Asher Griffin and John Ellis to Speak at Texas Bar CLE Course for New Lawyers
March 15, 2017
On March 28, 2017, Asher Griffin and John Ellis will speak at the upcoming Practical Skills for New Lawyers continuing legal education course, which is co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association. The course will be held at the Texas Law Center in Austin. Ellis is also serving as the course director for this annual course, which will include presentations by state and federal judges, in-house counsel for leading companies, and many other notable lawyers from across the state. The course covers a broad range of topics with particular emphasis on best practices and important lessons to help young lawyers build good habits for a successful practice. More information about the course, including registration instructions and a copy of the course brochure is available here.
Flip Whitworth and Stephanie Kover to Speak at Texas Bankers Association’s Real Estate and Oil & Gas Conference
March 10, 2017
SDM’s Flip Whitworth and Stephanie Kover will be speaking at the Texas Bankers Association’s Real Estate and Oil & Gas Conference in San Antonio on Friday, March 24, 2017. Flip and Stephanie will cover surface estate issues related to Texas Relinquishment Act lands, including recent developments in General Land Office leasing policy and procedure, surface damage use agreement requirements, and case law defining which substances belong to the surface estate for mineral classified lands. More information about the Seminar can be found here.
Nine Scott Douglass & McConnico Attorneys Selected to the Texas Rising Stars® 2017 List
March 10, 2017
SDM is pleased to announce that Super Lawyers® has selected nine Scott Douglass & McConnico attorneys for inclusion in Texas Rising Stars® 2017 by Thomson and Reuters. The following firm attorneys were selected for this honor:
Mary Byars and David Shank Present State Bar Webcast About Privilege Issues
January 4, 2017
SDM’s Mary Byars and David Shank recently presented a TexasBarCLE webcast on important distinctions in Texas law governing the attorney-client and work-product privileges. Their presentation, “The Common Interest Doctrine (or Lack Thereof) in Texas,” addresses Texas’s joint-client and allied-litigant doctrines and explores how they differ from the common-interest doctrine applied in federal court and other jurisdictions. Originally presented via live webcast on December 16, 2016, the one-hour presentation is now available online and is approved for one hour of ethics credit. More information on the webcast, including registration information, can be found here.
Ryan Squires and Bryan Lauer Prevail in Civil Rights Trial
January 3, 2017
After successfully trying a civil rights case in federal court in Austin, Texas, SD&M partners Ryan Squires and Bryan Lauer won a permanent injunction against their opponent, Williamson County, prohibiting Williamson County officials from asking “any questions, written or oral, of any applicant to an appointed Constable position, regarding their views on same-sex marriage, abortion, or religious affiliation.” Ryan Squires and Bryan Lauer tried the case pro bono with the Texas Civil Rights Project.
SDM's Curtis Osterloh to Speak at COST Conference in San Antonio
January 3, 2017
SDM's Curtis Osterloh will speak at the Counsel of State Taxation (“COST”) 2017 Sales Tax Conference and Audit Session in San Antonio, Texas on Monday February 27, 2017 at the Westin Riverwalk. COST is the premier state tax organization representing taxpayers and a nonprofit trade association consisting of over 600 multistate corporations engaged in interstate and international business. Curtis’s presentation, "Texas Lone Star State Update” will be one of multiple topics covered over the three day seminar. More information on the conference can be found here.
The State Bar of Texas Litigation Section’s Winter 2016 Report “The Advocate” Features Article by Kim Gustafson Bueno and Steve McConnico
December 30, 2016
The Winter 2015 edition of The Advocate, a quarterly State Bar of Texas Litigation Section publication, features an article by SDM’s Kim Gustafson Bueno and Steve McConnico. The edition as a whole includes a symposium on personal injury litigation, and the Bueno/McConnico article addresses guidelines for mass tort aggregate settlements in Texas.
SDM is pleased to welcome Aaron Collins and Stephanie Kover to the firm
December 30, 2016
Aaron Collins earned his J.D. in 2015, with high honors, from the University of Texas School of Law, where he was named Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review, Chancellor-at-Large, and Order of the Coif. Prior to joining the firm, Aaron worked as a judicial clerk for Judge Royce Lamberth at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Aaron represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation.
Stephanie Kover earned her J.D. in 2016 from the University of California, Berkley, after earning a B.S in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno, and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Stephanie’s practice covers many of the firm’s practice areas, with an emphasis on oil and gas litigation and regulation, litigation related to infrastructure construction, and litigation related to real estate development.
SDM's Cindy Saiter to Speak at Austin Bar Association Holiday Ethics CLE
November 28, 2016
SDM's Cindy Saiter will speak at The Austin Bar Association's December Holiday Ethics CLE on December 2, 2016 at the Austin Bar Association's Seminar Room. Cindy's presentation, "Ethical Rules Every Lawyer Should Know: Advertising and Barratry" will be one of several topics covered. Other topics include Courtroom Conduct by Judge Sulak, Ethics Jeopardy by Tracy McCormack and Fiduciary Duty by Claude Ducloux. More information on the holiday CLE can be found here.
SDM’s John Ellis to Speak at Advanced Business Law CLE
November 16, 2016
SDM’s John Ellis will be a speaker at the Advanced Business Law CLE course in Dallas on Thursday, November 17, 2016. John will cover recent developments in Texas spoliation law, including recent case law developments in Texas spoliation jurisprudence, the updated pattern jury charge, and an overview of the propose procedural rules addressing spoliation. More information about the CLE can be found here.
