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Lawyers Using Social Media Lack Framework for What's Allowed

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

Negative Ratings

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Houston Lawyer Finds Way to Make Police-Shooting Case Stick

By John Council |

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

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

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

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

By Tony Mauro |

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

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

Lawyers Backing Clean Power Plan Fight to Keep Appeal On Track

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Dallas, Texas.

Dallas' Increase in Lawyer Billing Rates Among Highest in Country

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

OMG! Lawyers Suing Buzzfeed Get Creative With Clickbait Court Filing

By Celia Ampel and Amanda Bronstad |

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

Donald Trump.

Communicate Like President Trump to Grab Your Jury

By Lisa Blue, Robert Hirschhorn and Kellye Raymond |

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

Tom Brandt.

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

By John Council |

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

Lawyers Using Social Media Lack Framework for What's Allowed

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

Calculus Shifts in Texas Haze Fight Under Trump EPA

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Bar Rules and Attorney-Client Agreements in Texas

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

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

U.S. Supreme Court building.

Supreme Court May Preserve EDTX Grip on Patent Cases

By Tony Mauro |

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

 Scott Pruitt.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Newsmakers: Week of March 27

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

Texas Judge Ships Exxon Climate-Change Fight to NYC

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

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

U.S. Supreme Court building

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

By Scott Graham |

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

Texas Capitol

Texas Bill Would Mandate Insurance Coverage for 3-D Mammograms

By Victoria Prussen Spears, FC&S Legal |

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Four Pitfalls to Avoid in a Cyberinsurance Policy

By Stephen T. Raptis |

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

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

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

By Greg Land |

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

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Some of Varsity Brands' designs.

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

By Scott Graham |

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

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

SMU Law Professor, Students Volunteer to Help Detained Immigrants

By Angela Morris |

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

McDonald's Trump Tweet Reveals Social Media Dangers for Legal

By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez |

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

Dale Jefferson.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Barry Smitherman.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

House Committee Reviews Bill That Would Affect Around 100K Lawyers

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Texas Judge Denies Emergency Request to Block DOL Fiduciary Rule

By ThnikAdvisor |

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

Rex Tillerson.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Mark Kelly of Vinson & Elkins.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Understanding Your Efforts Clause

By Curtis R. Waldo |

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

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

Trump Comments Highlight Need for a Plan When Clients Go Rogue

By Cogan Schneier |

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

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

Baker Botts Helping Cobalt with Feds' Probe into Angolan Payments

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Lawyer, Lawyer, Pants on Fire

By John G. Browning |

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

Newsmakers: Week of March 20

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

Here's What to Expect at Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing

By Tony Mauro |

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

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

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

By Marcia Coyle |

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

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht

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

By Angela Morris |

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

11 Bikers Sue Over Arrests After Texas Bar Shootout

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

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

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

Jeffrey Melcher, Atlanta.

Wilson Elser Enters Atlanta With Defense Litigation Focus

By Meredith Hobbs |

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

Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye

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

By Cheryl Miller |

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

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith.

When Are Degrees From SMU and Yale Not Enough Education?

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Remington Model 700

This Factor Is Drawing Increasing Scrutiny in Class Action Settlements

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

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

By Marcia Coyle |

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

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

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

By Angela Morris |

The law school reached a goal officials set in 2012.

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

Business Groups Want Texas Court to Freeze Fiduciary Rule

By Melanie Waddell |

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

Dorsey & Whitney Adds 10 More Lawyers in Dallas

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

Jani Maselli Wood

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

By John Council |

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Timothy Davis, with Cantey Hanger

Newsmakers: Week of March 13

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

The Chief Efficiency Officer's Role in E-Discovery

By Lauren Abeyta |

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

Creditor Exclusion: The Perils of D&O Coverage

By Shmuel Vasser and Yehuda Goor |

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

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

Jeffrey Scott Kelly's payment in pennies.

