A federal appeals court has affirmed that a “greenwashing” lawsuit by the District of Columbia against several major energy companies should not be heard in federal court. In doing so, the court found itself “in accord with the other courts of appeals, which have unanimously found there is no federal jurisdiction where state or local governments have brought state-law actions against energy companies for conduct relating to climate change.” District of Columbia v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 22-7163 (Dec. 19, 2023) (“D.C. v. Exxon”).
Continue Reading Climate-Related Lawsuits Continue to Return to State Courts: Understanding The Latest Ruling from District of Columbia v. Exxon Mobil Corporation

The Louisiana Third Circuit recently affirmed a trial court discovery ruling that allowed the defendant to design its own e-discovery protocol without input from plaintiffs. In doing so, the Third Circuit bolstered the longstanding principle that trial courts have considerable discretion over discovery issues.
Continue Reading E-Discovery Update: Louisiana Third Circuit Affirms Defendant’s Authority to Govern Its Own E-Discovery Protocols

On June 16, the Texas Supreme Court considered the award of noneconomic damages in the amount of just over $15 million in a wrongful death case arising from a trucking accident. In a plurality opinion, the Court reversed and remanded for a new trial, holding that the jury’s discretion to make an award is limited and that noneconomic damages must be supported by evidence of the nature, duration, and severity of the injury to support both the existence and the amount of compensable loss. Additionally, the Court held that unsubstantiated arguments to the jury, such as comparisons of mental anguish to the cost of a fighter jet, a work of art, or miles driven by a defendant’s vehicles, are improper.
Continue Reading “Juries cannot simply pick a number and put it in the blank.” – Texas Supreme Court Remands Case Involving $15 Million Jury Award for Noneconomic Damages Where Award was Unsupported and Arguments to the Jury Unsubstantiated

On June 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed a district court’s order vacating the attachment of property under Rule B of the Supplemental Rules of Admiralty. The property at issue was seized in support of a time charterer’s claims pending in UK arbitration. The Third Circuit found that, in order to qualify as facially valid maritime claims for purposes of Rule B, the claims must be actually asserted and ready for adjudication. Applying English law to the claims, the Court held that while a claim for the breach of a charter party qualified, a claim for implied indemnity and a contingent breach of charter party claim did not.
Continue Reading Third Circuit Restores Rule B Attachment Based On Breach of Contract Claim Under English Law, Implied Indemnity Claim Not Enough

In a recent opinion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the “Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana” (“SRA-L”) is not entitled to Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity.[1] 

SRA-L was a named defendant in a suit by plaintiffs who own land in Louisiana and Texas. Plaintiffs levied allegations that years-long mismanagement of the Toledo

The Louisiana legislature has passed new laws requiring employers to provide accommodations for certain pregnant employees and limiting an employer’s use of an applicant’s criminal history in hiring decisions.  Both laws become effective on August 1, 2021.

Amendment to Pregnancy Accommodation Law

By Act No. 393 of the 2021 Regular Session, Louisiana’s nondiscrimination

The Texas Supreme Court recently released its anticipated opinion in Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. TRO-X, L.P., 18-0983, 2021 WL 1045723, at *1 (Tex. Mar. 19, 2021) (“Eagle II”).  The Eagle II case is the second case that arose between TRO-X, L.P. (“TRO-X”) and Eagle Oil & Gas Co. (“Eagle”) regarding their agreement to jointly acquire and sell oil and gas leases.  In the first, Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. TRO-X, L.P., 416 S.W.3d 137, 149 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2013, pet. denied) (“Eagle I”), TRO-X alleged that Eagle deprived TRO-X of its right to acquire certain mineral interests upon the sale of several leases in violation of their agreement.  TRO-X lost that suit on appeal when the court of appeals found that TRO-X held equitable title to those interests and thus was not deprived of them.  In Eagle II, TRO-X alleged that Eagle failed to pay TRO-X its share of income generated from production on the equitable interests.  In response, Eagle asserted several affirmative defenses—res judicata (claim preclusion), the statute of limitations, and waiver—in a motion for summary judgment.  The trial court granted the motion, the court of appeals reversed, and the Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals, finding that Eagle did not conclusively establish any of its affirmative defenses.
Continue Reading Texas Supreme Court Update: TRO-X Lives to Fight Another Day in Contractual Dispute over Share of Income on Production from Equitable Interests

In its recent decision in Grace Ranch, L.L.C. v. BP America Production Company, et al., No. 20-30224 (5th Cir. Feb. 24, 2021), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit addressed a question that has increasingly become a sticking point in Louisiana “legacy” cases:  whether claims brought under a Louisiana citizen suit

Technology Assisted Review (TAR), also known as predictive coding or computer-assisted review, has been defined as “[a] process for prioritizing or coding a collection of documents using a computerized system that harnesses human judgments of one or more subject matter expert(s) on a smaller set of documents and then extrapolates those judgments to the remaining

On July 15, 2020, The Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion awarding damages for a violation of due process rights against a private pipeline company.  Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC v. 38.00 Acres, More or Less, Located in St. Martin Parish, et al.[1] (“Bayou Bridge”) centers around the construction of a crude oil pipeline from the Clifton Ridge terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana to a marketing hub in St. James, Louisiana.  The 38 acres relevant to this lawsuit were in St. Martin Parish and were needed for construction of the pipeline.  While Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC (“BBP”) identified approximately 470 heirs to the title of the property, it began construction on the Defendant Landowners’ (“Defendants” or “Landowners”) property in June 2018 prior to receiving servitude agreements from each person having ownership interest.
Continue Reading Louisiana Third Circuit Decision Imposes Damages for Due Process Violation on Private Company