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Lead Stories

SCOTX: Did Someone Interfere with your Inheritance? Too Bad.

By Natalie Posgate – (June 22) – The Texas Supreme Court ruled on Friday that there is no cause of action in Texas for intentional interference with inheritance, a ruling that will not allow the heirs of a wealthy oilman to invalidate a will change that gave a bulk of their inheritance to charities.

SCOTX Trashes Laredo’s Plastic-Bag-Ban Ordinance

By Mark Curriden – (June 22) – The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the City of Laredo’s plastic-bag-ban ordinance is invalid and cannot be enforced because it directly conflicts with a superseding state law passed in 2015. Two of the justices, however, made it clear that they want the Texas Legislature to reconsider its position for the sake of the environment.

Jury Awards Former Glazer’s Liquor Executives $2.4M in Lost Compensation

By Natalie Posgate – (June 22) – A Dallas County jury has awarded $2.4 million to two former executives of Glazer’s liquor distribution company, finding they were owed compensation when the company combined with Southern Wine & Spirits in 2016.

Meet the Locke Lord Employee Who Inspired an Award-Winning HBA Initiative

By Brooks Igo – (June 21) – Cindy Johnston is one of the most beloved employees in Locke Lord’s Dallas office. She also helped shape former Houston Bar Association President Alistair Dawson’s vision for Project TRAIN, a program that is being recognized this week at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Houston with a Star of Achievement Award.

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SEC Charges Texas Coastal Energy, CEO with Fraud

By Mark Curriden – (June 20) – Dallas-based Texas Coastal Energy Company and its CEO committed federal securities fraud by lying to investors and misappropriating $2.6 million of their money, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday.

Updated: Munck Wilson Secures Patent #10,000,000

By Natalie Posgate – (June 19) – A group of Dallas lawyers from Munck Wilson Mandala made patent history Tuesday by securing patent number 10,000,000 for Raytheon for a laser detection technology. The first patent was awarded in 1790 to Samuel Hopkins for potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer. It’s a story complicated by history. Natalie Posgate explains.

Texas A&M Selects Emory Law Prof as New Law School Dean

By Brooks Igo – (June 20) – Andrew Morriss, the former dean of the law school who left last summer to launch the university’s School of Innovation, said the new dean “has a better understanding of the issues facing legal education than anyone I’ve ever met.”

To Pay or Not to Pay? What the DOL’s New Test Means for Summer Internship Programs

By Jordan Faykus and Emily Harbison of Baker McKenzie – (June 20) – As summer approaches, many Texas businesses are preparing to welcome interns into the workplace. Companies considering unpaid internships should be aware of the Department of Labor’s new seven-factor test for determining whether or not interns must be paid as employees. Jordan Faykus and Emily Harbison of Baker McKenzie provide an analysis of this new legal standard.

Corporate Deal Tracker Weekly Roundup: 14 Firms, 80 Texas Lawyers, 13 Deals, $14.2B

By Claire Poole – (June 19) – Merger and acquisition, capital market and venture capital activity picked up this past week, reaching 13 transactions worth $14.2 billion versus eight deals valued at $6.3 billion the previous week. Fourteen law firms and 80 lawyers were involved in the deals, versus eight firms and 96 Texas lawyers the prior week. Claire Poole parses who did what in her weekly roundup in The Texas Lawbook.

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Randy Johnston Helps ‘No Easy Day’ Navy SEAL Author Get His Day in Court

By Natalie Posgate – (June 18) – For the past four years, Dallas lawyer Randy Johnston has been quietly representing the author of No Easy Day, a controversial book by a former U.S. Navy SEAL about the raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. The book gained notoriety after it was published without Pentagon review, a circumstance Johnston says was the result of bad advice from an Indiana-based lawyer. The lawyer’s bad advice resulted in a pair of federal investigations, the loss of $6.6 million in royalties intended for charity and a load of vitriol from the press. Two weeks ago, a federal magistrate cleared the way for a trial in the case, and Johnston says he is determined to set the record straight. The Texas Lawbook brings the case up to date.

