm.

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

Counts Dropped in Gulf Oil Spill Fraud Case Against Lawyer

A Texas lawyer and six co-defendants are now facing a reduced indictment of 73 charges, instead of 95, at federal trial on accusations that they faked more than 40,000 damage claims after the BP oil spill in 2010.

Attorneys Newton B. Schwartz, Sr., left, and Benton Musslewhite, right, at Frost National Bank in Houston, Texas. May 31, 2016. Courtesy photo

Battle Over Giant Rubies Spawns $25 Million Negligence Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

"The lawyers have each served only their own interests, fighting amongst each other like Indiana Jones and his French nemesis Rene Belloq," the plaintiffs allege in a lawsuit against Houston solos Newton Schwartz and Benton Musslewhite.

In Tight Job Market, New Law Grads Boldly Hang a Shingle

In talking to young lawyers who went into business for themselves during the past few years, Law.com found that some had no choice:

motorcycle

Defense Lawyers Seek to Remove DA in Waco from Biker Cases

By MIRIAM ROZEN |

The prosecutor has a personal and financial interest in the prosecutions of the bikers because if those succeed, the convictions will bolster his arguments against court awarding damages against him for his alleged violations of civil rights, a motion filed by criminal defense counsel argues.

Andrew Smulian, left, and Martin Beirne, right.

Akerman Expands in Four Cities as Houston's Beirne Maynard Shuts Its Doors

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston litigation shop Beirne, Maynard & Parsons is dissolving after nearly 30 years, with 30 trial lawyers joining Florida's Akerman and 10 others forming a new boutique.

The high court split 4-4 in June on the Obama administration's immigration policies, leaving in place a nationwide injunction.

Justice Dept. Urges the Supreme Court to Rehear Immigration Case

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rehear a challenge to the Obama administration's plan to delay the deportation of nearly five million undocumented immigrants.

Professor Susan Fortney of Texas A&M University School of Law.

Texas A&M Launches Solo and Small-Firm Incubator

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas A&M University School of Law has joined a national trend by providing an incubator program to help graduates transition into solo and small-firm practices.

Dallas Lawyer Gets Back $16.9M Client Had Paid in Arbitration

By John Council |

The arbitration process has been a thorough nightmare for Tom Loose's energy company client. But Loose recently convinced Dallas Fifth Court of Appeals that his clients had a legal right to have their money back — including a finding that opposing counsel was jointly and severally liable for pre- and post-judgment interest in the case.

Prosecutors Violated Brady Rule, Mikal Watts Alleges

By Miriam Rozen |

On the first day of what is expected to unfold as his lengthy criminal trial, Mikal Watts, a well-known San Antonio, Texas, plaintiffs lawyer, filed a motion seeking to halt the prosecutors from presenting testimony and witnesses.

Texas Lawyer Announces 2016 Lifetime Achievement Honorees

By Heather D. Nevitt |

Texas Lawyer is proud to announce the winners of our 2016 Professional Excellence Award: Lifetime Achievers.

Lynn Hughes.

Ex-Baseball Exec Gets 46 Months for Hacking Into Astros Data

By John Council |

A Houston federal judge has sentenced a former high-ranking official with Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals to a 46-month prison sentence after he pleaded to five counts stemming from his hacking into computer accounts of the Houston Astros.

U.S. Associate Salary Landscape

When Cravath, Swaine & Moore announced in June that it was increasing starting salaries for first-year associates to $180,000, firms around the country began to follow suit, either matching Cravath or increasing associate compensation by a lower amount, impacting markets across the country in unique ways. Not all firms jumped on the bandwagon, however.

FERC Hits BP With $20M Fine for Alleged Texas Gas-Market Manipulation

By Angela Neville |

Federal energy regulators this week fined BP America Inc. more than $20 million for allegedly manipulating the natural gas market in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Will Hutson, left, and Chris Harris, right, partners in the The Waco Law Firm.

Advice from Texas Singing Lawyers: 'Don't Eat Your Weed'

By John Council |

Waco law partners Will Hutson and Chris Harris both like to sing, play guitar and ponder the absurd nature of some of Texas criminal laws. So they created a minor hit—so to speak—when they wrote and uploaded "Don't Eat Your Weed" to YouTube a few months ago.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ginsburg, in Apology, Says Her Donald Trump Remarks Were ‘Ill-Advised’

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Thursday said she regretted her recent comments about the candidacy of presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump and vowed to be “more circumspect” in the future.

What's Behind the Fewer Civil Rights Lawsuits Against Law Enforcement in Texas and Florida?

By Miriam Rozen |

Fewer Texas and Florida plaintiffs and their counsel attempt to pursue civil rights cases against law enforcement officers when compared with their counterparts in other populous states such as California, New York and New Jersey. Plaintiffs and defense counsel offer a long list of reasons for the differences.

NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

NY Attorney General, Responding to Texas Lawmaker, Warns of 'Constitutional Conflict'

The New York attorney general's office on Wednesday, responding to Republican U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith's demand for information about a state investigation of Exxon Mobil and climate change, said the use of congressional subpoena power is "courting constitutional conflict." Smith's office issued subpoenas to New York AG Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts AG Maura Healey on Wednesday after the two offices refused to turn over the requested information.

Cell phone video screen shots of the police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.

Why Police-Shooting Videos Sizzle on Social Media But Fizzle in Court

Lawyers who deal with videos as evidence say that often a case rises or falls on what the camera didn’t capture.

U.S. House Republicans Clash With State AGs Over Exxon, Climate-Change Inquiries

Texas Republican Lamar Smith has set up a rare clash on Capitol Hill between conservative lawmakers and Democratic state attorneys general, including New York’s Eric Schneiderman, who face a noon deadline Wednesday to disclose information about their investigations of Exxon Mobil Corp.’s statements to investors about climate change.

Jim Harrington.

What's in a Word: Attorneys Tangle Over Whether Civil Rights Lawyer Used Slur or 'Border Slang'

By Miriam Rozen |

A plaintiffs attorney doubled down on his allegations with a filing in Austin federal court this week that Jim Harrington, a 43-year veteran civil rights lawyer, used a racial slur against him and should therefore be sanctioned.

Stephen Zamora.

Houston Law Center Mourns Former Dean's Death

By Karen Sloan |

Law school faculty and students swapped memories and condolences this week upon learning of Stephen Zamora's death at 72. He joined the law faculty in 1978 and served as dean from 1995 to 2000. He retired from teaching in 2014 but remained involved in the law school's Center for U.S. and Mexican Law.

A well drilling rig works in the eastern plains of Colorado to reach the Niobrara Shale formation.

Predictions on Fallout from the Fracking Ruling in Wyoming

By Angela Neville |

Texas Lawyer recently spoke separately to Mark Barron, a Denver partner at BakerHostetler, and with Jeffrey Reeser, a member at Sherman & Howard in Denver who practices in the firm's energy and natural resources group, about a recent Wyoming federal court ruling that struck federal fracking regulations.

'I Could No Longer Live with Myself': Lawyers Reveal Their Struggles with Alcohol

Alcoholism is rampant in the legal profession. One in three lawyers struggles with a drinking problem, and that rate is worse than for physicians and other highly educated workers.

Emergency responder vehicles sit outside of the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas.

‘A Bill That’s Come Due’: Lawyers Who Wore Badges Lament Shootings

In the wake of five police officers being shot to death in Dallas Thursday night and two years worth of mounting outrage and social unrest over the deaths of black civilians at the hands of police, attorneys with law enforcement backgrounds expressed dismay and sadness at recent events, lamented it could get worse after the Dallas shootings, and chalked up many of the deaths to a combination of stress, blind spots in training and for some, racial bias.

Jones Day, Bracewell and Others Advise $4B Pipeline Deal

By Lizzy McLellan |

A group of attorneys from Jones Day, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Troutman Sanders and Balch & Bingham are representing Southern Co. in the planned acquisition from Kinder Morgan of a 50 percent equity interest in the Southern Natural Gas pipeline system.

U.S. District Judge Walter Smith.

Fifth Circuit to Look Again at Judge Walter Smith's Punishment for Sexual Harassment

By John Council |

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is set to take another look at sexual harassment allegations against U.S. District Judge Walter Smith of Waco after his chief accuser complained that the jurist's one-year suspension of new case assignments was far too lenient a punishment. The second look was ordered last Friday by the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

The Black, Gun-Toting Man in Dallas PD's Tweet Seeks Answers, Exoneration

By Miriam Rozen |

Two criminal defense lawyers from Fort Worth and Dallas who represent Mark Hughes, an African-American man identified initially in a Dallas police department tweet as a suspect in the shootings that led to the deaths of five officers this month, want answers from Dallas police officials to multiple questions.

istockphoto.com

Texas Lawyer Announces 2016 Lawyers on the Rise

By Heather D. Nevitt |

Our editorial department reviewed more than 100 nominations of attorneys 40 and under who have established a record of accomplishments and demonstrated that they are top contributors to the practice of law and their communities.

DOL Fiduciary Hearing in Texas Set for Nov. 17

The federal judge in Texas overseeing the three lawsuits filed in the state against the rule sets a date to hear oral arguments

Obama Water-Rule Opponents Clash with Feds Over Wave of Suits

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court may become the next front for contentious and costly litigation over where challenges to the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule should be fought.

Police Officer Killings by Snipers Called Dallas’ Worst Tragedy Since JFK Assassination

Dallas criminal defense attorney Pete Schulte was out for dinner with friends last night when he learned that a police officer friend, Jesus Retana, had been shot in a downtown sniper ambush Thursday evening.

Dallas police move to detain a driver after several police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. At least two snipers opened fire on police officers during protests Thursday night; some of the officers were killed, police said. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Dallas Attack Breaks Pattern Shown in New AG Data

By Miriam Rozen |

Until the shooting deaths this week of five Dallas police officers, and the wounding of seven others, there had been 14 shootings of law enforcement officers in Texas in 2016. None of those shootings led to deaths. And none involved officers from the Dallas Police Department, according to data that the Texas attorney general's office began collecting from police departments statewide Sept. 1, 2015.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn

DOL Fiduciary Hearing in Texas Set for Nov. 17

By Melanie Waddell |

The federal judge in Texas overseeing the three lawsuits filed in the state against the rule sets a date to hear oral arguments.

IRS Investigating Facebook Over Ireland Asset Transfer

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking for a court order forcing Facebook Inc. to provide information to the IRS related to its transfer of many of its global assets to its Irish holding company.

Prosecutor Gets Front-Cover Attention Tracking Down Wrongful Drug Convictions

By Miriam Rozen |

Marie Munier, a former assistant district attorney in Harris County, Texas, earned the dubious distinction of having a 2014 letter she wrote informing a woman she had been erroneously prosecuted and convicted of a drug offense appear on the front cover for The New York Times Magazine issued this week.

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, left, walks out of the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse after the jury deliberated for a fifth full day in his trial, in Charleston, W.Va., on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015.

Mining Industry Groups Question Conspiracy Conviction of Ex-Massey CEO

By Angela Neville |

Three coal mining trade associations are raising concerns about the criminal conviction of ex-Massey Energy Chief Executive Officer Donald Blankenship for conspiracy to willfully violate mine health and safety regulations.

(l-r) Alan Loewinsohn, Jim Flegle, David Deary, Craig Simon, Matt Ray, and Dan Winikka of Loewinsohn Flegle Deary Simon.

Two Small Dallas Firms Merge

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas lawyers who have known each other for years merged their firms on July 1, forming Loewinsohn Flegle Deary Simon.

Old Post Office in Washington, D.C., future home of Trump International Hotel.

Allegedly Bilked Athletes May Recoup Losses From Inauguration Reservations at Trump's DC Hotel—Even if Clinton Wins

By Miriam Rozen |

Option buyers only get to stay in a hotel—then pay room rates—if they guess the Oval Office winner correctly. The SEC has filed an unrelated complaint against two executives and the former director of the ticket-selling company.

Justice Carol Hunstein

Georgia High Court OKs Ban on Online Sex Talk With Children

Justice Carol Hunstein, writing for the unanimous court, rejected arguments that the law interferes with constitutionally protected speech.

NRG GC: Energy Industry Faces a Challenging But Exciting Time

By Kristen Rasmussen |

When David Hill joined NRG Energy Inc. as the company's executive vice president and general counsel in September 2012, it was right in the middle of a big merger, and so Hill says he immediately "had to figure out how to put together two legal departments, both of which were composed of lawyers I didn't know."

Stephen Breyer.

Texas Abortion Data Disclosed 3 Days After SCOTUS Ruling

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas health agency released data on the number of abortions taking place in that state, notably, three days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling striking the Lone Star State's law restricting where and how abortions could take place.

The Arnold & Itkin trial team stands with Terry Yount, center, Andrew Yount's father.  July 1, 2016.

Janssen Hit With $70M Verdict in Latest Risperdal Trial

A unanimous Philadelphia jury today handed down a $70 million verdict against Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the latest trial over the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

Text Mining For Lawyers

By David Oliver |

Parsing legal opinions, testimony, documents and arguments for themes, patterns and premises that might otherwise go unnoticed is one of the few things learned in law school that I still find myself doing.

