The Texas Supreme Court issued a new emergency order Wednesday that officially stays or tolls “any statute-of-limitations deadlines for the filing or service of any civil case” between March 13 and June 1. The new order takes discretion away from trial judges.
A widely monitored and hotly contested patent dispute in the oil patch likely ended Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled that energy giant Schlumberger did not infringe on the intellectual property of legendary Houston energy inventor and lawyer, Dr. Claude Cooke.
Arbitrators in commercial civil disputes may change their minds and reverse their own final decisions without the worry of any review by federal judges, even in cases in which judges believe the arbitrator committed “grave error.” The Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of AT&T, which has been in a five-year-long labor dispute with one of its labor unions, the Communications Workers of America.
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday imposed a stiffer level of liability for energy companies involved in tanker ship oil spills and other marine accidents near ports. Amicus briefs filed in the case sounded the alarm, including a brief by Houston lawyer George Diaz-Arrastia who said his client, Houston-based Tricon Energy, could be severely affected if the high court adopted the lower court’s interpretation.
The Dallas Court of Appeals, in an 8-5 decision issued Thursday, granted review of a personal injury case and reversed the trial court’s no-evidence summary judgment for the defendant.
Texas Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins’ name on behalf of Texas turns up on the Supreme Court’s online docket 50 times, many representing multi-state amicus briefs, others involving other cases brought for or against Texas. At age 39, he has waded into almost all of the headline-making cases the high court is handling these days. This is Tony Mauro’s first article as a Texas Lawbook correspondent.
When a brown recluse spider bit Henry McCall, no one could have anticipated that the aftermath would shape the future of tort litigation. But that may well have happened in the recent Texas Supreme Court case of Hillis v. McCall. In addressing McCall’s spider bite, the court’s opinion sets legal rules that will likely control future cases involving novel coronavirus exposure.
Just two weeks ago, a deeply splintered en banc Fifth Court of Appeals made the unusual decision to withdraw a panel opinion in a case that settled after the panel’s decision. This case involves interesting questions about the Texas Election Code, judicial power and the public interest in stare decisis.
A seemingly mundane child custody battle between two divorced parents has attracted an extraordinary collection of Texas appellate talent. It has also attracted the amicus attention of the Texas attorney general. Janet Elliott explains.
Harris County is the first jurisdiction in Texas to postpone all civil jury trials due to the coronavirus outbreak. Other jurisdictions are considering similar actions. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht told The Texas Lawbook in an interview late Wednesday night that Texas judges need to weigh the health and well-being of individuals with the requirement that the courts remain open and accessible to those who seek justice.