Round 2 in Sanctions Fight Against Penny-Paying Lawyer

By Angela Morris |

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

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

Houston Schools End Trademark Dispute

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

U.S. Justice Department

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

By Sue Reisinger |

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

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

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

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

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

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

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

Winston & Strawn Adds Three More Partners in Dallas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Anna Ward |

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

Haynes and Boone managing partner Timothy Powers.

Gross Revenue, Net Income Up at Haynes and Boone

By BRenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Texas High Court Tells BP Let Jury Decide on Lease Terms

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

See You in Court: Environmental Groups Pledge to Fight Deregulation

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By John Council |

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

Matthew Moore of Latham & Watkins.

Financial Institutions Bank Another Win Over Intellectual Ventures at Federal Circuit

By Scott Graham |

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

Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

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

By Andrew Denney |

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

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

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

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

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

Jonathan Judkowitz of Winstead.

Newsmakers: Week of March 6

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Mark Trachtenberg of Haynes and Boone.

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

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Tony Buzbee.

Buzbee, DA, at Odds Over DWI Prosecution

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Reid Wilson, left, and Tony Marre, right.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

U.S. Capitol.

What Lawyers Need to Know About Tort Reform Push in Congress

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

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

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

Endangered white tiger housed at Landry's Downtown Aquarium.

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

By John Council |

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

Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Justice Ginsburg to Teach Course Abroad for South Texas Law

By Angela Morris |

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

Robert Giuffra, left, and Brendan Cullen, right.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Fort Worth, Texas.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

Tentative Settlement Reached in Trademark Dispute Over Law School Name

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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


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

By John Council |

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

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Judge Extinguishes SEC Case Against Texas AG


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

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

By Hugh A. Simons |

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

 U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

Jackson Walker Adds 6 IP Litigators in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By Tom McParland |

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

Gibson Dunn Raids Latham for New Houston Office

By Brian Baxter and Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

password cracking

When Lawyers Become Hackers

By Gabrielle Orum Hernández |

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

Gina Betts.

Dorsey & Whitney Adds 10 More Lawyers in Dallas

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Brett F. Miller of Ward, Smith & Hill.

Newsmakers: Month of March

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

Pipeline Safety Regs Remain in Limbo Under Trump

By Kristen Rasmussen |

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

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

By John Council |

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

Minor Drive-Thru Crash Yields Small Award

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

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

Work Matters: Employment Law Predictions for SCOTUS

By Michael P. Maslanka |

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

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

Meet the GC of 7-Eleven, Rankin Gasaway

By Kristen Rasmussen |

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

Yvette Ostolaza and Penny Reid.

Tips for Being Successful in Your New Role as Partner

By Yvette Ostolaza and Penny Reid |

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

Class of 2017 Baylor Law student Lena Proft.

At Baylor Law, CLE Comes Before the JD

By Angela Morris |

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

John Browning

Straight From the Department of 'Bad Ideas'

By John G. Browning |

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

Oil Rebound Demands Preventive Maintenance for Contracts

By Michael J. Wray and Jacob C. Esparza |

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

Texas Supreme Court Establishes a Pipeline-Friendly Threshold

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

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

A Shot of Red Eye

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

Nancy Pritikin

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

By Nancy Pritikin |

How does one effectively deal with an attorney bully?

Asbestos fibers

Lawyers Prepare for Appeal of $75M Asbestos Verdict

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

The New York jury apportioned liability across four defendants.

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

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

By ALM Staff |

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

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

More About Using 'Contract' Attorneys

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

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

Kathryn Marietta, King & Spalding

Lawyers Share Good News for Offshore Drilling Clients

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Social Media Gets Some Respect from SCOTUS in First Amendment Case

By Tony Mauro |

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

Why Companies are Heading to Texas

By Lisa Brown, |

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

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

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

C. Wade Cooper.

Jackson Walker Posts Big Gains in Income and Revenue

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Newsmakers: Week of Feb. 27

By MAry Alice Robbins |

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

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

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

Michelle Hunter, executive director of the Texas State Bar.

