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Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

Another perspective on residency requirements

The Texas Election Law blog looks at my coverage of the Dave Wilson residency saga and offers his thoughts on the matter. The saga of gaming residence for the sake of running for office – what a tangle of legal precedent it provides. Mr. Kuffner has used the occasion of the Wilson lawsuit to suggest […]

Texas EquuSearch wins one in court

Good. Texas EquuSearch will resume flying drones during their search-and-recovery missions after a federal appeals court ruled Friday that a government “cease and desist” order banning their use wasn’t valid. In February, a Federal Aviation Administration official sent the volunteer group an email, saying its use of unmanned aircraft to search for missing people was […]

When is that appeal of the Texas same sex marriage ruling going to happen?

A little later than originally planned. It’s been five months since a federal judge struck down Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage. But Attorney General Greg Abbott says he needs more time to file a brief appealing U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s February decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court. Abbott’s brief was initially to the […]

Beaver versus beaver

It’s a trademark infringement lawsuit. What did you think I was referring to? In the animal world it may be that no two beavers are the same but semi-aquatic rodent diversity does not extend to the world of the convenience store, at least according to Buc-ee’s. The Texas-based legends of convenience store bathrooms and beef […]

Wilson wins residency fight

That was quick. Houston Community College trustee Dave Wilson lives in the residence he claimed and can keep his seat on the college system’s board, a jury decided Thursday. “Thank you,” Wilson shouted when the verdict was announced about 4:30 p.m. Harris County officials filed a lawsuit seeking to remove Wilson from office on grounds […]

Council votes to sue over bad pension projections

Game on. Houston City Council on Wednesday paved the way for city attorneys to sue an actuarial firm the city claims gave inaccurate pension estimates that spurred costly changes to firefighters’ retirement benefits in 2001. [...] Houston’s contribution rate to the fire pension skyrocketed soon after the changes were approved, despite an actuarial report from […]

It really is about more than just marriage

Jo Ann Santangelo writes for the Observer about what it means to be in a same-sex marriage that isn’t recognized as legal by the state of Texas. In 2012, my wife, Kate, and I traveled more than 3,400 miles from Austin and back to marry legally in New York City. Seven years earlier, in November […]

Dave Wilson residency lawsuit is underway

Almost missed this. A trial is set to begin Tuesday morning to determine whether Houston Community College trustee Dave Wilson actually lived in the district in which he ran last November. Wilson, who ousted former HCC Chairman Bruce Austin in the Nov. 5 election by 26 votes, is being sued by the Harris County attorney. […]

What else is at stake in the redistricting trial

It’s about more than just the maps. Efforts by the Obama administration to wring protections out of a weakened Voting Rights Act begin Monday in Texas over allegations that Republicans intentionally discriminated against minorities when drawing new election maps. A federal trial in San Antonio comes a year after the U.S. Supreme Court made a […]

Judge rules that the voter ID lawsuit will go to trial

In addition to the start of the redistricting trial, we have some news on the voter ID lawsuit front, and it’s generally good news for the good guys. Last week’s ruling, in which U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos denied almost all of a set of motions filed by [AG Greg] Abbott’s office to […]

Next phases of redistricting lawsuit scheduled

Part One takes place next week. The trial over 2011 House district boundaries begins July 14 in U.S. District Court, where a hearing Tuesday shed light on how the case could unfold. The proceeding are expected to last at least six days — Monday through Saturday — with testimony from about 50 witnesses. The court […]

Another pension-related lawsuit coming?

Here’s a little blast from the past. The city of Houston may sue a company whose advice it relied upon in making changes to firefighters’ retirement benefits in 2001, saying the firm’s inaccurate predictions left the city on the hook for pensions it cannot afford. Houston’s contribution rate to the firefighters pension skyrocketed soon after […]

Utah will take same sex marriage fight to SCOTUS

This could be the ballgame. The Utah attorney general’s office announced Wednesday that it will appeal the 10th Circuit Court’s decision last month upholding same-sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wednesday was the deadline for the state to seek a full-court review by all 12 judges of the 10th Circuit Court, but, according to […]

Students against voter ID

A new front is opened in the fight against voter ID. Civil rights groups have spent a decade fighting requirements that voters show photo identification, arguing that this discriminates against African-Americans, Hispanics and the poor. This week in a North Carolina courtroom, another group will make its case that such laws are discriminatory: college students. […]

Greg Abbott sure doesn’t like whistleblowers

He sure does seem to have a lot of them, though. The office of Attorney General Greg Abbott — the Republican gubernatorial candidate — is appealing a whistleblower’s lawsuit and $1.2 million verdict, arguing that an El Paso jury was wrong when it decided that the agency fired an employee in retaliation for alerting supervisors […]

City exploring new pension for new firefighters?

