Friday, October 31, 2014

Top 10 from Texas Bar Today: Pumpkins, Pizza, and Brain Waves

Originally published by .


To highlight some of the posts that stand out from the crowd, the editors of Texas Bar Today have created a list from the week’s blog posts of the top ten based on subject matter, writing style, headline, and imagery. We hope you enjoy this installment.



10. Legally Speaking: Did that really just happen?

9. EEOC is Challenging Some Corporate Wellness Programs as Violating the ADA

8. EBOLA – First Party Insurance Implications

7. How to notice Mississippi

6. IS THAT EYE WITNESS LYING? LET’S JUST CHECK THOSE P300 BRAIN WAVES…

5. One-Third of Online Retailers in the U.S. Now Require Consumer Arbitration or Restrict Class-Action Lawsuits

4. Halloween and the Establishment Clause

3. TV Review: USA’s “Benched,” Starring Eliza Coupe

2. The Great Pumpkin and the Alternative Universe

1. Time Management: Is it a waste of time?


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Home Delivered Meals Requirements Regarding Nutritional Risk Assessments and Information Provided to Individuals

Originally published by .


Home Delivered Meals (HDM) providers are not required to conduct a home visit to complete the Nutritional Risk Assessment. While a home visit prior to service initiation is not required, HDM providers must provide the individual information on complaint procedures and rights and responsibilities prior to service initiation. Once the HDM provider receives the service authorization from the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), the Nutritional Risk Assessment of the individual may be completed through either a telephone or face-to-face interview with the individual or designee as requested by the individual.

Additional information on the Nutritional Risk Assessment may be found in HDM Provider Manual, in Section 2120, Nutritional Risk Assessment and National Aging Program Information Systems (NAPIS) Reporting, at: http://ift.tt/1tIv3A2.


In addition to the requirement to complete the Nutritional Risk Assessment, HDM providers must comply with rules and policy which include the following:


• nutritional education of the individual, as listed in the Title 40 of the Texas Administrative

Code (TAC) §55.11;

• consumer rights and responsibilities, as described in the Human Resources Code, Chapter 102

and in Section 6210 of the HDM Provider Manual;

• individual conduct requirements, as listed in 40 TAC §55.33;

• procedures for filing complaints and the name and/or title and telephone number of the person

to call to make a verbal complaint in Section 6200, Complaints, of the HDM Provider Manual

and outlined in 40 TAC §49.309(c )(1-5) and (d)(e), Complaint Process; and

• abuse, neglect and exploitation allegations procedures in Section 6200, Complaints, of the

HDM Provider Manual and 40 TAC §49.310(4)


Additional monitoring requirements related to consumer rights and responsibilities and the complaint process listed above are in Standard VI, Service Eligibility/Initiation, of the Contract and Fiscal Compliance Monitoring Tool for HDMs. Standard VI, indicates the individual must be informed orally and in writing of his rights and responsibilities using Form 3053, HDM Notification of Rights and Responsibilities and Complaint Procedure, or its equivalent. DADS contract staff review whether HDM providers sign and date Form 3053 or its equivalent indicating the individual was informed prior to service initiation or within 12 months of the previous notice.


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Friday Links – Halloween Edition

Originally published by .


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Happy Halloween from the Abnormal Use law blog and Gallivan, White, & Boyd, P.A.! We hope that our lawyers readers will pause today from their depositions and drafting to celebrate the day, eat some candy, and seek out non-case related scary things. While we usually post legal tidbits at the end of each week, today is no ordinary edition of Friday Links. Today, as we have done in the past, we showcase the home of one of our law firm’s partners and the festive decorations he has prepared for the occasion. Take a look!


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You may remember that last year for Halloween we shared a similar round of photographs from this very same home. Compare and contrast them, if you wish!


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Please, everyone, be festive, and most importantly, be safe on this fateful Halloween night. We’d love to hear your Halloween stories, as well, so comment below, if you like.


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Houston Legal Links 10/31/14

Originally published by .


Top legal news includes: 3 Halloween stories courtesy of Texas Bar Journal: Halloween often comes with something really scary—a lawsuit.; House of Horrors – Delight in fright at your own risk?; Caveat Emptor, Buyer Boo-ware Does Texas require the disclosure of spooky details in real estate transactions?; Opening arguments scheduled in Harris constable’s trial; CSN Houston ruling clears way for new network, but Comcast appeals decision; Attorney Says Judge Denise Collins Unlawfully Detained Her; Cheniere’s tentative settlement could restrict stock grants through 2017; Four Houston Women Accused of Selling Young Girls in Local Brothels; Bail declined for woman charged in deputy’s death; Death of child left in refrigerator ruled a homicide; Activist calling for FBI involvement in attack on gay victim in Baytown; Lawyer Disbarred for Sexually Soliciting Minor Client (Texas Lawyer); Texas workers entitled to time to vote (Chron subsc); Falkenberg: Judge in ‘Angela’ case is poster child for perils of straight-ticket voting (Chron subsc); Women sentenced for putting gun in student’s backpack; Ogg loses endorsement in DA race; Denton’s fracking ban: Is it a reasonable prohibition or the taking of mineral rights?; City may pursue legal action over removal of Kirby trees; Dallas nurse who survived Ebola to get dog back; Texas ‘Vampire vet’ accused of keeping clients’ dogs for blood transfusions indicted on 3 counts; Push to get Hydrocodone off the streets; Mexico Supreme Court rejects energy referendum; The Upside Of Falling Oil Prices For Houston; Fracking advocates urged to win ugly by discrediting foes & Man drives Jaguar over Top Golf course, patrons pelt car with golf balls.


For the water cooler: Has the BigLaw recovery arrived? Revenue per lawyer is at a low point, when adjusted for inflation; ATL Law Firm Rankings: Top Regional Offices (See Houston Top 10); Graduate Of Elite Law School Forced To Live Off Welfare Due To Terrible State Of Job Market; House suit against Obama still in planning stage after second law firm reportedly stops work on case; Are spirits, slayings or slurs ‘material defects’ homebuyers must be told of?; Law grad convicted of bank robbery gets another 45 years in related state case; Senior prosecutor is fired one day after courtroom outburst; Judge Lets ‘Clawback’ Suits Against Ex-Dewey Partners Move Ahead; Ordered off bench by state’s top court, judge declares a 5-minute recess and exits; Law school says it will survive after debt restructuring, predicts national jobs/grads equilibrium; Alibi clears man arrested in courthouse shooting; two others arrested; Scheme to defraud Mayer Brown nets 27-month sentence for former employee & Today’s Tech: How A Federal District Court Judge Uses Technology.


