Decisions

Most Viewed Decisions

5th Cir.

United States v. Keele

The appellant challenges the district court's restitution order, arguing that it was not encompassed by his appeal waiver. The record supports the conclusion that the appellant's valid appeal waiver barred his right to appeal the restitution order - specifically, the plea agreement and the appeal waiver, the PSR, the district court's statements to the appellant at sentencing and rearraignment, and the appellant's statements at sentencing. The appeal is dismissed. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-10551, 01-07-2014

Tex. App. Dist. 14

Ex parte Castillo-Lorente

Tex. App. Dist. 14

City of Houston v. Little Nell Apartments L.P.

Tex. App. Dist. 14

College of Mainland v. Meneke

Tex. App. Dist. 14

Hightower, Russo & Capellan v. Ireson, Weizel & Hightower, P.C.

A firm appeals the trial court's apportionment of fees between itself and a predecessor firm. The total fee was not based on the amount of work necessary to prosecute client's case; instead, it was a contingency fee set by contract as a defined percentage of the client's total recovery. The trial court rationally concluded the reasonable value of each firm's services to client should be calculated by applying the defined percentage to the portion of the settlement funds attributable to each firm's work. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Houston's 14th Court of Appeals, No. 14-12-00685-CV, 12-31-2013

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil

5th Cir.

Jose v. Transmaritime, Inc.

The appellee was granted summary judgment on its claim for the loss of its goods in transit under the Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act. Two Form 7512s do not carry the same weight as a bill of lading, and are insufficient to show delivery of the goods in good condition to the carrier. Further,because the forms had an "apparent good order" clause, such bills would likely be prima facie proof of delivery in good condition only as to those portions of the cargo which were open for inspection at the time of delivery. The appellee failed to establish the first element of its prima facie case under the Carmack Amendment: delivery of the goods in good condition to the carrier. The district court's summary judgment is reversed and remanded. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 13-40147, 12-30-2013

Practice Areas: Commercial Law

Tex. App. Dist. 9

Blasdell v. State

The trial court excluded the testimony of a forensic psychologist concerning witness identifications that occur during crimes that involved guns. whether a gun is a distraction during a brief encounter does not appear to be a question far removed from what the jury would likely expect based on their common experience; thus, the focus on the witness's qualifications with respect to this topic are less important than whether the testimony is reliable. While the expert described the weapon focus effect, he did not describe the principles that apply to it. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Beaumont Court of Appeals, No. 09-09-00286-CR, 01-08-2014

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

5th Cir.

In re Energytec, Inc.

Energytec, Inc. owns and operates gas pipelines. The company filed for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 11. The bankruptcy court authorized a sale of a pipeline system to Red Water Resources Inc., but reserved for later determination whether the sale was free and clear of the appellant, Newco Energy's, right to certain fees and other interests in the pipeline. Over a year after the sale, the bankruptcy court ruled that Newco's rights were not covenants running with the land and that the sale of the pipeline system was free and clear of Newco's interests. 11 U.S.C. ยง 363(m) does not deprive the appellate court of jurisdiction. Newco's right to transportation fees and its right to consent to assignment are covenants running with the land. The judgment is vacated and remanded. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-41162, 12-31-2013

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy

Tex. App. Dist. 6

Brooks v. State

The appellant challenges his conviction as a party to capital murder. When a juror obtains information about a case, a number of factors are involved in looking for harm, such as the nature of admonishments to the juror, the jurors statements about whether the articles involved would impact their deliberations, whether the jurors stated that they could disregard the articles, whether the articles contained information other than that which would be presented at trial, and whether the juror stated that she would follow the court's direction to decide the case based solely on the evidence. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Texarkana Court of Appeals, No. 06-13-00088-CR, 01-02-2014

Practice Areas: Criminal Law