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Lead Stories

Haynes and Boone’s Jeremy Kernodle Confirmed to the EDTX

By Natalie Posgate – (Oct. 12) – The U.S. Senate has officially confirmed Dallas attorney Jeremy Kernodle as a judge in the Tyler division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, his law firm Haynes and Boone announced Friday. A qui tam and appellate expert, Kernodle fills the vacancy left by Michael H. Schneider, Sr., who retired from the bench in 2016.

CDT Roundup: 29 Deals, 18 Law Firms, 104 Texas Lawyers, $3.149b

By Claire Poole – (Oct. 10) – According to DrillingInfo, third quarter 2018 surged over the second with some of the highest U.S. gas and oil activity since late 2012. Get more insight and details of last week’s transactional activity in Claire Poole’s Corporate Deal Tracker Roundup in The Texas Lawbook.

Shook Hardy Advises American Airlines in Patent Infringement Suit

By Evan Hoopfer of The Dallas Business Journal – (Oct. 8) – American Airlines has filed a lawsuit against a travel company with a similar name alleging trademark infringement and a “flagrant and willful violation” of a previous settlement between the two parties, according to court documents filed last week.

Gibson, Kirkland Advise on $12B Rowan, Ensco Merger

By Claire Poole – (Oct. 8) – Two offshore drillers – Houston-based Rowan Cos. and Ensco of London – announced a combination of their businesses Monday in all-stock deal with an enterprise value of $12 billion. Texas Lawbook M&A writer Claire Poole has the details and names of the Texas lawyers involved.

Hour & Wage Litigation Practice Remains Strong in Texas

By Natalie Posgate – (Oct. 8) – What do you get when you combine an innovative and aggressive plaintiff’s bar with sloppy business practices, corner-cutting by contractors and failure to properly compensate day laborers? A thriving labor and employment law practice in the Lone Star state. New data obtained by The Texas Lawbook proves it. We have the details.

HBA Lawyers Favor Incumbents, GOP in Judicial Poll

By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 8) – Houston lawyers love Appeals Court Judge Jane Bland and Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown, but they are not fans of Justices Jimmy Blacklock and John Devine. The Houston Bar Association’s newly released 2018 Judicial Preference Poll shows that lawyers in the Bayou City strongly support incumbent judges running for re-election next month – and especially if those judges have an R by their name. The Texas Lawbook has complete results.

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Now There Are Three: Kenya Woodruff to Join New Katten Hires

By Claire Poole – (Oct. 5) – Chicago-based Katten Muchin Rosenman has added a third name – Kenya Woodruff of Haynes and Boone – to the healthcare practice it has launched in its recently opened Dallas office, The Texas Lawbook has learned. The hiring is expected to be announced Friday, along with two other healthcare specialists whose defections to Katten were reported earlier in the week.

Forest Park Surgeon Formally Admits Guilt

By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 4) – Dr. Wade Neal Barker, a prominent North Texas bariatric surgeon, officially admitted in federal court today that he was part of a $200 million fraud, bribery and kickback scheme at the now-defunct Forest Park Medical Center, which he helped create.

Pictured: Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas

Is GC for a Pro Sports Franchise a Dream Job? Yes, and those GCs have Stories to Tell

By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 3) – Many lawyers believe Dallas Stars GC Alana Matthews and Dallas Cowboys GC Jason Cohen have dream jobs. Guess what? Matthews and Cohen agree. Next week, they join their counterparts for the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Texas Motor Speedway and FC Dallas in an exclusive CLE program hosted by The Texas Lawbook and the Association of Corporate Counsel’s DFW Chapter. These pro sports GCs have great stories to tell. The Lawbook gives a sneak preview to our readers.

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Katten Muchin Launches Healthcare Practice, Adds Two Partners in Dallas

By Claire Poole – (Oct. 2) – Chicago-based Katten Muchin Rosenman is once again expanding its North Texas presence by launching a healthcare practice and hiring two prominent healthcare partners away from competitors to lead it. The Texas Lawbook has the details.

