An Update from Our Firm about COVID-19

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner remains fully operational and committed to serving our clients and colleagues throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As we follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, we remain available for phone consultations and scheduled in-person meetings with both current and prospective clients and colleagues. Please contact our office by email or by calling 713-222-7211 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Supreme Court Rules Against Employee

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled against an employee who had successfully proven that her employer had discriminated against her. The case was Nafta Traders, Inc. v. Quinn, ___ S.W.3d ___ (Tex. 2011)(5/13/11).

After an employee brought a sex discrimination suit, her employer forced her to arbitration. When she prevailed, the employer sought to vacate the arbitration. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that, contrary to U.S. Supreme Court authority indicating that the grounds for vacating an award under the Federal Arbitration Act (which did not exist here) are exclusive, the parties can "agree" to provide for judicial review of an award. That "agreement" occurred in the form of language which the employer had put in the employee handbook.

In another departure from its usual rulings, the supreme court ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act did not "preempt" the state act, even though the court's brand new interpretation of the state act yields a different result from federal law.

Since this new ruling means that arbitration will be more expensive and protracted, the court noted: "Parties agree to arbitration for reasons other than speed and cost, such as flexibility, privacy, and in some instances, expertise. . . . [W]hether arbitration reduces cost and delay at all is fiercely debated."

An "arbitration agreement may be so one-sided as to be unconscionable, but the benefits or burdens of judicial review for reversible error fall to each side alike." Here, the court did not find the agreement to be unconscionable.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • $50+ Million Fire & Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs, taking a lead role in the plaintiffs’ steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Plant Fire & Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Worksite Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm’s client.

  • $12 Million 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $48 Million Catastrophic Burns

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $48 million.

Our Record Of Success

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

Read More Success Stories

Let Us Help You Request a Free Consultation Today

Get Help Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Back to top