A Dallas judge has refused to seal a cache of purloined documents in a defective products case involving carmaker Toyota. Since the documents are readily available online, sealing them would have no practical legal effect, the judge reasoned. Read more about this and several new developments in the Toyota case in The Texas Lawbook.
A fierce and dramatic discovery battle with national litigation implications heads back to a Dallas civil courtroom this week. The case pits Frank Branson, one of the toughest trial lawyers to practice in Texas, against Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker in a wrongful lawsuit.
The facts of the underlying dispute have taken a backseat to claims that Toyota is purposely concealing documents that are relevant to the case and refusing to allow its executives to testify about its safety databases. Branson’s team is asking a Dallas judge to unseal documents, leaked by Toyota in-house lawyer-turned-whistleblower, demonstrating the automaker’s previous patterns of concealing crucial evidence in other cases.
The U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board refused to deny a challenge by a French pharmaceutical to a patent held by Seattle-based Immunex. The ruling sets the stage for a full-scale challenge to a patent on drug treatment for allergies, rhinitis and other immune system problems. Natalie Posgate has the details in The Texas Lawbook.
Far from crumbling in the face of a lawsuit that accuses him of pushing fake news for profit, Kyle Bass is doubling down on his accusers, United Development Funding. In a recent filing, Bass declares that he and his company, Hayman Capital Management, had a responsibility to turn in UDF to the SEC and the FBI. That Hayman made $60 million in the process is hardly the point, Bass says. And in the coming weeks, the SEC and the FBI may have a lot to say about it. Natalie Posgate has the story in The Texas Lawbook.
Texas-based 1776 Energy Partners has settled for nearly $5 million a legal malpractice claim against a San Antonio law firm after one of its lawyers botched a lawsuit so badly that they were forced to settle as defendants a suit the company had pursued as the plaintiff.
When Houston Astros owner Jim Crane and another investor bought a new aircraft for $19.85 million in 2010, they apparently expected it to be…well, new. When they discovered two years later it had been equipped with a used left engine with a troubled history, they sued. Now the SCOTX is weighing whether the evidence supports their $8M verdict.
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.
An appellate court ruled Thursday that the arbitrability of a $15 million legal dispute between Houston-based Apache Corp. and Fort Worth-based Wagner Oil Company will have to be debated in front of an arbitrator in Houston, not a trial court in Fort Worth as WOC had hoped.
IMF Bentham Limited, the parent company of U.S.-based commercial litigation funder Bentham IMF, announced on Friday the launch of a new $500 million fund focused on U.S. litigation finance investments.
It started with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy tied to an Austin affiliate of the Forest Park hospital. It ended with a revelation in a separate case in Dallas of multiple potentially illegal transfers of millions of dollars during the bankruptcy proceeding. The bankruptcy case has now reopened to determine whether a Dallas private equity manager, the recipient of these millions, should be held in contempt and hit with six-figure sanctions. The Lawbook has the story.