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Hankinson Attorneys Honored by Best Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell

DALLAS – Lawyers from the Dallas-based Hankinson LLP law firm have earned honors from Texas’ Best Lawyers and Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers magazines based on their work in appellate law. Dallas attorney and mediator Deborah Hankinson, founder of Hankinson LLP, appears in the 2012 edition of… + read more

DALLAS – Lawyers from the Dallas-based Hankinson LLP law firm have earned honors from Texas’ Best Lawyers and Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers magazines based on their work in appellate law.

Dallas attorney and mediator Deborah Hankinson, founder of Hankinson LLP, appears in the 2012 edition of Texas’ Best Lawyers magazine, a publication of Best Lawyers in America, which previously named her the Dallas Appellate Lawyer of the Year. Texas’ Best Lawyers was included in the May 25 editions of the Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, the Austin American-Statesman, the San Antonio Express-News and the Texas editions of The Wall Street Journal.

That honor follows Ms. Hankinson’s appearance alongside fellow firm attorney Brett Kutnick in the 2012 edition of Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers, which was distributed by the same Texas newspapers on March 30, 2012. Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers is published by Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media.

“The recognition from Texas’ Best Lawyers and Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers reflects our hard work in appellate law, arbitration and mediation at Hankinson LLP,” Ms. Hankinson says. “Praise from our peers means a great deal to us.”

Editors of the 2012 Texas’ Best Lawyers list asked Texas’ top attorneys to identify those lawyers who they would direct a friend or loved one to hire if they could not handle the case themselves. Based on those responses, Ms. Hankinson was named Lawyer of the Year in appellate law in Dallas.

Ms. Hankinson and Mr. Kutnick earned recognition from Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers magazine based on peer ratings compiled by ALM and LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell.

Hankinson LLP, the preeminent civil appellate firm in the Southwest, provides clients with innovative legal insights and judicial perspective in all phases of litigation. The firm’s attorneys work with trial teams to develop strategies designed to put a case in the best position before, during, and after trial. Dallas-based Hankinson LLP represents national clients, regional companies, governmental bodies, and individuals with trial and appellate matters, and offers mediation and arbitration services as well. Learn more about the firm at http://hankinsonlaw.com.

 

Hankinson Wins New Sentencing Hearing for Juvenile

Deborah Hankinson successfully argued to the Texas Supreme Court that a juvenile, who was sentenced to twenty years confinement for sexually assaulting his seven year old cousin, was entitled to a new sentencing hearing. The Court held that if the State’s expert had testified truthfully… + read more

Deborah Hankinson successfully argued to the Texas Supreme Court that a juvenile, who was sentenced to twenty years confinement for sexually assaulting his seven year old cousin, was entitled to a new sentencing hearing. The Court held that if the State’s expert had testified truthfully about the reliability of certain scientific evidence, the evidence would have been excluded. The expert misstated the potential error rate of the evidence and inaccurately described the literature supporting or rejecting it. In closing argument, the State repeatedly referred to the expert’s testimony as proof that defendant was a pedophile. Because the expert’s testimony and the State’s use of that testimony contributed to the defendant’s sentence, the Court remanded the case for a new sentencing hearing. In re M.P.A., 364 S.W.3d 277 (Tex. 2012).

 

Dallas Arbitrator, Appellate Attorney Deborah Hankinson to Discuss Effective Arbitration

DALLAS – Dallas arbitrator and appellate attorney Deborah Hankinson will be a featured speaker in a national conference of lawyers, arbitrators and business people addressing arbitration trends and methods for keeping arbitrations from getting out of control. Hankinson, a former Texas Supreme Court justice and… + read more

DALLAS – Dallas arbitrator and appellate attorney Deborah Hankinson will be a featured speaker in a national conference of lawyers, arbitrators and business people addressing arbitration trends and methods for keeping arbitrations from getting out of control.