State Bar's Executive Director Stepping Down

By Angela Morris |

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

Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III.

Glasscock Sends Question of Advancement Rights to Arbitration

By Tom McParland |

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Boyd.

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

By John Council |

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

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

Stepped-Up Immigration Enforcement May Strain Court System, Lawyers

By Andrew Denney |

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

Sanford Wadler.

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

By Ross Todd |

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

David Wynne.

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

By John Council |

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

Mark Sloan.

Thompson & Knight Posts Gains in Revenue and Income

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Texas A&M University School of Law

Texas A&M Law Offers Two Online Graduate Degree Programs


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

Is Change on the Way for Patent Litigation Venue Rules?

By John D. Simmons and Keith A. Jones |

Patent litigation may soon undergo a seismic geographical shift.

Dan Binstock of Garrison & Sisson.

Is Your Firm Guilty of Playing Lateral Partner Bingo?

By Dan Binstock |

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

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

Eminent Domain Lawyers Get Ready for Trump-Era Work

By Angela Morris |

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Dale Wainwright.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

King & Spalding Hires 6 Lateral Partners in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Bankruptcy Judge Approves Energy Future Reorganization Plan

By Tom McParland |

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

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

By James Booth and Christine Simmons |

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

 Kervyn B. Altaffer of Altaffer & Chen.

Public Has Right to Videotape Police Action, Fifth Circuit Says


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

Stephen Pezanosky.

Haynes and Boone Tracking System Shows Increase in Energy Industry Bankruptcies

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Eric Chenoweth.

Bentham Hires Yetter Coleman Partner as It Expands to Texas


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

Russell Munsch.

Munsch Hardt Founder Russell Munsch Dies in Plane Crash

By John Council |

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

Andrew Baker

Nine Norton Rose Fulbright Energy Partners Jump to Baker Botts

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Daniella Landers, left, and Bart Huffman, right.

Reed Smith Picks Up Four Lawyers in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Cleary Gottlieb Publishes Trump 'Social Media Attack' Survival Guide

Since his election, President Donald Trump has not let go of his personal Twitter account—or his penchant for lashing out against companies on social media.

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

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

Newsmakers: Week of Feb. 20

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

Ethics Rule Has Lit Funders Treading Carefully in Class Actions

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

Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By MIRIAM Rozen |

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

Jerry K. Clements

Locke Lord's Revenue Down But Income Up

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Gerrit M. Pronske.

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

By John Council |

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Rachel Lindsay

Texas Trial Lawyer Will Be Newest 'Bachelorette'

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Kim Rivera, Hewlett Packard

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

By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez |

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

Trending on #AppellateTwitter: A Georgia Judge’s Dog

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

John Creuzot.

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

By John Council |

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

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

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

By Shari Klevens and Randy Evans |

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

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

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

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

Dallas Firm Hires Seven Litigators

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

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

Jennifer Littlefield.

Newsmakers: Week of Feb. 13

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

Foreclosure Litigation Strategy Takes Aim at Seniors, Attorneys Say

By Samantha Joseph |

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

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

2 Former Sutherland Lawyers Leave to Form a Plaintiffs Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By John Council |

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

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

5 Ways Scalia’s Death Changed the Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

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

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

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

By Ross Todd |

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

President Donald Trump.

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

By C. Ryan Barber |

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

President Donald Trump.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Ken Paxton

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

By John Council |

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

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

Will James Baker's Proposed Carbon Tax Idle Lawyers?

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Revenue, Profits Soar at Baker Botts Amid Contingency Wins

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Trinity East Gets Another Chance at Payment in Mineral Rights Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

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

U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn

DOL Wins Fiduciary Rule Case in Texas

By Melanie Waddell |

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

Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Richard Clifton, Michelle Friedland, and William Canby.

