At an Austin news conference, lawyers Tony Buzbee and Dan Cogdell promise a protracted fight to acquit the beleaguered attorney general. They also poked fun at the lead impeachment prosecutors, Rusty Hardin and Dick DeGuerin, saying the pair were introduced earlier by the Texas House “like they were the homecoming king and queen.”
Legislature Makes Seismic Shifts on Civil Courts
Lawmakers upended the state’s system of elected district court judges and regional intermediate appellate courts as business interests won a new court system for complex business disputes. The 2023 legislature rejected efforts to cut local governments out of public nuisance suits and weaken the state’s anti-SLAPP statute.
Amici Take Sides in $1.6B IBM, BMC Appeal
Six amicus briefs have been filed with the Fifth Circuit in the case where IBM is trying to undo a $1.6 billion judgment entered against it after a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Gray Miller. BMC had filed a cross appeal in the lawsuit but dropped that fight in April to “simplify and shorten the proceedings.”
Fifth Circuit Seeks SCOTX Input in Flight Attendants’ Boeing Suit
A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit has asked the state’s high court to answer two certified questions that will determine if two flight attendants, Marvin Sanders and Matthew Sodrok, can proceed with their suit against Boeing over the alleged malfunction of a smoke detector on one of the company’s planes.
Trucking Co. Werner Can’t Duck $116M Fatal Crash Judgment on Appeal
In an “exceedingly rare” move, as a dissenting justice noted, the case was not first decided by a three-justice panel before the en banc court considered it. The court’s May 18 divided decision generated two dissents and likely set the stage for an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.
Litigation Roundup: Kinder Morgan Prevails at SCOTX, LG Chem Does Not
In this edition of Litigation Roundup, Kinder Morgan gets a win at the Texas Supreme Court in a tax fight with a school district, a jury sides with the widow of a NASA astronaut in a probate dispute involving space artifacts, and a Houston company is accused of monopolizing an ERCOT savings program.
Unprecedented Situation — Creating Case Law for the New Court of Appeals
The Senate has now approved the House’s revisions to the bill that would form the new Fifteenth Court of Appeals for commercial cases. Once the two chambers of the Legislature sign the final version of the bill, the creation of that new court awaits only the governor’s signature.
Before long, that court’s justices will take office and its docket will begin to fill with cases. As a brand new institution, the Fifteenth Court will have no precedent of its own to apply in those cases. With apologies for the pun, that court will face an “unprecedented” situation.
Texas Justices Decline to End Winstead Malpractice Suit
The court unanimously determined that at this stage in proceedings USA Lending Group had presented enough evidence to avoid Winstead’s bid to have the lawsuit tossed under the Texas Citizens Participation Act. Assuming without deciding that the state’s anti-SLAPP law applies to this case, the justices found that USA Lending should be allowed to proceed in the trial court with the suit accusing the firm of failing to request $1.2 million in damages in a motion for default judgment.
15th COA Bill Nears Enactment
Legislation to create a new intermediate appellate court to hear cases involving state government and appeals from new business specialty courts advances as the legislative session starts to wind down.
Litigation Roundup: Investors Sue Blackstone over ‘Rushed’ $788M Sale, SCOTX Decides Arbitration Spat
In this week’s edition of Litigation Roundup, the state of Texas turns to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to defend it in a long-running lawsuit over the quality of foster care, minority investors in an energy company allege one of the world’s largest hedge funds breached its duties in a rushed $788 million sale, and the Texas Supreme Court clarifies the reach of arbitration provisions.