Jury Awards Plaintiff
 Claiming Several Injuries; Plus Other Verdict News

A driver who claimed a wide range of injuries—from neck and back pain to anxiety and nervousness—was awarded $5,211.

Know Your Cybersecurity Options

By Rick Anderson & Amy VanHoose |

Just about any organization using technology to do business faces potentially devastating cybersecurity risk and data breaches.

How GCs Can Help Mitigate Fraud and Corruption

By Kristen Rasmussen |

In 2014, Joel Squadrito's company incurred $3 million in losses from economic crime. By 2015, Squadrito and his security team at Steel Dynamics Inc. had reduced that figure to less than $50,000.

The Main Chorus: Accountability

By Gene R. Besen |

The days of individual executives avoiding responsibility for corporate fraud through the payment of massive corporate penalties (paid with shareholder dollars) are ending.

Larry Macon, partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, San Antonio & Dallas, runs marathons all over the country.

Guinness World Record Holder Larry Macon Knows How to Go the Distance

By Miriam Rozen |

If you want to catch Larry Macon, try looking for the San Antonio lawyer at the finish line of a marathon race.

Michael Abcarian

Dallas Lawyer Mike Abcarian Has Won 97 Suits Over the Last 20 Years

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas lawyer Mike Abcarian, who does employment litigation, has secured a win for his clients in 97 suits over the last 20 years.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Editor's Note: The Trump Effect

By Heather D. Nevitt, Esq. |

To be honest, the idea putting an image of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the cover seemed a bit cliche and overdone in our current media environment.

Will Donald Trump's Candidacy Impact Texas Judicial Races?

By John Council |

Maybe there will be no moment in the Donald Trump presidential campaign that is outrageous enough to sully the Republican Party's brand in Texas or harm its candidates' chances at the ballot box.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

The Judge Who Tried to School the Feds

By Miriam Rozen |

Hanen issued a sanctions order calling for five years of ethics training for a broad swath of DOJ lawyers May 19, after he concluded that the DOJ lawyers had made intentional misrepresentations to his court in bad faith. But that has not been the only Hanen ruling to generate national press attention.

David DeVeau is VP and GC, for Kinder Morgan in Houston, Tx.

Q&A with David DeVeau, VP and GC, for Kinder Morgan

What criteria do you consider most important when selecting outside counsel? Subject matter expertise, familiarity with the particular jurisdiction (especially in litigation matters), performance in past KM engagements...

James Ruiz, Winstead, Austin Texas

Austin Shareholder Appointed Chair of Firm's Litigation Department; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

James Ruiz, an Austin shareholder in Winstead, has been appointed chair of the firm's litigation and dispute resolution department. The department has more than six practice groups with more than 100 attorneys.

David DeVeau is VP and GC, for Kinder Morgan in Houston, Tx.

David DeVeau Had to Dabble in Family Law for a $3 Billion Deal

By Mary Alice Robbins |

When Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. was trying to acquire Hiland Partners in 2015, David R. DeVeau, the company's vice president and general counsel, had to bone up on an area of law that previously had been unfamiliar to him.

Corporate Counsel Checklist for International Arbitrations

By Nancy Geenen |

International arbitration proceedings share many key characteristics with arbitrations held in the United States, yet they require very different preparation efforts.

The Impact of New Overtime Rules on the Texas Oil and Gas Sector

By Angela Neville |

Laura Gibson, a partner with the firm of Dentons, explains what impact the new federal overtime rules will have on the Texas oil and gas sector.

Mike Maslanka

5 Insights to Help You Be the Best Version of Yourself

By Mike Maslanka |

Let's cue up some MÖtley CrÜe: "All bad things must end/all bad things must die."True enough, and it's our job as lawyers to speed along the process when it comes to inculcating the clause of honesty and ethical conduct in our firms and companies.

Harmonizing Soriano, Citgo, and Patterson

By J. Price Collins & Ashley F. Gilmore |

In Texas, an insurer owes a duty of ordinary care in handling a demand to settle a third-party liability claim against its insured—known as the Stowers duty, derived from the 1929 case by that name.

Grounds for Measured Optimism on Job Prospects

By James Leipold |

Despite the endless publicity about the poor job market for law school graduates since the recession, the entry-level legal job market has actually been improving for the past three years.

Selecting The Arbitrator

By Penny P. Reid & Tiffanie N. Limbrick |

The ability to select the ultimate decision-maker is one of the key advantages of arbitration. Unlike trial, where the decision-maker is an assigned judge or an unknown jury, in arbitration the parties get to choose the arbitrator.

Tim McConn, Yetter Coleman, Houston Texas. Handout Photo 6-30-2016

Newsmakers: Week on July 4

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Tim McConn has joined Yetter Coleman as a partner in Houston. He is a commercial trial lawyer who represents plaintiffs and defendants in disputes in the upstream and midstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

Commentary: Texas Legislature's Sunset Showdown

By Rich Robins |

On June 23, in Austin, the Texas Legislature's Sunset Advisory Commission held a hearing on the state agencies that are currently under Sunset review.

Richard Mithoff, Houston Texas. Climbing Mount Olympus.

Scaling New Heights: Richard Mithoff

By Miriam Rozen |

Houston litigator went to Mount Olympus in Greece for spring, but got snow.

Texas entrepreneur Sam Wyly walks into U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in New York, for closing arguments in the civil trial of Wyly and his late brother Charles. The pair are accused of earning more than $500 million through fraud and deception by secretly trading the securities of public companies they controlled.

Bankruptcy Judge Curtails Sam Wyly's Homestead Exemption to $155K

By Miriam Rozen |

Two days after a Dallas federal bankruptcy judge ordered former billionaire and Texan Sam Wyly to pay the Internal Revenue Service $1.1 billion, the same judge issued a memorandum allowing him to claim only a $155,000 homestead exemption on his home. Wyly values the home at $12 million and the local tax appraisal district values it at $9 million.

Haynes and Boone managing partner Timothy Powers.

Haynes and Boone to Bolt on UK Boutique Post-Brexit

Haynes and Boone announced Thursday that it has agreed merge with Curtis Davis Garrard, a 20-lawyer London firm that has clients in the shipbuilding and offshore oil and gas industries and handles both transactional work and litigation.

Hillary H. Holmes, Corporate Partner, Tax Partner, at Baker Botts in Houston.

Akin Gump Leads Texas Firms in National Pro Bono Rankings

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld ranked the highest among Texas Am Law 200 firms on The American Lawyer's Pro Bono report.

Convictions Upheld for Married San Antonio Lawyers Who Demanded Payments From Wife's Sexual Partners

By John Council |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has declined to overturn the convictions of formerly married San Antonio lawyers who were convicted of theft after the wife had sexual liaisons with four men whom the husband subsequently threatened with litigation unless they compensated him for his emotional distress.

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Houston College of Law Leaders Say New Name Not Confusing

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The board of directors and administrators of newly-named Houston College of Law maintain law school on "firm legal ground" in name change, despite infringement suit filed by University of Houston.

Justices to Hear From Hearing-Impaired Texans Over Roadblocks to Drivers' Licenses

By Miriam Rozen |

In Texas, hearing-impaired persons under the age of 25, who use sign language to communicate, face special obstacles to obtaining a driver's license and therefore from equal access to public benefits, according to plaintiffs who won on June 28 the right to argue their case before the U.S. Supreme Court during its next term.

Text Message About Johnny Football Benches Local Counsel

By Miriam Rozen |

If lawyers are going to make a mistake and send a text message to a reporter with attorney-client privileged information, the scenario may play out better for them in disciplinary terms when the client is as famous as ex-pro football player Johnny "Football" Manziel.

Houston Lawyer Convinces Supreme Court That Railroad Has No Responsibility For West Nile Mosquito Bite

By John Council |

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Kent Rutter recently convinced the Texas Supreme Court that a railroad had no liability to a worker who contracted the West Nile virus while repairing track on a mosquito-infested worksite.

SEC: GC Part of "Egregious Fraud" at Dallas Energy Company

By kristen rasmussen |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has accused executives at a Dallas oil and gas energy company, including the CEO and general counsel, of a "long-lasting and egregious fraud" that included spending investors' money at gentlemen's clubs.

Texas and Volkswagen Shake Hands on $50M Partial Settlement

By Miriam Rozen |

Shortly after Volkswagen announced a $14.7 billion deal to settle claims in the United States with consumers and the federal government related to its alleged diesel emissions deceptions, Texas unveiled a partial settlement, calling for the German carmaker to pour some $50 million into state coffers.

Goodwill: Corporate or Personal?

By Jeff Compton |

We use the term "goodwill" to identify the intangible but valuable asset of a business arising from its reputation and customer relationships.

Energy Transfer Can Escape Merger Over Tax Consequences

Energy Transfer Equity may escape its merger agreement with Williams Companies, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III ruled in a closely watched case June 24, finding Energy Transfer’s desire to avoid potential tax liability was genuine and not a malicious effort to sandbag the deal, once valued at over $30 billion.

Protesters gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, June 27, the day the justices stuck down a Texas abortion clinic law.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Restrictions in Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday ruled 5-3 in favor of abortion rights, striking down restrictions imposed by Texas on abortion clinics that the court said posed an “undue burden” on a woman’s access to abortion.

Anthony 'Tony' Buzbee of The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston

University of Houston Regents Sue Houston College of Law

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The University of Houston board of regents filed a federal infringement suit against the newly named Houston College of Law.

Demonstrators for and against abortion rights demonstrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt case. March 2, 2016. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Row Over Texas Health Officials' Data Delays Highlighted by Abortion Decision

By Miriam Rozen |

In abortion ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court majority's reliance on that data throws into high relief a pending controversy: Did the state agency's general counsel delay release of additional, updated data from the same sources?

Scott Keller

Abortion, Immigration Capped Active Supreme Court Term for Keller

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, who spent his recent Mondays and Thursdays like most other Supreme Court watchers — glued to social media — reflects on his first year as Texas' top advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was capped Tuesday by a defeat on abortion restrictions but was also marked by an effective victory that stopped enforcement of the Obama administration's executive actions on immigration.

Thompson & Knight Ups Associate Base Pay

By Brenda sapino jeffreys |

Dallas-based Thompson & Knight is the latest large Texas firm to increase base salaries for its U.S. associates.

Jim Harrington, director and attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project, an Austin nonprofit

Sanctions for Slang? Prominent Civil Rights Lawyer Fights Racism Allegations In Federal Court

By John Council |

In 43 years of fighting on behalf of minority voters, farm workers and people with disabilities, Austin civil rights lawyer Jim Harrington says he's been called plenty of derogatory names, but never this one: Racist.

'I Ate Burritos Virtually Every Day': How Big-Name Lawyers Coped with Bar-Study Stress

By Leigh Jones |

Remember studying for the bar exam? Flashcards, prep courses, outlines. So fun! As thousands of law graduates across the country are preparing for the test this summer, we asked prominent lawyers who made it through to the other side to share their quirky rituals or behaviors that helped them succeed.

Law Firms Face Uncertain Future as Brexit Result Hits Markets

By Chris Johnson |

Law firms across the U.K. and beyond are facing an uncertain future after Britain voted to leave the European Union. Clifford Chance senior partner Malcolm Sweeting said the so-called Brexit will have "serious implications," while K&L Gates' European managing partner Martin Lane said it will "create shockwaves across the globe."

VW Settlement Tops $10 Billion, WSJ Reports

By Law.com Staff |

Volkswagen AG will pay more than $10 billion dollars to settle a wave of consumer litigation that has enveloped the company since its emissions cheating scandal erupted, and a further $4 billion to address the environmental impact it has caused, according to news reports.

Seven Ways Brexit Will Impact Big Law

By Chris Johnson |

Earlier this morning, the U.K. took the unprecedented step of voting to leave the European Union. The so-called Brexit will not happen for at least two years, but the shock result has already resulted in widespread market turmoil.

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Another Fracas Over Law School Name Change, Now In Houston

By Karen Sloan and Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Just three months after George Mason University faced a barrage of criticism for renaming its law school in honor of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the South Texas College of Law has raised the ire of the nearby University of Houston Law Center by renaming itself the Houston College of Law.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

SCOTUS Ruling Trains Eyes on Federal Judge in Brownsville, TX

By Miriam Rozen |

As a result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued today in an immigration case, many more eyes will be trained on U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen who will preside at trial. At that trial, which the high court ruled may now take place, Texas and 25 other states will be pitted against the Obama administration's proposed immigration reforms. A portrait below, scheduled for print publication in the July issue of Texas Lawyer, shows Hanen's performance last month as he wrestled from the bench with arguments that he had overstepped his authority by issuing sanctions requiring ethics training for U.S. Department of Justice lawyers. At the hearing, Hanen reversed his own sanctions order, but his expressions from the bench before doing so, may shed light on how he will preside at the scheduled trial.

Newsmakers: Week of June 27

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Fault Lines Sharpen After Judge Voids Federal Fracking Rules

By Ben Seal and Marcia Coyle |

A Wyoming federal judge's decision Tuesday striking down the Obama administration's hydraulic fracturing rules was a significant victory for the oil and gas industry as federal, state and local governments clash over the authority to impose regulations.

Plaintiff Abigail Fisher after arguments in <i>Fisher v. University of Texas</i> at Austin. December 9, 2015.