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Happy Halloween!

Originally published by .


Many law school classes have one or more holidays which are especially relevant. For example, Family Law has Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, Labor Law has Labor Day, Environmental Law has Earth Day, Military Law has Memorial Day,…


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Facebook Sues Lawyers for Deceit and Malicious Prosecution for Representing Ceglia

Originally published by .


DLA Piper and a group of law firms are accused of conspiring “to file and prosecute a fraudulent lawsuit” on behalf of Paul Ceglia who fabricated evidence that he owned 84% of Mark Zuckerberg’s stock in Facebook. On October 20, 2014 Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg sued the group of lawyers in NY state court who represented Celia which began in 2010.


In 2012 the FBI arrested Geglia for alleged criminal violations regarding fabricating evidence that Zuckerberg and he signed a contract in 2004 for web design for Facebook. The Complaint filed for mail and wire fraud by the US Postal Service includes these allegations against Ceglia that he:



  • filed a federal lawsuit falsely claiming that he was entitled to at least a 50% interest in Facebook.

  • has deliberately engaged in a systematic effort to defraud Facebook and Zuckerberg and to corrupt the federal judicial process.

  • manufactured and destroyed evidence, for instance replacing a page of the original contract with a fraudulent one that made it look like Zuckerberg had offered Ceglia interest in the company.


The Litigation Daily reported that “DLA Piper general counsel Peter Pantaleo vowed to fight the suit and emphasized that his firm represented Ceglia for less than three months”:


This is an entirely baseless lawsuit that has been filed as a tactic to intimidate lawyers from bringing litigation against Facebook…


Given the target on Facebook to be sued, more lawsuits will surely follow so it will be interesting see what happens in this new lawsuit.



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May 1990 – The Cindy Singleton Collection

Originally published by .




From Cindy Singleton this excerpt after cleaning out her desk during her last week at the Tarrant County D.A.’s office.


Judge: Is the defendant known by any other name?


Defense: Do you have an a.k.a?


Defendant: Hell Lady, I don’t even have a car!


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pass protection a priority as Texans prep for Eagles

Originally published by .


If the Texans are going to upset Philadelphia at NRG Stadium, their pass protection must improved, especially blitz pickup.


Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been sacked 11 times in the last three games, including five against Indianapolis and five against Tennessee.


As coach Bill O’Brien pointed out, the run blocking has been terrific, but the pass protection better be good enough to keep the Eagles’ best pass rushers – Connor Barwin and Trent Cole – away from Fitzpatrick.


The Texans have to keep Ryan Fitzpatrick off the turf Sunday. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle)


“I think where those guys (linemen) need to be better — along with the tight ends, the backs and the quarterback — is in pass protection,” O’Brien said. “We’ve got to do a better job picking up the blitz.


“When people rush four, we’ve been pretty good there. When people rush five and six at times, that’s when we have to be better.”


The Texans have worked hard on blitz pickup in practice this week.


“Extra film study,” left tackle Duane Brown said about what the linemen needed this week. “We’re prepared to get different pressure looks from Philadelphia, so it’s something we have to look at in the film room and get panned out.


“I don’t think it’s a lack of effort or a lack of technique or anything like that. Just some communication stuff that we have to get fixed. Not an easy problem but something that we can fix.”



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Law Library of Congress

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Many readers of this blog have visited the Law Library of Congress (or at least its rather fabulous website). While we’ve all been somewhat distracted with upcoming gala celebrations of the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta, the Law Library of…


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East Africa Licensing Update – Q4 2014

Originally published by .


by Ben James and Paul Jones

With Tanzania in the final stages of evaluating bids for oil and gas blocks offered in its latest bidding round which closed in Q2 2014, it was Mozambique’s turn to announce its latest round in London on 23 October. Uganda and Kenya are also expected to embark on fresh licensing next year to complete a [...]


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Say What?! – Did I Really Hear That?

Originally published by .




Tom Whitlock of Denton contributes this trial excerpt from “a mental health probable cause hearing in which he represented the proposed patient.” Tom is cross-examining the mother of his client:


Q.Has she ever [acted suicidal] or threatened to hurt anyone else?


A. No.


Q. I believe you testified that she had some kind of psychosis. What kind?


A. Post-mortem psychosis.


Q. Post-mortem psychosis.


A. Yes.


Tom adds: “I know that dying always makes me psychotic!”


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Will Lava Flow Bring Insurance Theft Claims?

Originally published by .


The last few weeks the world has turned its attention to the Puna lava flow on the big island of Hawai’i. Two weeks ago I visited this subject as the ‘a’a (creeping) lava neared the town of Pahoa and the questions of whether the damages would be covered under a fire claim or an earth movement policy began to emerge. This week, the lava has reached Pahoa and residents are ordered to evacuate. As of October 27, 2014, the lava has reached within 100 feet of the first home of Pahoa in its path towards the ocean. The photos of the devastation are dramatic and since there has been a moratorium on raising policy limits or even purchasing earth movement policies for at least a month, the citizens of Pahoa will find that their insurance policies have severe limitations on recovery. Although many homes will burn due to the excessive heat that ensues before lava actually reaches it, the alarming new claim hitting the news is that for those who have already evacuated, claims of…


.


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From the Guy’s Side: What is “Success”?

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I entered law school with no intent of ever becoming a lawyer. I had been working as an account executive for a large technology company when my wife decided to leave her job as a teacher for law school. I was considering making a change myself, so I decided to tag along. My plan was to treat law school as a different flavor of business school, then go back to the corporate world after graduation.


In school, though, I found that my natural skill set was well suited for the profession, and I soon fell into the typical law school career track: try to get good grades to make law review, keep the grades up to get a clerkship, then on to the high-paying, big-firm associate gig. From there, the path to “success” is well-defined. Bust your hump, bill a ton of hours, do good work, and after 8 or 9 or 10 years, you reach the brass ring that is partnership.


After a couple of years on this track, though, my wife and I had our first child. I struggled with how best to reconcile my personal goal of spending as much quality time as possible with my growing family, with my professional goal of “succeeding” in a big firm. I did some soul searching, and I came out of it with a new, personal definition of “success.”


For me, success = balance.


Professionally, what I want is a job that is fulfilling. And I have that now, in spades. I left my big firm job to work for the state, and I now have my own docket of interesting cases, and I have a ton of autonomy. I’m also getting a lot more hands-on experience than I ever would have gotten in the typical firm structure.


Personally, I want to be able to spend as much time as possible with my family. I want to have dinner with them**, I want to be at their parties (and their friends’), I want to help put them to bed. And because of the autonomy I have at work, I am able to do all this (usually).


