“Litigation documents the lifelines of relationships: when they blossom, when they crumble and everything in between. And no matter how big a company is, it’s the people and lawyers behind it who drive the narrative.” So notes Natalie Posgate in describing her picks for the top ten Texas-related litigation victories of 2018.
On New Year’s Day, Chief Justice Hecht’s tenure on the Texas Supreme Court reached 30 years. Over that time, no one has done more to shape Texas jurisprudence than this son of a New Mexico wheat farmer. A former clerk salutes Hecht as one of the most influential state supreme court justices of his generation.
The U.S. Fifth Circuit has dismissed a lawsuit filed in East Texas against Schiff Hardin charging that the firm had misrepresented facts to an insurance company during its defense of a products liability lawsuit. Most of the claims had already been dismissed, but the appeals court said the trial judge erred in a novel interpretation of Texas case law.
The Eleventh Court of Appeals ended 2018 by tossing $43.1 million of a nearly $50 million West Texas jury award, ruling that a group of West Texas oil and gas investors who called themselves “partners” had no partnership at all. Allen Pusey explains.
Brian Cathey and Andrew Nelson’s promotions make 19 partners at Wright Close & Barger.
In yet another show of support for mandatory arbitration, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a duly assigned arbitrator has the power to decide a dispute, even when it involves conflicting court orders. The Lawbook’s Janet Elliott explains.
Mercedes-Benz is asking the Texas Supreme Court to declare that signed written contracts are sacrosanct and override all extra-contractual statements, even if those extra-contractual promises amount to felony fraud, directly contradict Legislative policy and cause severe financial harm to a Texas business. The Texas Lawbook has details.
Newly-elected judges on the Texas courts of appeals may soon revisit a firmly rooted – albeit faded – distinction between factual and legal sufficiency as they grapples with their differences with pro-business justices on the Texas Supreme Court. Specifically, courts of appeals may be able to limit state Supreme Court review by deciding cases based on factual sufficiency of the evidence. The Texas Lawbook has details.
SCOTX heard oral arguments last week over efforts by the Dallas Morning News to dismiss a libel suit against them. Owners of a now-defunct compounding pharmacy claim a 2016 article in The News falsely suggested they were under federal investigation. That claim of falsehood is complicated by a federal raid on their offices the very day they argued in court.
This week, the Texas Supreme Court is handling a business v. business case that could either reinstate one of the largest punitive damage verdicts in the court’s history or be the death of exemplary damages in many types of civil disputes in Texas. It features some of the best lawyers in Texas, including two former chief justices. The Texas Lawbook has details.