Hankinson, a former Texas Supreme Court justice and founder of Hankinson LLP, will participate in the panel presentation, “How to Prevent a Runaway Arbitration,” during the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual CLE Conference on April 19 in Washington, D.C. The panel will offer practical solutions to help in-house and outside counsel ensure that arbitration remains a cost-effective and efficient alternative to
litigation.

Along with Ms. Hankinson, the panel will include Crowell & Moring LLP Partner Kathryn Kirmayer.  Patricia O’Prey, senior counsel – investigations at GE Capital Americas, will moderate the panel.

“Arbitration is an excellent dispute-resolution tool – when it is used properly,” Hankinson says. “As someone who knows the process, I know it’s my job to keep things on track and to be fair to all. That’s what we plan to discuss.”

In addition to her appellate work, Hankinson’s nationally prominent practice includes serving in arbitrator and mediator roles in disputes. She serves on the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association and is a member of the association’s national roster of neutrals. She also consults with trial lawyers with regard to trial strategy and appellate briefs, offering insight as to how appellate courts might view critical issues.

Hankinson is also a former justice on the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas. She is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

Hankinson LLP, the preeminent civil appellate firm in the Southwest, provides clients with innovative legal insights and judicial perspective in all phases of litigation. The firm’s attorneys work with trial teams to develop strategies designed to put a case in the best position before, during, and after trial. Hankinson LLP represents national clients, regional companies, governmental bodies, and individuals with trial and appellate matters, and offers mediation and arbitration services as well. Learn more about the
firm at http://hankinsonlaw.com.

 

Dallas Appellate Attorney Deborah Hankinson Honored in D Magazine’s 2012 “Best Lawyers” List

DALLAS – Hankinson LLP founder Deborah Hankinson has earned a place on D Magazine’s 2012 listing of “The Best Lawyers in Dallas” based on her work for business clients in appellate cases, mediations and arbitrations, and trial consulting. This is the seventh time that D… + read more

Attorney:

DALLAS – Hankinson LLP founder Deborah Hankinson has earned a place on D Magazine’s 2012 listing of “The Best Lawyers in Dallas” based on her work for business clients in appellate cases, mediations and arbitrations, and trial consulting.

This is the seventh time that D Magazine has named Ms. Hankinson to its “Best Lawyers”  list. In 2010, the magazine also named her to its list of the best women lawyers in Dallas.

“I am again humbled to receive this honor in a city with so many great attorneys,” Ms. Hankinson says. “It’s an honor not only for me, but also for all of the attorneys at Hankinson LLP who work hard on a daily basis to make sure our clients receive the best appellate representation possible.”

To assemble the exclusive listing of Dallas’ top attorneys, the editors of D Magazine sought nominations from lawyers citywide. A blue-ribbon panel of lawyers met with magazine editors and approved the list, which covers 18 practice areas and will appear in the May 2012 issue of D Magazine.

In addition to her work as a trial and appellate lawyer, Ms. Hankinson served as a Justice
on the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas and the Supreme Court of Texas. She is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association.

The recognition from D Magazine is just the latest in a long line of similar honors for Ms. Hankinson. In 2011, Texas Super Lawyers magazine named her to a list of the Top 10 attorneys in Texas. Her work also has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Texas Lawyer and the Dallas Business Journal, among others.

Hankinson LLP, the preeminent civil appellate firm in the Southwest, provides clients with innovative legal insights and judicial perspective in all phases of litigation. The firm’s attorneys work with trial teams to develop strategies designed to put a case in the best position before, during, and after trial. Hankinson LLP represents national clients, regional companies, governmental bodies, and individuals with trial and appellate matters, and offers mediation and arbitration services as well. Learn more about the firm at http://hankinsonlaw.com.