It’s not that I don’t get busy at work. I haven’t tracked it, but I’m guessing I work just as many hours as I did when I was at the firm. The difference is, now I’m in control of my schedule in large part, which affords me the flexibility, to the extent possible, to manage my work life around my personal life.


So, what, dear reader, is the point of all this? My advice is to (1) think hard about what brings you joy in life, both personally, and professionally, and (2) if necessary, make changes to reconcile your personal and professional goals to maximize your joy in both of these important parts of your life. Create your own, personal definition of “success.”


LWL - Dustin Photo


**For more on this working dad’s family dinner routine, check out this weeks Friday Fun Post.


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One-Third of Online Retailers in the U.S. Now Require Consumer Arbitration or Restrict Class-Action Lawsuits

Originally published by .


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Online retailers in the United States are increasingly requiring consumers to arbitrate disputes through their terms-of-service rules. According to an article recently published in a New York Times blog, the Upshot, approximately one-third of the top 200 retail websites operating in the U.S. now uses clickwrap or browsewrap agreements to ban class action lawsuits or to require arbitration of consumer disputes. A similar percentage of the top 500 most visited websites also includes a class action ban or mandatory arbitration for consumers. According to the Upshot,



The companies occupy all corners of the web: e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay; popular dating sites, including Match.com and OKCupid; media companies like The Wall Street Journal and BuzzFeed (though not The New York Times Company); the online storage startup Dropbox; even brick-and-mortar retailers like Target and Domino’s Pizza, whose restrictions would apply if you purchased items on their websites, but not in their physical stores.


A few big, familiar web companies like Facebook and Google stand out by not limiting whether their users can sue.



Despite recent Supreme Court precedent, not all such terms have met with court approval,



The courts have reacted unevenly to such terms. In 2012, the online retailer Zappos tried to block a suit over a personal data leak by citing its browsewrap-style user agreement, but a Federal District Court in Nevada ruled that the link to its terms, located near the bottom of each page on the site, wasn’t prominent enough for users to have noticed. Today, the link is more conspicuous: highlighted in blue, it appears directly beneath the site’s login form.


But other browsewrap terms have held up in court.



Currently, the overall response to such terms of service appears mixed. Still, arbitration clauses generally speed up the dispute resolution process and help both businesses and consumers avoid costly and protracted lawsuits. Additionally, such contract clauses do not restrict a regulatory agency’s right to sue on behalf of a consumer for any alleged violations of consumer protection laws.


Photo credit: creecher94 / Foter / CC BY


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Texas Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Alleged Arbitrator Partiality Case

Originally published by .


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Last week, the Supreme Court of Texas declined to consider whether an arbitral decision should be set aside based on a member of an arbitration panel’s alleged evident partiality. In Port Arthur Steam Energy LP v. Oxbow Calcining LLC , No. 01-12-01165-CV (Tex. – App. – 1st [Houston], October 22, 2013), Oxbow Calcining initiated arbitral proceedings with Port Arthur Steam Energy (“PASE”) before the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) over a number of environmental compliance costs related to an industrial facility. The parties selected a three-member arbitration panel and participated in both discovery and an evidentiary hearing.


Before the arbitral panel came to a decision, Oxbow learned that a former law firm at which a jointly selected, neutral arbitrator was a shareholder was engaged in a pending attorneys’ fees dispute with a client represented by Oxbow’s own attorneys. After learning of the alleged conflict, Oxbow sought to disqualify the arbitrator. The AAA denied Oxbow’s request and the three-member panel issued a unanimous decision awarding $3.4 million to PASE.


Next, PASE filed a motion to confirm the arbitration award in district court. Instead, the trial court vacated the award on Oxbow’s motion due to the arbitrator’s partiality. In response, PASE appealed the decision to Texas’ First District Court of Appeals in Houston. The appellate court reversed the lower court’s order because the facts of the case did not demonstrate evident partiality.


According to the Houston court, it was reasonable for the arbitrator to warn Oxbow’s counsel prior to his selection that he could not check old case files for potential conflicts because his former law firm was closed in 2001. In addition, the appeals court stated the arbitrator had no way of knowing Oxbow’s firm was involved in the ongoing fee dispute because the arbitrator was replaced by another attorney three years before the company’s firm became involved in the dispute.


After the First District ordered the trial court to reinstate the arbitration award, Oxbow sought review by the Supreme Court of Texas. On Friday, the Texas high court let the multi-million dollar judgment stand when it declined to consider the case.


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Notification of Parental Rights Over Facebook Held Invalid

Originally published by .


Many estate planning concerns revolve around a desire to provide for family and the next generation, which often means children. It may seem obvious that to plan for children, one must know who their children are, but sometimes the issue…


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Monday, October 27, 2014

Home Equity Questions Return Home to Fifth Circuit

Originally published by .


Earlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court answered certified questions from the Fifth Circuit about the treatment of home equity loans under the Texas Constitution; that opinion summarizes: “To avoid foreclosure, homeowners and lenders often try to restructure underwater home mortgage loans that are in default by capitalizing past-due amounts as principal, lowering the interest rate, and reducing monthly payments, thereby easing the burden on the homeowners.


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The Federal Court System Seeks to Cut the Length of Briefs.

Originally published by .


Here’s a communication about proposed changes in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Their main effect would be to cut the length of briefs. There is a public comment period; how to comment yourself is in the printout.

So long as appellate courts have discretion to allow longer briefs for truly extraordinary cases, shorter default lengths would seem to make the system more efficient.


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Mandatory Retirement in Law Firms Receiving Critical Inquiry

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Almost half of the largest law firms have mandatory retirement for partners at set ages. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) began an investigation into the practice in 2010 to determine if the practice violates the Age Discrimination in Employment…


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Houston Legal Links 10/27/14

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Top legal news includes: Houston companies hiring more in-house lawyers to save money; Court controversy not uncommon; Man says delays at Fort Bend DA’s office cost him two years (Chron susbc); Wet or dry? Alcohol restrictions in Houston area; Police seek partners of sex offender with HIV; Texas Prosecutors Discuss Their Novels at Texas Book Festival (Texas Lawyer); Houston group protests Texas’ death penalty; DPS Tells Mayor Parker’s Daughter She Can’t Have Two Moms; Key testimony in BP oil spill ruling wasn’t excluded, DOJ says; Exoneree awarded $2.3 million jury verdict over innocence evidence concealed by prosecutors; Grammy Nominated Gospel Singer/Songwriter James Fortune Arrested; Pastor subpoenas just the latest misstep in messy ERO case (Chron subsc; Houston flea market raided over counterfeit goods; Fikac: Being pro-life in governor’s race doesn’t extend to death-row (Chron subsc); Trial of Amarillo doctor in hit man plot to start; Video: George P. Bush Says Father “More Than Likely” to Run in 2016; Justice Ginsburg Issues Timely Correction in Texas Voter ID Dissent; Arizona news outlets sue for lethal injection information; Blackfeet urge government to cancel energy leases; Flood: If you’re voting for judges, have a clue or bow out & Other blog: Popular elections of American state judges is wasteful, anti-business, provincial, third-rate and a global joke.


