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Judicial Proceedings Privilege Allows Appeal

Written by Robert M. O'Boyle on October 9, 2017

The Fifth Circuit recently held that an interlocutory appeal may be taken of an order denying summary judgment based upon the judicial proceedings privilege.  See Bancpass, Incorporated v. Highway Toll Administration, LLC, No. 16-51073 (July 13, 2017)(hereinafter “Bancpass”). The Court also held that such an appeal does not deprive the trial court of jurisdiction so long Read More…

Cattle Rustling, Blackmail, and Punitive Damages in Texas

Written by Judith A. Blakeway on September 25, 2017

In a case that reads like an episode of “Dallas,” the Texas Supreme Court reiterated the rules for recovery of punitive damages.  Bennett v. Grant, No. 15-0338 (April 28, 2017). The range war began fifteen years ago when thirteen of Reynolds’ cattle moseyed over to Bennett’s adjoining ranch.  Bennett told his ranch hand, Grant, to Read More…

OPEN QUESTION: Applicability of Anti-SLAPP Act in Federal Court

Written by Judith R. Blakeway on September 11, 2017

A recent Fifth Circuit opinion in a defamation action is raising concerns among media lawyers. THE FIFTH CIRCUIT DECISION In Block v. Tanenhaus,[1] Walter Block appealed the dismissal under Louisiana’s anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute of his defamation action against the New York Times.  On appeal, Block argued that the anti-SLAPP statute was Read More…

Texas Supreme Court Announces New Rule for Exemplary Damages

Written by Judith Blakeway on August 28, 2017

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the imposition of excessive exemplary damages.  Whether an award comports with due process is measured by three guideposts: (1) the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant’s misconduct; (2) the disparity between the actual or potential harm suffered by the plaintiff and the punitive damages award; and Read More…

SCOTX Ends the “My Fees Are Smaller Than Your Fees” Squabble

Written by P. Michael Jung on August 14, 2017

How many times have you said, upon receiving your opponent’s demand for attorneys’ fees, “That’s outrageous!  Our fees are a fraction of that amount!”? Until recently, Texas law was unsettled as to whether you could defend the fee claim on that basis. But on June 9 of this year, the Supreme Court of Texas resolved the question. Probably. Read More…