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. […]

Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button

It seems there is no end to the questions involving the client’s file and who has a right to it. Texas has a new ethics opinion on the subject, addressed at the end of this article, but let’s first address some of the many questions about the client’s file that have already been answered. First, […]

Associates Can Get in Trouble Too!

In our legal malpractice cases, we generally do not assert claims against associate attorneys on the theory that they are not in charge of the direction taken or work done in the case or transaction. But that doesn’t mean that associates have no responsibility for violations of rules of procedure, ethical rules, or court orders […]

How do you Solve a Problem Like Pay Inequality?

They say that democracy dies in darkness.  That may be true, because inequality thrives in darkness.  With all the publicity about sexual harassment, we need to note the approach of the April 4th Equal Pay Day. That is the day when a woman’s salary finally catches up to the man’s salary for the prior year […]

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 […]

What Can I Reveal About My Former Clients and May I Use Their Confidential Information?

Most lawyers know that you can’t disclose a current client’s confidential information.  But many lawyers—when they are either telling a war story or are trying to illustrate a point— voluntarily reveal confidential information about their former clients. Lawyers also are tempted to use their former clients’ confidential information when they are offered a lucrative case […]

What is Sexual Harassment Anyway?

Months deep into the #metoo movement, many people wonder what sexual harassment is and why so many people hesitated to come forward with complaints of sexual harassment. The easy question is why people don’t come forward with complaints. Fear of retaliation is real.  The reality of retaliation is real. But defining sexual harassment is more […]

Shot and Missed

Years ago, I represented a lawyer in a lawsuit against his former law partner. Our defendant had abused his law partners, stolen from the firm, and then tried to insult them during a settlement conference by suggesting that his cufflinks cost more than their entire wardrobes. After a weeklong trial, the jury returned a large […]

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 […]