Justices Split Over Race in University Admissions

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court’s surprise ruling on Thursday upholding the affirmative action program at the University of Texas may bring a pause—but not an end—to decades of attacks on race-conscious admissions policies nationwide.

Abid Qureshi of Latham & Watkins.

White House Eyes Latham Partner for Federal Bench in DC

By Zoe Tillman |

Abid Qureshi, a partner at Latham & Watkins and the global chairman of the firm’s pro bono practice, is being vetted by the White House for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, according to four sources familiar with the process.

As Big Firms Up Associate Pay, Regional Firms See an Opening

Midsize and regional firms are eyeing a wave of salary increases for associates at big law firms as a way to reinforce their long-touted message: We're in tune with the economic realities facing clients and do high-quality work for less money.

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.

Supreme Court Deadlocks on Immigration, Keeping Injunction in Place

By Marcia Coyle and Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday deadlocked in a challenge to an Obama administration program that would defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants, issuing a 4-4 ruling that keeps in place an injunction blocking the immigration directives.

Anthony Kennedy.

Divided Supreme Court Upholds UT Affirmative Action Program

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a controversial race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas, in a 4-3 ruling written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Fracking operation in Texas.

Wyoming Judge Strikes Federal Agency's Fracking Rule

A Wyoming judge on Tuesday struck down as unlawful a set of federal rules that regulate the extraction of oil and gas by hydraulic fracturing, delivering a setback to the Obama administration and environmental advocates.

States Get Failing Grades for Judicial Diversity

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

A report released Wednesday by the American Constitution Society confirmed what anyone who has set foot in a courtroom may have noticed: judges are mostly white men, while the people appearing before them are much more diverse.

American Ninja Warrior Season 8 Submission Video of Brian Burkhardt, Texas Tech 2L

For TV Gig, Law Student Becomes Ninja Warrior

By Karen Sloan |

Call him the American Ninja Law Student. Brian Burkhardt, who just completed his first year at Texas Tech University School of Law, made his debut Monday on American Ninja Warrior—the supersized obstacle-course TV show that sends buff and nimble contestants scurrying up walls, shimmying across balance beams, and swinging from a Rube Goldberg-esque lineup of ropes, poles and moving contraptions.

Haynes and Boone Increases Associate Salaries

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

Dallas-based Haynes and Boone announced raises for U.S. associates effective July 1, ranging from a $180,000 starting base salary to $325,000.

Ex-Judicial Conduct Commissioner Suspended From Bench Over Transparency Charge

By John Council |

The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct was forced to suspend one of its former memebrs from the bench without pay after he was indicted for allegedly violating open meetings laws.

Longtime Big Law Trial Lawyer Opens Own Litigation Shop

By Brenda sapino jeffreys |

Looking for some "fun cases," trial lawyer James Edward "Jim" Maloney left Andrews Kurth to open a solo practice in Houston.

Bert Rein of Wiley Rein, who represented Abigail Fisher (right) in Fisher v University of Texas, addresses the media after arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2012.

In Fisher, Affirmative Action Advocates See Means to Preserve Campus Diversity

By John Council |

Affirmative action advocates applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Fisher v. University of Texas — a decision they believe that will go a long way in preserving racially diverse student bodies on college campuses across the United States.

Local Link With Jurors Helped Underpin $34M Car Seat Verdict, Lawyer Says

By Miriam Rozen |

A four-day trial in federal court in Tyler,Texas, this month led to a $34.4 million verdict for a young mother from nearby Marshall and her toddler son, who suffered life-altering head and back injuries while in a front-facing car seat during a crash.

Open Letter to a Data Thief (Turned Federal Defendant)

By Alan Bush and Lee Winkelman |

Dear Ex-Employee: Remember that job you left a couple weeks back, downloading the company's product designs and customer list and bringing them to its hottest competitor? Congratulations, here's a federal lawsuit.

South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX.

Houston Law School Changes Name in Brand Awareness Bid

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

As of June 22, the 93-year-old South Texas College of Law is rebranded as Houston College of Law.

Commentary: The Supreme Court's New Whistleblower Decision Is Huge

By STEVE KARDELL |

As someone famously said, "We live in a material world." After the Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar decision, this is particularly true in at least two ways.

Attorney Acting in Nonlegal Role Still Owes Fiduciary Duty, Court Rules

By John Council |

Even though a lawyer acted as an escrow agent — and not in the role of an attorney — in a business deal gone sour, Dallas' Fifth Court of Appeals reversed a take-nothing judgment against him and his firm after finding they had a fiduciary duty to a client who paid $250,000 for a beer store that turned out to have $260,000 in tax liens looming over it.

Baker Botts Reporting Triggers SEC's Probe into Investment Adviser with NFL & MLB Clients

By Miriam Rozen |

Shortly after the Super Bowl last February, two partners in Houston's Baker Botts and principals with their client, a Dallas-based investment advisory firm, reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission concerns about likely problems with investments in a ticket-selling business that an adviser had initiated for a number of clients, including major league sports stars. This week, prompted by that reporting, the SEC announced it had filed a complaint against Ash Narayan, an adviser who previously worked from a Newport Coast, California, office of RGT Capital Management, the Dallas-based firm and others.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas High Court Split Decision Halts Homeowners Who Claimed Harris Cty's Inaction Led to Flood Damages

By Miriam Rozen |

Some 400 Houston-area homeowners who claimed their properties suffered flood damages because of upstream development allowed by the local government officials won no relief from the Texas Supreme Court. In a 5-4 ruling, the court's majority determined that local officials would not have known that particular properties downstream would flood.

U.S. Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Turns Back Challenge to Post-Sandy Hook Gun Ban

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away challenges to assault weapons bans in Connecticut and New York which were enacted after the mass shooting of 26 children and staff at Sandy Hook elementary school.

Brazil’s Pre-Olympics Emergency Declaration Raises Legal Questions

A Brazilian state governor’s declaration of a state of emergency and request for federal money to meet obligations in hosting the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is being questioned on constitutional grounds and may lead to lawsuits, attorneys say.

Locke Lord Opens Office in Ohio

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

Dallas-based Locke Lord opens an office in Cincinnati on June 20, which is staffed by two public finance laterals.

Dallas Lawyer Convinces Supreme Court to Toss Defamation Case with Shocking Allegation

By John Council |

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Dallas Lawyer Convinces Supreme Court to Toss Defamation Case with Shocking Allegation.

Lawsuit Targets Austin Short-Term Rental Ordinance

By Miriam Rozen |

The gig economy — specifically, the short-term rental industry that includes HomeAway, Airbnb, and VRBO — is under attack by the city of Austin, Texas, according to a lawsuit filed in state court June 20, which was sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Donald Trump

Pensive Trump at Buzbee Home: "I Can Live Either Way"

By Miriam Rozen |

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, appeared at a fundraising party in Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee's home.

Andrews Kurth managing partner Bob Jewell

Andrews Kurth Jumps on Salary Bandwagon

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston-based Andrews Kurth is the latest large Texas firm to raise associate salaries to the new, higher market rate set by Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Houston Attorney Sues Starbucks Over Hot Coffee

By John COUNCIL |

In a case that may be a replay of one of the most notorious tort cases in American history, a Houston attorney recently filed a case against Starbucks alleging that she was seriously burned by hot coffee that was served to her from a drive-thru window.

Oil Exploration Company's Demand for Tax Refund Fails in Texas Supreme Court

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday turned down an oil company's bid for a large tax exemption and held that Southwest Royalties Inc.'s purchases of casing, tubing, other well equipment and associated services were not exempt from sales taxes available to certain manufacturers.

Newsmakers: Week of June 20

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Mexico Agrees to API Worker-Safety Standards

By ANGELA NEVILLE |

Mexico, as part of the country's initiative to attract outside investors, recently agreed to use the American Petroleum Institute's safety standards in its energy programs to promote worker safety at offshore drilling sites.

Law Firms Brace for Brexit as EU Referendum Vote Looms

By Chris Johnson |

In exactly a week’s time, the U.K. public will undertake arguably its most important vote in generations, on whether the country will remain within the European Union. The repercussions of Brexit, as it is called, could resonate at a global level. Even the mere possibility of a U.K. withdrawal has already taken a toll on law firms and the financial markets.

Supreme Court Tweaks Rules for Attorney Fees in Copyright Cases

By Scott Graham |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday recalibrated the law of copyright fee shifting, telling the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that it was placing too much weight on the objective reasonableness of parties’ litigation positions.

Ex-Uber, Lyft Drivers Must Identify Worksite to Win Lawsuits

By Miriam Rozen |

Labor lawyers on both the employer and employee side of the aisle predict some heavy lifting for Austin, Texas-based former Uber and Lyft drivers targeting the ride-hailing companies with twin class-action lawsuits.

Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the Liberty Institute

Trump's Bluster on Muslims Taken in Stride by Religious Freedom Stalwart

By MIRIAM ROZEN |

Has Donald Trump, as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, recently refined his rhetoric enough to satisfy a well-known Texas litigator who has long his hung well-financed his hat on advocating for religious freedoms?

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani to Officiate His First Same-Sex Wedding

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will officiate his first same-sex wedding this weekend, marrying his former law partner Scott Segal, who leads Bracewell's policy resolution group in its Washington, D.C. office, to Travis Hatch, an interior designer.

Women Sue Baylor Over School's Alleged Failure to Respond to Rape Complaints

By John Council |

Three women have filed a federal lawsuit against Baylor University in a Waco U.S. District Court, alleging that the university ignored their allegations of sexual assault while they were students.

Ryan Sitton, Railroad Commissioner of Texas

A Texas Energy Regulator Rails on Agency's Arcane Name

By ANGELA NEVILLE |

You know the name if you work in the energy sector. The Texas Railroad Commission, around since 1891, regulates exploration, production and transportation of oil and natural gas in Texas.

Host Tony Buzbee "Not Worried" About Security for Trump Donor Party

By Miriam Rozen |

"I'm a former Marine recon officer who served in the Persian Gulf and Somalia," the Houston lawyer said.

Bracewell Gives Raises to Associates, Cuts Staff

By brenda sapino jeffreys |

The same week Houston-based Bracewell said it would move to the new Cravath market rate for salaries for its U.S. associates, the firm laid off a group of support staff.

Yelp Reviewers and Koch Aim to Bolster Speech Protections

By Miriam Rozen |

Yelp.com, Koch Industries' CEO Charles Koch, and a Dallas couple who own a dog and pet fish all have chosen the same side in a growing debate about the free-speech rights of online reviewers.

Pharma Antitrust Case Gets Bogged Down in Procedural Muck

Oral arguments in a closely watched antitrust suit by a pharmacy chain against three drugmakers became weighed down in a procedural morass in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit courtroom Monday.

Harvard Grad Who Flunked Bar Sues Over Loss of Big-Law Job

By Karen Sloan |

A 2013 Harvard graduate who twice failed the bar exam has sued the New York State Board of Law Examiners, claiming its refusal to provide testing accommodations derailed her career at Ropes & Gray.

Salvador Colon, Law Office of Salvador Colon, Houston.

Houston Lawyer Convinces 5th Circuit Immigrant's Case Was Botched Over Wrong Address

By John Council |

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Houston attorney convinces Fifth Circuit that immigrant's case was botched over a wrong address.

Bracewell to Move to Cravath Salary Scale

By Brenda Sapino jeffreys |

Following the market rate set by Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Houston-based Bracewell will raise salaries of U.S. associates on July 1.

Scott Keller

Will Texas' Top Appellate Lawyer Get to Make Victory Laps in DC?

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller might be taking multiple victory laps when he makes a July 6 scheduled speaking appearance at a conservative Washington, D.C. think tank's post-term symposium review of U.S. Supreme Court rulings. If the high court rules in the Lone Star state's favor in two pending cases, Keller will have achieved in his first 18 months as Texas' top appellate lawyer a 4-to-1 record before the justices. The cases he has argued are about controversial legal questions, which have generated plenty of nationwide attention.

Baker Botts Raises Associate Salary Scale

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts, based in Houston, joins Texas firm Vinson & Elkins in raising the base salary for entry-level U.S. associates to $180,000.

 Mark Kelly

V&E Hires Five IP Litigators in Austin, Dallas

By Brenda sapino jeffreys |

Houston-based Vinson & Elkins hires five litigators who do IP work, with four coming from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and one from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Bankrupt Former Billionaire Sam Wyly Fights to Keep his $9M Home

By Miriam Rozen |

In his bankruptcy case, onetime billionaire and Texan Sam Wyly asked the court this week to exempt from the clutches of claimants, including the Internal Revenue Service, his annuities, his 401(k), his religious books and his $9 million-appraised Dallas home. Federal prosecutors, however, argue that because Wyly had been found liable in a New York federal court for securities fraud, he should not get to keep such a high-priced abode away from claimants.

Locke Lord Raises Associate Salaries

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Locke Lord will move to new $180,000 market base salary rate for beginning associates in large markets as of July 1 and increase to $155,000 in smaller markets.

Stephen D. Susman

Susman Godfrey Goes to $190K for First-Years

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

McKool Smith of Dallas and Houston-based Susman Godfrey raise associate salaries in the wake of Cravath, Swaine & Moore's move last week.