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

By Scott Graham |

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

Richard Clifton, Michelle Friedland, and William Canby.

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

By Scott Graham |

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

Celia Catlett

Texas Roadhouse GC Ready to Fight EEOC Age Suit Again

By Sue Reisinger |

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

Lost Profit Versus Lost Business Value

By Jeff Compton, Margaret Bryant and Michael Shapiro |

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

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

Former Supreme Court Justice Scores Big Insurance Defense Win

By John Council |

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

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

Bit by Entrepreneurial Bug, Three Austin Lawyers Form Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By Nelson S. Ebaugh |

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

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

By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez |

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

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

Winston & Strawn Moves into Dallas, Poaching 21 Lateral Partners

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

John McMullan of Winstead.

Newsmakers: Week of Feb. 6

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

Gibson Dunn Opens Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Dorsey & Whitney Moving into Dallas and Schiff Hardin Moving Out

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Gibson Dunn Opens Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Ken Cutler and Larry Makel of Dorsey & Whitney, Dallas

Dorsey & Whitney Moving into Dallas and Schiff Hardin Moving Out

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Lexie White

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

By John Council |

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

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

By Jenna Greene |

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

Lawyers Respond to Trump's Immigration Order

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Susan Kidwell of Locke Lord in Austin.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Norton Rose Fulbright, Chadbourne Chase Merger as Project Pipeline Thaws

By Christine Simmons |

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

Rex Tillerson.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By Kevin Jacobs |

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

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

Beneath the Chaos, Strategies Coalesce in Suits Against Trump

By Amanda Bronstad |

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

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

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

Gaines West.

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


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

Chief Justice Nathan Hecht

Texas Chief Justice Calls for Better Judicial Security and Pay

By John Council |

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

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

By John Council |

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

Ken Paxton.

Q&A with Texas Attorney General on Consumer Protection Priorities

By Richard Lawson, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips |

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

Lisa Blue Baron.

Volunteer Lawyers Serving Detainees at DFW Get Financial Boost

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Assistant Harris County Attorney Rosemarie Donnelly.

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

By John Council |

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

Joint and Several Liability for Indivisible Injuries

By Quentin Brogdon |

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

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

By Diego Rodriguez |

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

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

New Trump Era for O&G Sector

By Angela Neville |

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

Slowly but Surely

Bus Driver Prevails in Suit That Could've Cost Millions

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

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

By John Council |

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

Whatever Your Political Beliefs, They Usually Stem From Your Childhood

By James H. Dolan |

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

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

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

By Kristen Rasmussen |

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

Michael Maslanka.

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

By Michael P. Maslanka |

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

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

Inadmissible: Month of February

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

Judge Neil Gorsuch.

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

By Tony Mauro |

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

For Immigration Help, Universities Turn to Law School Clinics

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

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

On the Bright Side, Lawyers Are Suddenly Popular

By Jenna Greene |

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

Royal Ferguson.

UNT Law Hangs on to Accreditation Hopes

By Angela Morris |

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

Gordon Quan

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

By Angela Morris |

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

Reglan Litigation Reaches Tentative Global Accord

By Max Mitchell |

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

Andrews Kurth Kenyon Partner Rose Cordero Prey.

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 30

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Texas Supreme Court building.

After a Tough Week, Media Scores Texas High Court Win

By Angela Morris |

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

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

Three Key Energy Developments from President Trump in Week One

By Natalie Regoli and Brian Polley |

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

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

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

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

SMU Dedman's Moot Court Gets New Name

By Angela Morris |

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

Vester Hughes.

Prominent Tax Attorney Vester Hughes Has Died

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

What Will Immigration be Like Under the Trump Administration?