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More Stories

CDT Roundup: 18 Deals, 11 Firms, 67 Lawyers, $9.3B

This past week was a busy time for global M&A, with four major deals worth more than $51.6 billion announced over three days. One of those deals, a…

Asylum Seekers, Legal Process and the Southern Border

Asylum Seekers, Legal Process and the Southern Border

In this article, Haynes and Boone counsel Luis Campos writes about the Trump Administration’s proposal to allow immigrant children to be detained longer than 20 days, the current…

DBA: Dick Sayles is Trial Lawyer of the Year

DBA: Dick Sayles is Trial Lawyer of the Year

A ballroom full of family, friends, colleagues and judges of the Dallas legal community gathered Thursday night to honor Dick Sayles as the Dallas Bar Association’s Trial Lawyer…

Biz Groups Join State AGs Supporting AT&T in Antitrust Battle

Biz Groups Join State AGs Supporting AT&T in Antitrust Battle

AT&T’s legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department received two major boosts this week when several major pro-business organizations and 10 state attorneys general filed separate amicus briefs…

SEC Charges Int’l Securities Dealer

SEC Charges Int’l Securities Dealer

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fort Worth office filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit charging an Austrian man and his online brokerage service with operating an internet-based securities operation…

Houston Attorney Charged with Tax Evasion Scheme

A federal grand jury indicted a Houston attorney on charges that he and other unnamed Houston lawyers helped a client in a scheme to transfer a total of…

Papa John’s Board Adds Texas-Sized “Poison Pill” As New Topping on Its Menu

Does the Papa John’s dispute hold any lessons for Texas public corporations? Porter Hedges partners Jeff Elkin and Joe Morrel outline them here.…

Features

Bruce Tomaso of The Texas Lawbook Wins Prestigious Philbin Award

(Oct. 12) – The Dallas Bar Association named veteran reporter and editor Bruce Tomaso and The Texas Lawbook among winners of the 35th Annual Stephen Philbin Awards announced Friday.

Tomaso’s series looking back on the landmark litigation involving pedophile priest Rudy Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas was named Best Feature.

Editor’s Note: On Friday, the Dallas Bar Association awarded Bruce Tomaso of The Texas Lawbook a prestigious Stephen Philbin Award for his July 2017 series analyzing the effect, 20 years later, of the historic $119 million verdict against the Catholic Diocese of Dallas involving the molestation of 10 boys by former priest Rudy Kos. For those who may have missed the series, The Texas Lawbook has republished two of Tomaso’s stories below.

‘Wake Up the Pope’ – The Historic Jury Verdict Against a Priestly Pedophile that Shook the Catholic Church

By Bruce Tomaso

On July 24, 1997, a jury in the 134th Civil District Court in Dallas County awarded $119.6 million to 10 young men who had been repeatedly molested as children by Rudy Kos, a Roman Catholic priest. (An 11th plaintiff was the family of a victim of Kos’ who had killed himself before trial at the age of 21.)

Ten of the 11 young men were former altar boys.

At the time, the verdict was the largest ever in a case of sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy. (With compound interest dating back to filing of the suit, the total owed approached $145 million – one-seventh of $1 billion.) That record, however, would soon be eclipsed many times over – in large part because the Kos case helped trigger an avalanche of similar claims against priests across the country

From Rudy Kos Comes A Call: “Let’s Talk After All”

By Bruce Tomaso

When the phone rang, the caller was just about the last person Brooks Egerton expected.

“Let’s talk after all,” said Rudy Kos.

It was late on a Friday in May of 1997. Egerton, a reporter for The Dallas Morning News, had just returned from San Diego, where he’d spent several fruitless days trying to track Kos down.

A civil lawsuit against Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas had just gone to trial, but without its title character.

The bishop of Dallas had stripped Kos of all priestly duties in the fall of 1992. A lifetime of deviant behavior with boys, many of them teenagers, but some as young as 9 or 10, had, at last, caught up with him. He chose San Diego as the place where he’d build a new life — or maybe just hide from his old one.

‘Señor, usted es un orgullo Hispano’

By Rey Flores of Ahmad Zavitsanos Anaipakos – (Oct. 10) – Before “Yes We Can” was a presidential campaign slogan, it was the rallying cry for Hispanic farm workers who chanted “Si Se Puede” as they fought for fair wages and humane working conditions. Historically, Hispanics have been told in numerous facets of American life that they could not – they could not eat at certain restaurants, they could live in certain parts of town, they could not go to certain schools, they could not be doctors or lawyers, they could not partake in the American dream.

