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; […]Read more "Texas Supreme Court Opinion is a Manual for Handling Discovery Disputes"
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 […]Read more "Conclusory “Boilerplate” Affidavits Can Not Rescue Nuisance Case from Dismissal"
A landowner claimed that an energy company’s pollution damaged the property, in violation of contract terms and common law nuisance and trespass prohibitions. An arbitration panel agreed, and awarded over $20 million. The energy company tried to vacate the award in court, arguing that only the state agency that regulates contamination from oil and gas […]Read more "Regulation by State Agency Does Not Narrow Landowner Claims"
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 […]Read more "ExxonMobil Hit with $20 Million Fine; Economic Benefit a Key Issue"
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 […]Read more "A Duty to Preserve Mobile Data – YES!"
In his Executive Order (“EO”) relating to the Clean Power Plan, President Trump rescinded a 2013 directive, EO 13653, along with other Obama era orders. EO 13653 directed federal facility managers to consider ongoing effects of climate change as they develop and implement plans to maintain and protect federal assets. Does this mean that private […]Read more "President Trump’s Climate Change Action Will Not Lower the Standard of Care Regarding Climate Change Preparedness"
A physician did nothing to change billing practices, even after Medicare denied some of the physician’s remittance claims as a result of an audit. This and other evidence helped convict the physician of Medicare fraud. In U.S. v. Uzoaga, the government asserted that the physician knowingly allowed a third party to submit fraudulent bills on […]Read more "Ignore an Audit – Go to Jail"