SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 24 found that a profit management liability insurer has no duty to defend its insureds against underlying claims that they made false representations during negotiations of and in an equity interest purchase agreement (Tom Gleason, et al. v. Markel American Insurance Co., No. 17-00163, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11608).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on Jan. 25 upheld a trial court judge's ruling denying D.R. Horton-Emerald Ltd.'s (DRH) motion to compel arbitration of a construction defects suit brought by subsequent buyers of a home, finding that they are not successors in interest to an agreement between the builder and the original buyers (D.R. Horton-Emerald Ltd. v. Daniel Mitchell, et al., No. 01-17-00426-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2018 Texas App. LEXIS 731).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 23 denied a man's motion to vacate his conviction and sentence for conspiracy to commit health care fraud for orchestrating a scheme to submit false bills to insurers for injuries occurring from automobile accidents, finding that his right to due process was not violated (Frenchitt Su-Dell Collins v. United States of America, No. 16-cv-1472-K, N.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10997).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Four claims of two Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. patents directed to a small screen display interface are patent-eligible under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 25 (Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics Inc., et al., Nos. 2016-2684, 2017-1922, Fed. Cir.).
SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 22 granted an insurer's motion to compel appraisal after rejecting the insured's argument that the insurer's failure to complete a good faith investigation of the insured's property damage claim precludes the insurer from invoking appraisal (Darold Adami v. Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana, No. 17-574, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9486).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 19 rejected assertions by a patent defendant that a Texas federal judge erred in ordering jurors to take back their invalidity holding, while also rejecting claims by the patent owner that the same judge erred in granting a summary judgment of noninfringement of another patent before trial (Flexuspine Inc. v. Globus Medical Inc., No. 17-1188, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1280).
AUSTIN, Texas - Rather than remand or compel arbitration, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 19 transferred venue of a reinsurance agreement dispute between a reinsurer and an insolvent insurer to a Georgia federal court based upon a forum-selection clause (Gramercy Insurance Co. v. Contractor's Bonding Ltd., No. 17-723, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8674).
MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal magistrate judge on Jan. 17 granted in part a motion by a patent holder to exclude testimony from a ticket distributor's computer-programming expert in a dispute over a license agreement, ruling that the expert cannot offer opinions about a key term in the agreement because the meaning of the term is a question of law for a jury to determine (CEATS, Inc. v. TicketNetwork, Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-01470, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7214).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A panel of the 13th District Texas Court of Appeals on Jan. 17 affirmed a trial court's decision to deny a motion for jurisdiction in a premises liability suit after finding that a woman who injured herself at a concert on city property showed a question of fact over whether the city knew about the hazard (City of Hidalgo, et al. v. Mary Leah Hodge, No. 13-16-00695-CV, Texas App., 13th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 519).
OMAHA, Neb. - A request by a trademark owner to retransfer infringement allegations to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas was denied Jan. 16 by a Nebraska federal judge, who found that the plaintiff failed to show that a previously severed defendant is indispensable to the Texas action (Buc-ee's Ltd. v. Buck's Inc., et al., No. 17-287, D. Neb., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6619).
HOUSTON - A panel of the 14th District of the Texas Court of Appeals on Jan. 11 found that a trial court erred in finding that a university waived its governmental immunity in a suit where a woman claimed that the university's negligence was to blame for her son's murder because the woman did not show that her son's death was caused by real or personal property of the university (Texas Southern University v. Jacqueline Mouton, No. 14-16-01003-CV, Texas App. 14th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 347).
SHERMAN, Texas - Two cigar shops and a merchant association on Jan. 11 sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other government departments in a Texas federal court, claiming that the warning the organizations required on cigar packages would violate the First Amendment rights of the cigar sellers and merchants (En Fuego Tobacco Shop, et al., v. United States Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 4:18cv28, E.D. Texas).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 9 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for flood damage caused by a May 2015 storm in Houston, finding that the lawsuit is untimely (Ali Ekhlassi v. National Lloyds Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1257, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3568).
EL PASO, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 4 held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a church and its president against a $475,000 consent judgment for their violations of the Texas Election Code, finding that a recall election notice posted on the church's website failed to constitute an "advertisement" under the insurance policy (Word of Life Church of El Paso, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-00049, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1688).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge did not err in dismissing, on standing grounds, counterclaims of copyright infringement by various Tejano recording artists, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 4 (Hacienda Records L.P. v. Ruben Ramos, et al., No. 16-41180, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 211).
SAN ANTONIO - An accident reconstruction expert in a personal injury case can testify only about the opinions he offered in his initial report because new opinions he offered while being deposed were not disclosed in a timely manner, and the "failure to do so is neither substantially justified nor harmless," a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 4 (Benjamin Koenig v. Anthony Beekmans, No. 5:15-cv-00822, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1407).
DALLAS - The Texas attorney general overstates the case in favor of unsealing deposition testimony from a law firm's principal and ignores that there is no evidence the record constitutes a court document, appellees told the state's appeals court on Jan. 3 (Christine Cole Biederman v. Beverly Jean Brown, et al., No. 01-07-00263-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Jan. 5 denied an insured's petition to review a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit arising from a $73,000 appraisal award for the insured's hailstorm damage, according to its orders pronounce list (Floyd Circle Partners LLC v. Republic Lloyds, No. 17-0734, Texas Sup.).
SAN ANTONIO - A panel of the Fourth District Texas Court of Appeals on Dec. 20 affirmed judgment in favor of a country club and its contractors because a man who injured himself while golfing signed a contract barring his claims and did not present enough evidence showing that the course and its contractors committed gross negligence (Tom McCloskey v. The Clubs of Cordillera LP, et al., No. 04-17-00234-CV, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11772).
DALLAS - Texas law governing sealed court records permit any one, at any time, to challenge whether such documents should remain out of the public's eye, the state's attorney general told an appeals court Dec. 15 in urging it to remand a case for a determination of the merits of a case challenging the sealing of a lawyer's deposition in an asbestos case (Christine Cole Biederman v. Beverly Jean Brown, et al., No. 01-07-00263-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
MARSHALL, Texas - In a Dec. 19 ruling, a Texas federal magistrate judge lifted the stay of patent infringement litigation pending since 2014 and recommended that the case be dismissed with prejudice, following findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the patent in suit is invalid (C-Cation Technologies LLC v. Time Warner Cable Inc., et al., No. 14-59, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208498).