Bracewell partner W. Stephen Benesh was sworn in as president-elect of the State Bar of Texas June 22 during the annual meeting in Austin. He answered questions from The Lawbook about why he wanted to take a leadership role and what his goals are.
A sharply divided Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is a government agency and is entitled to sovereign immunity from civil lawsuits. In a highly anticipated decision, the state’s highest court for civil litigation ruled that “because ERCOT performs a ‘uniquely governmental’ function as part of a ‘larger governmental system’, it is an organ of government.”
The decision to declare ERCOT a state agency and grant it immunity directly impacts thousands of wrongful death, personal injury and property damage lawsuits brought by victims of Winter Storm Uri and currently pending in a multidistrict litigation in Harris County District Court. ERCOT is a defendant in nearly all of those cases.
The Lawbook has pulled together some highlights of past battles won, lost and settled between the four Houston lawyers leading the prosecution and defense in Ken Paxton’s Senate impeachment trial. Dick DeGuerin, Rusty Hardin, Dan Cogdell and Tony Buzbee have all handled blockbuster trials in their legal careers, but here we explore instances where they were involved in the same case.
Litigation Roundup: Suit Over ‘Rushed’ $788M Sale May Get Axed, SCOTX to Hear Fen-Phen Settlement Case
In this edition of Litigation Roundup, a Texas federal judge threatens to toss a minority investor suit against Blackstone Inc., a Houston boutique notches a PTAB win against Apple, and the Texas Supreme Court agrees to hear a suit stemming from the handling of a fen-phen settlement.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a federal judge in Houston correctly rejected Ramey LLP’s claims against Amegy Bank’s parent company, Zions Bancorporation, regarding the bank’s decision to freeze and seize $249,300 related to Ramey’s forgivable loan request under the Paycheck Protection Program.
Who is representing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in all of his various legal battles? The make-up of his defense teams have varied case-to-case, but some attorneys have been retained in almost all of the lawsuits Paxton faces. The Lawbook breaks it down.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.