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Dallas Attorney Deborah Hankinson Named to American Academy of Appellate Lawyers

DALLAS – Noted appellate lawyer Deborah Hankinson, founder of Dallas-based Hankinson LLP, has been elected to the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, an honor reserved for attorneys with a reputation for excellence in appellate work. The American Academy of Appellate Lawyers was established in 1990… + read more

Attorney:

DALLAS – Noted appellate lawyer Deborah Hankinson, founder of Dallas-based Hankinson LLP, has been elected to the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, an honor reserved for attorneys with a reputation for excellence in appellate work.

The American Academy of Appellate Lawyers was established in 1990 to advance the standards and practices of appellate advocacy and to acknowledge outstanding appellate lawyers. Membership is based on nominations by existing fellows as well as recommendations from judges and practitioners. The academy limits membership to no more than 500 people in the United States, and requires that nominees have spent at least 15 years in practice devoted substantially to appeals.

“I’m humbled by this honor and believe strongly in the academy’s mission,” says Ms. Hankinson.

In addition to appellate law, Ms. Hankinson’s practice includes substantial work in the area of alternative dispute resolution, including regular work as a mediator and arbitrator in cases involving a variety of complex legal issues.

Ms. Hankinson is a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas and the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas.

In addition to this latest honor, Ms. Hankinson has earned multiple selections to the Texas Super Lawyers list published by Thomson Reuters legal division and Texas Monthly. In 2011, she was named one of the state’s Top 10 attorneys in the Texas Super Lawyers listing.  Additionally, her work has been repeatedly recognized by The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA. This fall, she also was named to the “Winning Women” list published by Texas Lawyer.

“We’re very proud that Deborah has earned this recognition,” says Hankinson LLP Managing Partner Rick Thompson. “The academy has formally stated what we’ve known all along: Deborah is a rare and talented appellate lawyer.”

Hankinson LLP, the preeminent civil appellate firm in the Southwest, provides clients with innovative legal insights and judicial perspective in all phases of litigation. The firm’s attorneys work with trial teams to develop strategies designed to put a case in the best position before, during, and after trial. Hankinson LLP represents national clients, regional companies, governmental bodies, and individuals with trial and appellate matters, and offers mediation and arbitration services as well. Learn more about the firm at http://hankinsonlaw.com.

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Hankinson LLP Named One of America’s Best Law Firms

DALLAS – The Dallas-based appellate law firm Hankinson LLP is being recognized by U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s “Best Law Firms.” The firm earned a Metropolitan Tier 1 ranking among Dallas appellate firms in… + read more

Attorney:

DALLAS – The Dallas-based appellate law firm Hankinson LLP is being recognized by U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s “Best Law Firms.”

The firm earned a Metropolitan Tier 1 ranking among Dallas appellate firms in the 2011 guide to the nation’s leading law firms.

To compile the “Best Law Firms” listing, researchers with U.S. News and Best Lawyers surveyed thousands of attorneys and law firm clients across the U.S. The results of the survey appear in the November 2011 Best Law Firms publication. The full listing also is available online at http://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/.

Last month, the firm went through a name change when attorney Jeff Levinger departed to form his own firm.

“This honor rightly belongs to everyone at the firm, all the attorneys and staff, who worked so hard on behalf of our clients over the last 12 months, including Jeff,” says Hankinson LLP founder Deborah Hankinson, who also has been selected by The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s top attorneys. In addition, Best Lawyers also recently named Ms. Hankinson Dallas Lawyer of the Year in Appellate Law.

To develop the Best Lawyers list, researchers review nearly 3 million confidential evaluations by other attorneys. The full listing is available at www.bestlawyers.com.

The “Best Law Firms” and Best Lawyers honors are just the latest for Deborah Hankinson and the firm. Earlier this year, she was listed among the state’s top lawyers in the annual Texas Super Lawyers publication, earning a spot among the state’s Top 10 lawyers overall. Her other 2011 honors include selection by Texas Lawyer newspaper for its “Winning Women” section, and by D Magazine to its list of Best Lawyers in Dallas. She also has been featured in Chambers USA’s listing of the country’s top lawyers and previously was profiled in the Dallas Business Journal as one of North Texas’ top business defenders.

