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Lead Stories

XTO and BofA Score Mandamus Win in Derivative Royalty Trust Lawsuit


cschwartz By Natalie Posgate – (July 31) – XTO Energy and Bank of America scored a win this week in a Dallas appellate court when a three-judge panel ruled that a trial court abused its discretion by allowing a derivative action lawsuit to continue with an investor of XTO’s publicly-traded royalty trust. It is said to be the first appellate decision in Texas to involve a publicly-traded royalty trust.


Norton Rose Fulbright Scores $400 Million Litigation Win for Tesoro


gpecht1 By Dave Moore – (July 28) – If the lawsuits were baseball games, shareholders and their lawyers trying to stop two San Antonio-based oil and gas pipeline and storage companies from merging were blown out in the first inning. Tesoro GC Charles Parrish hired Norton Rose Fulbright partner Gerry Pecht to defeat the securities litigation. He won the case before the first court hearing. Here's the story how.


Judge Sparks: Patent Expiration Doesn’t Invalidate Trademarks


jmunisterijwilkerson1 By Jeff Bounds – (July 24) – A Marble Falls maker of machine parts for the oil patch lost a closely-watched trademark dispute against a rival firm when a federal judge in Austin refused to invalidate the defendant’s trademark protections even though the company’s patent on the product expired years earlier. Legal experts say Judge Sparks’ ruling is one of the clearest and most straightforward court decisions to state that judges must consider the validity of trademarks and patents separately, even when they involve the same product.


Phone Records Should Be On Your Discovery Wish List


dowlingellis1L By Wyatt Dowling and Rob Ellis of Yetter Coleman – HOUSTON (July 23) - The Second Circuit’s recent decision in the U.S. v. Apple e-book price-fixing case highlights the usefulness of obtaining discovery of phone metadata in conspiracy cases. But phone records are not just for conspiracy cases. Coupled with simple but effective demonstratives showing the story behind the calls, phone records can provide powerful evidence in a wide range of civil cases that in-house counsel managing litigation should not ignore. However, this evidence poses unique difficulties in terms of obtaining this discovery, synthesizing the results and overcoming challenges based on privacy.


Texas Lawyers Differ on New US-Cuba Relations


chernandez1L By Mark Curriden – (July 21) – Fluor Corp. General Counsel Carlos Hernandez vividly remembers Christmas Eve 1958. He and his family were huddled in their house in Cuba as warplanes flew overhead. Weeks later, they fled Cuba for the United States in fear for their lives. Hernandez admits there is a split among Texans of Cuban descent about the Obama Administration's softened stance toward his homeland.

“We lost our freedoms. They took all of our property,” Hernandez says. “I am not yet prepared to forgive them. They should be held accountable for the atrocities they committed.”


Top Stories
V&E Closes Ridgewood Energy Fund at $2 Billion

V&E Closes Ridgewood Energy Fund at $2 Billion

Houston and New Jersey-based Ridgewood Energy announced Tuesday that it closed investments for its latest private equity fund, Ridgewood Energy Oil & Gas Fund III, at more than…

U.S. Labor Dept. Proposed Rules could Impact Millions of Workers

U.S. Labor Dept. Proposed Rules could Impact Millions of Workers

The DOL issued two substantial pronouncements recently, including a proposed rule increasing the minimum salary to be paid for someone to be exempt and an administrative interpretation that…

St. Mary Cemetery Trial Ends in Hung Jury

St. Mary Cemetery Trial Ends in Hung Jury

A long-running dispute over a landowner’s actions at a 150-year-old historic African-American cemetery south of Dallas remains unresolved after a judge ruled the case a mistrial on Friday.…

Kirkland and Bracewell Advise on $1+ Billion Power Plant Deal

Kirkland and Bracewell Advise on $1+ Billion Power Plant Deal

Pennsylvania-based Talen Energy Supply announced Monday its plans to acquire Athens, New York-based MACH Gen, which owns and operates three natural gas-fired power plants in New York,…

Weil Advises on $2.75 Billion Permian Basin Deal

Weil Advises on $2.75 Billion Permian Basin Deal

Tulsa-based WPX Energy turned to a team of Dallas attorneys from Weil, Gotshal & Manges to advise on its $2.35 billion acquisition of Oklahoma City-based RKI Exploration &…

Brewer Firm Continues Success in TX Voting Rights Act Cases

Brewer Firm Continues Success in TX Voting Rights Act Cases

Bill Brewer and his team of lawyers are having a busy summer. …

SEC Interviews Finalists for Fort Worth Director Job

SEC Interviews Finalists for Fort Worth Director Job

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is in its final stages of searching for a new regional director. The finalists include two current SEC officials, a former federal…

Jones Day and V&E Advise in $20 Billion MLP Transaction

Jones Day and V&E Advise in $20 Billion MLP Transaction

Ohio-based MPLX and its sponsor, Marathon Petroleum Corporation announced Monday their plans to purchase Denver-based master limited partnership, MarkWest Energy Partners. The companies say the transaction, which is…

Features

K&L Gates' Ambassador to Partners and Clients


cbudner1L By Mark Curriden – (July 28) – Craig Budner has represented corporate giants such as Xerox, J.P. Morgan Chase, Hewlett-Packard and VarTec Telecom. He defended Olympic athlete Marion Jones in the BALCO steroids scandal and played a key role in getting Ross Perot on the presidential ballot in all 50 states in 1992.