For the water cooler: Law Firm Uses Puppet As Pitchman And This Feels Like An Acid Trip; Lawyer who didn’t share client payments with his partners is disbarred; Marvel Goes DMCA Crazy Over Leaked Avengers 2 Trailer, Then Puts It On Its Own YouTube Page; It’s Week 5 Of ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ And Viola Davis Is Allergic To Sleeves; Money, sex, madness and murder at fictional Bay Street law firm is focus of ex-partner’s new novel; Former ‘People’s Attorney’ radio host is convicted in $10M mortgage-fraud case; Driver Destroys Disputed Oklahoma Ten Commandments Statue; Man avoids UK prosecution for two years with coma and quadriplegia claims; video shows him walking; DUI case dropped after arresting officer allegedly forwarded suspect’s photos to his own phone; Stat of the Week: Where Are Young Lawyers? & DUI firm will accept payments via Apple Pay.


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December 1990 – Did I Really Say That?

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This deposition excerpt comes from Steven W. Harris of Austin (Clark, Thomas, etc.): he explains that the deposition – in a real estate contract case, “involving a piece of property … which [my clients] attempted to sell to Whataburger – was being taken by Diane Henson, a very fine attorney and partner in Graves, Dougherty” (and a self-described “hamburger helper”).


Q. All right. Now, according to Harris’ answer to interrogatories, and the ones I’m reading from are from Mr. David Whopperman – Wupperman. I’m sorry. I think I got whopper in there. I’m getting these hamburgers all mixed up.


Mr. Harris: We’ll have it your way, Diane.


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Consumer Financing Pre-Dispute Mandatory Arbitration

Originally published by .


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Louis Del Duca, Edward N. Polisher Distinguished Faculty Scholar Emeritus and Director, Institute of Commercial Law at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, has published Consumer Financing Pre-Dispute Mandatory Arbitration: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Developments , Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal, Vol. 46, p. 71, 2014. In his article, Professor Del Duca discusses some of the possible implications raised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent findings on the use of mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements in business to consumer contracts.


Here is the abstract:



Judicial precedent with regards to mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements has given such clauses substantial protection, resulting in their widespread inclusion in boilerplate contract language. However, recent findings and assertions from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may cause a serious disruption in the use of such clauses in business to consumer (B to C) contracts. Recent CFPB studies and comments suggest that the CFPB is poised to exercise its authorization under the Dodd-Frank Act to restrict the use of pre-dispute mandatory arbitration agreements in consumer contracts.



This and other scholarly papers written by Professor Del Duca may be downloaded free of charge from the Social Science Research Network.


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Friday, October 24, 2014

Top Ten from Texas Bar Today: Tacos, Disco, and the Boy Scouts

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To highlight some of the posts that stand out from the crowd, the editors of Texas Bar Today have created a list from the week’s blog posts of the top ten based on subject matter, writing style, headline, and imagery. We hope you enjoy this installment.


10. The Brand Called You: Building and Broadcasting Your Brand


9. Throwback Thursday: Disco Edition


8. Texas Drivers with Underinsured Motorists Cases Win Key Appeal


7. Proposed State Constitutional Amendments to Benefit the Boy Scouts of America


6. Veracruz All Natural


5. Arbitration here, there, or nowhere.


4. LinkedIn Allegedly Violates Federal Law by Making Employment History Available


3. Ebola worries? Fear-bola? Who do you believe?


2. Texting and Driving: What Lawmakers and Parents are Doing to Help


1. The VA Benefit of the Doubt Rule Only Matters When Your Case is Too Close To Call


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Please Stand For the Jury ….

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Image Had one of my favorite moments as a ED Tex lawyer just now.We just started the panel of actual, real live former jurors from patent cases that will be talking to us about their experiences. When the jurors entered the hotel ballroom for their panel … the entire room of lawyers and judges stood up until they were in place and seated.Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we do that.

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Pro Bono Spotlight: Jeremy Coe

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The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support the National Pro Bono Celebration (Oct. 19-25). Pro bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community is doing to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more people in the legal community to get involved. Today, we feature Jeremy Coe for his invaluable work in East Texas.


Jeremy Coe , the founder of the Coe Law Firm, has volunteered with both the Smith County Bar Foundation and Lone Star Legal Aid for several years. There is always a shortage of attorneys to handle contested divorce cases, especially those that have domestic violence components, in East Texas counties.



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Member Benefits – Home Buying and Moving

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Home buying and moving can be stressful. Use discounts from your State Bar of Texas Member Discount Program to ease the strain on your budget!


Since 1993, Consumers Relocation Services has offered professional move coordination. Get up to $100,000 in full valuation coverage free with no deductible, up to three competitive bids from professional movers, Insured, licensed transport and car, boat and motorcycle transportation (with VIP status).


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Video Interview: Discussing Ebola-Related Terminations

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Following up on my recent post on the subject, I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN on employees being terminated over Ebola. In the brief video interview, I share what I’ve been hearing on these firings and offer a bit of guidance to employers and employees on dealing with Ebola concerns.







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Federal Judge Orders Google Wallet Consumer Privacy Dispute to Mediation

Originally published by .


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A federal judge in California has reportedly ordered a consumer privacy dispute that was filed against technology giant Google to mediation. In In re: Google Inc. Privacy Policy Litigation , No. 5:12-CV-01382, a group of Google Wallet users filed a class action lawsuit against the company over changes that were made to its privacy policy in March 2012. According to the consumers, the revised privacy policy allowed Google to aggregate data that was collected about customers through a variety of Google products in order to generate marketing profiles. The information, which included consumer contact information, was apparently then shared with third parties. Although many of the consumers’ claims were dismissed by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal, he ordered the parties to engage in mediation over the customers’ breach of contract and fraud claims by February 6, 2015.


In addition to the California lawsuit, Google is currently under pressure from European regulators to amend its privacy policy over the sharing of sensitive personal customer data. A data regulator in Hamburg, Germany recently ordered the company to “limit how it combines user data that could be used to find out customers’ personal preferences, including marital status or sexual orientation.”


