Case Summaries

Court of Criminal Appeals Update: Ex parte Robbins

April 14, 2016 // 0 Comments

Ex parte Robbins No. WR-73,484-02 Case Summary written by Andy Linn, Staff Member. PER CURIAM. In 1999, a jury found Neal Hampton Robbins guilty of capital murder of his girlfriend’s seventeen-month-old daughter. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Robbins moved for a new trial, contending that the evidence was factually and legally insufficient to establish that the child’s death was a homicide, but the trial court denied his motion. On direct appeal, the court affirmed as to [...]

Court of Criminal Appeals Update: Buntion v. State

April 13, 2016 // 0 Comments

Buntion v. State NO. AP-76,769 Case Summary written by Keirsten Hamilton, Staff Member JUDGE BROWN delivered the unanimous opinion of the court. JUDGE HERVEY filed a concurring opinion in which JUDGE KEASLER and JUDGE NEWELL joined. JUDGE ALCALA filed a separate concurring opinion. In June 1990, James Irby, a motorcycle police officer, stopped a vehicle in which the appellant was a passenger. Officer Irby spoke with the driver outside the vehicle. At some point while the two individuals stood [...]

Court of Criminal Appeals Update: Fernandez v. State

April 12, 2016 // 0 Comments

Fernandez v. State PD-0123-15 Case Summary written by Jack Fulgham, Staff Member. PRESIDING JUDGE KELLER delivered the opinion of the court. JUDGE JOHNSON filed a concurring opinion. Issue: “Whether a public servant commits theft by deception when he purchases an airline ticket for county-approved travel with a county credit card but later uses the voucher resulting from the cancellation of the ticket for personal travel, without correcting the impression that the ticket would be used for [...]

Supreme Court of Texas Update: White v. Davis

March 28, 2016 // 0 Comments

White v. Davis No. 15-0176 Case Summary written by Aaron Powell, Staff Member. PER CURIAM. In this two hundred word opinion, the Court vacated the Second Court of Appeals’ judgment in light of Zorrilla v. Aypco Construction II, LLC—a decision handed down by the Court after entry of judgment in the court of appeals decision. See 469 S.W.3d 143 (Tex. 2015). The Court of Appeals had held that the exemplary damages cap in § 41.008(b) of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code was an affirmative [...]

Supreme Court of Texas Update: U.S. Metals, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Group, Inc.

March 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

U.S. Metals, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. No. 14-0753 Case Summary written by Laura Parton, Staff Member. CHIEF JUSTICE HECHT delivered the opinion of the Court. U.S. Metals provided ExxonMobil Corp. with 350 flanges for use in non-road diesel units. The flanges were welded to pipes and covered with a special coating and insulation. After instillation, several flanges leaked during testing, causing a risk of fire and explosion and requiring that they be replaced. The process to replace [...]

Supreme Court of Texas Update: Tex. Dep’t of Pub. Safety v. Bonilla

March 24, 2016 // 0 Comments

Tex. Dep’t of Pub. Safety v. Bonilla No. 14-0694 Case Summary written by Adam J. Ondo, Staff Member. PER CURIAM. The facts leading up to this case began with a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper pursuing a speeding truck that was recklessly weaving in and out of traffic. During the chase, the officer ran a red light, causing an accident that resulted in Merardo Bonilla sustaining injuries. Bonilla then sued DPS, asserting that the Texas Tort Claims Act’s sovereign immunity [...]

Supreme Court of Texas Update: BNSF Ry. Co. v. Phillips

March 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

BNSF Ry. Co. v. Phillips No. 14-0530 Case Summary written by Molly Neace, Staff Member. PER CURIAM. In 1974, Phillips began working for BNSF in New Mexico as a railway yard switchman. After four or five years on the job, he began to ride locomotives as a brakeman. Phillips continued to ride locomotives with his 1984 promotion to conductor and his 1994 promotion to engineer. After many years of riding on rough locomotives with poorly maintained seats, Phillips alleged an occupational injury, [...]

Supreme Court of Texas Update: Galvan v. Mem’l Hermann Hosp. Sys.

March 22, 2016 // 0 Comments

Galvan v. Mem’l Hermann Hosp. Sys. No. 14-0410 Case Summary written by David Miles, Staff Member. PER CURIAM. Sylvia Galvan was visiting a relative at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital when she slipped and fell on water on the floor. Galvan sued the hospital, alleging that the hospital was negligent in not cleaning up the water or providing a warning sign. She slipped while walking from the pharmacy to her relative’s room. The hospital filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that Galvan’s [...]

Supreme Court of Texas Update: Kingsaire, Inc. v. Melendez

March 21, 2016 // 0 Comments

Kingsaire, Inc. v. Melendez No. 14-0006 Case Summary written by Alicia McCullar, Staff Member JUSTICE LEHRMANN delivered the opinion of the Court. Kings Aire, Inc. (Kings Aire), a family owned HVAC company, hired Melendez, first as a “helper tradesman” and then promoted him to “apprentice lead man” after five years of employment. While working a demolition job, Melendez suffered severe injury to his wrist, requiring surgery. An agent for Kings Aire assisted Melendez with his workers’ [...]

Supreme Court of Texas Update: In re RSR Corp. & Quemetco Metals Ltd., Inc.

March 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

In re RSR Corp. & Quemetco Metals Ltd., Inc. No. 13-0499 Case Summary written by Mariah Mauck, Staff Member. JUSTICE DEVINE delivered the opinion of the Court. Inppamet S.A., a Chilean manufacturer of anodes, licensed anode-production information from RSR Corporation and Quemetco Metals Limited, Inc. (RSR) in 2003. As a result, Inppamet promised RSR would be paid a fee for every anode sold. In 2008, RSR sued Inppamet in Texas for (in addition to other things) breaching their contract and [...]
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