In State of Texas v. Morello, the Texas Supreme Court reversed a mid-level appellate court and reinstated a trial court’s judgment making Bernard Morello personally liable for approximately $400,000 in civil penalties for environmental violations. The Company’s History of Permit Violations Morello had been the sole member and manager of While Lion Holdings, a limited liability company. […]Read more "Texas Supreme Court Holds Manager Personally Liable for Environmental Penalties"
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"
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion that simplifies the test to determine when maritime law applies to service contracts relating to the production of oil and gas in navigable waters. Under the new two pronged test, a services contract is subject to maritime law when: 1) the contract […]Read more "5th Circuit Simplifies Test to Determine if a Service Contract for an Offshore Gas Well Is Subject to Maritime Law"
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 this week between Christmas and the New Year, I follow up on my Thanksgiving week Alert, and again look at the 2018 election. While I continue to think that Republicans will maintain control of the Senate, this Alert looks at the impact that some alternative 2018 scenarios may have. If, contrary to my expectation, […]Read more "The 2018 Election-Alternative Scenarios"
On December 8, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of Oncor Electric Delivery Company (“Oncor”) in a case that resulted in a judgment against Oncor of approximately $500,000 in damages, interest, and attorneys’ fees. In its appeal, Oncor asserts that the court entering that judgment had no jurisdiction and that only […]Read more "Texas Supreme Court May Clarify Scope of PUC Jurisdiction in Contract Disputes"
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"