Hankinson LLP, the preeminent civil appellate firm in the Southwest, provides clients with innovative legal insights and judicial perspective in all phases of litigation. The firm’s attorneys work with trial teams to develop strategies designed to put a case in the best position before, during, and after trial. Hankinson LLP represents national clients, regional companies, governmental bodies, and individuals with trial and appellate matters, and offers mediation and arbitration services as well.

Learn more about the firm at http://hankinsonlaw.com.

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Appellate Court Reverses, Renders Judgment That Plaintiffs Take Nothing in Oil-and-Gas Mineral Interest Title Dispute

In a highly complex title dispute between Texas oil-and-gas operators, the plaintiffs claimed superior title to a mineral lease on a 169.1-acre tract in Concho County, Texas. After the jury found that the plaintiffs had superior title, the trial court ordered the defendants—who possessed and… + read more

In a highly complex title dispute between Texas oil-and-gas operators, the plaintiffs claimed superior title to a mineral lease on a 169.1-acre tract in Concho County, Texas. After the jury found that the plaintiffs had superior title, the trial court ordered the defendants—who possessed and had drilled a producing well on the tract—to turn over possession of the property, drilling equipment, and almost $1 million being held in suspense pending adjudication of the case. Hankinson LLP attorney Deborah Hankinson  represented the defendants on appeal. The Austin Court of Appeals reversed the trial-court judgment, rendered judgment that the plaintiffs take nothing, and also rendered judgment that title and possession of the mineral estate, equipment, and funds belonged to the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, which denied review after requesting full briefing on the merits.  McCammon v. Ischy, No. 03-06-00707-CV, 2010 WL 1930149 (Tex. App.—Austin May 12, 2010, pet. denied).

 

Hankinson LLP Client Obtains Judgment Vacating Arbitration Award

Ruling in favor of Deborah Hankinson’s and Brett Kutnick’s client, Occidental Petroleum, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision to vacate an arbitration award. The court held that one of the arbitrators displayed evident partiality by failing to disclose that, at the time… + read more

Ruling in favor of Deborah Hankinson’s and Brett Kutnick’s client, Occidental Petroleum, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision to vacate an arbitration award. The court held that one of the arbitrators displayed evident partiality by failing to disclose that, at the time the parties approved him as a member of the arbitration panel, the firm at which he worked represented the ultimate parent company of one of the appellants in a mandamus proceeding to prevent the deposition of its CEO. The court held that an objective person could reasonably have concluded that the arbitrator’s nondisclosure of this fact was material, and that it created a reasonable impression of his partiality. The court also concluded Amoco failed to prove that if Oxy had performed a reasonable investigation of the arbitrator, it would have discovered his evident partiality. Amoco D.T. Co., v. Occidental Petroleum Corp., 343 S.W.3d 837 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2011, pet. denied).

 

Appellate Court Concludes Oil and Gas Producer Properly Paid Royalties on Casinghead Gas Under Long-Term Leases, Renders Judgment That Plaintiffs Take Nothing

In Occidental Permian Ltd. v. Helen Jones Foundation, et al., a group of Texas royalty owners alleged that OPL, an oil and gas producer, had underpaid royalties for casinghead gas produced during carbon dioxide-injection tertiary recovery operations in West Texas. Hankinson LLP was hired to… + read more

In Occidental Permian Ltd. v. Helen Jones Foundation, et al., a group of Texas royalty owners alleged that OPL, an oil and gas producer, had underpaid royalties for casinghead gas produced during carbon dioxide-injection tertiary recovery operations in West Texas. Hankinson LLP was hired to assist OPL during trial, post-trial, and appellate proceedings. After the jury reached a multi-million dollar verdict for the plaintiffs, OPL appealed. Deborah Hankinson argued the case before the Amarillo Court of Appeals, and the Amarillo Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment, concluding that no evidence supported the jury’s findings. The court of appeals rendered judgment that the plaintiffs take nothing against OPL. Occidental Permian Ltd. v. Helen Jones Foundation, et. al, 333 S.W.3d 392 (Tex. App.—Amarillo Jan. 31, 2011, pet. denied).