More Stories
The Texas Lawbook Surpasses 10,000 Paid Subscribers

The Texas Lawbook Surpasses 10,000 Paid Subscribers

Today, I am pleased to announce that The Texas Lawbook has reached and surpassed 10,000 paid subscribers – 2,359 of whom are general counsel or corporate in-house counsel.…

Op-Ed: Bankruptcy Venue – A Time for Change

Op-Ed: Bankruptcy Venue – A Time for Change

The time has come to eliminate venue shopping in corporate bankruptcies and restructuring. Based on my first-hand experience leading American Airlines' corporate restructuring in a distant locale, it…

Features

Akin Gump Joins V&E in Texas Boosting Associate Comp

By Mark Curriden – (June 21) – Akin Gump, which was founded in Dallas and now headquartered in Washington, D.C., announced Thursday in a memo to its lawyers that it is matching about a dozen other firms operating in Texas in the amount of money it pays associates.

Five Feared Words in Dallas Corporate Law: Kirkland is Coming to Town

By Mark Curriden – (June 19) – The North Texas corporate legal industry is bracing for a major disruption in how it does business. Leaders at several prominent firms tell The Texas Lawbook that they believe Kirkland & Ellis will soon open a Dallas office. The Lawbook has learned that the Chicago-based firm has quietly hired a half-dozen experienced corporate transactional lawyers in Dallas and is pursuing at least a dozen more to work for the firm’s fast growing private equity practice. The Lawbook has exclusive details and analysis.

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GCs, Lawyers & Firms

Akin Gump Lures Houston Tax Expert

Jocelyn Tau was previously at Hunton Andrews Kurth, where she made partner in April.…

VLS to Honor Locke Lord as Pro Bono Champion

The Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas (VLS) is honoring Locke Lord as a Pro…

Austin Lawyer Named GC of State Bar Board of Directors

Ross Fischer of the Gober Group is the newly-elected general counsel to the State Bar…

Jones Day Pittsburgh Partner Relocates to Dallas

Peter Laun has helped recover more than $1.3 billion for clients as a plaintiff and…

Dallas Employment Partner Joins McGinnis Lochridge

Alex Stevens rejoins former Haynes and Boone colleague Felicity Fowler, who recently helped open McGinnis…

Willkie Adds More Depth to Private Equity Team in Houston

Jessica Sheridan recently joined Willkie from Sidley.…

Husch Blackwell Lateral Hire in Milwaukee to Serve Dallas Office

A spokeswoman for the firm said Derek Taylor will work along the lawyers who recently…

Capital Markets Pro Jumps to Baker Botts from Kirkland

Hoffman has already advised on bunches of transactions this year.…

KRCL Adds Corporate Partner in Houston

Arthur Nathan was most recently at Jones Day, where he was of counsel.…

Analysis: Behind the Scenes of the AT&T Legal Team that just Kicked DOJ’s Ass

Analysis: Behind the Scenes of the AT&T Legal Team that just Kicked DOJ’s Ass

The day Donald Trump was elected president, AT&T General Counsel David McAtee and his corporate…

Corporate Deal Tracker

Deadline: July 10

File now to be included in The Texas Lawbook’s mid-year reports on M&A and capital market transactions.

New to Corporate Deal Tracker? Or need a refresher on its criteria? Find answers to FAQs below.

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Lawyers in the News

Brian Alford
Jonathan Ayre
Randy Block
Martha Daniels
Alistair Dawson
Jeff Dobbs
Bill Finnegan
James Garrett
Vicky Gunning
Eva Guzman
Phil Haines
James Hays
Nathan Hecht
Bill Heller
Hillary Holmes
Bruce Jocz
Randy Johnston
Taylor Landry
Scot O’Brien
Mike O’Leary
Eric Otness
John Palter
Alan Rafte
Doug Rayburn
Chris Rowley
Jeffrey Schlegel
Robyn Siers
Frank Stevenson
David Stringer
Sean Wheeler
Blake Winburne
Debbie Yee
John Zavitsanos
Kent Zimmermann

Firms in the News

Akin Gump
AZA
Baker Botts
Beck Redden
Bracewell
Egan Nelson
Gibson Dunn
Hallett & Perrin
Hunton Andrews Kurth
Johnston Tobey
Jones Day
Jones & Spross
King & Spalding
Kirkland
Latham
Locke Lord
Mayer Brown
Orrick
Palter Stokley
Simpson Thacher
Skadden
V&E
Zeughauser Group

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Mergermarket: Kirkland & Ellis Continues Its M&A Winning Streak in Texas

By Mark Curriden – (April 17) – For the ninth consecutive quarter, Texas businesses turned more to national law firms instead of locally based legal operations to lead their major mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Find out who’s leading the pack in Texas and the latest trends in the market. Mark Curriden has the details in The Texas Lawbook.