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Proposed State Constitutional Amendment To Benefit The Boy Scouts Of America

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This November, West Virginia voters will be deciding whether to amend to the state’s constitution. The proposed amendment is designed to benefit nonprofit organizations that are engaged in “adventure, educational or recreational activities for young people.” It’s no secret, however,…


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Throwback Thursday: Disco edition

Originally published by .


By Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian & College Archivist




The STCL administrative staff in 1976.

I’m not gonna lie – I was really trying to come up with something witty to say about this photo. However, all that comes to mind are Bee Gees lyrics and it would be a violation of copyright to post them.


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Say What?! – A Prepared Witness

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From Stephan C. Barth of Houston (University of Houston), this excerpt from the deposition of his client, the debtor in a collection case, which was being taken by the attorney for the plaintiff bank:


Q. You in fact received the $250,000 loan from the bank.


A. Yes.


Q. And how did you spend that money?


A. Quickly!


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dallas lawyer selected for ABA award

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Kim J. Askew, partner in K&L Gates in Dallas, was recently named as the recipient of a 2015 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. Askew, one of four winners, will receive the award during a Feb. 7, 2015, ceremony at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Houston.


The Spirit of Excellence Award is presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and demonstrate a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession.


Askew, the 2003-2004 chair of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, specializes in complex commercial and employment litigation. She is a longtime leader in the State Bar, ABA, and Dallas Bar Association.


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Right to Retire Or Termination: Remediation of Leadership To Foster Compliance

Originally published by .


Fall of Rome Many historians have long given 476 AD as the date of the fall of the Roman Empire. Further, it was from this date forward that Europe began its long slide into the abyss, which came to be known as the Dark Age. However, this view was challenged in 1971 by Peter Brown, with the publication of his seminal work “The World of Late Antiquity”. One of the precepts of Brown’s work was to reinterpret the 3rd to 8th centuries not as simply a decline of the greatness that had been achieved in the heydays of the Roman Empire, but more on their own terms. It was in the year of 476 AD that the last Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, left the capital of Rome in disgrace. However as Brown noted, he was not murdered or even thrown out but allowed to retire to his country estates, sent there by the conquers of the western half of the Roman Empire, the Goths. Not much conquering going on if a ruler is allowed to ‘retire’, it was certainly a replacement but not quite the picture of marauding barbarians at the gate.


I thought about this anomaly of retirement by a leader in the context where a company or other entity might be going through investigations for corruption and non-compliance with such laws as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) or UK Bribery Act. Yesterday I wrote about three recent articles and what they showed about a company’s oversight of its foreign subsidiaries. Today I want to use these same articles to explore what a company’s response and even responsibility should be to remediate leadership under which the corruption occurs. The first was an article in the New York Times (NYT), entitled, “Another Scandal Hits Citigroup’s Moneymaking Mexican Division” by Michael Corkery and Jessica Silver-Greenberg. Their article spoke about the continuing travails of Citigroup’s Mexican subsidiary Banamex. Back in February, the company reported “a $400 million fraud involving the politically connected, but financially troubled, oil services firm Oceanograf√≠a.”


This has led Citigroup to ever so delicately try to oust the leader of its Mexico operations, Mr. Medina-Mora, by encouraging him to retire. While Citigroup did terminate 12 individuals around the Oceanograf√≠a scandal earlier in the year, it has not changed the employment status of the head of the Mexico business unit. This may be changing as the article said, “In a delicate dance, Citigroup is encouraging its Mexico chairman, Manuel Medina-Mora, 64, to retire, according to four people briefed on the matter. The bank has been quietly laying the groundwork for his departure, which could come by early next year, the people said. Still, Mr. Medina-Mora’s business acumen and connections to the country’s ruling elite have made him critical to the bank’s success in Mexico. Citigroup and its chairman, Michael E. O’Neill, cannot afford to alienate Mr. Medina-Mora and risk jeopardizing those relationships, these people said.”


Should Mr. Medina-Mora be allowed to retire? Should he even be required to retire? What about the ‘mints money’ aspect of the Mexican operations for Citigroup? Was any of that money minted through violations of the FCPA or other laws? What will the Department of Justice (DOJ) think of Citigroup’s response or perhaps even its attitude towards this very profitable business unit and Citigroup’s oversight, lax or other?


Does a company have to terminate employees who engage in corruption? Or can it allow senior executives to gracefully retire into the night with full pension and other golden parachute benefits intact? What if a company official “purposely manipulated appointment data, covered up problems, retaliated against whistle-blowers or who was involved in malfeasance that harmed veterans must be fired, rather than allowed to slip out the back door with a pension.” Or engaged in the following conduct, “had steered business toward her lover and to a favored contractor, then tried to “assassinate” the character of a colleague who attempted to stop the practice.” Finally, what if yet another company official directed company employees to “delete hundreds of appointments from records” during the pendency of an investigation?


All of the above quotes came from a second NYT article about a very different subject. In the piece, entitled “After Hospital Scandal, V.A. Official Jump Ship”, Dave Phillips reported that two of the four VA Administration executives who engaged in the above conduct and were selected for termination, had resigned before they could be formally terminated. The article reported that the VA “had no legal authority to stop” the employees from resigning. Current VA Secretary Robert McDonald was quoted in the article as saying, “It’s also very common in the private sector. When I was head of Procter & Gamble, it happened all the time, and it’s not a bad thing — it saves us time and rules out the possibility that these people could win an appeal and stick around.” Plus, he said, their records reflect that they were targeted for termination. “They can’t just go get a job at another agency,” Mr. McDonald said. “There will be nowhere to hide.”


The third article was in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and entitled, “GM Says Top Lawyer to Step Down”. In this piece, reporters John D. Stroll and Joseph B. White, with contributions from Chris Matthews and Joann Lublin, reported that General Motors (GM) General Counsel (GC) Michael Millikin will retire early next year. Milliken is famously the GC who claimed not to know what was going on in his own legal department around the group’s settlements of product liability claims of faulty ignition switches. Milliken claimed he was kept “in the dark” by his own lieutenants about the safety issues involved with this group of litigation. Does Milliken have any responsibility for the failures of GM around this safety issue? What does his apparent graceful retirement say about the corporate culture of GM and its desire to actually change anything in the light of its ongoing travails? Of course one might cynically point to GM’s failure to even have a Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer as evidence of the company’s attitude towards compliance and ethics. (I wonder how that might look to the DOJ/Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if GM goes under any FCPA scrutiny?)


