Administrative

In the case of In the Estate of Johnson, the supreme court reaffirmed a strict approach to the “acceptance of benefits” defense in will contests: “MacNerland was put to an election: either seek to set the will aside or accept the benefits Johnson bequeathed to her. She chose the latter. As a result, she ‘must adopt the whole contents of the instrument, so far as it concerns [her], conforming to its provisions, and renouncing every right inconsistent with it.’ Because MacNerland accepted benefits under Johnson’s will, the trial court properly dismissed her challenge to its validity.” (citation omitted). The…
In an 8-1 decision, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the Fifth Court’s judgment in Fifth Court’s judgment in Aerotek v. Boyd, a dispute about whether employees agreed to arbitration via their employer’s electronic system. The court observed: “It may be that the use of electronic contracts already exceeds the use of paper contracts or that it will soon. The [Texas Uniform Electronic Transactions Act] does not limit the ways in which electronic contracts may be proved valid, but it specifically states that proof of the efficacy of the security procedures used in generating a contract can prove that an electronic…
Two recent opinions provide guidelines for the important roles that attorneys play in our society. The first, Haynes and Boone LLP v. NFTD, LLC, holds that “attorney immunity applies in all adversarial contexts in which an attorney has a duty to zealously and loyally represent a client, including a business-transactional context, but only when the claim against the attorney is based on the ‘kind’ of conduct attorney immunity protects.” No. 20-0066 (May 21, 2021). The second, Landry’s, Inc. v. Animal Legal Defense Fund, holds: “An attorney who repeats his client’s allegations to the media or the public for…
“We hold that an amended or supplemental pleading that asserts the same legal claims or theories by and against the same parties and based on the same essential facts alleged in a prior pleading asserts the same ‘legal action’ to which the sixty-day period previously applied and thus does not trigger a new sixty-day period for filing a dismissal motion. But to the extent an amended or supplemental pleading either (1) adds a new party or parties, (2) alleges new essential facts to support previously asserted claims, or (3) asserts new legal claims or theories involving different elements than the…
This week on the “Coale Mind” podcast, I had top-flight jury consultant Jason Bloom as a special guest; in the episode we touch on the many pervasive effects that 2020 will have on jurors and jury selection, including: – A surprising eagerness of people to show up and serve on juries, in part driven by widespread feelings of frustration after months of shutdown; – Concern about what Jason calls the “massive exercise in confirmation bias” that potential jurors bring to the courthouse with them, depending on how restricted a juror’s information sources may be; – The once-obscure psychological terms “ultracrepidarian” and “pareidolia” (you have to…
“[P]ayment of an appraisal award does not absolve the insurer of statutory liability when an insurer accepts a claim but pays only part of the amount it owes within the statutory deadline. Because the insurer in this case did not pay the amount that ‘must be paid’ on the claim before the statutory deadline, it was not entitled to summary judgment.” Hinojos v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 19-0280 (March 19, 2021) (7-2 decision). The post Pay Promptly Please appeared first on 600 Hemphill.…
The supreme court affirmed a plaintiff’s verdict in a workplace electrocution-injury case, holding that the jury’s verdict about the right of control was supported by sufficient evidence: “Los Compadres’s managing owner, Raul Medina, testified at his pretrial deposition that Torres was our employee,’ but at trial he said he was mistaken about that because Los Compadres had reported Torres’s compensation using 1099 forms instead of W-2 forms, which suggests he was an independent contractor. But Medina also testified that Los Compadres ‘hired’ Torres and paid him a salary to work as the project manager and supervisor—a position responsible for soliciting…
This is a crosspost from 600Camp, which follows commercial litigation in the Fifth Circuit. The DC Circuit’s recent style manual amendment that criticized the use of “Garamond” font has drawn national attention. As this matter has now become a pressing issue facing the federal courts, 600Camp weighs in with these thoughts, all of which are written in 14-point size: Accordingly, if you really like Garamond and are writing a brief with a word limit rather than a page limit, you should consider bumping the size up to 15-point. And of course, in a jurisdiction with page limits rather…