‘Who Run the World?’ Beyoncé Notwithstanding, An Austin M&A Lawyer Do

By Claire Poole – (April 20) – The Texas Lawbook Corporate Deal Tracker results for 2017 are in, and the top spot is held by a woman. In a corner of the profession long dominated by white guys from Houston, this is a big deal. Claire Poole has details about the winner. One more thing: she recently moved.


Law Firm Competition Intense for M&A Deals in Texas

By Claire Poole and Mark Curriden – (April 16) – The Texas Lawbook’s 2017 Corporate Deal Tracker results for M&A dealmaking are final and there are some major surprises. V&E still reigns No. 1, but a handful of national law firms that have moved into Texas are threatening to take its crown. The Texas Lawbook has all the numbers on M&A by Texas law firms.


Corporate Deal Tracker 2017: A Year of Market Contrasts

By Claire Poole – (March 26) – Dealmaking in 2017 was confounding: deals were up, but values were down. The deal count hit 735, but total reported value dropped below $400 billion. There are lots of reasons, of course. But maybe the best explanation is the market itself. Claire Poole sums up the year based on the 2017 annual Corporate Deal Tracker tallies exclusively in The Texas Lawbook.


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EFH, Oncor, Vistra – A Corporate Restructuring for the Decades

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 19) – In some ways, it was more saga than bankruptcy: A four-year-long, $45 billion corporate restructuring that included the elimination of more than $20 billion in debt, four corporate M&A divestitures valued at $18 billion each, heated battles with state regulators that caused two of those deals to collapse, and the $20 billion spin-off of two subsidiaries. And now the deal is a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Mark Curriden describes the EFH journey through the courts in The Texas Lawbook.

Dena Stroh & NTTA’s Law Firms Finalists for Biz Litigation and M&A Deal of Year

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 18) – Dena Stroh says she had no idea that government law could be fascinating. But in 2017, she guided the North Texas Tollway Authority through one of the largest government bond issues in the U.S., as well as a potentially major class-action lawsuit. For that, and more, she and what she calls her “excellent lawyers” are nominated in two categories of the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read the details in The Texas Lawbook.

Michael Sukenik is ‘Adept at Operating Across Diverse Markets’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 18) – Michael “Misha” Sukenik travels a lot. He’s the legal officer behind two of the best known franchise names in the Yum! Brands inventory in 120 countries. He’s also a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about him in The Texas Lawbook.

Trinity Industries: Their Hard-Fought Fifth Circuit Win Yields Three Outstanding Corporate Counsel Finalists

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – A 2014 East Texas jury verdict that Trinity Industries violated the False Claims Act resulted in a $663 million judgment against the Irving-based manufacturer of highway guardrails. Instead of cratering, Trinity launched a counter-offensive led by the company’s top legal officers, Theis Rice and Sarah Teachout. In 2017, the duo and their outside counsel scored an historic reversal—earning them nominations as finalists in three categories of the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. The Texas Lawbook explains.

Chasity Henry is a ‘Recognized Problem-Solver’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – Chasity Wilson Henry had just graduated from law school in 2006 when she found herself handling nine-figure M&A deals with some of the savviest corporate lawyers in North Texas. Now Assistant General Counsel at Kimberly-Clark—and a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards—Henry is leading the legal department in strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The Texas Lawbook lays out the reasons Henry is a fast-rising legal star.

Blake Rice’s Job is ‘Problem-solving with Really High Stakes’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – For Blake Rice, the work day starts early. Though he is based in Dallas, the lifelines of Neuberger Berman, the fast-rising investment services company he represents, stretch across time zones from London to Hong Kong and beyond. His grasp of complicated global transactions has earned him both respect and a nomination for a 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award. Learn about him in The Texas Lawbook.

David Hernandez Serves as Trusted Counselor & Adviser to Hunt Family

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – Baltimore-born David Hernandez made his reputation in Texas as a tax lawyer and a strategic thinker. After years in the law firm trenches, he has emerged as a masterful in-house counsel at Hunt Consolidated and a trusted Hunt family advisor in a time of delicate transition. For this, and more, Hernandez is a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Learn more about him in The Texas Lawbook.