With Citigroup, the Department of Veterans Affairs and GM, we have three separate excuses for companies (and a Cabinet level department) not disciplining top employees for ethical and/or compliance failures. At Citigroup, the excuse is apparently that it does not want to rock the boat from a top producing foreign subsidiary by terminating the head of the subsidiary under investigation. At the Department of Veterans Affairs, the excuse seems to be they can go ahead and resign because we prefer to get rid of them that way. At GM, it is not clear why the GC who claimed not to know what was going on in even his own law department can ride off into the sunset with nary a contrary word in sight. Millikin’s conduct would seem to be the product of a larger cultural issue at GM.


I thought about how the DOJ might look at these situations for companies if a FCPA claim were involved. Even with McDonald’s observations about what happened when he was with Procter & Gamble; does a company show something less than commitment to having a culture of compliance if it allows an employee to retire? What does it say about Citigroup and its culture given the current dance it is having with its head of the Mexico unit? What about GM and its Sgt. Schultz of a GC and his ‘I was in the dark posture’? As stated by Mike Volkov, in his post entitled “Goodbye Mr. Millikin: GM’s Continuing Culture Challenges”, GM does under appear to understand the situation it finds itself in currently over its failures. He wrote, “GM still does not understand the significance of its governance failure…GM should have taken dramatic and affirmative steps to create a new culture – resources and new initiatives should be launched to rid GM of its current culture and replace it with a new speak up culture. It is a daunting task in such a large company but it has to be done. Until GM wakes up, missteps and failures will continue.” One might say the same for Citigroup and the Department of Veterans Affairs as well.


This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.


© Thomas R. Fox, 2014


Filed under: Banamex, Best Practices, Chris Matthews, Citigroup, Compliance, Compliance and Ethics, compliance programs, Department of Justice, FCPA, Michael Volkov, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Watts Water, WSJ Tagged: best practices, compliance, compliance programs, Department of Justice, DOJ, ethical leadership, ethics, FCPA, New York Times, NYT, SEC, Wall Street Journal, WSJ


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Say What?! – Don’t Tell Anyone About This

Originally published by .


From Steven C. Copenhaver of Austin (Davis v. Davis), this deposition excerpt from a probate case “in which my client, a private charitable organization, was alleging that a sizeable sum of money was supposed to be bequeathed” to it “instead of another organization with a similar name.” Steve was deposing a friend of the deceased (the witness was represented by David F. Beale of Houston).


Q. Have you had an opportunity to talk with your attorney concerning what a deposition is?


A. Yes sir, he told me what a deposition was.


Q. I’m sure your attorney has instructed you to answer the question I ask.


A. Yes, sir. Did he tell you I’m incompetent?


Q. No he didn’t tell me that.


A. Well, I am.


Q. What makes you say that?


A. The doctor says that. I don’t get my money. My wife gets the money. She’s my guardian.


Q. Have you understood every thing you and I have talked about up to this point in time?


A. You told me your name, but I forgot it.


Q. Have you understood everything I’ve said so far?

A. You ain’t talked much.


Q. Do you remember having a conversation with me?


A. This is the first time I’ve met you, right here.


Q. I mean over the phone.


A. I talked to somebody on the phone. I don’t know who it was because I couldn’t see through the phone.

Q. Good point. Do you remember hanging up on the telephone conversation?


A. Yes sir. Some guy called, and I didn’t, you know, want to talk to him so I hung up.


Q. Do you know why you hung up?

A. We finished our conversation.


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NHTSA Issues Warning on Exploding Takata Airbags

Originally published by .


takatalogo The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a warning to the drivers of 4.7 million vehicles with recalled Takata airbags, especially those in regions with significant humidity, that they should bring their vehicles to a dealership to have them inspected immediately.

ABC World News reports that the defective airbags can explode, “sending dangerous materials, shards of metal, flying through the car.” ABC calls the warning a “rare move” from NHTSA, though it notes that at least four people have been killed by the airbags. ABC reports that the automakers affected by the recall include Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, and Mitsubishi, and some people who should have received a recall notification have not yet gotten theirs. ABC News also reports on the story online.

NBC Nightly News features David Freidman, Deputy Administrator of NHTSA, who says the warnings are “part of a broader recall. These air bags are defective. And anyone who has one of these vehicles is at risk in a crash.”

The CBS Evening News features Clarence Ditlow, head of the Center for Auto Safety who questions why the vehicles have not been recalled across the country, asking “How in the world can you approve a geographic recall that doesn’t include the two states where people have been killed.”

The New York (NY) Times reports in a front page story that Friedman said NHTSA was issuing the warning because “We want to make sure that everyone out there – and we’ve got millions of vehicles involved – is getting engaged and is getting their vehicles fixed to protect themselves and their families.” The Times reports that, much like General Motors’ faulty ignition switches, Toyota and Honda, the automakers with the most cars affected, lack the parts necessary to fix the flaw in all of the recalled vehicles.

Bloomberg News reports that NHTSA said that, after an investigation, “Toyota and Takata have brought forward new test results that underscore the urgency for owners in high-risk areas to take immediate action.” Bloomberg reports that, while the investigation centers on Takata, the agency is also probing how automakers responded to the faulty airbags.

USA Today reports that automakers of affected vehicles are advising owners to avoid having passengers sit in the front-seat until the problem with the airbags is resolved. USA Today reports that 16 million vehicles have been recalled around the world due to the airbags since 2008. NHTSA said on Monday, “At this point, the issue appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity. However, we are leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue.”

The Los Angeles reports that the age of some of the vehicles recalled may make it difficult to track down the current owners of the vehicles.From the news release of the American Association for Justice.


From the news release of the American Association for Justice.



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Insurance Coverage in Trademark Disputes

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Most companies are insured under a commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policy, which usually contains standard coverage language drafted by the Insurance Services Office (“ISO”).  The provision of ISO form CGL policies generally applicable to trademark disputes covers what is known as “advertising injury.”  And depending on the specific policy language and the law governing the dispute, claims for trademark infringement may be covered as advertising injuries. 

In Texas, for example, to be entitled insurance coverage for the cost to defend against suits for trademark infringement, insureds must prove: (1) the allegations in the underlying complaint must raise a “potential” for liability under one of the covered offenses stated in the policy; (2) the insured must h…


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Houston COA Orders Arbitration After Man Ratifies Procedurally Unconscionable Agreement

Originally published by .


