Top News

Texas Supreme Court declines to review $1.7M aviation verdict

David Yates Jun. 20, 2017, 1:42pm

HOUSTON – The Texas Supreme Court will not review the top aviation verdict for all of Texas in 2013. The Houston-based law firm Arnold & Itkin secured the judgment, totaling nearly $1.7 million, on behalf of Derek LeBlanc, who was injured in a helicopter crash while on route to work on an oil platform in the Gulf.

Texas appeals court rejects new trial for couple seeking damages to home from Hurricane Ike

John Sammon Jun. 20, 2017, 10:36am

HOUSTON – Two attempts to seek a new trial from a couple who alleged their insurer had failed to provide adequate payments for their home after it was damaged by Hurricane Ike has been turned back by the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas.

Texas Supreme Court -- Model of Judicial Integrity, Unlike California

Mark Pulliam Jun. 13, 2017, 8:55am

The Texas Supreme Court has a unique structure, reflecting the state’s stubbornly independent-minded culture. Most state supreme courts have jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases and have seven (or fewer) members, who are appointed by the governor and face the voters — if at all — only for periodic “retention” elections. The Texas Supreme Court, in contrast, hears only civil appeals (criminal cases are decided by the co-equal Texas Court of Criminal Appeals) and has nine members, all of whom are subject to statewide partisan elections. The last feature is quite unusual; only seven states select judges in this manner. Despite this distinctive design, the Texas Supreme Court succeeds at steering a steady jurisprudential course in a cautious, low-key style.

Texas SC proves retired district judge right, planning commission has immunity definitively yanked

David Yates Jun. 7, 2017, 9:05am

BEAUMONT – In June 2015, the Ninth Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a now-retired district judge’s decision denying the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission governmental immunity. Two years later, on May 17, the Texas Supreme Court issued a mandate stating that its ruling reversing the Ninth Court is final, confirming Judge Gary Sanderson, formerly of the 60th District Court, was ultimately right in his decision to waive the commission’s immunity.

Counsel for judge files motion to dismiss Freedom From Religion Foundation complaint over courtroom prayer

Christopher Mobley May 31, 2017, 10:47am

HOUSTON – Earlier this year, a Montgomery County judge was sued by a nonprofit secularist foundation for having prayers during the beginning of his courtroom sessions.

Texas SC finds ‘proportionality is the polestar’ in e-discovery disputes

David Yates May 30, 2017, 4:17pm

AUSTIN – Trial courts need to be balanced when it comes to their rulings in electronic discovery disputes, as the Texas Supreme Court recently found judges must recognize “proportionality is the polestar.”

Texas Supreme Court reverses ranch hand's $1 million exemplary damages

Pam Wright May 19, 2017, 9:03am

AUSTIN – The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that $1 million in damages awarded to a ranch hand was unconstitutionally excessive.

Supreme Court rules BP can hold gas well lease

Kristin Regula May 15, 2017, 8:55am

AUSTIN – A reversal of opinion in a verdict set by a court of appeals has allowed British Petroleum (BP) to hold on to the lease of a natural gas well in Texas.

Texas Supreme clarifies past insurance rules, orders second trial in USAA lawsuit

John Myers May 1, 2017, 8:51am

AUSTIN – The Supreme Court of Texas has overturned two lower court rulings and ordered that a new trial take place in an $11,350 Galveston Island insurance case.

Hospital asks Texas Supreme Court to clarify equal inference rule

S. Laney Griffo Apr. 25, 2017, 8:30am

AUSTIN – A Texas hospital has appealed a decision made by an appellate court to the Texas Supreme Court.

TLR gives update on bills being followed in 85th Texas Legislature

David Yates Apr. 18, 2017, 11:38am

AUSTIN – Texans for Lawsuit Reform sent out an email Tuesday, updating readers on bills of importance the group is following as the 85th Texas Legislature Session continues to unfold.

TWIA, Mostyn Law lock horns over outcome of Rita trial – insurer says firm ‘simultaneously’ filed suit with ‘excessive’ pre-suit demand

David Yates Apr. 4, 2017, 9:39am

BEAUMONT – While the trial of the last remaining Hurricane Rita lawsuit may be in books, the case is far from over – as Mostyn Law and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association recently filed contrasting motions for entry of final judgment.

Texas SC sends case against a Pepsi subsidiary to appeals court

Melissa Busch Apr. 3, 2017, 11:17am

AUSTIN – The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of M&F Worldwide Corp. and others in their jurisdictional claim against a subsidiary of Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co. Inc., which relates to a previously settled covert asbestos case in New York.

Former Texas Supreme Court justice joins Greenberg Traurig

Olivia Olsen Mar. 27, 2017, 9:17am

AUSTIN – Dale Wainwright, an attorney and judge who formerly served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Texas, has switched gears in his career.

Implementing Obergefell: An Addendum

Mark Pulliam Mar. 24, 2017, 8:49am

In a prior post, I discussed the Pidgeon v. Turner case, now pending before the Texas Supreme Court, involving a taxpayer challenge to same-sex spousal benefits.  Oral argument was held on March 1. The taxpayers challenging the city of Houston’s policy of granting same-sex spousal benefits to city employees were represented at oral argument by Jonathan Mitchell, a former Scalia clerk, former Texas solicitor general, and now a visiting professor at Stanford law school. The city of Houston was represented by Douglas Alexander, a leading appellate practitioner in an Austin law firm whose partners include former Texas Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson. The oral argument was superb, and both counsel fielded numerous questions from the fully-engaged justices.

Texas SC allows Beaumont church a crack at attorney in $1M stolen funds suit

David Yates Mar. 20, 2017, 1:33pm

BEAUMONT – The Texas Supreme Court has ruled a local church has a claim against a defendant who was previously awarded summary judgment in litigation brought over the theft of funds from a $1 million Hurricane Rita settlement.

Texas Supreme Court’s spousal benefit reversal raises eyebrows

David Hutton Feb. 28, 2017, 3:12pm

&&& AUSTIN – The Texas Supreme Court in January ruled that it will decide whether the husbands and wives of gay city employees in Houston deserve spousal benefits, a rare reversal reportedly driven by pressure from Gov. Greg Abbott and dozens of other top Republicans.

Implementing Obergefell: Who Decides the Scope of a Newly Minted Right?

Mark Pulliam Feb. 7, 2017, 1:20pm

The Supreme Court’s fractured decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) required states to recognize same-sex marriage. Obergefell came less than 30 years after Bowers v. Hardwick,[1] in which the court refused to recognize a right to engage in homosexual sodomy. In changing its mind, the Court effectively amended the U.S. Constitution with its Delphic utterances.

Despite progress, East Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse's founder cites work ahead to combat lawsuit abuse

Carrie Salls Feb. 7, 2017, 8:41am

LONGVIEW – Despite progress made in turning around a reputation that has pegged Texas as a popular venue for medical malpractice lawsuits and “not a business friendly environment,” Ruben Martin, founder of East Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse, said in a newsletter entry commemorating ETALA’s 25th anniversary that “junk lawsuits continue to cost us dearly.” 

Judge refuses to unseal Russell Budd deposition, testimony linked to Baron & Budd asbestos memo

David Yates Jan. 31, 2017, 6:21pm

AUSTIN – A documentary filmmaker seeking to obtain the deposition of one of Texas’ most well-known plaintiff’s attorneys was shut down by a district judge Tuesday, as the court refused to unseal testimony linked to an asbestos memo that has been the subject of much controversy for the past two decades.