Three Lawyers Start Houston Trial Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three lawyers left Beirne, Maynard & Parsons in Houston to form litigation firm Hicks Davis Wynn.

Shell's Legal Offshoring a Sign of Things to Come

The announcement by Royal Dutch Shell that it plans to open an offshore legal operations center illustrates a growing trend, according to industry experts.

Atlanta Judge Awards Legal Fees in National DNA Case

By R. Robin McDonald |

In a nationally watched case that set limits on the kind of genetic information employers can compel from employees, a federal judge in Atlanta has awarded more than $500,000 in legal fees to the lawyers who brought the federal discrimination case.

Have Global Compliance Problems? You're Not Alone

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Companies operating in Brazil, India and Russia face heightened ethics and compliance risks, according to a global survey of 13 countries.

Four Tips To Get Over That “Dirty” Feeling When Networking

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Who knew lawyers have such moral scruples? According to research by business school faculty members at Toronto, Harvard and Northwestern universities, lawyers approach networking with absolute dread because they feel guilty that they’re doing it for purely selfish reasons.

Texas, Delaware and Other States Want Their MoneyGram Battle Settled By High Court

By Miriam Rozen |

Such original lawsuits rank as a rare breed at SCOTUS.

Reagan Bradford

In-House Lawyer Who Hired W. Mark Lanier Joins His Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Reagan Bradford, a former deputy general counsel at Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Corp., has joined Lanier Law Firm of Houston to do commercial litigation.

 Mark Kelly

V&E Raising U.S. Associate Salaries

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins, based in Houston, notified U.S. associates on June 9 that it will raise associate salaries starting July 1.

Uber iPhone app. December 11, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

For Uber and Lyft: Goodbye Austin, Hello Class Action Lawsuits

By Miriam Rozen |

Austin's Slack & Davis represents both suits and, if the law firm's proposed class actions succeeds, it hopes plenty of others who once drove in Austin, Texas for the ride-hailing companies will follow. In twin law suits filed in San Francisco federal court on June 9, Johnston, Thornton, and their Slack & Davis lawyers have crafted a novel approach to pursue Uber and Lyft.

Williamson County Attorney Jana Duty

Resign or Go, Business Leaders Tell Williamson County DA After State Bar Disciplinary Action

By Miriam Rozen |

As business leaders in her hometown to call for her resignation, Williamson County District Attorney Jana Duty was put by the State Bar of Texas' Commission for Lawyer Discipline on probated suspension for 18 months, ending November 30, 2017.

Deans & Lyons Opens Houston Office

By brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Five trial lawyers in Houston move to Deans & Lyons' new Houston office.

Judge Aaron Persky Unlikely to Lose Seat Over Stanford Sex Assault Case

By Ben Hancock |

Despite the outrage it’s not easy to unseat a judge—and not all are calling for it.

Newsmakers: Week of June 13

By MARY ALICE ROBBINS |

Rachel S. Giani has joined the Austin office of Winstead as of counsel in the firm's corporate, securities and mergers and acquisitions practice group. Plus other On the Move News.

7 Concepts Every In-House Lawyer Needs to Know About Bankruptcy

By Anna Rotman and Brian Schartz |

By now, the statistics are well-known throughout Texas: domestic crude oil prices have fallen over 50 percent since mid-2014; domestic natural gas prices have fallen over 50 percent over the same period.

Andrews Kurth, White & Case Handle Medical Device Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

LDR Holding Corp., of Austin and Troyes, France, is using Andrews Kurth for its pending $1 billion acquisition by Zimmer Biomet, an Indiana company that turned to White & Case.

Judge Junks Merck's $200M Patent Verdict Against Gilead

By Scott Graham |

A federal judge in San Jose on Monday threw out a $200 million patent infringement verdict against Gilead Sciences Inc. over its hepatitis C treatment. And she ripped into Merck, a former in-house patent prosecutor for the company, and Merck’s outside counsel at Williams & Connolly for “egregious misconduct” that tainted the March trial.

Commercial Accounts Targeted by New Breed of Bank Robber

By STEVE THOMAS |

In April, a new breed of bank robber hit 24 U.S. and Canadian banks, scooping up $4 million in less than two weeks before heading to Europe and stripping millions more from 17 Polish banks and one major Portuguese bank.

Haynes and Boone Hires Three Bankruptcy Laterals

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three bankruptcy lawyers leave Winstead to join Haynes and Boone as partners in Dallas.

Brownsville Texas Judge Stays His Own Sanctions Order Targeting DOJ Lawyers

By Miriam Rozen |

During much of a June 7 hearing, U.S. District Judge Hanen and DOJ lawyers revisited what communication had taken place between each other. Both sides addressed the question of whether the DOJ lawyers lied to the judge about number of immigrants who had participated in Obama administration waiver to work programs at various. The DOJ said they hadn't lied or misrepresented. Hanen concluded they did.

Lewis Brisbois Hires Six Laterals in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

William "Bill" Helfand leads a group of six labor and employment lawyers who moved to Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith from Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry of Houston.

Skepticism Voiced About Texas AG's Bid to Silence Ex-Agency Lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

In a cease and desist letter, first assistant to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office overreached, according to ethics experts and other lawyers familiar with the specifics.

Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

Buzbee to Host Trump Fundraiser

By Miriam Rozen |

Houston litigator Tony Buzbee has scheduled June 17 fund raising event for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Newsmakers: Week of June 6

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Ashley W. Anderson has joined Thompson & Knight as a partner in the firm's Dallas and Fort Worth offices; Plus other 'On The Move' News

The front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

Judge Stays Order Calling for DOJ Ethics Training

By Miriam Rozen |

The Brownsville, Texas, federal judge who presides in the immigration battle between Texas and 25 other states agreed to stay until at least Aug. 22 an order he issued last month requiring, among other things, five years of ethics training for U.S. Department of Justice lawyers.

U.S. Supreme Court to Revisit Death Penalty Issues in Texas Cases

The intersection of intellectual disability and race with capital punishment lies at the heart of two appeals that the court on Monday agreed to review next term.

DOJ Amps Up Fight Over Judge's Ethics-Training Order

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers filed on Friday evening a petition for writ of mandamus, seeking to overturn a sanctions ruling issued against them by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas.

Cybersecurity Special Report

Making Informed Choices About the Deep Dark Web Individuals and organizations that intend to operate in the Dark Web space should seek expert counsel…

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

'School's Out' for DOJ Lawyers in Row With Texas Judge

By Miriam Rozen |

The Brownsville, Texas, federal judge who on June 7 stayed his sanctions order calling for U.S. Department of Justice lawyers to undergo ethics training said he would never send "the entire DOJ to school again."

The Importance of Escrow Agreements in Software and Technology License Agreements

By Julie Machal-Fulks |

Some of their most integral software applications businesses use are under another party's control.

Beware the Potential Move from Inapplicable Cybersecurity Standards to an Applicable Standard of Care

By BY Jay Johnson |

A Connecticut court determined that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and its implementing regulations "may be utilized to inform the standard of care applicable to ... claims arising from allegations of negligence in the disclosure of patient's medical records pursuant to a subpoena."

Property Owner Prevails in Suit Over Kitchen Fire; Plus Other Verdict News

A jury sided with an apartment owner that was accused of covering up evidence in its investigation of a grease fire.

Ali’s Lawyers, Counsel to The Champ, Recall Representing The Greatest

Billions around the world have felt the death of Muhammad Ali, a legendary boxer who turned himself into a global icon. Not surprisingly, a man who made a living with his fists—but became known for his words—employed more than a few lawyers in his lifetime.

Kinder Morgan's $2B Gas Project Gets FERC Approval

By Angela Neville |

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved the approximately $2 billion Elba Liquefaction Project, which will be constructed and operated by the Kinder Morgan subsidiaries Elba Liquefaction Co. and Southern LNG Co.

Houston Company Alleges Lawyers, Firm Overbilled

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In a negligence and breach of fiduciary duty petition filed on June 2, a Houston company alleges Kelley Kronenberg and two Houston lawyers mishandled a lawsuit and overbilled them.

Verrilli, Who Defended Obama Policies in Landmark Cases, is Leaving Justice Department

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. is leaving office on June 24 and will be replaced as acting SG by Ian Gershengorn the principal deputy the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday.

U.S. Chamber, Business Groups Sue Labor Dept. Over New Fiduciary Rule

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business and financial industry groups sued in federal court Wednesday to block a new U.S. Labor Department rule that raises the standards stockbrokers must meet when they give retirement guidance.

Vicky Gunning, Locke Lord LLP, Dalls, Tx

Locke Lord Taps New Dallas Office Leader

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Real eatate partner Vicky Gunning is now managing partner of the Locke Lord Dallas office, and is one of four new office leaders the firm announced on June 1.

Susman Godfrey Wins $14M for Hospital

By Miriam Rozen |

Chalk up a win for hospitals over insurers in the fight over out-of-networking billing.

Bracewell, Baker Botts Work on $12.2B Energy Acquisition

By Angela Neville |

Great Plains Energy, the parent of regulated power utility Kansas City Power & Light has turned to Bracewell for assistance with its pending acquisition of Westar Energy, the largest electric company in Kansas.

Linda Addison, Norton Rose Fulbright’s US managing partner

Norton Rose Fulbright Opens San Francisco Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Norton Rose Fulbright adds 17 public finance laterals from Sidley Austin on June 2.

Yelp Review of Pet-sitting Company Protected by Free-Speech, Defendants Argue

By Miriam Rozen |

Dog and fish owners told a Dallas court on June 2 that the breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by a pet-sitting company violates their free-speech rights. The pet owners asked the court to toss the lawsuit.

Steve Otillar, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer& Feld, Houston Texas

Akin Gump Partner Named President-Elect for Association of International Petroleum Negotiators

By Angela Neville |

Akin Gump oil and gas partner Steven Otillar, who works in the firm's Houston office, was recently nominated to serve as the president-elect of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

Anthony 'Tony' Buzbee of The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston

Tony Buzbee to Paxton's Defense Team: Get Before a Jury

By Miriam Rozen |

"I haven't really seen any immediately appealable issues of the sort that we had in the Perry case," Buzbee wrote.

What’s The Big Deal?

A Look Into Top Dealmaking Firms And Biggest Deals in 2015

Monte, a German Shepherd, is the property in dispute in Greater Houston German Shepherd Dog Rescue Inc. v. Lydia Lira and Alfonso Lira

Supreme Court Decision Returns Beloved Dog to Owner

By John Council |

Even the Texas Supreme Court is a sucker for a good lost dog story. And in a decision that will warm the hearts of canine lovers everywhere, they recently issued a decision that returned Monte the dog to his owners in Houston.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Hears Concerns About Mandating Criminal E-Filing

By Angela Morris |

If testimony at a public hearing on April 5 is any indication, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals might find support for a criminal e-filing mandate from court clerks, but opposition from judges and district attorneys.

How to Spot and Avoid 
Man-in-the-Email Hacking

By Sheryl A. Falk |

Everyone who uses email should be aware of the man-in-the-email scam. In this scheme, a hacker compromises a user's email and gains access to the email traffic. The attacker can view some or all of the email traffic depending on the method of compromise.

James T. Thompson, Porter Hedges, Texas.

James Thompson Joins Porter Hedges; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

James T. Thompson has joined Porter Hedges in Houston as a partner in the firm's energy section.

Finding Your Inner Zen

By James Dolan |

I have noticed many times over the years when speaking with an attorney that he is often not all there, that although he is right in front of me, the gaze is 1,000 yards behind me.

Jay L. Tobin is a Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Dave & Buster's in Dallas TX.

Game On! Dave & Buster's GC Levels Up in Legal and Business Role

By Mary Alice Robbins |

When Dallas-based Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc. made its $100 million initial public offering in 2014, Jay L. Tobin, the company's senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, had to stop handling the myriad of legal matters that usually keep him busy.

Michael P. Maslanka

Reframe, Motivate and Lead: 3 Life Lessons for In-House Counsel, Straight from Shakespeare

By Mike Maslanka |

Here is a Chief Financial Officer's truth: numbers don't lie. Here is a poet's truth: Sustainable and real numbers result from the right leadership.

(left to right) a Texas A&M Ross Volunteer, Bonnie Denny, Otway Denny, President and CEO of The Association of Former Students Porter Garner, Reveille IX’s handler and Reveille IX.

Lawyer Gets Aggie Alumni Award; GC Goes to Firm; What is IP?

Otway Denny, a litigation partner in Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston, has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas A&M University.

Previewing the Upcoming Mexican Deepwater Auction

By Angela Neville |

Relying on his extensive experience in the Latin American energy sector, Luis Gomar, a Dallas partner at Thompson & Knight, provides an in-depth look at what to expect in connection with the approaching auction of deepwater oil blocks to be hosted by the Mexican government in December.

Med Mal in Texas: Time to Tweak the Reforms?

By Miriam Rozen |

Since January, well-known Houston plaintiff 
lawyer Richard Mithoff filed on behalf of clients three petitions against medical providers in state court in Houston—more than the total number of such claims he filed in the previous seven years.

Incoming Texas Bar President Plans to Launch Lawyer Incubator

By Angela Morris |

Frank Stevenson, incoming president of the State Bar of Texas, is launching a legal incubator to teach young attorneys to serve low- and middle-income Texans in family, probate, consumer and landlord-tenant law.

