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Lead Stories

V&E Wins Diversity Honor from MCCA

mkellyL By Kerry Curry – (Oct. 8) – The Minority Corporate Counsel Association has selected Vinson & Elkins to receive its annual Thomas L. Sager Award for the South region. The award recognizes law firms for their efforts in promoting diversity. V&E also received the award in 2008 and 2009.

Jones Day Snags Houston Federal Prosecutor Jason Varnado

jvarnado1L By Mark Curriden HOUSTON – (Oct. 7) – The Houston federal prosecutor who won criminal convictions against the top accountants in Allen Stanford’s $7 billion Ponzi scheme is leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office to join an international law firm’s white-collar criminal defense practice.

Report: Dallas Firm Diversity Slowly Improves, but Remains Elusive

yostolazaNew By Kerry Curry – (Oct. 7) – Only two of Dallas County’s largest law firms - Sidley Austin and Jones Day - come close to reflecting the diversity of the Texas Bar and the state’s population, according to the "2015 Law Firm Diversity Report" from the Dallas Diversity Task Force, which was released Tuesday.

Lawyers Mourn Loss of South Texas Legal Legend Morris Atlas

matlas1L By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 6) – For six decades, Morris Atlas was the lawyer to see in South Texas. Big corporations from across the globe facing potentially crippling lawsuits hired him to save their businesses. Candidates for public office cherished his endorsement. Lawyers who wanted judicial appointments desired his blessing. And he founded the law firm Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez, which is the largest law firm in South Texas with 35 lawyers and three offices. Atlas died Sunday at his home in McAllen. He was 88.

Haynes and Boone Advises AEP in Sale of Barge Subsidiary

hayboologo2L By Kerry Curry – (Oct. 5) – American Electric Power Company (AEP) said it will sell its commercial barge subsidiary to American Commercial Lines for $550 million. The subsidiary, AEP River Operations, is a commercial inland barge company that delivers about 45 million tons of products annually, including 10 million tons of coal. It is based in Chesterfield, Mo., and operates 56 towboat and 2,301 barges.

Haynes and Boone lawyers from three different offices advised AEP on the deal.

The Accidental Expat: A Guideline for Employers on Employee Cross-Border Travel

kweinger By Kerry Weinger of Baker & McKenzie – (Oct. 5) – As business travel increases in frequency and duration, both the travelers and their employers are exposed to an array of risks. Because of the urgent needs of today’s business to have boots on the ground as soon as possible, employers may not always pay attention to the requirements and details involved in getting people on the ground and complying with various regulations. Although no perfect solution exists for this problem, this article highlights recent trends, compliance risks and recommendations to deal with these cross-border travelers.

Eye Docs v. Wal-Mart Fight over Private AG Enforcement and Exemplary Damages

walmartstore1L By Janet Elliott – AUSTIN (Oct. 1) – The legal battle between four Texas eye doctors and Wal-Mart has found its way to the Supreme Court of Texas over the issue of exemplary damages in private attorney general actions. The eventual decision by the state’s highest court could produce a precedent that lawyers claim would cause a surge in lawsuits seeking big-dollar damages under state laws usually reserved for regulatory enforcement by governmental authorities, such as the state attorney general. The lawyers are James Ho for WalMart and Russell Post for the eye docs.

Top Stories
Bracewell Wins $30 Million Case Week Before Trial

Bracewell Wins $30 Million Case Week Before Trial

Vertical North America claimed Bracewell's client, Vopak Terminal Deer Park Inc., fraudulently induced it into entering into an agreement to store ethanol at Vopak’s terminal on the Houston…

Four Texas Firms Advise on Complex Sanchez Midstream Asset Deal

Four Texas Firms Advise on Complex Sanchez Midstream Asset Deal

Texas-based lawyers from Sidley Austin, Andrews Kurth, Latham & Watkins and Akin Gump were all involved in this transaction, which included both a divestiture of assets and a…

Latham, Gibson Dunn and Baker Botts Advise in $38 Billion ETE-Williams Merger

Latham, Gibson Dunn and Baker Botts Advise in $38 Billion ETE-Williams Merger

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity announced Monday morning its plans to acquire Tulsa-based The Williams Companies in a merger agreement worth $37.7 billion. …

<em>The Dallas Morning News:</em> Bankruptcies Pile Up, As Oil Forecasts Remain Dim

The Dallas Morning News: Bankruptcies Pile Up, As Oil Forecasts Remain Dim

Almost a year into the global oil bust, bankruptcy courts are starting to see a wave of filings from oil and gas companies seeking shelter from their creditors.…

An Era Ends, Another Begins at AT&T’s Corporate Legal Dept.

An Era Ends, Another Begins at AT&T’s Corporate Legal Dept.

