Unmasking Anonymous Speakers: The First Amendment and Anonymous Texting

Our firm recently served as counsel in a multi-state case over what has become known as “unmasking” litigation. This type of litigation arises when a person receives anonymous and harassing text messages. These messages usually are sent through commercial “masking” services. When the victim seeks to subpoena records from the masking provider to discover the […]

Bernie: The True Story of an East Texas Murder

Skip Hollandsworth just can’t admit that Bernie Tiede conned him the same way he conned almost everyone else. Texas Monthly recently released a video of Hollandsworth discussing the Tiede story. In it, he continues to describe the story much as he has since first writing about it 20 years ago. And this time around, maybe […]

Attorneys Beware: What You Don’t Reveal On Your Application For Malpractice Insurance Can Leave You Bare!

In a decision with important implications for all attorneys seeking malpractice insurance, the Fifth Circuit recently held that a law firm’s failure to disclose even a potential claim can void coverage. The case is Imperium Insurance Company v. Shelton & Associates, 749 Fed. App’x 214 (5th Cir. 2018). In 2013, a Mississippi law firm applied […]

Trial Lawyers Beware: How the TRAPS Can Trap You in Ordering Transcripts

The Supreme Court of Texas recently denied review in a case our firm handled concerning an appealing party’s obligation to order hearing and trial transcripts. The bottom-line result of that denial is to entrench a potential trap for trial lawyers under the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. Rule 34.6(f) of the appellate rules provides that […]

Disqualification Motions in Texas: Don’t Sit On Your Rights!

Among our firm’s growing practice areas is litigation where one party files a motion seeking to disqualify another party’s lawyers. These motions are becoming ever more common. We are hired both to file and pursue disqualification, and to represent lawyers in resisting disqualification. One of the critical issues in seeking disqualification—no matter what the grounds—is […]

My spouse got way too much of the property in our divorce! Can I appeal this disproportionate division?

One of the most common questions we get concerning divorce appeals concerns disproportionate property divisions. In most contested Texas divorces, trial courts attempt to divide the marital estate evenly between the parties. But not always. Sometimes, for various reasons, a trial court believes that one spouse should receive a disproportionately greater share of the estate. […]

Supreme Court of Texas Decides New TCPA (anti-SLAPP) Cases

If you litigate cases in Texas, you need to be educated on the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), often referred to as the Texas anti-SLAPP statute. The TCPA originally was billed as a relatively narrow statute designed to prevent lawsuits aimed at stifling the exercise of constitutional rights related to freedom of speech and petition. […]

Modification Versus Clarification: Understanding the Difference in Texas Divorces

Parties in Texas divorce cases often become confused over when decrees can be clarified—and what constitutes a clarification as opposed to a modification. Being able to distinguish the two often means the difference between success and failure in divorce matters. Under Texas law, a trial court cannot change its final judgment after expiration of what […]

Determining Whether Your Texas Judgment Is Final and Appealable (and the special danger presented by family cases!)

As a general rule, only the final judgment in a lawsuit can be appealed. With a very few specifically enumerated exceptions, Texas law does not permit appeals from what are known as interlocutory orders (interlocutory orders are orders made during litigation of the case but before entry of final judgment). See generally City of Beaumont […]

Judicial Admissions and Judicial Estoppel Under Texas Law

Texas law recognizes judicial admissions, which “are assertions of fact, not pleaded in the alternative, in the live pleadings of a party.” Lyons v. Lindsey Morden Claims Mgmt., 985 S.W.2d 86, 92 (Tex. App.—El Paso 1999, no pet.) (citation omitted). In other words, a judicial admission is a factual statement made by a party to […]