Baylor University, Waco Texas.

Employment Race: Winners and Losers Among Texas Law Schools

By Angela Morris |

Baylor University School of Law won the horse race of finding jobs for law school graduates in 2015, while Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law came in last. Detailed data shows each school's strengths.

Michael Peticolas founder of Peticolas Brewing Co.

The Brew Crew: Texas Lawyers Make Hops into The Craft Brew Industry

By John Council |

Like foam from a shaken can, the craft beer industry has exploded in Texas.

2015 Corporate Scorecard: 6 Texas Firms Nationally Ranked for Corporate Finance, Capital Markets Work

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Six Texas firms are among the top dealmaking firms in several areas of corporate finance on The American Lawyer Corporate Scorecard 2016.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Editor's Note: The Big deal

By Heather D. Nevitt, Esq. |

Excuse the pun, but mergers and acquisitions work in Texas is a big deal. So we bring you our cover story which features our long-standing report on the world of corporate finance and capital markets work.

GCs and Outside Counsel Share Tips on Taking a Company Public

By Kristen Rasmussen |

Expect little sleep, lots of takeout and maybe even some 2 a.m. milkshakes. But if all goes smoothly with the initial public offering, general counsels helping to guide their company through the process also should prepare for a very rewarding experience unlike any in their career, experienced in-house lawyers say.

Have an Emergency Plan for Handling Temporary Restraining Orders

By Forrest Wynn |

The first step for any good plan is to know the rules and law for TROs. While it is not critical to recall every detail, it is important to know how to quickly access them and review them with specificity every time a TRO appears on the radar.

Mergers & Acquisitions in Mexico

By Jaime A. Treviño |

With the opening of the energy 
market and other recent business reforms, Mexico continues to build opportunities for multinational investment and merger activity.

Mexico's Energy Industry 
Wins Big in Power Plant Auction

By Susan Postlewaite |

Mexico kicked off its historic public bidding to open its power sector to private foreign investors this spring, awarding rights to 11 international and Mexican companies in a move that energy lawyers called a huge step toward transforming its aging electric grid.

What Were the Top Deals in 2015?

Round Rock-based Dell’s pending acquisition of computer storage company EMC for an estimated $67 billion tops the list of the 10 biggest Texas deals announced in 2015.

Ken Paxton

Texas AG Ken Paxton Solicits Campaign Funds After Suing Obama Administration

By Miriam Rozen |

Only one week passed between when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration about its directive on transgender people's bathroom access in public schools and he used the litigation to beat the drum for campaign contributions.

Ken Starr

Ken Starr Resigns Position as Baylor's Chancellor

By John Council |

After being demoted last week from his job as Baylor University's president for not doing enough to stop rape on campus, Ken Starr has now announced that he's also leaving his job as the school's chancellor.

She Says 'Woman on Woman Crimes' Blown Out of Proportion, Not Representative

By Kathleen J. Wu |

One of the recurring motifs in gender politics is that "women are just as hard on other women as men are, maybe even harder."

Texas Supreme Court Rules Water Drillers Must Accommodate Landowners' Rights

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently expanded the accommodation doctrine—an important concept in oil and gas law—to groundwater estates and extends, for the first time, the same surface protections to landowners dealing with a severed groundwater estate.

Lisa Hobbs, partner, Kuhn Hobbs, Austin

Texas Supreme Court Allows $1.29M Legal Mal Case Against DLA Piper to Proceed

By John Council |

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that an Australian businessman has standing to sue DLA Piper, giving him a shot at recovering a $1.29 million jury verdict he won against the huge multinational law firm after the judgment was thrown out by an intermediate court of appeals.

Pastors, Church Sue Houston Lawyer John Nichols

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Robert and Brenda Hogan and Spring First Church seek up to $10 million in damages from John Floyd Nichols Sr. and Nichols Law, alleging the defendants missed a filing deadline.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

Pricetag for Judge Hanen's Ethics Training Order: Possibly $8 Million

By Miriam Rozen |

On May 31, the federal government asked for a stay of Brownsville federal judge's order, calling for ethics training for DOJ lawyers.

Akin Gump Closing Austin Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld will close its five-lawyer Austin office at the end of June, because the two intellectual property partners in that office plan to leave the firm.

Sam Olens

Georgia AG's Switch on Transgender Suit Reflects National Debate Over Standing, Ripeness

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens gave a brief lesson in civil procedure when telling Republicans in White County how the state would fight the federal government's recent pronouncement on civil rights for transgender public school students.

30-Year Age Range Among May South Texas College of Law Grads

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A 53-year-old graduate is 30 years older than four 23-year-old women who graduated from South Texas College of Law on May 21.

David Ronn, a partner at the Houston office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Orrick, Baker Botts Work on BlueJack Securing $100M in Funding from Energy Spectrum

By Angela Neville |

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe recently represented BlueJack Energy in connection with the Dallas-based company's efforts in securing an initial private equity commitment of up to $100 million from Energy Spectrum Capital, which was represented by Baker Botts.

Nearly $200K Final Judgment in Sex Discrimination Case

By Miriam Rozen |

A nurse who filed sex discrimination and retaliation claims against her former employer, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, won on May 24 a final judgment that includes $115,000 in damages and $84,000 in attorney fees. She alleged she witnessed a supervisor giving a colleague a pop-up penis doll.

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

Federal Judge Allows Plaintiff to Sue Officers After He Was Detained for Videoing a Police Station

By John Council |

An Austin federal judge has ruled that an amateur photographer can pursue a civil rights case against four police officers after they detained and handcuffed him for filming the Round Rock Police Department building.

Judge Ken Starr

Ken Starr Demoted as Baylor's President

By JOHN COUNCIL |

Baylor University President Ken Starr, who is best known as the special prosecutor for investigating former President Bill Clinton's affair with an intern, was demoted from his job as president after the school's governing board found he didn't do enough to stop rape on campus.

Judge Phyllis Lister Brown, judge of Dallas County’s 162nd District Court

Phyllis Lister Brown, Public Face of the Dallas Civil Courthouse, Dies

By John Council |

Judge Phyllis Lister Brown kept her problems to herself. So it was a shock to many in the Dallas civil courthouse when they learned she died Wednesday morning. Brown, judge of Dallas County's 162nd District Court, was 54 years old.

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

Department of Labor Alleges Pilgrim's Pride Systematically Discriminated Against Job Seekers

By Miriam Rozen |

The U.S. Department of Labor filed on May 25 a lawsuit alleging that the world's second largest chicken producer, Pilgrim's Pride Corp.,systematically discriminated against women, African-American and white job seekers at its plant in Mount Pleasant, Texas.

Cara and Julio Baez with Blue as a puppy

Couple Alleges Breeder Refuses to Return Their 4-Year-Old Dog

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston couple sued a Rosharon Vizsla breeder, alleging she failed to return their family pet after taking him to a dog show.

Richard Warren Mithoff, founder, Mithoff Law, Houston

Mithoff Tapped to Lead Steering Committee in Volkswagen Emissions Litigation

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

An Austin judge appointed Houston plaintiffs lawyer Richard Mithoff as lead counsel for the Texas counties that have sued Volkswagen Group of America and Audi of America, alleging violations of the Texas Clean Air Act.

Texas Capitol

Will a Voter ID Ruling Trigger a Special Session?

By Miriam Rozen |

Judge Catharina Haynes raised the prospect of Texas lawmakers meeting this summer for a special session to fix any flaws in the controversial statute.

Hunton & Williams Eying Transatlantic Tie-Up with UK’s Addleshaws

Hunton & Williams is in merger talks with midmarket U.K. firm Addleshaw Goddard, Legal Week has learned, with Addleshaw managing partner John Joyce expected to discuss the negotiations with partners Tuesday evening. Joyce visited the U.S. last week to speak to Hunton & Williams alongside a delegation that included his executive team and Addleshaw’s divisional managing partners.

George Parker Young

Chesapeake, Total E&P Reach $52.5M Settlement With Royalty Owners

By Angela Neville |

Chesapeake Energy and Total E&P USA recently reached a global settlement under which they will pay out a combined total of $52.5 million to more than 13,000 clients of two Texas-based law firms who claimed they were shortchanged related to their natural gas royalties.

Bradley Snead, Partner, Wright Close, Houston Texas.

Texas Supreme Court Rules for Schlumberger Subsidiary in Trade Secrets Dispute

By Angela Neville |

The Supreme Court of Texas recently handed down a decision in favor of M-I SWACO, a subsidiary of oil technology giant Schlumberger, which had charged National Oilwell Varco with stealing trade secrets.

Doctor's Homemade Model of Male Anatomy Helps Her Prevail in Negligence Case

By Miriam Rozen |

Marc Calvert remembers when he recognized that his client, family physician Lilette Daumas, would have the stamina to defend herself successfully against a negligence claim at a trial.

Ken Starr

Prominent Baylor Law School Alumni Shocked by Ken Starr's Reported Dismissal

By John Council |

Baylor University President Ken Starr, who is best known as the special prosecutor for investigating former President Bill Clinton's affair with an intern, has reportedly been dismissed from his post by the school's Board of Regents—a move that shocked many prominent alumni of the school.

Bernard

Haynes and Boone Partner Pens Book on the History of Oil & Banking

By Miriam Rozen |

For Buddy Clark, what started as an acceptance to speak before a group of lawyers, ballooned into a five-year project and ultimately led to his new book about the history of the financing of the oil industry.

Hogan Lovells, Dechert Work on $600M KBR Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Hogan Lovells represents KBR in the Houston-based company's pending acquisition of Wyle in a deal valued at $600 million. Wyle, of El Segundo, California, is using a team from Dechert.

Texas Supreme Court Rules Tort Reform Laws Cap Civil Penalties Applied Against Wal-Mart

By John Council |

In a decision that's a huge favor for Wal-Mart, the Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that state's tort reform laws that limit plaintiffs' noneconomic damages also apply to civil penalties—including $3.9 million in penalties a federal jury leveled against the nation's largest retailer.

Robert C. Hilliard, a partner in Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi.

Discovery to Proceed in Fisherwoman's Case Against Hilliard, Cracken

By Miriam Rozen |

A Houston state court has allowed discovery to proceed in a civil lawsuit against John Cracken from Dallas and Bob Hilliard from Corpus Christi, despite the two plaintiffs lawyers' motion to seek a stay in the litigation.

Houston Flooding Insurance Coverage Considerations

By Brian S. Scarbrough and Jan A. Larson |

As city leaders in Houston continue to work out the city's notorious flooding problems, commercial property damage and business interruption insurance is more critical than ever in an effort to recover and rebuild in the event of flooding.

Which Dallas Firm Topped Texas' Diversity Ranking?

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas-based Haynes and Boone is the Texas firm with the highest ranking on The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard 2016.

Don Glendenning, Locke Lord LLP

Newsmakers: Week of May 30

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Norton Rose Fulbright Will Move Some Support Jobs Out of Texas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Eighteen Texas support positions at Norton Rose Fulbright are among 170 worldwide that will be moved to The Phillippines this year.

Latham Represents Company in $13B Pending Merger

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Latham & Watkins represents FMC Technologies in the Houston company's pending merger with French company Technip, creating a $13 billion company.

Houston Lawyer Wins Appeal for Amputee

By John Council |

David Carlson was allegedly burned so badly by an infrared medical treatment device that it caused him to have part of his leg and foot amputated. He also lost his products liability case before a Houston federal jury after the defense presented one expert witness—the chiropractor who thought the treatment was a good idea.

Court: Florida Ratepayers Don't Owe for Oklahoma Drilling

The Florida Supreme Court rejects a state Public Service Commission decision putting Florida Power & Light customers on the hook for Oklahoma natural gas drilling.

Simple Steps for Healthcare Providers to Secure Patient Data

By Carrie L. Douglas and Debra L. Innocenti |

Statistics show it's a good time for a healthy shot in the arm for risk management, and there are some simple steps that organizations can take protect patient information.

Seven Big Texas Firms on The Second Hundred

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Seven Texas firms were among the second hundred highest-grossing firms in 2015 and appear on The American Lawyer's The Second Hundred.

Susan Hawk, newly elected Dallas DA

Dallas DA Seeks Additional Treatment for Mental Illness

By John Council |

After she missed several planned public meetings, Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk announced she is seeking additional treatment for her mental illness.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas Supreme Court Finds Disregard of the Law is No Reason to Vacate Arbitration Awards

By John Council |

Take a deep breath before agreeing to binding arbitration because the Texas Supreme Court has just ruled that trial courts cannot vacate an award because an arbitrator manifestly disregarded the law.

Andrew Hanen.

Texas Judge Blasts Justice Department Lawyers for Conduct in Immigration Case

A federal district judge on Thursday excoriated U.S. Department of Justice lawyers who are defending the Obama administration's immigration plan, issuing an extraordinary order that questioned the department's policing of attorney ethics and ordered certain government lawyers to take an annual ethics class.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, United States Supreme Court

Sotomayor's Embrace of Mandatory Pro Bono Garners Praise and Pushback

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is winning praise for re-energizing the movement toward mandatory pro bono for lawyers with her recent remarks on the subject, but some advocates in Big Law think the requirement poses significant challenges and won't work for everyone.