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Texas’ Fourteenth District Court of Appeals in Houston has overturned a trial court’s order denying a party’s motion to compel arbitration. In Mission Petroleum Carriers, Inc. v. Kelley , No. 14-14-00072-CV (October 9, 2014), a man, Kelley, was hospitalized over the injuries he sustained in a workplace tractor-trailer accident. While still hospitalized and receiving a narcotic pain killer, a representative for Kelley’s employer, Mission, asked him to sign paperwork authorizing his participation in a Health and Safety Plan (“H & S Plan”) offered by the company. The plan provides a number of benefits to enrolled workers who are injured in a workplace incident including medical expenses, lost wages, death payments, and more. The paperwork Kelley signed included an agreement to submit specific disputes or claims to binding arbitration. Not long after, Kelley began receiving benefits under the H & S Plan.


A few months later, Kelley filed a negligence complaint against Mission and a third party in Harris County. The man also asked the court to award him punitive damages. Mission responded by filing a motion to compel arbitration based on the provision included in the H & S Plan. Kelley argued that he should not be bound by the provision because he was under the influence of intense painkillers when he signed the plan paperwork. Kelley also claimed that the arbitration agreement was procedurally unconscionable and he had no recollection of signing it. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied Mission’s motion to compel arbitration. The company then filed an interlocutory appeal with the Fourteenth District Court of Appeals.


On appeal, the Houston court stated that Kelley did not deny his claims fell within scope of the arbitral provision at issue but only argued that the agreement was procedurally unconscionable. The court added that Mission did not deny the provision was procedurally unconscionable. Instead, Mission claimed that Kelley ratified the agreement by accepting benefits under the plan despite that he knew the agreement was not legally binding. In addition, Mission asserted that whether or not the arbitration agreement was procedurally unconscionable was irrelevant.


The Houston Appeals Court agreed with Mission and said,



Ratification is the adoption or confirmation by a person, with knowledge of all material facts, of a prior act that did not legally bind that person and that the person had the right to repudiate. In re Weeks Marine, Inc. , No. 14–09–00580–CV, 2009 WL 3231570, at *3 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Oct. 8, 2009, orig. proceeding) (mem.op.). “Ratification may be express or implied from a course of conduct.” Id. An act inconsistent with the intent to avoid a contract ratifies the contract. Id. Once a party ratifies a contract, he may not later withdraw his ratification and seek to avoid the contract. Id. The relevant inquiry focuses on the actions taken by the party seeking to avoid the contract once that party became fully aware that his prior act did not legally bind him. Id. A party cannot avoid an agreement by claiming there was no intent to ratify after he has accepted the benefits of the agreement. Id. Ratification may be determined as a matter of law if the evidence is not controverted or is incontrovertible. Id.



The court continued,



Here, as in Weeks Marine, there is undisputed evidence that Kelley received benefits under the H & S Plan containing the Arbitration Agreement after he retained an attorney and filed suit. Likewise, as in Weeks Marine, there is undisputed evidence that Kelley continued to receive H & S Plan benefits after Mission filed its motion to compel arbitration; and there is no evidence that Kelley returned any of the payments made to him or on his behalf under the H & S Plan either after he filed suit or after Mission sought to compel arbitration. In short, Kelley cannot avoid the Arbitration Agreement because he has accepted benefits under the plan after he became aware that the agreement was allegedly invalid due to procedural unconscionablity. See id. at *4–5.



Because the trial court abused its discretion when it denied Mission’s motion to compel arbitration, Texas’ Fourteenth District Court of Appeals in Houston reversed the lower court’s decision and remanded the case with instructions to submit the parties’ dispute to arbitration.


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Sanctions Procedures

Originally published by .


The day before trial, the attorney for the defendant in a car wreck case stipulated to her client’s liability. The next day, the plaintiff moved for sanctions under Rules 13 and 215, based on the allegedly late stipulation. After securing a $44,591 jury verdict, the plaintiff re-urged the sanctions issue, which the trial court granted in the form of a $5,000 award of attorney fees. The Court of Appeals affirmed the jury verdict, but reversed and rendered on the sanctions. The Court held that the sanctions could not be justified for discovery abuse under Rule 215 because that rule requires a party who is aware of possible discovery abuse to obtain a ruling prior to trial. As to Rule 13, that rule requires particularized findings of good cause, which were not included in the trial court’s judgment here.


Hernandez v. Hernandez , No. 05-13-01219-CV


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Monday, October 20, 2014

Third Circuit Eliminates Presumption of Irreparable Harm in Trademark Cases

Originally published by .


With its recent opinion in Ferring Pharms., Inc. v. Watson Pharms., Inc., 765 F.3d 205 (3rd Cir. 2014), the Third Circuit eliminated the presumption of irreparable harm for Lanham Act plaintiffs seeking injunctive relief.  The decision reversed longstanding precedent that provided plaintiffs with a presumption of irreparable harm and extends the Supreme Court’s ruling in eBay v. MercExchange, LLC, 547 U.S. 403 (2006).  It also significantly raises the bar for plaintiffs to obtain injunctive relief by requiring them to prove not only a likelihood of success on the merits, but also that irreparable harm will likely result absent the issuance of an injunction. 

The Third Circuit’s holding in Ferring Phrams. follows the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Herb Reed Enters., LLC v. Florid…


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Verdict in Trinity highway rail cap qui tam case

Originally published by .



A Marshall jury in Judge Rodney Gilstrap's court rendered a verdict today in the highly – publicized qui tam action that was tried last week involving highway rail end caps. The jury found that defendants Trinity Industries, Inc. and Trinity Highway Products, LLC knowingly made, used, or cause to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim, and awarded $175 million in damages.



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Oasis Brands Cheeses, Creams and Spreads Recalled After Virginia and FDA Isolate Listeria in Products

Originally published by .


Oasis Brands, a company based in Miami, Florida, has been compelled to issue a major recall of its numerous products under the label Lacteos Santa Martha after these products were found to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly bacterium that is especially harmful to the elderly, small children, and pregnant women. The deadly bacterium was discovered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food Inspectors, who isolated Listeria monocytogenes in product samples. This finding was confirmed by Food and Drug Association (FDA) sampling, which confirmed that Listeria monocytogenes was in fact present in these ready to eat products. The FDA is now leading the investigation into the contamination, and Oasis has suspended production of these products pending the outcome of the investigation and remediation of the cause of the contamination.


The product was distributed primarily in Southern states, and so far Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida have been named as states where retailers may have distributed the products. The products being recalled include at least 16 types of cheeses, creams, and spreads, all having been distributed between April 1, 2014 and October 14th, 2014, and bearing BEST BY dates between July 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. It remains possible that additional products will be recalled or that additional states will be included in the recall.


