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TTLA 2013 Annual Conference - Reinventing The Rules With Rick Friedman
June 12 - 14, Sheraton Downtown Hotel - Austin Register Now! The TTLA CLE Committee is proud to have Rick Friedman present Reinventing the Rules during the Annual Conference. Additionally, we are fortunate to have Paul Begala as a Keynote Speaker for the June 14th Annual Conference Luncheon. A Texas native, Paul is a Democratic strategist and most of you know him as a Special Contributor to CNN. You will want to reserve the date and book early as we expect that this will be the most heavily attended seminar in TTLA history and space will be limited. Click on the headline to learn more!  


Pipeline Ruling Strengthens Private Property Rights
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A company seeking to run a pipeline across East Texas instead crossed the wrong Texan, and now a state appeals court ruling in the dispute could make it harder to condemn land and snatch private property for future pipelines. Private property right advocates cheered an opinion issued Thursday by the Ninth Court of Appeals in Beaumont in a case involving a East Texas landowner who challenged the company that insisted it could take his land through the power of eminent domain.
Tim Eaton, Austin American Statesman 05/24/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Officer's Family Settles in Fatal DWI Case
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The family of Police Officer Sergio Antillon, who was killed by a drunken driver, has reached a settlement that shuts down the bar where the motorist was served prior to the crash, a news release from the relatives' attorney says.The bar had three previous complaints for serving already-intoxicated patrons and some employees weren't properly certified, the firm said. As part of the settlement, the bar had to forfeit its license, close down or change owners, the release said. It's now closed.
Michelle Mondo, San Antonio Express News 05/24/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Nestande Sued by Family of Killed Woman
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The father of Courtney Griffin, the woman killed two years ago by hit-and-run driver Gabrielle Nestande, has filed a lawsuit against Nestande and the bar that served her drinks the evening of the incident. The suit, filed late Thursday, alleges the Clive Bar servers knew Nestande was impaired but continued serving her, and that Nestande herself “was operating her vehicle negligently” when she hit Griffin.
Eric Dexheimer, Austin American Statesman 05/24/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Supreme Court Declines to Hear Alaska Climate Change Case
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The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an Alaskan village's claim that it should be able to sue oil companies and utilities for damages attributed to climate change. Lawyers for the village of Kivalina wanted various named defendants responsible for greenhouse emissions, including Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp and Duke Energy Corp, to pay damages for greater flooding and erosion that they say have caused by a reduction in sea ice. The court's refusal to take the case means an appeals court ruling in favor of the defendants remains intact.
Lawrence Hurley, Reuters, Yahoo News 05/24/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Wall Street Ferry Crash Prompts 45 Claims by Commuters
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The owner of SeaStreak Wall Street, a commuter ferry that crashed in Manhattan’s financial district on Jan. 9, faces at least 45 passenger claims for damages, according to a court filing. The claims are pending in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, where SeaStreak sued under admiralty law on Jan. 16 and asked a judge to limit the company’s liability to $7.6 million. U.S. District Judge William Martini gave the passengers until yesterday to make claims.
David Voreacos, Bloomberg 05/24/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Nightclub, City Named in DUI Lawsuit
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A federal judge in Mississippi has declined to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to hold a nightclub liable for injuries sustained to a patron in a car accident after leaving the club. The lawsuit names the city of West Point and The Pony nightclub, and says bar employees "improperly served" the plaintiff, who was 20 at the time. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.
Wire Report, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger 05/24/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Auto Group Demanding Jeep Cherokees be Recalled
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An auto safety advocacy group has demanded that the Chrysler Group recall about five million Jeep Grand Cherokees, model years 1993 to 2004, citing the deaths of three children in car fires since 2006. The agency said that problems with the fuel tank and filler pipe can cause fires if the vehicle is hit from behind.
Christopher Jensen, The New York Times 05/23/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Disability and Discrimination at the Doctor’s Office
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It’s been nearly 23 years since the Americans With Disabilities Act, a federal law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities, went into effect. Despite its unequivocal language, studies in recent years have revealed that disabled patients tend not only to be in poorer health, but also to receive inadequate preventive care and to experience worse outcomes. One study even uncovered significant disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in women with disabilities.
PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D. (The Well Blog), The New York Times 05/24/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Wrongful Death

Ohio Dept. of Transportation to Pay in Fatal Accident Suit
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An Ohio court has awarded $4 million to the family of a woman and son who were killed when a tree struck their car in December 2008 while they were driving on Rt. 83. The suit names the Ohio Department of Transportation as the main defendant, claiming the department should have taken care of trees that they knew had been leaning over the road along an eroding bank on Rt. 83.
Eric Lyttle , Columbus Dispatch 05/24/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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Texas Supreme Court: Torts
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In a letter sent to colleagues and others, a physician accused a fellow physician of lacking veracity and speaking in half truths, resulting in an award of $90,000 in actual damages for mental anguish and loss of reputation and $85,000 in exemplary damages. Because the statements did not ascribe the lack of a necessary skill that is peculiar or unique to the profession of being a physician, the statements did not defame the physician per se. There is no evidence of actual damages, and the physician cannot recover exemplary damages. The court of appeals' judgment is reversed and rendered that the physician take nothing. Hancock v. Variyam, Texas Supreme Court, No. 11-0772, 05-17-2013.
Texas Lawyer, Texas Lawyer Opinions (TTLA Members Only) 05/24/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon
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