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The Road from Migrant Work to Law School

By Monica Lopez of Jackson Walker – (Oct. 8) – Despite the limited time I had with my parents, they are the reason I am a successful Hispanic woman today, and their many lessons of love and sacrifice will resonate deep in my heart for the rest of my life. It is through my parents’ life, lessons and leadership that I truly learned the meaning of my Hispanic heritage. It is succeeding in the face of adversity. It is taking a middle school education and running a business. It is family, sacrifice, humility, respect and appreciation.

Editor’s Note: If you have a story to tell for Hispanic Heritage Month, please submit the article and photos to mark.curriden@texaslawbook.net.

GCs, Lawyers & Firms

Godwin Bowman Promotes Attorney to Shareholder, Names New President and Managing Shareholder

Shawn McCaskill, an appellate expert, has been named president and managing shareholder of the Dallas…

Former MP of Dallas Appellate Boutique Jumps to Jackson Walker

Brett Kutnick was previously the managing partner of the appellate boutique Hankinson LLP, which shut…

Greenberg Traurig Adds Austin Litigation Shareholder Cara Mittleman Kelly

Kelly was most recently at Munsch Hardt.…

Corporate Deal Tracker

New to Corporate Deal Tracker, or need a refresher on its criteria? You can also find that below.

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Lawyers in the News

David Asmus
Bryan Barksdale
Jimmy Blacklock
Jane Bland
Brian Bradshaw
Jeff Brown
Jennifer Brown
Michael Chambers
Amy Chen
Scott Craig
Josh Davidson
John Devine
Chris Dial
A.J. Ericksen
Tull Florey
Joseph Fore
Kyle Fox
Robin Fredrickson
Katie Geddes
Michael Gibson
John Gilluly
John Goodgame
Deborah Gordon
John Greer
Walter Grollitsch
Phil Haines
Lisa Hearn
Greg Heath
Bruce Herzog
Jordan Hirsch
Hillary Holmes
Evan Kastner
David Lange
Jack Langlois
Ramey Layne
John Linker
Monica Lopez
Ryan Maierson
John Mazey
Edward McDonald
Matt Pacey
Kate Pfiefle
Mike Pierce
John Pitts
Doug Rayburn
Jason Rocha
Alex Rose
Kelly Rose
Scott Rubinsky
Mark Shoffner
Jeffrey Starzec
Rachel Steely
Bill Swart
Amanda Thienpont
Mark Tindall
Mitch Tiras
Steve Tredennick
Mark Werbner
Andrew Wirmani
Randel Young

Firms in the News

Akin Gump
American Airlines
American Midstream
Arog Pharmaceuticals
Baker Botts
Baylor Scott & White
Bell Nunnally
ConocoPhillips
DLA Piper
EnVen Energy
Foley Gardere
Gibson Dunn
Greenberg Traurig
HuntonAK
Intervale Capital
Jackson Walker
Jones Day
K&L Gates
Kastner Gravelle
Kirkland
Latham
Locke Lord
Memorial Hermann
Perkins Coie
Shook Hardy
Sidley
V&E
White & Case
Willkie Farr
Wilson Sonsini
Winstead
Winston & Strawn
Yeti

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Mergermarket: Top 30 M&A Texas-based Deals of H1 2018

(Aug. 3) – In the first half of 2018, the top 30 M&A transactions involving Texas-headquartered companies were pretty big deals. That’s not a big surprise. The surprise is how much the value of those deals were dominated by the top two.

As gathered by Mergermarket exclusively for The Texas Lawbook, the top 30 transactions were valued at $124.9 billion. But the top two deals accounted for more than $54 billion, or nearly 44 percent of the top 30 total.


M&A H1 Legal Advisor Rankings: Shake Outs At The Top

By Claire Poole – (July 27) – Even for a 2018 characterized by shake-ups – firm mergers, office openings, lateral raids – the changes at the top of the first-half M&A legal advisor charts are remarkable. V&E dropped. Kirkland ascended. And two national firms with no presence in Texas took the top deal value spots.

According to Mergermarket M&A data involving Texas-based companies provided exclusively to The Texas Lawbook, Houston-based Vinson & Elkins lost its top-ranked spots in both deal volume and deal value.