• Queso Seco Centroamericano (Dry White Cheese) 1Lb UPC 876593 001874

• Queso Seco Olanchano (Dry Cheese) 1Lb UPC 635349 000840

• Queso Seco Hondureno (Dry Cheese) 12oz UPC 876593 001690

• Quesito Casero (Fresh Curd) 12oz UPC 635349 000406

• My Queso (Latin Flavor Cheese) 1Lb UPC 635349 000406

• Queso Cuzcatlan (Salvadorean Flavor Cheese) 1Lb UPC 635349 000406

• Queso para Freir (Cheese for Frying) 12oz UPC 635349 000758

• Queso Fresco (Fresh Cheese) 12oz UPC 635349 000703

• Cuajada en Hoja Queso Casero Hecho a Mano (Fresh Curd) 12oz UPC 635349 000895

• Crema Centroamericana (Soft Blend Dairy Spread) 1Lb UPC 876593 001898

• Mantequilla Hondurena (Honduran Style Cream) 1Lb UPC 635349 000772

• Crema Nica (Grade A Cultured Cream) 1Lb UPC 635349 000468

• HonduCrema Olanchana (Olanchana Style Soft Blend Dairy Spread) 1Lb UPC 635349 000598

• Crema Guatemalteca (Guatemalan Style Cream) 1Lb UPC 635349 000819

• Crema GuateLinda (Guatemalan Style Cream) 1Lb UPC 635349 000390

• Crema Cuzcatlan (Salvadorean Style Cream) 1Lb UPC 635349 000444


Photos of the labels are available at the FDA website.


This recall follows another recall in August of this year when Oasis Brands recalled 12 ounce packages of its Quesito Casero with a BEST BY date of September 27, 2014. That product was distributed in North Carolina and Virginia, according to Oasis Brands.


Listeria victims often suffer from elevated fevers, headaches, body and joint stiffness, nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. And in otherwise healthy women who consume the product while pregnant, Listeria can cause miscarriages and still births. It is for this reason that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issue past warnings to pregnant women to use great caution in eating soft cheeses or any unpasteurized dairy product.


Listeria lawyer Ron Simon, who has represented thousands of food poisoning victims, warned victims “Listeria is often hard to diagnose, so communication with your physician about exposure to Listeria can be vital. Be sure to tell your physician that you consumed the product.”


The post Oasis Brands Cheeses, Creams and Spreads Recalled After Virginia and FDA Isolate Listeria in Products appeared first on Food Poisoning News.


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A Fair Fight: Professional Guidelines in International Arbitration

Originally published by .


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Professor William W. Park, R. Gordon Butler Scholar in International Law at the Boston University School of Law has published a thoughtful article entitled, A Fair Fight: Professional Guidelines in International Arbitration , Forthcoming, 30 Arbitration International 409 (2014); Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 14-53. In his article, Professor Park examines the recently adopted arbitral guidelines and rules created by the International Bar Association and the London Court of International Arbitration.


Here is the abstract:



Depending on context and content, a regulatory framework can either help or hinder efforts to enhance aggregate social and economic welfare. Lively debate has arisen with respect to the net effects of two recent sets of directives for lawyer comportment in cross-border arbitration: the guidelines adopted by the International Bar Association and the new arbitration rules promulgated by the London Court of International Arbitration. Each instrument aims to promote a more level playing field on matters where legal cultures differ, such as document production and counsel independence. Each has caused thoughtful commentators to question the need and the merits of such standards. For now, suspense surrounds the prospect that either set of provisions will find favor in the international community. Only time will tell.



This and other scholarly publications authored by Professor Park may be downloaded free of charge from the Social Science Research Network.


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Book Review: Capacity and Undue Influence

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Stan Rule has written a review on John E. S. Poyser’s book entitled, Capacity and Undue Influence. Provided below is an excerpt from the review: John E. S. Poyser has written a remarkable textbook, Capacity and Undue Influence, published this…


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Houston Legal Links 10/20/14

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Top legal news includes: U.S. Supreme Court: Texas Can Enforce Voter ID Law for Nov. 4 Election; Mayor Parker revises, narrows sermon subpoena request; Why Didn’t the City Think Subpoenaing a Bunch of Pastors Might Be a Big Deal?; Early voting begins today with tough voter ID law in place; Justice of the peace for northwest Harris County dies; DA agrees to assist HISD in cheating investigations (Chron subsc); How Edith Jones Helped Prove Eric Holder Right: Lessons I Learned About Race After Defending A Judge Accused Of Racism; Lawyers to debate $590 million Houston transmission project; Bus driver charged in fatality says she was unaware she hit someone; Attorneys pledge battle over voter ID law ‘isn’t over” (Chron subsc); Potential Houston mayoral candidate questions fundraising rules (Chron subsc); Q&A: Small generators pose big challenge to utilities; Beer pong dispute leads to shooting in Liberty County; Handling of Handwritten Will Lands Lawyer In Legal-Mal Lawsuit (Texas Lawyer); Wealthy Donor Pumps Cash, Consternation Into Bexar County DA Race; Ashby high-rise developer reveals details on new apartment project; Ebola Suits Against Texas Hospital Likely Wouldn’t Be Easy to Win; Officials say oil spill has not reached Caddo Lake; Mergermarket: Texas Businesses & Firms Saw Record M&A in Q3 (Texas Lawbook) & Man who claimed Alaska pipeline sabotage acquitted of lying to FBI.


For the water cooler: Judge clears courtroom after noticing police report said arrestee claimed to have Ebola; What do GCs really want from law firms? | Flat fees can help ensure you get paid, blogger writes; Judge Jails Woman For Wearing Pants To Court; Lawyer Says It’s Copyright Infringement To Use Her Own Blog Posts Against Her In Disciplinary Proceedings; Law Firm Sued Over Text Message Ads (Law.com); Report: Lax regulation puts employees and patrons of gun ranges at risk of lead poisoning; DA: ‘Hit list’ shows inmate sought to kill 9 witnesses, suggesting methods and order of slayings; Lawyer gets 6 months for setting up school volunteer in faked drug case; Bicyclist who didn’t outfit baby with helmet says cops choked him and forcibly took the boy away; Former O’Melveny partner and Biden chief of staff is tapped as ‘Ebola czar’ & A Dose Of Reality In Week Four Of ‘How To Get Away With Murder’.


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May 1985 – Tell Me About Your Family

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Q. Has your son ever received a prior injury?


A. Well, when he was three he fell and broke his arm, that’s all. Oh, yes, when he was two he got plowed under by a tractor and we didn’t find him for twenty minutes.


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