By Gordon Quan |

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

Dallas Fort Worth Airport

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

Immigrant Advocates Plot 'Beginning of Legal Resistance' to Trump

By Marcia Coyle |

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

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

Texas Lawyer's 2017 Legal Departments of the Year award recognizes the Lone Star State's top in-house departments in six distinct categories: 1. General; 2. Outside Counsel Management; 3. Technology; 4. Diversity and Quality of Life; 5. Pro Bono and Community Service; and 6. Corporate Compliance. To qualify, the department must be led by a GC from Texas.

Lawyers Spar Over Rex Tillerson Depo in Climate Change Class Action

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

Jury Awards $51.5M in Lockheed Martin Age Discrimination Suit

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

Retired U.S. District Judge Walter Smith.

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


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

Rex Tillerson.

Lawyers Spar Over Rex Tillerson Depo in Climate Change Suit

By Ross Todd |

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

McDermott Four-Lawyer IP Team Moves to Vorys Sater

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By Joni Jacobsen and Angela Liu |

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

Anna Nicole Smith

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

By John Council |

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

Baker Botts Highlight Prosecutorial Misconduct Allegations

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Foley & Lardner logo in Miami.

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

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

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

Michael Tanenbaum.

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

By Lizzy McLellan |

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

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

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

Steve Mostyn.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By Sue Reisinger |

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

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

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 23

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

Obama Energy, Environmental Officials Land at Latham

By Katelyn Polantz |

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

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

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

Kara Farnandez Stoll.

Court of Appeals Injunction Dries Out Water Balloon Patent Fight

By Scott Graham |

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

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

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

By Tony Mauro |

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

Liberal Lawyers Huddle Up in Hunt for Trump Conflicts

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

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

By Marie Briner |

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

Sally Pretorius, left, and Jenny Smith, right.

TYLA Candidates for President-Elect Talk Work-Life Balance


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

Chris Trowbridge.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

12 Jones Day Lawyers Take Key Posts in Trump Administration

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

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

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

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

Texas Lawyers Quarterback the Legal Team for the Big Game

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Chief Justice John Roberts, left, and Ken Paxton.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Lindsay Hedrick of Jones Day.

Newsmakers: Month of February

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

Donald Trump

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

By John Council |

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

Contract Dispute

Patent Plaintiff Eyes Supreme Court in Prickly Fight Over Contingency Fees

By Scott Graham |

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

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

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

Barry Ashe and John Cogan

Stone Pigman Expands in Houston with Five New Hires

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

Texas Federal Judge Withdraws Sanctions Against DOJ Lawyers in Immigration Case

By John Council |

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

Tim Teter

Nvidia Snags Cooley IP Lawyer as General Counsel

By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez |

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

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

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

Bracing for the New Sexism

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

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

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

Latham Adds Two Energy Regulatory Partners

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Brian Loncar.

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

By John Council |

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

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

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

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

Sanford Wadler.

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

By David Ruiz |

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

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

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

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

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

David George, partner in Houston's Baker Wotring.

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

By John Council |

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

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

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 16

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Exxon Mobil headquarters in downton Houston, Texas.

Permian Deals Pile Up With Exxon, Noble Acquisitions

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Unclaimed Property Reform Bill Set for Panel Hearing

By Tom McParland |

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

Podcast: An Insider’s Take on Litigation Funding

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

By John Council |

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

Cadwalader to Close Houston Office in Core Practice Pivot

By Brian Baxter |

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

Supreme Court Takes Up Amgen-Sandoz Dispute Over Biosimilar Drugs

By Tony Mauro |

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

Dan Garrison of Texas' Garrison Brothers Distillery.

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

By John Council |

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

David Abraham, left, and Hector Chichoni, right.

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

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

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

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

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

By Celia Ampel |

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

Legal Heavy Hitters Slated for Anti-Trump Conference

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

Richard Cheng, shareholder Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr in Dallas

Munsch Hardt Adds ERISA, Health Care Practices with Lateral Hires

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Mark Stratton, Greenberg Traurig in Austin

Shannon Gracey Lawyers Join Greenberg Traurig in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By Steve Susman and Richard Jolly |

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

Neill Fuquay of McGuire, Craddock & Strother.