‘Who Run the World?’ Beyoncé Notwithstanding, An Austin M&A Lawyer Do

By Claire Poole – (April 20) – The Texas Lawbook Corporate Deal Tracker results for 2017 are in, and the top spot is held by a woman. In a corner of the profession long dominated by white guys from Houston, this is a big deal. Claire Poole has details about the winner. One more thing: she recently moved.


Law Firm Competition Intense for M&A Deals in Texas

By Claire Poole and Mark Curriden – (April 16) – The Texas Lawbook’s 2017 Corporate Deal Tracker results for M&A dealmaking are final and there are some major surprises. V&E still reigns No. 1, but a handful of national law firms that have moved into Texas are threatening to take its crown. The Texas Lawbook has all the numbers on M&A by Texas law firms.


Corporate Deal Tracker 2017: A Year of Market Contrasts

By Claire Poole – (March 26) – Dealmaking in 2017 was confounding: deals were up, but values were down. The deal count hit 735, but total reported value dropped below $400 billion. There are lots of reasons, of course. But maybe the best explanation is the market itself. Claire Poole sums up the year based on the 2017 annual Corporate Deal Tracker tallies exclusively in The Texas Lawbook.

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EFH, Oncor, Vistra – A Corporate Restructuring for the Decades

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 19) – In some ways, it was more saga than bankruptcy: A four-year-long, $45 billion corporate restructuring that included the elimination of more than $20 billion in debt, four corporate M&A divestitures valued at $18 billion each, heated battles with state regulators that caused two of those deals to collapse, and the $20 billion spin-off of two subsidiaries. And now the deal is a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Mark Curriden describes the EFH journey through the courts in The Texas Lawbook.

Dena Stroh & NTTA’s Law Firms Finalists for Biz Litigation and M&A Deal of Year

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 18) – Dena Stroh says she had no idea that government law could be fascinating. But in 2017, she guided the North Texas Tollway Authority through one of the largest government bond issues in the U.S., as well as a potentially major class-action lawsuit. For that, and more, she and what she calls her “excellent lawyers” are nominated in two categories of the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read the details in The Texas Lawbook.

Michael Sukenik is ‘Adept at Operating Across Diverse Markets’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 18) – Michael “Misha” Sukenik travels a lot. He’s the legal officer behind two of the best known franchise names in the Yum! Brands inventory in 120 countries. He’s also a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about him in The Texas Lawbook.

Trinity Industries: Their Hard-Fought Fifth Circuit Win Yields Three Outstanding Corporate Counsel Finalists

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – A 2014 East Texas jury verdict that Trinity Industries violated the False Claims Act resulted in a $663 million judgment against the Irving-based manufacturer of highway guardrails. Instead of cratering, Trinity launched a counter-offensive led by the company’s top legal officers, Theis Rice and Sarah Teachout. In 2017, the duo and their outside counsel scored an historic reversal—earning them nominations as finalists in three categories of the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. The Texas Lawbook explains.

Chasity Henry is a ‘Recognized Problem-Solver’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – Chasity Wilson Henry had just graduated from law school in 2006 when she found herself handling nine-figure M&A deals with some of the savviest corporate lawyers in North Texas. Now Assistant General Counsel at Kimberly-Clark—and a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards—Henry is leading the legal department in strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The Texas Lawbook lays out the reasons Henry is a fast-rising legal star.

Blake Rice’s Job is ‘Problem-solving with Really High Stakes’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – For Blake Rice, the work day starts early. Though he is based in Dallas, the lifelines of Neuberger Berman, the fast-rising investment services company he represents, stretch across time zones from London to Hong Kong and beyond. His grasp of complicated global transactions has earned him both respect and a nomination for a 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award. Learn about him in The Texas Lawbook.

David Hernandez Serves as Trusted Counselor & Adviser to Hunt Family

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – Baltimore-born David Hernandez made his reputation in Texas as a tax lawyer and a strategic thinker. After years in the law firm trenches, he has emerged as a masterful in-house counsel at Hunt Consolidated and a trusted Hunt family advisor in a time of delicate transition. For this, and more, Hernandez is a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Learn more about him in The Texas Lawbook.

