Two decades ago, Texas legislators revised rules for government agencies hiring outside lawyers, thenceforth requiring contingency-fee contracts to be submitted to the state comptroller for approval, capping contingency fees at 35 percent, establishing strict requirements for keeping billing records, and prescribing a method for calculating fees.
Insurance litigation firm Daly & Black is responsible for more than two thirds of the 300+ Hurricane Harvey lawsuits filed against the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. That’s a lot of cases to litigate. Surely, it would be more efficient and less time-consuming to try them all at once.
Last year, Channel 2 Investigates published a video showing Rick Daly of insurance litigation firm Daly & Black touting his connection to Todd Hunter, the state representative who went to work as a lobbyist for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association and then returned to the legislature as a TWIA nemesis.
“The misuse and abuse of prescription opioids is a complex public health challenge that requires a collaborative and systemic response that engages all stakeholders,” says John Parker of the Healthcare Distribution Alliance.
With wind speeds of 130+ mph, Category 4 hurricanes spin fast, but not as fast as the Buzbee Law Firm spun as the two-year deadline for filing Hurricane Harvey lawsuits approached. They filed nearly 400 suits in Harris County District Court in just five days.
“When there are no rules, bad actors come out of the woodwork,” observes attorney Jeff Raizner. “Appraisal misconduct is rampant, and I predict that the entire process will eventually be outlawed … if it doesn’t get cleaned up fast.”
Like most states, Texas once prohibited third-party financing of lawsuits. Fronting the money for someone else’s litigation in exchange for a share of the anticipated settlement constituted the crime of champerty. It still does in states that have not abandoned this sensible safeguard.
Last month, Lucine Hinze filed a lawsuit against a Frisco Jason’s Deli, seeking up to $1 million in compensation for injuries she allegedly suffered there two years ago after slipping and falling on a wet floor near the salad bar. Hinze argues that the deli was negligent because there was no “wet floor” sign in place to warn customers, and apparently there wasn’t.
“Binding arbitration clauses are inescapable,” warns Texas Watch, a group funded by trial lawyers. “They appear in all forms of consumer contracts, big and small. Virtually every time you use a credit card, join a gym, buy a car or use your cell phone you are giving up your legal rights. If you have a dispute with one of these companies, you are forced into a closed, costly, and tilted process without any appeal or public record.”
Falling down used to embarrass people. The first thing they’d do is look around to see if anyone had seen them. If not, they’d still have their pride. It was like they’d never fallen at all. They might be hurt, but not embarrassed.
“Who put that street lamp there?” “Who put that telephone pole there?” “Who put that parking meter there?”
That’s what you might ask, comically, if you were walking down a sidewalk on your way to lunch and accidentally bumped into an everyday obstacle because you were talking to companions alongside or behind you and not paying attention to where you were going.
Landry’s, Inc. owns and operates more than 600 properties across the country, including restaurants like Landry’s Seafood, Chart House, and Morton’s Steakhouse – plus hotels, casinos, and family-oriented entertainment complexes like the Kemah Boardwalk amusement park between Houston and Galveston.
Anyone who owns residential or commercial property along the Gulf Coast knows that hurricanes and other wind storms are a perpetual threat and likely has insurance to cover potential damages. The trick, though, is making sure coverage is comprehensive enough.
If you were a salaried employee and thought you deserved to make more money, you’d ask for a raise, right? You wouldn’t try to talk your employer into keeping you on staff and hiring you as an outside contractor at the same time, so you could get paid twice for doing the job you’re already being paid for, would you?
Rats are disgusting animals. If you come upon one unexpectedly, it’s likely to startle or even frighten you. If, on the other hand, you’re walking around a junkyard or a dump, there’s a good chance you’ll come upon a rat at some point or other and you shouldn’t be surprised about it.