The second annual LITFINCON in Houston this year featured two panels of particular interest: one featuring federal and state judges, and one featuring law professors where a discussion of the ethics of litigation finance took center stage.
Litigation Roundup: Irvin, Marriott Lawyer Up in $100M Suit, Dell Beats $450M Patent Case, 5th Circ. OKs Landry’s Data Breach Loss
In this edition of Litigation Roundup, a $100 million defamation lawsuit against Marriott gets rolling, Dell Technologies gets a win in a $450 million patent infringement lawsuit and the Fifth Circuit agrees Landry’s is on the hook for data breach damages.
What Murdaugh’s Testimony Can Teach Us
Few things capture the public’s imagination and make headline news daily as does a jury trial, especially one for murder. The latest example of such a case is the murder trial of disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh.
Although the facts of the case are in so many ways bizarre and extreme, the case illustrates some very common issues that come up in trials generally, especially criminal trials.
Banks Agree to Pay Stanford Victims $1.34B to Avoid Houston Trial
Three banks – Toronto-Dominion Bank, HSBC Bank and Independent Bank (formerly Bank of Houston) – have agreed to pay $1.34 billion to Ponzi-scheme victims of Houston financier R. Allen Stanford and his investment firm.
TD Bank, HSBC and Independent Bank were scheduled to stand trial starting today in Houston federal court where they were accused of aiding and abetting Stanford in perpetrating an $8 billion fraud against 18,000 investors.
Texas Supreme Court to Hear Winstead Malpractice Case
On Friday the Texas Supreme Court granted a petition for review from USA Lending Group that aims to revive a legal malpractice lawsuit it filed against Winstead PC regarding the firm’s in a lawsuit against a former employee. USA Lending sued Winstead after its attorneys failed to request damages in a motion for default judgment, which the company alleges cost it about $1.2 million. The Texas Supreme Court will decide whether the Texas Citizens Participation Act applies to the case.
Updated – Houston Woman Whose Ex-Cheated in Divorce Agreement Could Get $90M
Laura Yosowitz borrowed $500,000 from her family to bring a lawsuit against her ex-husband because she believed he lied about his business dealings when they divorced in 2016. This week, a Houston jury issued a verdict that Martin Lee Kay, Yosowitz’s ex, did mislead her — to the tune of $155 million.
Remembering James B. Sales
Over his 62-year career, Jim Sales tried more than 100 cases to verdict and developed the contours of product liability law in Texas and the nation. But the former Marine’s most enduring legacy was one of service, as a mentor and champion of access to justice and pro bono.
Former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson once said of Sales: “You epitomize everything that is noble about our profession.”
Sales died this month at the age of 89.
Three Banks Standing, Billions in Damages – The Final Stanford Ponzi Scheme Case Goes to Trial
HOUSTON – Fourteen years ago, on Feb. 16, 2009, lawyers for the SEC stood on the front lawn of a federal judge seeking an emergency order to freeze all assets of R. Allen Stanford and his investment firm, accusing the Houston financier of perpetrating a massive $8 billion fraud. Next Monday, exactly 14 years and 10 days later, a Houston jury will be chosen to decide whether three banks aided and abetted Stanford in the fraud.
The court-appointed receiver is expected to ask the jury to order Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank), HSBC Bank and Independent Bank (formerly Bank of Houston) to pay $4 billion to $10 billion to the thousands of victims of Stanford’s Ponzi scheme. The Texas Lawbook examines the 14-year journey this case took to get to trial.
Swiss Bank Settles Stanford Ponzi Scheme Lawsuit for $157M
The court-appointed receiver in the R. Allen Stanford massive Ponzi scheme litigation scored another victory Tuesday when one of five banks accused of aiding and abetting the Houston financier agreed to settle claims against it for $157 million. The agreement comes just days before four banks are scheduled to go to trial in Houston.
Taking Depositions for Effective Use at Trial
Depositions should never be treated as simply “the next step” in litigation. Instead, there should be a plan as to whether depositions will be used to explore unknown facts or at trial. Too often, lawyers default into a fact-finding mission at a deposition and neglect to solidify the deponent’s sworn testimony in a way that can be used during a cross-examination at trial. This article focuses on key issues attorneys should consider when taking depositions for effective use at trial.