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Houston Officials Let Developers Build Homes Inside Reservoirs

Residents that live near the Addicks and Barker Reservoir are now coming to terms with the fact that in big enough rainstorms, their neighborhoods are actually designed to flood. And nobody told them about it.

Texas Voter ID Law Violates Voting Rights Act, Court Rules

Texas' 2011 voter identification law - which stipulates the types of photo identification election officials can and cannot accept at the polls - does not comply with the Voting Rights Act, a federal appeals court ruled. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed previous rulings that the voter ID law violated the federal law prohibiting racial discrimination in elections and instructed the lower court to draw up a remedy. It was the fourth time in nearly four years that a federal court found that the law discriminated against or disproportionately affected black and Hispanic voters.

"Manifest Disregard" Dead in Texas: Texas Supreme Court Disapproves of Common-Law Grounds for Vacating Arbitration Awards

In an opinion handed down last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court held that, where an arbitration is governed by the Texas General Arbitration Act, or "TAA," courts cannot vacate the arbitration award on the grounds that the arbitrator "manifestly disregarded the law." Justice Debra Lerhmann, writing for a unanimous Court in Hoskins v. Hoskins, reasoned that the language of the TAA "could not be plainer" in requiring that a "trial court 'shall confirm' an award unless vacatur is required under one of the enumerated grounds" in the statute, "which do not include an arbitrator's manifest disregard of the law."

New Standards for Lawyers Seeking Texas Board Certification in Civil Trial Law

The Texas Supreme Court has approved new standards in regards to becoming board certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Members of the Court, as well as the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and their Advisory Committee, worked with Exam Commissioners and the State Bar of Texas to update the certification criteria to make them more flexible. Because of the decreased availability of jury trials throughout not only Texas, but the nation, board certification organizers have been forced to alter criteria to continue to certify potential applicants.

New Laws Affecting Lawyers Effective September 1, 2015

On September 1, 2015, approximately 700 new state laws became effective. Below you will find a brief summary of six new laws that are relevant to the legal profession. For more information on any piece of legislation, please visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us.

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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    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 Personal Injury Large 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 Personal Injury Plant Fire and 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 Personal Injury Work Site 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 Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

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

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

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