Maybe. Long concerned about the cost of Houston’s pensions and stymied in her attempts at reform, Mayor Annise Parker is considering a dramatic step to place new firefighters into a separate, less generous pension plan, sources with knowledge of the discussions said. Officials acknowledge the existing Houston Firefighters Relief and Retirement Fund likely would sue […]

Tenth Circuit upholds same-sex marriage

A huge step forward. A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that states outlawing same-sex marriage are in violation of the U.S. Constitution. By upholding a Utah judge’s decision, the a three-member panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver became the first appeals court to rule on the issue, setting a historic precedent […]

Motion to recuse Judge Dietz denied

Good. State District Judge John Dietz will not be forced off Texas’ ongoing school finance case, a San Antonio judge ruled Monday, handing a victory to school districts suing the state over what they call an unconstitutional lack of adequate funding for public education. Earlier this month, Attorney General Greg Abbott sought to have Dietz […]

Another win for the EPA at the Supreme Court

And thus another loss for Greg Abbott and Rick Perry. The Supreme Court on Monday mostly validated the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to regulate power plant and factory emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming while imposing some limits on the agency’s reach. The justices said the EPA could not rewrite specific standards written […]

A Greg Abbott threefer

Trail Blazers: Dallas appeals court rules fired prosecutor can pursue whistleblowing case against Greg Abbott’s office In May 2009, a former assistant attorney general in Greg Abbott’s office sued the Office of the Attorney General in Dallas County court, claiming she’d been fired for refusing to lie under oath about a Dallas County judge. Five […]

HISD hires its defenders for the teacher evaluation lawsuit

I have to say, I’m a bit uncomfortable with this. Earlier this year, seven teachers sued the Houston Independent School District in federal court over their evaluation system. That system uses a statistical formula and student test scores to grade teachers. At its meeting this week, the Houston school district decided to hire a high-profile […]

More plaintiffs respond to Abbott’s recusal motion

I think it’s fair to say that the plaintiffs are strongly opposed to Greg Abbott’s attempt to get Judge Dietz recused in the school finance trial. Lawyers representing hundreds of school districts pushed back Thursday against Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s effort to remove a judge who is weighing the constitutionality of the school finance […]

Vehicles for hire vote put off till end of July

Seriously? The Houston City Council delayed a vote until July 30 on regulations for the vehicles-for-hire industry, keeping Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc.’s legal status in Houston in limbo. Council member Mike Laster proposed an initial delay of 60 days, saying, “I believe this cake is not fully baked.” The delay was then reduced […]

Here comes the Uber and Lyft vote

Barring anything unexpected, today is the day that Houston City Council settles – for now, anyway – the Uber/Lyft issue. Houston is not the only place where transportation network companies are seeking to do business in Texas, of course. The Trib takes a look at the state of play around Texas. “As the current city […]

County to challenge vacant lot appraisals

It’s a start. Harris County is challenging the local appraisal district’s valuation of vacant commercial land after a study it commissioned concluded the agency had undervalued those properties by more than 80 percent this year. The finding was based on a random sampling of two dozen vacant commercial properties across the county with a collectively […]

Sriracha post-mortem

The Motley Fool wonders if State Rep. Jason Villalba should get the credit for the resolution of the Great Sriracha Dispute of 2014. In early January, Texas state representative Jason Villalba made a public invitation to David Tran to pack up and move Huy Fong to Texas. In his announcement, Villalba contrasted “excessive government interference” […]

Burnam drops electoral challenge

A good decision, in my opinion. After months of legal wrangling, state Rep. Lon Burnam announced Thursday that he will not continue with his challenge of his primary election loss. Shortly after losing on March 4 by 111 votes to local businessman Ramon Romero Jr., Burnam, D-Fort Worth, sued, saying the election for state House […]

Judge Dietz refuses to recuse himself

Game on. The Travis County District Court judge overseeing a contentious trial over the state’s school finance system rejected a request by the attorney general’s office to recuse himself from the case. Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office asked state District Judge John Dietz to remove himself from the proceedings after learning of emails between Dietz […]

State wants judge removed from school finance case

Keep an eye on this. Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office on Monday sought to remove the judge presiding over the public school finance case, contending that his impartiality is in question due to email exchanges with lawyers that filed the lawsuit. A lawyer for one group of the school districts that sued over the funding […]

Supreme Court denies Burnam mandamus request

Late Friday I got an email from the Ramon Romero campaign touting the news that the State Supreme Court had denied a write of mandamus to Rep. Lon Burnam in his electoral challenge lawsuit. You can see the Supreme Court’s order here – scroll down to case 14-0372, the third one listed under “Miscellaneous”. See […]

Sriracha dispute settled

The City of Irwindale’s long national nightmare is finally over. Sriracha’s spicy relationship with the City Council cooled off a bit Wednesday after officials unanimously dismissed a lawsuit and public nuisance declaration against manufacturer Huy Fong Foods. The standoff between the city and Sriracha creator David Tran began in October when the city filed a […]

Game room enforcement back on in Harris County

Better choose your eight liner provider carefully. After clearing a few legal hurdles, Harris County’s new game room regulations – on which the city of Houston is piggybacking – are set to take effect Friday. Late Tuesday after a hearing, a federal judge denied a request from a game room owner and operator for a […]

Post HERO, watch for the petition drives

Here’s the full Chron story about the passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. I’m going to skip ahead in the story and focus on what the haters are saying and planning to do. Opponent Dave Welch, of the Houston Area Pastors Council, said his group will begin gathering signatures against the ordinance to trigger […]

Meet T-TESS

Texas has a new teacher evaluation system on the way. It won’t come without a fight. Texas’ more than 380,000 public school teachers are girding for a tumultuous few years as a new method of grading their performance is expected to generate heated legislative debates and perhaps legal challenges. Already, the Houston Independent School District […]