Texas Appeals Court Rules Alaska Pipeline Partners Are Bound by Unocal Duties

By Angela Neville |

The First District of Appeals in Texas recently dealt with a tangled business partnership between BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc., ConocoPhillips Transportation Alaska Inc., Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. and former partner Unocal Pipeline Co. involving Trans-Alaska Pipeline business operations.

Stephen Pezanosky is an attorney at HaynesBoone in Dallas.

Texas Bankruptcy Courts Beat Others Nationwide for Oil and Gas Bankruptcies

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas federal bankruptcy courts finally have surpassed others in the nation, including those in Delaware and New York, in terms of the cumulative debt they are administering in oil and gas bankruptcies, according to a report issued by Dallas' Haynes and Boone.

Newsmakers: Week of May 16

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Sean M. Whyte has joined Gardere Wynne Sewell in Dallas as a partner. Whyte has a multifaceted litigation practice that involves complex commercial litigation, consumer class actions and products liability.

Inventor Sues Samsung Again About Same Patent, Different Products

By Miriam Rozen |

Get ready for a rematch between Samsung Electronics and Japanese inventor Masakazu Ushijima.

Bill Cosby

West Palm Attorney Takes on Sexual Battery Case Against Bill Cosby, Hugh Hefner

A West Palm Beach lawyer is at the center of a new sexual battery lawsuit against Bill Cosby and Hugh Hefner.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures while speaking to the press in New York City, after his five-state super Tuesday win.  April 27 2016.

Trump Names 11 SCOTUS Picks, Bypassing Big Law

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's list for potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees is heavy on federal appellate judges and former clerks for conservative justices but light on big names in politics and private practice.

Sonia Sotomayor.

Sotomayor Pushed Mandatory Pro Bono. What Do You Think?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor this week said she's in favor of "forced labor"—mandatory pro bono. Not a new concept, sure, but the justice's remarks generated considerable buzz. Tell us what you think. Good idea, or bad? How would it work? Join the conversation.

Bizarre Scientology Case Comes to Bizarre Conclusion

By John Council |

In a move that stunned her lawyers, a Texas woman has dropped her lawsuit alleging that the Church of Scientology engaged in a relentless and bizarre harassment campaign against her—including sending her a sex toy at work.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett

Trump Wants to Name Texas' Most Prolific Judicial Tweeter to the U.S. Supreme Court

By John Council |

Donald Trump would elevate the "Tweet Laureate of Texas" to the U.S. Supreme Court if given the chance as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee recently listed Don Willett on his short list of people he'd promote to the high court.

Energy Future Creditors Protest Accelerated Bankruptcy Plan

By Angela Neville |

Energy Future Holdings Corp. is running into strong headwinds from creditors as it tries speed up its schedule in its $42 billion Chapter 11 restructuring by seeking the court's approval of its new plan.

Houston Lawyer Sues For Share of Big Fee

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Alejandro Padua of Houston and his firm sued Houston plaintiff's lawyer Jason Gibson and his firm, alleging they failed to share in fees for a suit that ended with a $55.8 million judgment.

Donald Clark, Chairman, with Butler Snow, Jackson, Mississippi.

Mississippi Firm Opens Dallas, Austin Offices

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Butler Snow, based in Jackson, Mississippi, hires three laterals to launch two offices in Texas.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor (2009)

Sotomayor Urges Mandatory Pro Bono for All Lawyers

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that all lawyers should be required to provide pro bono legal services. "I believe in forced labor" when it comes to improving access to justice for the poor, she said during an appearance at the American Law Institute's annual meeting in Washington. "If I had my way, I would make pro bono service a requirement."

After Slow Start, M&A Lawyers Are Optimistic About Second Half of 2016

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas deal lawyers are working fast and furiously on oil and gas industry mergers and acquisitions. But the total value of such deals in that industry nationwide dropped in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same time in the prior year.

Cha'Mira Keener, South Texas College of Law student

Student Overcomes Bleak Background, Earns Law Degree

By Angela Morris |

Graduating law student Cha'Mira Keener's interest and passion for juvenile law comes from the personal understanding of what it means to a child when no one stands up for you.

Robert C. Hilliard, a partner in Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi.

Plaintiff Lawyers Hilliard, Cracken Seek to Stay Lawsuit Against Them

By Miriam Rozen |

Plaintiff lawyers John Cracken from Dallas and Bob Hilliard from Corpus Christi have asked a Houston state court to stay a civil lawsuit filed against them. The lawsuit is based on allegations that Cracken and Hilliard helped falsify clients.

Electronic 'Smoking Gun' Evidence in Family Law Cases Has Potential to Backfire

By Jessica W. Thorne and B. Wyn Williams |

Their actions could subject them to civil liability and criminal punishment, and even affect the admissibility of the very smoking guns they are looking to find when they access their spouse's cellphone.

AI Pioneer ROSS Intelligence Lands Its First Big Law Clients

Baker & Hostetler is the first law firm to make public that it has licensed the artificial intelligence product using IBM’s Watson technology for bankruptcy matters.

Ropes & Gray Seeks $10.9M in Fees in Sabine Oil Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

Ropes & Gray is requesting approximately $10.9 million in attorney fees for five months of work representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation.

V&E, Sidley Work on $4.4B Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Sidley Austin represents Range Resources of Fort Worth in its pending acquisition of Houston's Memorial Resource Development Corp. for $4.4 billion including $1.1 billion in assumed debt.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

SEC Alleges Two Texas Attorneys Assisted in $13.8M Loan Scam

By John Council |

Two Texas attorneys are facing fraud allegations after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused them of collecting $13.8 million from investors for escrow accounts, keeping a portion of that money for themselves and using the rest for undisclosed risky investments.

 Mark Kelly

Houston Firm Opens Office in Taipei

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins opened an office in Taipei, Taiwan on May 16 and plans to focus on complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, renewable energy and corporate matters there.

Texas Supreme Court building

Texas Supreme Court Upholds State's School Funding Formula

By Will Weissert |

Texas' complicated school finance system is constitutional, the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled Friday — a surprise defeat for the 600-plus school districts that endured more than four years of costly legal battles hoping judges would force the Republican-controlled Legislature to fork over more funding.

Ryan Sitton, Railroad Commissioner of Texas

Railroad Commissioner Talks About International O&G Business Prospects at Dallas Symposium

By Angela Neville |

In remarks emphasizing the importance of international business opportunities for the Texas oil and gas sector, Railroad Commissioner of Texas Ryan Sitton recently discussed attractive prospects related to Mexico's new energy policy changes and overseas energy markets at the 28th Annual Texas Energy Council Symposium that was held at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas.

Ernest Aliseda, Member, Dykema Cox Smith, McAllen

GC Moves to Firm in South Texas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Ernest Aliseda leaves his general counsel position to return to the trial practice as a member of Dykema Cox Smith in McAllen.

2017 J.D. candidate Kimberly Elmazi, of Texas Tech University School of Law.

Law School Helps Students Stay Emotionally Fit

Texas Tech's mental health program includes mandatory meetings for all first years.

Waco Plaintiff Lawyer for West Blast Victims Predicts No Drama in Lawsuits Due to ATF Findings

By Miriam Rozen |

No dramatic turns will take place in pending litigation simply because federal officials determined and announced this week that a criminal act triggered the explosion of a fertilizer plant in the Central Texas town of West in 2013, predicts Steve Harrison, a partner in Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, a firm based in Waco, 30 minutes south of where the blast took place.

Adam Myron, Gerald F. Richman and Josh Spoont with Richman Greer.

National Class Action Filed by Uber Drivers in Miami

Attorneys in West Palm Beach, Miami and San Francisco file a nationwide class action against Uber for allegedly violating labor laws by not paying its drivers minimum wage and overtime.

Round Rock Man Gets Prison Time for Estimated $4.5M O&G Ponzi Scheme

By Angela Neville |

William Risinger, owner of RHM Exploration based in Round Rock, Texas, was recently sentenced to 160 months in federal prison and ordered to pay over $3.7 million to his victims related to an oil and gas investment scheme that raised an estimated $4.5 million from investors.

Baker Botts, Orrick Handle $407M Shale Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts represents EQT Corp. of Pittsburgh in its pending purchase for $407 million, of assets from Houston's Statoil USA Onshore Properties, which turned to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Judge Rules Sam Wyly Deceived IRS, Owes Possibly $1B in Back Taxes

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas federal bankruptcy judge sided with the IRS and against onetime Texas billionaire Sam Wyly.

Judge Issues Sanctions In Battle About Hair Removal Lasers

By Miriam Rozen |

A federal court battle that began when 44 of 134 hair removal lasers were deemed lost has led to sanctions against a client of Dallas' Friedman & Feiger.

Krysta De Lima, General Counsel, NextDecade.

NextDecade Seeks FERC Approval for $20B Texas Gas Pipeline and Export Facility

By Angela Neville |

NextDecade, The Woodlands, Texas-based energy company, recently applied for federal authorization to site, construct and operate the Rio Grande LNG, a proposed LNG export facility near Brownsville, Texas, and the Rio Bravo Pipeline, a 137-mile pipeline system that will provide the facility with its feed gas.

Joel Blake, Stibbs & Co., Spring Texas.

Newsmakers—Week of May 9

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Joel Blake recently joined Stibbs & Co. in Spring as an associate. He practices business and energy law, covering a wide variety of corporate matters.

LaDawn Conway, Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP, Dallas TX.

Texas Supreme Court Reaffirms that Apache Doesn't Have to Pay on Expired O&G Leases

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently turned down a request to rehear a motion filed by McDaniel Partners pertaining to its royalty battle with Apache Deepwater and reaffirmed that Apache was not obligated under the lapsed oil and gas leases to continue paying royalties.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, during arguments in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

If Tolerance for Religious Expression in Public is Waning, What Does That Mean for the Workplace?

By Lee Winkelman and Alan Bush |

Let's unpack how in-house counsel can help HR make the call between religious expression and harassment.

Gibson Dunn and Morgan Lewis Work on Friendly's Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher represents Dean Foods of Dallas in its pending acquisition of the manufacturing and retail ice cream business from Friendly's Ice Cream for $155 million in cash, while Friendly's turned to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Dallas Lawyer Facing 11 Grievances Resigns Law License

By Angela Morris |

A Dallas lawyer has resigned his law license because he faced 11 grievances alleging misconduct like completely missing hearings for clients, neglecting their cases and failing to supervise an employee who the lawyer knew was previously convicted of unauthorized practice of law.

Michael O'Connor, partner, O'Connor & Craig, Houston, Tx.

Houston Attorney Beats Big Bank, Big Attorney Fees at First Court of Appeals

By John Council |

Francisco Calleja-Ahedo sued Compass Bank for refusing to refund payment of an alleged $38,700 forged check on his account—only to end up owing the bank $49,186 in attorney fees after losing his case before a Harris County district judge.

Otway B. Denny Jr.Partner, Norton Rose, Houston TX.

Houston Lawyer Gets Prestigious Award From Texas A&M

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Otway Denny, a partner in Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas A&M University.

Tips on Lawyer Maternity, Paternity Leave

By Angela Morris |

Lawyers who are expecting babies need to know some of the same things about family leave as anyone else, but they also need to do special planning to hand off their matters to colleagues and monitor cases when they're gone.

Tom Vick Jr.

Next State Bar of Texas President-Elect Tom Vick Jr. Discusses Plans

By Angela Morris |

When Tom Vick Jr. was campaigning, he highlighted the importance of the bar's review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which has recommended changes for lawmakers to consider in 2017.

In Focus: The Mental Health of Law Students

In our report about mental health on law campuses, we examine why law school exacerbates problems with depression, anxiety and substance abuse — and what administrators and fellow students can do to help.

Texas Litigators Oppose American Bar Association Paper on Nonlawyer Firms

By Angela Morris |

"We as lawyers are charged with upholding the honor of the law, the courts, fellow lawyers and our system of justice," said the letter by TADC, TTLA and Tex-ABOTA. Businessmen don't have that calling, it added.

Judge Larry Meyers of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Nonsuits His Voter ID Claim

By Angela Morris |

The plantiffs plan to refile their lawsuit after they have a chance to gather more evidence, said their attorney, Andrew Sommerman.

Vinson & Elkins, Latham Handle $775M Pipeline Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represented a conflicts committee that advised Phillips 66 Partners on its pending $775 million purchase of a pipeline and assets from Phillips 66, which used Latham & Watkins.

Rob Ammons, The Ammons Law Firm, partner, Houston.

Poultry Company Agrees to $27.5M Settlement With Crash Victims

By Miriam Rozen |

In Waco, after two mediation sessions but before a trial, a family received a court-approved settlement of $27.5 million from Sanderson Farms, a poultry company. The family brought claims against Sanderson Farms for injuries its mother and baby suffered in a car crash with a vehicle owned by the company and driven by its employee.

Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra

Federal Judge Vacates Rule 11 Sanctions Order: Win for Pro Se Plaintiffs and Former Attorney

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. Senior District Judge David Ezra in Austin vacated his previous Rule 11 sanctions order against plaintiffs and their former lawyer.

Gino J. Rossini, partner, Hermes Law.