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 9

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Jason Boatright.

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

By john council |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

‘Swipe Fee’ Law Poised to Survive Supreme Court Scrutiny

By Tony Mauro |

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

Girl's Supreme Court Justice Costume Gets Ginsburg Shoutout

By Richard Binder |

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

Judge Kristen Hawkins, 11th District Court

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


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

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

By Shannon Mader, Adam Yarian and Arevik Stepanyan |

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

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

Strasburger Grows in Three Cities as Shannon Gracey Lawyers Find Homes

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Oil Drilling Gulf of Mexico.

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

By Susan Postlewaite |

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

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

By John Council |

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

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

For Advice on Shedding Exxon Ties, Tillerson Tapped Wilmer

By Miriam Rozen |

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

New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

By Shari Klevens and Randy Evans |

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

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

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

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

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

Washington, D.C.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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


Sunset Commission Sends Recommendation to Legislature Regarding Membership Fee Voting


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

Elyse Lyons of Jones Day.

Newsmakers: Week of Jan. 2

By Mary Alice Robbins |

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

Brian Sanford of Dallas' The Sanford Firm.

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

By John Council |

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

152nd District Court Judge Robert Schaffer.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Marianne Auld.

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

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Larry Macon

Akin Gump Trial Vet Launches New San Antonio Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

Big-Name Lawyers Divulge New Year's Resolutions

By Leigh Jones |

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

The State Bar of Texas, Austin.

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


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

Shannon Ratliff.

Energy Firm Davis Gerald Beefs Up As Permian Basin Booms

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

The Most Important Substantive Law Developments of 2016


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

Baylor University Law School in Waco Texas.

Inadmissible: Month of January

Local law school makes good on job placement.

Derek Mergele.

Leaving an LGBT Law Legacy

By Angela Morris |

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

Legal Tech Skills Are No Longer Optional

By Steve Thomas |

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

Heather Nevitt. Editor-in-Chief, Texas Lawyer

An 'Interesting' Year

Verdicts: Jury Awards Worker Nearly Hit by Cement Truck

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

Jack Balagia.

Starting a New Chapter

By Kristen Rasmussen |

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

The Facebook Follies

By John G. Browning |

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

John Grand of Vinson & Elkins in Dallas.

Firms Finding Work in Distress

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

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

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

By Julie Machal-Fulks |

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

Texas Family Code Chapter—Post Divorce Proceedings

By Jonathan J. Bates |

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

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

Texas Law Firms Among Most Frequently Retained in Litigation Against Apple

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Michael P. Maslanka

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


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

Rob Crain, partner in Crain Lewis Brogdon.

Newmakers: Month of January

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

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

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

By John Council |

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

Securities Litigation in The Trump Era— Now What?

By Bradley W. Foster |

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

How to Manage a High-Stakes Divorce

By R. Scott Downing |

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

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

US Women’s Soccer Team Ousts Dallas Leader

By Brian Baxter |

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

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

By David Ruiz |

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

Video Appears to Show Texas Police Shooting Man Walking Away

By Associated Press |

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

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

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

By Associated Press |

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

4 Critical Energy Issues to Watch in 2017

By Associated Press |

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

David Boies

Halliburton $100M Settlement Would End 14 Years of Litigation

By Celia Ampel |

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

Lawyers Behaving Badly 2016: Deposition Edition

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

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

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

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

By Marcia Coyle |

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

Women Now Dominate Law School Classes. So What?

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

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

By Angela Neville |

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

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

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

By Gina Passarella |

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

Barack Obama.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

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

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

By Charles Toutant |

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

Vuk Vujasinovic, VB Attorneys, Houston.

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

By Miriam Rozen |

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

Apple Accuses Nokia, Acacia of Antitrust Conspiracy

By Scott Graham |

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

Justice Karen Valihura, Delaware Supreme Court

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

By Tom McParland |

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