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.
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, 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
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.”
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.
After Axcess International, Inc. filed an October 2016 motion for a rehearing, the Texas Supreme Court finally declined to hear the $41 million Baker Botts, LLP malpractice case on November 18. The motion filed by Axcess argued that they were prematurely dismissed from a lower appellate court for excessively strict evidentiary standards.
AUSTIN – National Lloyds will no longer have to fork over its internal management reports to The Mostyn Law Firm, with the Texas Supreme Court recently finding the information being sought by dozens of hail suit plaintiffs was “overbroad.” In the spring of 2012, two hailstorms rocked Hidalgo County, giving rise to thousands of lawsuits against insurance companies.
BEAUMONT – The Ninth Court of Appeals is set to review a State Farm Lloyds appeal, which seeks to wipe a $260k jury verdict on the grounds that the opinions of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses were “unreliable and inadmissible.” The appeal stems from a week long trial against State Farm that took place in May 2015.
AUSTIN – The Supreme Court of Texas has denied an appeal filed by the city of Dallas in connection with the city of Corsicana, Navarro County and Navarro College’s (collectively, Navarro) request to investigate a potential tortious interference claim against Dallas, which is likely to exceed the $200,000 claim threshold that limits the County Court at Law of Navarro County’s jurisdiction.