Dallas-based Hermes Law Promotes Gino Rossini to Partner; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Gino J. Rossini has been promoted to partner in Dallas-based Hermes Law. Rossini's practice is devoted to handling post-trial and appellate matters in state and federal court as well as providing related support at all stages of litigation.

Hunt County Jury Decides on 60-year Prison Sentence for Former Prosecutor

By Miriam Rozen |

Royal Mullins convicted of murder in shooting death of Curtis "Topper" Gray, a 50-year-old Greenville resident. "Every murder is a tragedy, but in this case Royal Mullins had reason," the local newspaper reported Mullins defense lawyer told the jury. "You would have hoped someone had done it for you."

Austin Firm Changes Name, Management

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Eminent domain firm Barron & Adler is now Barron, Adler, Clough & Oddo.

David Glickler

Judge Gets 3 Days In Jail for DWI

By Angela Morris |

"As an elected official, I need to be tougher on myself and respectful of the system, and not allow my decision on that night to become a burden," Hays County Court-at-Law No. 2 Judge David Glickler wrote.

Jim Harrington

Plaintiff Files Motion to Disqualify Austin Civil Rights Lawyer in American with Disabilities Act Case

By Miriam Rozen |

A paraplegic plaintiff pursuing a claim filed under the American with Disabilities Act has filed a motion to disqualify well-known Austin civil rights lawyer James Harrington, who represents the defendants.

Ken Paxton

State Bar of Texas Monitoring Ken Paxton's Criminal Case

By Angela Morris |

If Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is convicted of crimes and sentenced, the matter would be ripe for the Commission for Lawyer Discipline to file a compulsory discipline petition seeking Paxton's disbarment.

Steve Mostyn of Houston’s Mostyn Law Firm

Damages Company Sues Mostyn Law Firm Alleging Unpaid Invoices

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Quinney Holdings, which does business as Loss Solutions, sued Mostyn Law Firm of Houston and founder Steve Mostyn, alleging the defendants have failed to pay about $700,000 in billings for property damage assessments related to Hurricane Ike.

Chief Judge Merrick Garland, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

What Would A Justice Garland Mean for Employers? Recent Cases Reveal a Mixed Bag

By Charles H. Wilson |

A review of Chief Judge Garland's recent opinions in labor and employment cases reveals a mixed bag, with the judge ruling against the employer in most cases.

Justin Bieber.

Houston Man Sues Justin Bieber Over Alleged Beer-Bong Incident

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston man alleges in a lawsuit he filed in Houston on May 3 that Justin Bieber smashed his cellphone after the singer saw him filming Bieber drinking from a "beer bong" in a Houston club.

Nominations Open for Texas Lawyer's Litigation Departments of the Year Award

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

Spencer Browne, partner, Reyes Brown Reilley, Dallas, left, and Frank Branson of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson.

Dallas Jury Delivers $10.9M Verdict Against Choctaw Nation

By Miriam Rozen |

A Dallas jury began deliberating in late April, took a weekend break, and then returned on Monday, May 2 to deliver a $10.9 million verdict against the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma for its alleged role in a 2013 crash of a charter bus.

How Law Schools Game the Rankings

Study finds that law school rankings encourage cheating, lying.

Financier R. Allen Stanford gives a thumbs up as he arrives to the federal courthouse in shackles for a hearing in Houston, Texas, April 6, 2010.

Chadborne Pays $35M in Stanford Ponzi Suit; Proskauer Faces New Class Action

After striking a deal with Chadborne & Parke, investors are hoping for another chance to pursue claims that Proskauer Rose helped R. Allen Stanford conceal his Ponzi scheme from regulators.

University of Arizona Law School’s Use of GRE Scores Creates LSAT Trouble

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law’s recent decision to accept GRE scores in lieu of Law School Admission Test scores from applicants could cost the school its membership in the Law School Admission Council.

Marc Rosenthal Officially Disbarred

By Angela Morris |

Marc G. Rosenthal of Austin, who is serving 20 years in jail for bribing a district judge, is officially an ex-lawyer.

Gas Drilling Company Hit with $5M Class Action for Alleged Underpayment of Royalties

By Angela Neville |

Plaintiff Charles Hicks recently filed a putative class action in an Arkansas federal court claiming that Southwestern Energy Company and its subsidiaries are defrauding him and the putative class members through underpayment of royalties and seeking in excess of $5 million in damages.

Special Report: Energy Regulation, Bankruptcies and More

Energy Regulation; 5th Circuit Decision Affects Rights to Sue; Energy Bankruptcies

David Patton

From Pipeliner to Locke Lord Partner

By Angela Neville |

From his early start as an oil field worker in South Texas to his recent stint as chair of the State Bar of Texas' Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section, Locke Lord partner David Patton has gained keen insights into the Texas energy sector.

Hacking a Way to Equality

By Kathleen J. Wu |

Hopefully, the spirit of an upcoming Women in Law hackathon will stay true to the hackathon ethos: experts and fresh thinkers coming together to generate bold, even crazy, ideas for new products, new services and, in the case of this event, new solutions to persistent problems.

Navigating the Legal Job Market

By Angela Morris |

"From my perspective, I think the market is good," said Andy Rose, who is graduating in May from Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock. "My close friends from law school, I think most of them have jobs."

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

Mikal Watts Prepares for The Biggest Trial of His Career

By Miriam Rozen |

In February 2013, Mikal Watts flew to Miami Beach to attend an American Association for Justice convention. In two weeks' time, he expected to appear in the courtroom as the leader of a legal team opposing BP at a federal civil trial set to determine the energy company's liabilities for the 2010 Gulf Coast Oil Spill.

Nestor Ho, in-house general counsel, Silicon Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas.

GCs Need to Be 'Solution Providers,' Not Just Lawyers

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Nestor Ho, vice president and general counsel for Silicon Labs, an Austin-based silicon, software and solutions provider, wants to do more than just fill the traditional role of a lawyer for his company.

Michael P. Maslanka

Take Caution in 'Liking' Social Media

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Teaching "Professional Responsibility" at UNT Dallas College of Law makes a person more sensitive to the marriage of technology, social media and legal ethics.

A Look at 5th Circuit Judges Who Nearly Made the U.S. Supreme Court

By John Council |

Traditionally U.S. presidents first look to the nation's 13 circuit courts in their search for potential high court justices—often mining the First, Second and D.C. Circuits for their choices. But Fifth Circuit judges often play the role of bridesmaid in the secretive game of Supreme Court nominations.

Marketability 101

By Felicia Hoang |

A prospective lawyer's marketability extends beyond intellect, confidence and a firm handshake.

Shoring Up Your Outsourcing

By David W. Black |

Major firms propose their services can save big bucks, but whether they can depends on hitting several factors straight on.

Is Your Head in the Cloud? How to Talk Techy to Your IT Staff

By Julie Machal-fulks |

One of the most difficult issues lawyers face when dealing with technology is that technology professionals often use a different kind of language. The inability to communicate effectively with the IT staff can cause misunderstandings that can be costly.

TT RACER: (2011: Calf of Man, Isle of Man, Irish Sea) (Bike: BMW F700 Parallel): Beautiful Day for Riding on the Isle of Man, home of the most legendary motorcycle road race in the World, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy.

The Adventures of a Motorcycle-Loving Lawyer

By John Council |

Grant Wood's parents wouldn't let him have a motorcycle when he was a kid. So he obsessed over what they would let him own—a plastic model of a BMW R80G/S, a German dual sport bike made famous in the early 1980s when European riders used it to win the famous Paris Dakar Rally.

Law School Deans Say Job Market Improving for Law Grads

By Angela Morris |

Texas law school deans say that the job market for new law graduates continues to improve, although it's still highly competitive as out-of-state job candidates flood into Texas and as low oil and natural gas prices take their toll.

Supreme Court of Texas Narrows Interpretation 
of Property Damage

By David Walton and 
Brandan Montminy |

Eight years later, in U.S. Metals Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc., the court addressed a policyholder's effort to significantly expand CGL policies to cover construction and product defects.

Firm Finance: Texas Firms Powering Through Energy Slump

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The total gross revenue at the 25 highest-grossing Texas firms reached $5.3 billion in 2015, up from 2014.

Nestor Ho, in-house general counsel, Silicon Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas.

Q&A with General Counsel for Silicon Labs, Nestor Ho

Texas Lawyer spoke with Nestor Ho, vice president and general counsel of Silicon Labs in Austin, and asked him about best practices when dealing with outside counsel.

Defense Prevails In Forklift Rollover Accident; Plus Other Verdict News

A jury declined to award damages to a delivery man who rolled over in a forklift that fractured his leg and ruptured his spleen.

The St. Mary’s University School of Law moot court team of (left to right) third-year student Leah Wise, second-year law student William “Billy” Calve, third-year law student Stephanie De Sola.

St. Mary's Law Students Win National Moot Court Title

By Angela Morris |

Teams of St. Mary's University School of Law students recently took the top prizes at two national moot court competitions.

Richard Faulk, Partner, Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP

Alexander Dubose Firm Acquires Appellate Attorney in Houston Office; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

Richard O. Faulk, an appellate attorney, has joined Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend as a partner in the firm's Houston office. Faulk, who focuses on complex toxic tort and environmental litigation, will split his time between Houston and Washington, D.C.

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Editor's Note: Money Matters

By Heather D. Nevitt, Esq. |

It is that time of year again when we delve into the wonderful world of Firm Finance. As part of this annual project, we take a look inside the books of the top 25 firms in Texas and see how they fared in 2015.

The Numbers Are In

Texas Lawyer’s Annual Firm Finance Report Shows Big Law in Texas Knows How to Diversify

Fifth Circuit Makes It Easier to Recover Attorney Fees in Trademark Cases

By John Council |

In a decision that will make it easier for litigants to recover attorney fees when they are forced to defend baseless trademark infringement complaints, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has loosened the standard for what constitutes a legally "exceptional" case under the Lanham Act in a recent decision.

Paul David Andrews, Corpus Christi and San Antonio solo, jail mug

Ex-Lawyer Faces 15 Years for Murder Plot

By Angela Morris |

Paul D. Andrews pleaded no contest to second-degree felony solicitation of murder, and the state will dismiss a felony barratry case against him. Codefendant Keith Gould saw his barratry charge dismissed today.

Christopher Kratovil, Office managing member in Dallas for Dykema Cox Smith .

Dykema Cox Smith Taps Dallas Litigator for Management Role

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Christopher Kratovil, a member of Dykema Cox Smith's litigation department, will become office managing member in Dallas on June 1.

Russ Emerson, a partner in Haynes and Boone

Federal Circuit Rejects Appeal That Would Have Wrecked the Eastern District's Patent Venue

By John Council |

Texas intellectual property attorneys and fans of the Eastern District of Texas can breathe a sigh of relief now that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently rejected a much-watched appeal that could have made it harder to file patent infringement cases in the popular jurisdiction.

Pssst: What Case Management Software Do You Use?

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Case management software 
can provide a corporate legal department a convenient and efficient way to manage case-related information ranging from docketing to outside counsel.

  Deborah Fishman, Kaye Scholer partner

New Rules Mean It's Payback Time in Patent Cases

Two years of data since the Supreme Court's 'Octane Fitness' ruling show fees are flowing but Intellectual Ventures and other big NPEs haven't been hit.

Law School Pass Rates from the February Texas Bar Exam

The Texas Board of Law Examiners made public the list of those who pass the Texas Bar Examination they took in February 2016.

Board Suspends Law License of Convicted State Rep

By Angela Morris |

State Rep. Ron Reynolds, who was convicted of barratry last fall, argued today that the Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals shouldn't suspend his law license because a jury convicted him based on emotion rather than facts.

Sued for Attorney Fees, Client Counterclaims for Malpractice

By Angela Morris |

When an Austin law firm sued for $221,000 in attorney fees, a client struck back with a $1 million counterclaim.

Jury Finds for Exxon in Indemnity Suit Against Fort Worth Energy Company

By Angela Neville |

A jury in a Harris County case recently found in favor of Exxon Mobil in a long-running dispute it has had with Fort Worth-based Trade Exploration Corp., and its principals, related to two earlier Louisiana lawsuits in which landowners sought damages from Exxon Mobil to remediate alleged environmental contamination.

Texas Capitol

Report: Legislature Should Repeal Attorney Rule Referendum Process

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Legislature should repeal the rules referendum process that allows lawyers to vote on changes to attorney disciplinary rules, said a report released today by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission.

Kirkland & Ellis Represents Houston Natural Gas Company

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Kirkland & Ellis advised Indigo Minerals of Houston on a $375 million equity capital raise, an acquisition and related debt financing.

Ken Paxton

Texas Big Law Scales Back Donations to Attorney General Ken Paxton

By Miriam Rozen |

Since his own legal troubles began last summer, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has not received the love –specifically, in the form of cash contributions to his officeholder's account--from big Texas law firms that his predecessor netted.

Jamil N. Alibhai is a partner at Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas

Dallas Lawyer Gets Exceptional Win for Patent Plaintiff But No Attorney Fees

By John Council |

It was certainly exceptional last spring when an Eastern District of Texas jury gave Jamil Alibhai's plaintiff technology client a whopping $88 million in damages for patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Texas Lawyers Advise Presidential Aspirants

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Texas firms are among the U.S. firms counseling candidates still seeking the Republican and Democratic nominations for U.S. president.

