Texas Supreme Court Opinion is a Manual for Handling Discovery Disputes

By issuing In Re: State Farm, the Texas Supreme Court gave lawyers a manual for handling discovery disputes in Texas courts.  The opinion lists seven factors for balancing the requesting party’s need for discovery with the responding party’s claim of burden and cost.  The factors are: Likely benefit of requested discovery; Needs of the case; […]

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Texas Supreme Court Takes Flexible Approach to Subsurface Rights

The Texas Supreme Court, in Lightning Oil v. Anadarko, determined that Anadarko’s drilling would not be a trespass, even though the drilling would penetrate Lightning Oil’s mineral leasehold. A surface owner allowed Anadarko, an energy company, to install a horizontal well.  Anadarko did not own the minerals below this surface tract; the well was to […]

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Conclusory “Boilerplate” Affidavits Can Not Rescue Nuisance Case from Dismissal

For permanent injuries to property caused by nuisance or trespass, the plaintiff must file suit within two years of the first injury, or the claim is barred by limitations. In Town of Dish v. Atmos Energy, the plaintiffs tried to claim that their injuries from noise and odors only started when the last of several […]

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ExxonMobil Hit with $20 Million Fine; Economic Benefit a Key Issue

Based largely on a determination that ExxonMobil received a multi-million dollar benefit from delaying certain pollution prevention projects, a trial judge issued revised Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (“Revised Findings”) and assessed a $20 million civil penalty for Clean Air Act violations.  This is the latest development in the citizen suit, Environment Texas […]

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A Duty to Preserve Mobile Data – YES!

A duty to use reasonable efforts to preserve potentially relevant information, including electronic data, arises when litigation has commenced or is reasonably anticipated. Today, mobile devices often contain unique, relevant data.  Moreover, due to available technology, preserving mobile data is now generally easy and relatively inexpensive. Quite simply, the combination of unique, relevant data with […]

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