Janie Perelman: ‘People Just Want to be Treated with Respect’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – A massive data breach in 2014 could have been catastrophic for Michaels Stores. The arts and crafts company had to explain what happened to regulators, notify 2.6 million customers and fend off no less than five massive lawsuits. But Michaels has recovered, and many credit the rapid and transparent response by Janie Perelman, the company’s assistant general counsel. And now she’s a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read how she did it in The Texas Lawbook.

Lennie Nicholson Wanted to be Radar O’Reilly, but Became a Great Banking Lawyer

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – Lennie Nicholson has helped guide a tiny credit union into a publicly-traded company. For that, the vice president and associate general counsel of LegacyTexas Bank has been named as a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Not bad for an Upstate New Yorker who got hoodwinked by Uncle Sam. Read more in The Texas Lawbook.

Chris Luna Uses ‘Carrots and Sticks’ to Push for Law Firm Diversity

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 15) – Chris Luna, chief counsel at MetroPCS, has been a fixture in Dallas business and public life. He is an outspoken proponent of diversity in both the legal profession and the businesses they serve. His legal department is a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Find out why in The Texas Lawbook.

Liberty Mutual Corporate Counsel Kimberly Houston “Sees the Bigger Picture”

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 15) – Kimberly Houston’s fascination with the law may have begun with “Matlock,” but it’s grown into an expertise on such weighty subjects as employment misclassification and regulatory compliance. As Corporate Counsel for Liberty Mutual, the insurance giant, Houston has wrestled with large-scale undertakings, from a class action defense to the development of the company’s new corporate campus in North Texas. And now she’s a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about her in The Texas Lawbook.

Stacie McNulty ‘Embodies the Spirit’ of the Public Service & Pro Bono Award

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 12) – Stacie McNulty is a highly-respected authority on intellectual property. Her observations on the subject have been cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. But her long-standing commitment to programs dealing with HIV and other public health issues commands something close to awe. As a result, she’s a finalist in the upcoming Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Details in The Texas Lawbook.

Award Finalist: Oncor’s Complex Asset Swap with Sharyland

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 12) – When Oncor Electric Delivery Company and Dallas-based Sharyland Utilities swapped assets in 2017, it was more than another $400 energy distribution deal. It was a solution to a problem that had plagued and perplexed 60,000 rate payers. That’s one of the reasons the deal is a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about what made it unusual and who made it happen in The Texas Lawbook.

Nicola Hobeiche Has a ‘Personal Sense of Obligation to Help Others’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 11) – Nicola Hobeiche is assistant general counsel at ORIX USA, but her office is often a minefield: of books or clothes or toys headed for a homeless shelter. Sure, she’s an experienced and respected trial lawyer, but she’s also a first-rate community servant and a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about her in The Texas Lawbook.

Brittany Perez ‘Crafts Unique & Custom Solutions to Complex Legal Issues Around the Globe’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 11) – Brittany Perez jumps horses in competition. As vice president and associate general counsel of Match.com, she’s also involved in issues as diverse as consumer class actions and cybersecurity. She’s a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards and her profile in The Texas Lawbook spells out why. Spoiler alert: She didn’t meet her husband on Match.

Keitha Wright ‘Rolls Up her Sleeves’ on Diversity

 


By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 10) – Keitha Wright was the first person in her family to graduate from college. Now the Howard University Law School grad is senior counsel at G2 Secure Staff. Because of her work inside and outside, she’s a finalist in the diversity category of the Outstanding Corporate Counsel awards. More in The Texas Lawbook.

Baron Oursler Offers ‘Legal Answers that Provide Business Solutions’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 10) – Baron T. Oursler decided to become a lawyer as an 11-year-old boy. Now he’s general counsel of a $1 billion trucking company. He’s also among finalists in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel awards for 2017. Read more in The Texas Lawbook.

Cross-Border Dealmaking for TX Companies Plunges in 2017

 

By Claire Poole and Mark Curriden – (Dec. 6) – Cross-border deals in Texas are down dramatically in 2017. Aside from the usual suspects – a strong dollar and undependable oil prices – is a new one: the uncertain parameters of the Trump administration’s “America First” policies. Some transactional lawyers think a lack of policy structure breeds uncertainty among foreign investors. Others think it has no effect at all. This exclusive in The Texas Lawbook has the numbers and the story behind them.