Janie Perelman: ‘People Just Want to be Treated with Respect’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – A massive data breach in 2014 could have been catastrophic for Michaels Stores. The arts and crafts company had to explain what happened to regulators, notify 2.6 million customers and fend off no less than five massive lawsuits. But Michaels has recovered, and many credit the rapid and transparent response by Janie Perelman, the company’s assistant general counsel. And now she’s a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read how she did it in The Texas Lawbook.

Lennie Nicholson Wanted to be Radar O’Reilly, but Became a Great Banking Lawyer

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – Lennie Nicholson has helped guide a tiny credit union into a publicly-traded company. For that, the vice president and associate general counsel of LegacyTexas Bank has been named as a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Not bad for an Upstate New Yorker who got hoodwinked by Uncle Sam. Read more in The Texas Lawbook.

Chris Luna Uses ‘Carrots and Sticks’ to Push for Law Firm Diversity

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 15) – Chris Luna, chief counsel at MetroPCS, has been a fixture in Dallas business and public life. He is an outspoken proponent of diversity in both the legal profession and the businesses they serve. His legal department is a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Find out why in The Texas Lawbook.

Liberty Mutual Corporate Counsel Kimberly Houston “Sees the Bigger Picture”

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 15) – Kimberly Houston’s fascination with the law may have begun with “Matlock,” but it’s grown into an expertise on such weighty subjects as employment misclassification and regulatory compliance. As Corporate Counsel for Liberty Mutual, the insurance giant, Houston has wrestled with large-scale undertakings, from a class action defense to the development of the company’s new corporate campus in North Texas. And now she’s a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about her in The Texas Lawbook.

Stacie McNulty ‘Embodies the Spirit’ of the Public Service & Pro Bono Award

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 12) – Stacie McNulty is a highly-respected authority on intellectual property. Her observations on the subject have been cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. But her long-standing commitment to programs dealing with HIV and other public health issues commands something close to awe. As a result, she’s a finalist in the upcoming Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Details in The Texas Lawbook.

Award Finalist: Oncor’s Complex Asset Swap with Sharyland

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 12) – When Oncor Electric Delivery Company and Dallas-based Sharyland Utilities swapped assets in 2017, it was more than another $400 energy distribution deal. It was a solution to a problem that had plagued and perplexed 60,000 rate payers. That’s one of the reasons the deal is a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about what made it unusual and who made it happen in The Texas Lawbook.

Nicola Hobeiche Has a ‘Personal Sense of Obligation to Help Others’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 11) – Nicola Hobeiche is assistant general counsel at ORIX USA, but her office is often a minefield: of books or clothes or toys headed for a homeless shelter. Sure, she’s an experienced and respected trial lawyer, but she’s also a first-rate community servant and a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about her in The Texas Lawbook.

Brittany Perez ‘Crafts Unique & Custom Solutions to Complex Legal Issues Around the Globe’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 11) – Brittany Perez jumps horses in competition. As vice president and associate general counsel of Match.com, she’s also involved in issues as diverse as consumer class actions and cybersecurity. She’s a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards and her profile in The Texas Lawbook spells out why. Spoiler alert: She didn’t meet her husband on Match.

Keitha Wright ‘Rolls Up her Sleeves’ on Diversity

 


By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 10) – Keitha Wright was the first person in her family to graduate from college. Now the Howard University Law School grad is senior counsel at G2 Secure Staff. Because of her work inside and outside, she’s a finalist in the diversity category of the Outstanding Corporate Counsel awards. More in The Texas Lawbook.

Baron Oursler Offers ‘Legal Answers that Provide Business Solutions’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 10) – Baron T. Oursler decided to become a lawyer as an 11-year-old boy. Now he’s general counsel of a $1 billion trucking company. He’s also among finalists in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel awards for 2017. Read more in The Texas Lawbook.

Cross-Border Dealmaking for TX Companies Plunges in 2017

 

By Claire Poole and Mark Curriden – (Dec. 6) – Cross-border deals in Texas are down dramatically in 2017. Aside from the usual suspects – a strong dollar and undependable oil prices – is a new one: the uncertain parameters of the Trump administration’s “America First” policies. Some transactional lawyers think a lack of policy structure breeds uncertainty among foreign investors. Others think it has no effect at all. This exclusive in The Texas Lawbook has the numbers and the story behind them.