Wayne Watts retires this Wednesday as GC at AT&T. Watts revolutionized the position of corporate general counsel. He guided the phone company through dozens of mega-mergers with a…



The Death of a Lion: Dee Kelly (1929-2015)

dkelly1L By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 4) – Legendary oil and gas lawyer Dee Kelly passed away Friday. He was widely viewed as one of the most influential business and political leaders in the history of Fort Worth. He was 86. He was the founding partner of Kelly, Hart & Hallman and his clients included the Bass family, American Airlines, the Texas Rangers, private equity firm TPG Capital, Kimbell Oil Company and boot manufacturer John Justin. “I have loved every minute of being a lawyer,” Kelly told The Texas Lawbook in an interview two weeks ago. “I practiced both transactional law and litigation. No lawyers today do both. Litigation was always my favorite.”

Tom Phillips: The Youngest Chief Justice in Texas History

tphillips1L By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 6) – Lots of lawyers say they knew they wanted to practice law when they were kids, but few dreamed of being a judge. Tom Phillips was the exception. “As a teenager, I found that telling people I wanted to be a lawyer or a judge got a lot more positive response than if I told them I wanted to be a cowboy,” he says. Not only did Phillips make it to the bench, he became one of the youngest and longest serving chief justices in Texas history.

Steve Susman: Trial Lawyer Rock Star

ssusman1L By Janet Elliott – (Oct. 6) – Houston trial lawyer Stephen Susman has achieved more success since he turned 65 a decade ago than most lawyers accomplish in their entire careers. He expanded his practice to New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. He's tackling even bigger civil disputes. “I didn’t want to retire, I wanted to up-size,” he says. “I wanted a bigger life, bigger airplane, bigger everything.”

Use your Texas Lawbook user-name and password to access articles on the Lions of the Texas Bar website.

Lawyers & Firms

Longtime DBA Executive Director to Retire

Longtime DBA Executive Director to Retire

Cathy Maher has been the executive director for 21 years and served in multiple other…

Thompson & Knight Adds Former Dallas City Attorney Thomas P. Perkins, Jr.

Perkins focuses his practice on government and regulatory matters.…

Bracewell & Giuliani Strengthens Environmental Practice in Austin

Sara Burgin, Kevin Collins, Matt Paulson and Whit Swift are all joining as partners from…

Dallas Trial Lawyer Victor Vital Joins Barnes & Thornburg

Vital said he was drawn to his new firm by the opportunity to build an…

Kelly Hart Adds Bill Caraway to Midland Office

Prior to joining Kelly Hart, Caraway was a solo practitioner in the Eagleford Shale area.…

Ten Things: Explaining Litigation to the Board and the CEO

Ten Things: Explaining Litigation to the Board and the CEO

When facing a large lawsuit, corporate general counsel sometimes need to remember to the CEO…

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Lawyers in the News

Morris Atlas
Scott Atlas
Andrew Chon
Ricardo Garcia-Moreno
Dee Kelly
Walter Keneally
Chris Luna
Yvette Ostolaza
Tom Phillips
Randy Ryan
David Sillers
Steve Susman
Kerry Weinger

Firms in the News

Atlas Counsel Search
Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez
Baker Botts
Baker & McKenzie
Haynes and Boone
Jones Day
Kelly Hart
K&L Gates
Susman Godfrey

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 July 30th.

Click on each Chart to see a full listing:


Corporate Deal Tracker: Ranking Texas Law Firms and Lawyers on M&A and Securities Offerings in 2015

By Natalie Posgate and Mark Curriden – (Aug. 5) – No corporate transactional lawyers have been busier in 2015 than Mollie Duckworth and John Goodgame.

No Texas law firm came close to advising in more deal making during the first seven months of 2015 than Vinson & Elkins, though Baker Botts, Andrews Kurth and Latham are battling for second place.

Seven months into 2015, The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker leaderboard shows which Texas lawyers are doing the most business mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and securities offerings. We have all the details.


A Word with John Goodgame: The Top M&A Dealmaker in 1H 2015

jgoodgame2L By Natalie Posgate – (Aug. 5) – John Goodgame is having a very good year. The corporate partner at Akin Gump has led more mergers and acquisitions (11) during the first seven months of 2015 than any other lawyer in Texas, according to The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker. Learn why he's doing so many energy transactions.


Mollie Duckworth – The Queen of Securities Offerings

mduckworth2L By Mark Curriden & Natalie Posgate – (Aug. 5) – Mollie Duckworth has been a partner at Baker Botts for only 19 months, but has led seven separate securities offerings that raised $3.8 billion during the first seven months of 2015, which was nearly twice as many offerings as any other lawyer in Texas, according to The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker. Duckworth talks trends and what she sees for the rest of the year.