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Foley & Lardner LLP | USA | 25 Apr 2017

Franchisors: protecting trade secrets under Texas law

It is common for a franchisor to initiate litigation when a former franchisee uses the franchisor's confidential information or trade secrets or otherwise fails to return such information following the expiration or earlier termination of the franchise agreement. As one case makes clear, franchisors in Texas must pursue any tort claims relating to a franchisee's improper use of the......
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Norton Rose Fulbright | USA | 22 Aug 2016

Texas Supreme Court clarifies private nuisance law

The Texas Supreme Court recently emphasised that the term 'nuisance' refers to a particular type of legal injury involving interference with the use and enjoyment of property. The court explained that a defendant may be liable for causing a condition that constitutes a nuisance based on intentional, negligent or strict liability theories. This latest clarification will be required authority......
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Mayer Brown | USA | 16 Aug 2016

Texas Court of Appeals reduces $115 million punitive award to mere shadow of itself

Courts applying BMW and State Farm often emphasise the Supreme Court's admonition that the constitutional line is not "marked by a simple mathematical formula" – typically when rejecting a defendant's argument that the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages is indicative of an excessive award. However, the Texas Court of Appeals recently showed that this dictum is a two-way street,......
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Seyfarth Shaw LLP | USA | 15 Feb 2016

Avoiding and defending subcontractor mechanic's liens in Texas

Commercial owners and developers do not appreciate encumbrances on their property. In Texas, construction contracts reflect this self-evident phenomenon. Virtually every Lone Star contractor owes its client a duty to discharge subcontractor liens filed against the land, building or materials that make up the construction project. Fending off subcontractor liens can be a costly and unpleasant......
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Perkins Coie LLP | USA | 18 Aug 2015

Texas bill protects franchisors from joint employment liability

Texas legislators recently passed a bill which seeks to protect franchisors from employment liability for the actions of franchisees. According to a committee report, it is "an effort to ensure that franchisors in Texas are not held unfairly liable for the actions of franchisees, to prevent frivolous lawsuits, and to encourage franchisees to act responsibly".
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Mayer Brown | USA | 21 Jul 2015

Texas Supreme Court limits amount of supersedeas bond

One of the biggest challenges confronting a defendant that has lost a large judgment is the need to file a supersedeas bond in order to prevent execution on the judgment during the pendency of the appeal. The Texas Supreme Court recently provided some interesting guidance on the proper interpretation of Section 52.006, which imposes an array of limitations on the bond requirement.
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Norton Rose Fulbright | USA | 13 Jul 2015

Texas Supreme Court interprets key ruling in Heritage

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued its first decision discussing its key 1996 ruling in Heritage Resources Inc v NationsBank. The decision, concerning overriding royalties on gas under the plaintiff's lease, reaffirmed the underlying premise of Heritage – that the specific lease language used by the parties controls the royalty valuation and deductibility of post-production costs.
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Norton Rose Fulbright | USA | 16 Mar 2015

Deepwater Horizon redefines scope of additional insured

The Texas Supreme Court recently handed down its decision in In re Deepwater Horizon, which arose out of the massive damages caused by the 2010 offshore well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico involving British Petroleum (BP) and its drilling contractor, Transocean. The issue was whether BP was entitled to $750 million in insurance proceeds as an additional insured under Transocean's liability......
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Norton Rose Fulbright | USA | 17 Nov 2014

New rules address earthquake and fracking concerns in Texas

The railroad commission of Texas recently amended its existing oil and gas disposal well regulations to require the inclusion of seismic activity data in permit applications and provide more frequent monitoring and reporting for certain wells. The amendments are the result of growing public scrutiny of hydraulic fracking and concerns over a connection between earthquakes and the disposal of......
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Norton Rose Fulbright | USA | 17 Dec 2012

Power plants obtain ruling supporting pollution control property tax exemption

Recently the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality explicitly affirmed that equipment that avoids polluting emissions solely by improving efficiency may constitute "pollution control equipment" entitled to whole or partial exemption from ad valorem property taxation. Owners of listed property should be especially zealous in pursuing any pollution control exemption that they may be......
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