Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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  December 22, 2014

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Texas Tribune Daily Brief



The Brief for Dec 22

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Compilation of Texas news by the Texas Tribune.
John Reynolds, Texas Tribune 12/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Even More Natural Gas Being Flared in Eagle Ford Shale

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Gas flares in the Eagle Ford Shale burned more than 20 billion cubic feet of natural gas and released tons of pollutants into the air in the first seven months of 2014 — exceeding the total waste and pollution for all of 2012. New records analyzed by the San Antonio Express-News show flaring in the oil patch has continued to increase in the Eagle Ford, an upward trend first revealed in a yearlong San Antonio Express-News investigation called Up in Flames that was published in August.
John Tedesco, Jennifer Hiller, and Joseph Kokenge, San Antonio Express News 12/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Old Ruling Keeps Counties From Mineral Rights

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South Texas counties scrambling for money to repair roads damaged by heavy trucks carrying oil field equipment have run into a roadblock: the state itself. Officials in many of the counties hoped to lease mineral rights beneath county roads and rights of way to energy companies, and use the revenue to repair those roads. But a 54-year-old opinion from the attorney general’s office gives leasing rights, and the revenue, to the state. That does not sit well with some county judges.
Bobby Blanchard, Texas Tribune 12/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Staples Estimates Hackers Breached 1.16 Million Credit Cards

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Staples confirmed on Friday that suspicious cyber activity, first spotted in September, was most likely a malware attack that may have breached 1.16 million credit cards. A preliminary investigation found evidence of malware installed in the point-of-sales systems at 115 locations. The malware may have given hackers access to cardholder names, credit card numbers and verification codes. The breaches began in late summer and continued until the retailer detected and removed the malware in mid-September.
Staff, Time Magazine 12/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Trio of Texans Fills Three Empty Federal Benches

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By a voice vote on Dec. 16, the Senate approved the nominations of: Robert Pitman, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, to fill a Western District bench in San Antonio that's been empty for nearly seven years. U.S. district court judge; Amos L. Mazzant III, a U.S. magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Texas, to fill an empty U.S. district court seat in the Eastern District's Sherman Division, and whose courthouse hasn't had a full-time judge in residence in nearly seven years; and Robert William "Trey" Schroeder III, a civil litigator and partner in Texarkana's Patton, Tidwell, Schroder & Culbertson, to fill an empty bench in the Eastern District's Texarkana Division, which has a notable patent docket and has been empty since 2012.
John Council, Texas Lawyer 12/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Judge: Consumers Can Sue Target Corp Over Data Breach

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- A U.S. judge has cleared the way for consumers to sue Target Corp over the retailer's late 2013 data breach that they say compromised their personal financial information. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Thursday dismissed claims by plaintiffs in certain states but largely denied Target's request to toss the proposed class action lawsuit. Magnuson rejected Target's argument that the consumers lacked standing to sue because they could not establish any injur
NATE RAYMOND, Reuters 12/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Jury Sides With Fired Teacher

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A jury ruled that the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend discriminated against a former language arts teacher (Emily Herx) at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School when they fired her for undergoing in vitro fertilization and awarded $1.9 million in damages. At issue in the case was whether the diocese discriminated against Herx because of her gender by treating her differently than similarly situated male employees, or because of her attempts to become pregnant, by forcing her to choose between in vitro fertilization and her job.
Rebecca S. Green, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette 12/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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GM Develops Contingency Plans in Case Takata Recalls Widen

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GM has developed contingency plans in case recalls of potentially lethal Takata-made air bag inflators widens, forcing the U.S. automaker to repair millions of vehicles, the company said on Friday. GM's plans include directing Takata to share with rivals TRW and Autoliv the No. 1 U.S. automaker's air bag specifications and data so any replacement parts made by others would work in GM vehicles, GM spokesman James Cain told Reuters in response to questions about the company's plans. This approach secures future capacity if it is necessary, he said. "Basically, we bought an insurance policy so that the capacity is there if we need it," Cain said. "We don't want to be caught short-handed.
BEN KLAYMAN, Reuters 12/22/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Class Action



Sony Faces Fourth Class-Action Lawsuit Over Hacks

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Sony is facing its fourth class-action lawsuit in connection with a cyber-hack surrounding the making of the movie The Interview. The most recent lawsuit was filed Thursday by two former IT employees at the studio in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and alleges that the studio should have been more cautious in preventing a cyber attack. According to reports, the hacking was conducted by North Korea in connection with the release of the satirical assassination comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. Sony canceled the release of the movie after the threat of a "9/11”-style attack. The lawsuit seeks "an award of appropriate relief, including actual damages, restitution, disgorgement, and statutory damages."
Travis Reilly, USA Today 12/19/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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