The Dallas trial lawyer now has a new job: global integration partner at K&L Gates, which has more than 2,000 lawyers in 47 cities worldwide. “I work with lateral partners to make sure they integrate quickly and seamlessly," he says. "My job is essentially connecting the dots across our platform."

Be sure to take a look at the interview with Craig in the article.


The Texas Lawbook Passes 7,000 Subscribers


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By Brooks Igo – (July 21) – Nearly every major law firm operating in Texas has purchased a group subscription for its lawyers, as well as several corporate in-house legal departments. Of the 7,000 subscribers, more than 1,700 are corporate in-house counsel. In fact, Exxon Mobil helped us reach the readership milestone when it purchased a subscription for its entire legal department a few weeks ago.


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Lawyers & Firms

Meet the 2015 Class of New Partners and Shareholders

The Texas Lawbook takes a look at 145 newly minted partners and shareholders in Texas.…

Magazine: Norton Rose Fulbright and V&E Among Best Firms for Working Women

Working Women magazine measured flexible work arrangements, paid parental leave, compensation parity and percentage of…

DWLA Honors Male Lawyer with Top Honor for First Time in 46-Year History

DWLA Honors Male Lawyer with Top Honor for First Time in 46-Year History

The Dallas Women Lawyers Association selected Michael Hurst as the recipient of the 2015 Louise…

K&L Gates Adds Immigration Partner Brian Graham to Austin Office

K&L Gates Adds Immigration Partner Brian Graham to Austin Office

Graham was previously the chair of Strasburger & Price’s immigration law team and EB-5 Task…

Texas State Rep. Jason Villalba Jumps to Gardere

Texas State Rep. Jason Villalba Jumps to Gardere

Villalba, who currently serves as the state representative for House District 114, focuses his corporate…

Former Federal Prosecutor Jay Dewald Joins Andrews Kurth

Former Federal Prosecutor Jay Dewald Joins Andrews Kurth

Dewald, who will office in Dallas and Houston, most recently served as the Deputy Criminal…

T&K Boosts Oil and Gas Practice in Houston by Adding Stacy Smith Brown as Partner

Brown focuses her practice on Bureau of Ocean Energy Management regulations and contracts relating to…

Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez Returns to Private Practice at Ogletree Deakins

Gonzalez says he will advise clients on the regulatory environment and help them navigate the…

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Lawyers in the News

Diana Bearden
Willie Briscoe
Shonn Brown
Craig Budner
John Garda
Rachel Gonzalez
Rhonda Hunter
Michael Hurst
Nicole Knox
Tiffanie Limbrick
Meredith Black-Mathews
Karen McCloud
Tonya Parker
Charles Parrish
Gerry Pecht
Dena DeNooyer Stroh

Firms in the News

The Briscoe Law Firm
Farrow-Gillespie & Heath
Gruber Hurst Elrod
K&L Gates
Norton Rose Fulbright
NTTA
Powers Taylor
Sabre Corp.
Sidley
Strasburger & Price

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The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker reports M&A activity and securities offerings handled by lawyers based in Texas, even if those transactions involve non-Texas-based companies. The Corporate Deal Tracker ranks matters by value and includes the announcement date, the names of the companies involved and the lawyers and their law firms. These charts were last updated on June 30th.

Click on each Chart to see a full listing:

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Exclusive: EFH Bankruptcy Fees Top $230 million


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By Mark Curriden – (July 6) – Energy Future Holdings is spending more than $600,000 a day – including weekends and holidays – in legal and financial advisory fees and expenses as part of its restructuring efforts in federal bankruptcy court, putting the case on track to be one of the costliest bankruptcies in U.S. history.

Since filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 in April 2014, lawyers and financial advisers have charged EFH $230 million through June 1. More than 50 lawyers, including 29 from Kirkland, are charging EFH more than $1,000 an hour.


Veteran Litigators Whip DAYL into Shape at Trial Boot Camp


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By Natalie Posgate – (June 10) – After about a year of planning, leaders of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers finally saw the fruits of their labor this past weekend at what was widely considered the most successful DAYL event in 2015 so far.


Texas Law Firms Fight for Talent, Revenues and Survival


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By Mark Curriden – (May 14) – Despite record revenues and profits, the Texas legal market is in turmoil. Even as elite law firms experience phenomenal growth in revenues and profits, many large, full service Texas law firms struggle to tread water and could face major restructuring or even extinction.

There's a fierce battle over talent. Law firms that pay the most get the best lawyers. The best talent gets the best clients. The best clients pay the highest rates, which leads to greater revenues and profits.

“The deck has been completely reshuffled in Texas,” said Kent Zimmerman with Zeughauser Group. “In a short amount of time, the leaderboard has changed significantly.”

The Texas Lawbook interviewed more than two-dozen legal industry insiders in an in-depth examination of the state's business law marketplace.