I am pleased to announce that as of February 1, 2018, I am a shareholder at Crain Caton & James, P.C. I am especially excited to join with Robert E. “Robin” Morse, Kelly D. Brown, and Cory R. Thornton; together, we bring over 100 years of environmental law experience. More about them, below. My new […]Read more "Jim Smith Joins Crain Caton & James"
Craig Ball is a very close friend. Also, in the area of electronically stored information (“ESI”) and litigation, he is as good an expert as you can find, in the world. His critique of the President’s lawyers reminds us that blindly copying forms will not serve our clients. Preservation Letter to Controversial Author Craig’s “Ball […]Read more "Preservation Letters Require More than Just Copying a Form"
In order to protect professionals from frivolous lawsuits, a Texas statute provides that lawsuits arising out of the provision of professional services (such as engineering or architecture) must include a certificate of merit. That certificate must include a sworn statement by a qualified expert as to the negligence or other error committed; failure to file […]Read more "Texas Statute Could Not Help Engineering Company, Because No Licensed Engineer Provided Services"
A recent development in a much watched environmental case pending before the Texas Supreme Court reminded me that the involvement of a non-party can add value in an appeal. A non-party that submits briefs, or in special cases participates in oral argument, is known as a friend of the court or amicus curie. State of […]Read more "Appellate Success, with a Little Help from Friends"
Regulatory agencies may view companies that do not comply with such “voluntary” standards as out of compliance in enforcement actions, and juries may view them as negligent in tort actions.Read more "Major Energy Companies Agree to Methane Emissions Principles"
In Texas, when the law requires a contract to be in writing, electronic communications can satisfy that requirement, but only if each party agrees to conduct the transaction electronically. Even when neither party explicitly says that it has agreed to conduct transactions by electronic means, the context and surrounding circumstances can show that that the […]Read more "You Can Agree to Make a Contract Electronically Without Explicitly Saying So"
In many industrial construction or services contracts, contractors agree to provide insurance for the owners. Additionally, contractors often agree to indemnify the owners, at least to some extent. These provisions are sometimes congruent; that is, the indemnity and insurance provisions can be written so that each obligation corresponds exactly to the other. However, Texas law […]Read more "Contractor’s Obligation to Provide Insurance Is Different From Indemnity"