Deborah Williamson, managing director, Cox Smith Matthews, San Antonio

Resurgence in Energy Bankruptcies Prompts New Edition of Book

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Deborah Williamson, a member in Dykema Cox Smith in San Antonio, updated an American Bankruptcy Institute book on oil patch bankruptcies.

Keith S. Hampton

Austin Lawyers Oppose Courthouse Security Proposal

By Angela Morris |

Criminal-defense lawyers are up in arms over a plan to change the security screening procedures in Travis County's criminal justice center. They say the plan will cause long delays, make them late to court and impact their businesses.

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Charles Koch Foundation Gives SMU $3.5M to Establish Criminal Justice Center

A $3.5 million donation from the Charles Koch Foundation will help fund a new criminal justice reform program at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

istockphoto.com

Nominations Open for Texas Lawyer's Women in Energy Awards

Our 2016 Women in Energy awards will profile outstanding female attorneys in the Lone Star State who practice in the ever-changing area of energy law.

Norton Rose Fulbright Forms Latin America Team

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

William "Williie" Wood, a partner in Houston, chairs a new Latin America leadership team at Norton Rose Fulbright.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett

Who Is Speaking at Texas Law School Graduations? Who is Speaking at Two?

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett will deliver remarks at graduations at two law schools, but other speakers at Texas law schools range from trial lawyers to the head of a philanthropic organization.

Gardere Wynne Sewell Adds Environmental Partner; Plus Other 'On The Move' News

By Mary Alice Robins |

Laura Whiting has joined Gardere Wynne Sewell as an environmental partner in the firm's Dallas office. She will assist clients with all aspects of compliance and permitting for heavily regulated industry and real estate development.

Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra

Federal Judge Issues Rule 11 Sanctions Against Plaintiffs and Former Attorney

By Miriam Rozen |

U.S. Senior District Judge David Ezra in Austin igranted a defendants' request that plaintiffs pay a total of $70,304 in attorney fees.

Mary Barkley, Cantey Hanger LLP, Fort Worth TX.

Appellate Court Rules Texas Official Can't Be Removed for Anti-Tax Stance

By John Council |

Good news for the Tea Party. A Texas appellate has ruled that just because an anti-tax politician tries to eliminate his own agency by denying it funding, he can't be removed from office by the government for incompetency.

Mark Benavides, solo attorney, San Antonio, TX.

Lawyer Indicted for Compelling Prostitution, Sexual Assault

By Angela Morris |

San Antonio criminal-defense lawyer Mark Benavides was indicted today for 35 second-degree felony counts of sexual assault and compelling prostitution. He allegedly forced sex with three clients as his attorney fee.

5th Circuit Rejects Student's Claim After Southern Methodist University Expelled Him Over Safety Concerns

By John Council |

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently blocked a lawsuit filed by a former Southern Methodist University student who sued the school claiming he wasn't treated fairly after officials expelled him for alleged threatening behavior and circulated warning photos of him.

Indictment in Johnny Manziel Case Released

By Miriam Rozen |

Dallas grand jury issued indictment, based on allegations of misdemeanor assault by former Aggie and one-time top pro NFL prospect Johnny Manziel.

In honor of the presidential citation award winners. UT Austin on April 22nd illuminated the UT Tower in burnt orange, as it did in this photo from 2010.

3 Prominent Lawyers Win University of Texas Austin Awards

By Angela Morris |

Former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, Houston attorney Janiece Longoria and Austin lawyer Kirk Watson—also a state senator—received 2016 UT Austin presidential citations.

Blind Law Students Sue BarBri Over Accessibility

By Angela Morris |

Three blind law graduates have filed a class action against BarBri, the largest bar exam preparation course in the nation, claiming that blind people can't access some of its online materials.

District Attorney Dodges Grievance Over Advice to Strike Black Jurors

By Angela Morris |

Wharton County DA Ross Kurtz's alleged comments about striking blacks from juries concerned one of his prosecutors and brought tough questions from a judge. But the State Bar dismissed a grievance over it.

In the Big Verdicts Arena, Don't Mess with Texas

Everything really was bigger in Texas last year. The Lone Star State had 18 of the top 100 verdicts in 2015.

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

ValueActs' Purchase of $2.5B of Halliburton and Baker Hughes Stock Triggers Antitrust Suit

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a lawsuit against ValueAct Capital and its affiliates for allegedly violating U.S. antitrust laws in their recent purchase of approximately $2.5 billion of stock owned by Houston-based Halliburton and Baker Hughes.

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

2 Dallas-Fort Worth Law Schools Suspend Night Programs

By Angela Morris |

Two of the three law schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex have suspended their evening programs for law students, which might drive enrollment to the third school.

Attorney Uses the Fifth Circuit to Get U.S. Documents for Mexican Lawsuit

By John Council |

After chasing an evasive litigation investment company all over the United States with a federal subpoena, Meredith Parenti's corporate defendant client has so far been unsuccessful in compelling documents that may be crucial to a lawsuit it faces in Mexico.

Jim Darnell

Johnny Football Frenzy at Dallas District Attorney

By Miriam Rozen |

If you call the press office for the Dallas County District Attorney today, the people that answer the phones probably won't even wait for you to make a request before guessing why you are calling.

The AM Law 100 logo

The 2016 Am Law 100: Growth Slows for Big Law

The American Lawyer's annual report on the nation's 100 top-grossing law firms. Full financial results, in-depth analysis, firm profiles, and more.

5 Big Texas Firms on Am Law 100 List

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Five large Texas firms were among the 100 highest-grossing firms in 2015, as reported in the Am Law 100 list.

Thomas Moore of Mayer Brown.

A Perspective on Impact of Failure to Freeze Oil Production

By Angela Neville |

Thomas Moore, Houston-based energy partner at Mayer Brown LLP, discusses the impact of the global oil exporters' failure to agree on an oil production freeze at the recent meeting in Doha, Qatar.

Austin shareholder David Mattka with Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr. Participating in the “sticky fly fundraiser” for the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

Lawyers Duct Tape Managing Partners to the Wall--for Charity

By Angela Morris |

But why take the easy road to donate money to access to justice, when it's more fun to duct tape a managing partner to the wall while also helping provide for low-income Texans' legal needs?

A Chipotle Mexican Grill steak burrito is arranged for a photograph at the Sunset and Vine store in Hollywood, California, U.S., on Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

Chipotle GMO Class Action, in Miami Court, Survives Dismissal Motion

The class action lawsuit against Chipotle Mexican Grill over genetically modified food survived a motion to dismiss.

Federal Court Orders Sanctions Against Defense Counsel

By Miriam Rozen |

In an insurance industry related dispute, a Dallas federal court ordered sanctions against defendants and their counsel, Sandra Liser, an attorney in the Fort Worth office of Naman Howell Smith & Lee. The court ordered the sanctions, but, in the same ruling, also denied other motions for sanctions filed by the plaintiff.

White Star To Acquire $200M in Shale Assets From Devon Energy

By Angela Neville |

White Star Petroleum is using the firm of Porter Hedges for its pending acquisition of Mississippi Lime and Woodford Shale assets for $200 million from Devon Energy Corp., which is being represented in the deal by two Houston Vinson & Elkins partners.

Rendering of the new San Antonio courthouse, U.S. Courthouse Western District of Texas

Home Stretch for New San Antonio Federal Courthouse

By Angela Morris |

U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez "is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," illuminating the end of a 19-year project to build a new federal courthouse in San Antonio.

European Union May Object to $34.6B Halliburton-Baker Hughes Merger as Anticompetitive

By Angela Neville |

Halliburton Co.'s proposal to purchase oil-services rival Baker Hughes Inc. may soon be hit with new opposition from European Union (EU) regulators who are expressing concerns about how the merger of the two Houston-based oil services giants could hurt competition throughout the EU.

Andrews Kurth Settles Malpractice Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Under confidential terms, Houston-based Andrews Kurth settled a malpractice lawsuit filed by a former client that resulted in a nearly $200 million verdict against the firm.

Stratton Horres

Wilson Elser Hires Five Litigators From Trial Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of five litigation laterals join Wilson Elser's Dallas office, coming from Addison-based trial firm Schell Cooley.

New Chief Administrative Law Judge Named for State Office of Administrative Hearings

By Mary Alice Robbins |

A woman who says she finds administrative law "pretty fascinating" will take over as head of the State Office of Administrative Hearings on May 1.

Widow of Fan Killed in Fall at Turner Field Sues Atlanta Braves Over Railing Height

The family of a man killed after falling from the upper deck of Turner Field last year has sued the Atlanta Braves, parent company Liberty Media Corp. and Major League Baseball Enterprises, alleging the defendants knew the guard rail height was—and still is—dangerously low.

Sidley, Willkie Work on Houston Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Sidley Austin represents private equity company Stonepeak Infrrastructure Partners in an equity commitment of up to $500 million in Houston's Sage Midstream Ventures, which turned to Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Moving In and Moving Up at Winstead

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Winstead has hired a number of attorneys in recent months and promoted several others.

Ken Paxton

Attorney General's Office: 'Cronyism' Isn't Employment Discrimination

By Angela Morris |

The Texas Office of the Attorney General alleges that a court should dismiss a discrimination lawsuit by a former staffer who claimed she was terminated because Ken Paxton wanted to replace her with his friend.

13 Must-Ask Questions Before Enlisting An Expert Witness

By Quentin Brogdon |

In dealing with experts, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

Web-Educating Lawyers about Wrongful Prosecutions

By Miriam Rozen |

The Texas Young Lawyers Association this month went live with a new, interactive website dedicated to educating lawyers about how to halt wrongful prosecutions. It speaks to audiences of both defense lawyers and prosecutors.

Counties Ready to Rumble for Courthouse Gun Bans

By Angela Morris |

Three Texas counties think the Texas Office of the Attorney General got the law wrong on the legality of courthouse handgun bans, and they might file lawsuits to ask judges to decide if they can keep guns out.

Former Galveston Attorney Wins Appeal on Attorney Fees

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Houston appeals court affirmed a judgment awarding former Galveston attorney Anthony Griffin over $100,000 in a suit he filed to collect fees from a former client.

Dallas Lawyer Convinces Fifth Circuit to Vacate Doctor's Sentence

By John Council |

The federal government came down hard on Dr. Tariq Mahmood two years ago, sending him to prison for eleven years for Medicare fraud after his chain of East Texas hospitals allegedly overbilled taxpayers to the tune of $599,128.02.

Vuk Vujasinovic, VB Attorneys, Houston.

$17.72 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death Case

By Miriam Rozen |

The family of a worker who died during the construction a new Baylor University football stadium won a $17.72 million wrongful death verdict against Austin Bridge & Road, a company engaged in the building project.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the immigration case United States v. Texas.  April 18, 2016.

Kennedy Calls Obama Immigration Action 'Upside Down' As Justices Appear Divided

As cheers and chants from immigration supporters and opponents filled the air outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, the justices struggled over the legality of Obama administration's plan to delay temporarily the deportation of nearly 4 million illegal immigrants. At the end of the 90-minute argument, the eight justices appeared divided on the threshold question of whether Texas had standing to challenge the immigration plan in federal court and divided over the fundamental issue of whether the plan violates federal law and the Constitution.

Disputed $45.8M Arbitration Award Includes $3.04M in Attorney Fees

By Miriam Rozen |

Confirmation of the award is pending in state court in Dallas. But the consortium has objected to award, arguing it should be vacated because that the three-member arbitration panel exceeded its authority. The consortium has also objected to the attorney fees, arguing that no statutory basis exists in Texas law upon which the digital security company, Amsterdam-based Gemalto, could obtain attorney fees. Nor did the two sides include in their agreement to arbitrate any preset conditions for fees, the consortium argued.

Whoops! Male Judicial Candidate Attempts to Join Female Class Action

By John Council |

While 300 women who are current and former lawyers for Farmers Insurance Group will be splitting $4 million as a part of a settlement of a federal pay bias class action lawsuit, one attorney who won't likely get any that money is Leslie "Les" Sachanowicz, a San Antonio prosecutor who's running for judge.

Former District Judge Alleges Texas Drone Law Unconstitutional

By Angela Morris |

A former district judge from Laredo has sued the state and Gov. Greg Abbott, alleging that part of the Texas drone law is unconstitutional because it violates his privacy and treats Mexican-Americans differently than other Texans.

Proposal Calls On Lawyer Email Addresses for E-Service

By Angela Morris |

This fall, lawyers might have to update their State Bar of Texas profiles to add an email address that the state can use for e-filing and electronic service.

Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Seizes Political Moment of U.S. Supreme Court Immigration Hearing

By Miriam Rozen |

When the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for Texas and 25 other states opposition to the Obama administration proposed immigration reforms, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sat in the audience, along with his counterparts from Nebraska, Oklahoma and Indiana.

Federal Judge Consolidates 11 Antitrust Cases against Chesapeake Energy

By Angela Neville |

Chesapeake Energy Corp. and several other defendants are in the middle of a fierce fight in an Oklahoma federal court with a large number of plaintiffs who are alleging the defendants engaged in business actions that stifled competition in negotiating oil and gas leases and violated U.S. antitrust laws.