SDM Receives Champions of Justice Law Firm Award
November 16, 2016
Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman presented Scott Douglass & McConnico the Champions of Justice Law Firm Award during Access to Justice’s (ATJ) Pro Bono Week Reception on October 24, 2016. Held at the Omni Austin Hotel, the reception honored firms with the highest participation and the highest contributions in this year’s campaign, which raised more than $1.2 million for legal aid. More information on the Texas ATJ Commission can be found here.
Casey Dobson, Jane Webre and Mike Merriman Prevail at 5th Circuit
November 8, 2016
SDM’s Casey Dobson, Jane Webre and Mike Merriman successfully defended the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) against an emergency motion for injunction pending appeal brought by a group of plaintiffs attempting to stop construction on State Highway 45 Southwest. After the district court denied plaintiffs’ application for preliminary injunction in October 2016, the plaintiffs appealed and filed the emergency injunction motion with the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit heard oral argument in Austin on the injunction application on November 4, then denied the motion just hours after argument. The order allowed CTRMA to start construction on State Highway 45 Southwest immediately. For more details on this dispute, see SDM’s October 24, 2016 news release.
The appeal is Fath, et al., v. Texas Department of Transportation and Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, No. 16-51281 (5th Cir.).
SDM Honored During Texas Appleseed's Pro Bono Week
October 31, 2016
SDM's Sara Clark, Steve Britt and Kennon Wooten were among those honored during Texas Appleseed's Pro Bono week for their collaboration on the fair financial services projects which grants more access to small dollar loans for municipalities. SDM's extensive drafting support and research facilitated the publication of "A Toolkit for Cities: Increasing Access to Fair, Low-Cost Loans," which offers actionable strategies to foster fair loans in local communities, thereby strengthening efforts to control abuses in the payday and auto title lending market in Texas. More information about Texas Appleseed and its public interest justice efforts can be found here.
SDM's Casey Dobson, Jane Webre and Mike Merriman prevail in Texas 45 Injunction Hearing
October 24, 2016
SDM’s Casey Dobson, Jane Webre and Mike Merriman successfully defended the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) against an application for preliminary injunction brought by a group of plaintiffs attempting to stop construction projects on State Highway 45 Southwest and MoPac South. Following an all-day injunction hearing in the Western District of Texas, the Court found that plaintiffs did not meet their burden to establish a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claims against CTRMA and the Texas Department of Transportation under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The case is Fath, et al., v. Texas Department of Transportation and Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, No. 16cv00234-LY (W.D. Tex).
More information on the CTRMA’s preliminary injunction win in federal district court can be found here and here.
SDM's Cathy Webking to Speak at National Energy Marketer's Association's Policy Roundtable
October 21, 2016
SDM's Cathy Webking will speak at National Energy Marketer's Association's (NEM) Policy Roundtable on October 27-28, 2016, in Austin, Texas. NEM's leadership roundtable will recognize and honor industry leaders who have set a standard of excellence in electricity market structure and competitively offered technology and consumer energy products. Chairman Donna Nelson of the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC), former Texas Railroad Commission Chairman and Public Utility Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman, ERCOT president Bill Magness and others from across the nation will convene to guide and shape a high-level Energy Policy Roundtable. Cathy will serve on the leadership roundtable to provide perspective on the success of the competitive retail electric market in Texas. Cathy's vast experience with the PUC has brought a new practice area to SDM.
SDM's Curtis Osterloh prevails in the Houston Court of Appeals on behalf of Anheuser Busch, L.L.C.
October 13, 2016
SDM’s Curtis Osterloh recently obtained a substantial penalty and interest waiver on behalf of Anheuser Busch, L.L.C. from Harris County on an appeal before the Houston Court of Appeals First District of Texas. Anheuser Busch sued Harris County for improperly asserting the penalty and interest after Anheuser Busch’s payment for its Harris County property tax was deemed late filed because the payment failed to clear due to internal fraud prevention protocols. Anheuser Busch made payment of the full tax amount and subsequent paid penalty and interest under protest. After losing at the District Court on cross motions for summary judgment the Court of Appeals reversed and rendered in part and remanded in part in favor of Anheuser Busch. In sustaining the vast bulk of the penalty waiver request the Court rejected Harris County’s claims of governmental immunity, waiver, substantial compliance and the voluntary payment rule. The Court sustained Anheuser Busch’s argument that Harris County failed to comply with Texas Tax Code Section 31.01(a)’s requirement regarding notice and remanded a minor portion of the penalty matter back to the District Court to determine facts that could result in a complete abatement of all penalty and interest. A link to the decision can be found here.
SDM's David Shank to present Austin Bar Civil Litigation Section's October CLE Luncheon
October 11, 2016
SDM’s David Shank will present this month’s CLE luncheon for the Austin Bar Civil Litigation Section. SDM will host the luncheon on Monday, October 24, 2016. David’s presentation, “What General Litigators Need to Know about Copyright Preemption,” is available for both members and non-members of the civil litigation section and includes lunch. For more information on his CLE and registration, go here.
Cindy Saiter to Speak on Ethics of Advertising and Barratry at Austin Bar Association October Luncheon
October 11, 2016
SDM’s Cindy Saiter will speak on ethical rules for attorneys concerning advertising and barratry at the Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Section of the Austin Bar Association’s October CLE Luncheon tomorrow, October 12, 2016, at noon at the Austin Bar Association’s offices. More information on the luncheon, including registration, can be found here.