 

Expert Testimony Legally Insufficient to Support Verdict

In an appeal from a judgment on a jury verdict against current lease operator for underpaid royalties on casinghead gas, the court of appeals reversed, holding the evidence was legally insufficient. Because the testimony of plaintiff’s expert did not comport with the language of the… + read more

In an appeal from a judgment on a jury verdict against current lease operator for underpaid royalties on casinghead gas, the court of appeals reversed, holding the evidence was legally insufficient. Because the testimony of plaintiff’s expert did not comport with the language of the leases, it constituted no evidence of the operator’s failure to pay royalties. Additionally, the proceeds to which expert pointed as the basis for his theory were proceeds of the sale of gas after processing  rather than as produced at the wellhead. Moreover, the royalty owners’ expert’s testimony did not comport with state law as to the determination of the market value of casinghead gas, and thus did not support the verdict that the lease operators underpaid royalties on market-value leases. Deborah Hankinson represented Occidental Permian in this successful appeal. Occidental Permian Ltd. v. Helen Jones Foundation, 333 S.W.3d 392 (Tex. App. – Amarillo 2011, pet. denied).

 

Supreme Court Strikes Down Unconstitutionally Retroactive Statute

Representing the estate of a worker who died of mesothelioma, Deborah Hankinson successfully argued to the Texas Supreme Court that a statute limiting corporate successor liability for asbestos-related claims was unconstitutionally retroactive. The statute was enacted after the plaintiff filed common law negligence and product… + read more

Representing the estate of a worker who died of mesothelioma, Deborah Hankinson successfully argued to the Texas Supreme Court that a statute limiting corporate successor liability for asbestos-related claims was unconstitutionally retroactive. The statute was enacted after the plaintiff filed common law negligence and product liability claims against the defendant, a successor corporation to an asbestos manufacturer. The court held the statute’s retroactive elimination of plaintiff’s mature common law tort claims, which had a substantial basis in fact, disrupted his reasonable, settled expectations under the law. The statute was enacted to help only the defendant, and no one else. Because the legislature made no findings on any substantial public interest that the statute served, the court concluded that the public interest served by the statute was slight. Robinson v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., 335 S.W.3d 126 (Tex. 2010).

 

Court Upholds Jury Verdict of No Substantial Oil and Gas Drainage

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment on a jury verdict in favor of Deborah Hankinson’s client, Occidental Permian. The court held the evidence was legally sufficient to support the jury’s finding that substantial drainage of oil or gas from a lease did… + read more

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment on a jury verdict in favor of Deborah Hankinson’s client, Occidental Permian. The court held the evidence was legally sufficient to support the jury’s finding that substantial drainage of oil or gas from a lease did not occur. In so holding, the court relied on the testimony of two experts who found no evidence of substantial drainage and on production data that was consistent with that expected in a bottom water drive reservoir such as the lease at issue. Additionally, the court held that because the trial court reasonably could have found the testimony of an expert rebuttal witness to be unreliable, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in instructing the jury to disregard it. Finally, the court held any error in the trial court’s admission of an expert’s previously undisclosed opinion was harmless in light of the other evidence that was legally sufficient to support the verdict. Petroleum Synergy Group, Inc. v. Occidental Permian, Ltd, 331 S.W.3d 14 (Tex. App. – Amarillo 2010).

 

Dallas’ Hankinson, Levinger Named Among State’s Top Appellate Attorneys by Chambers USA

DALLAS – Deborah Hankinson and Jeffrey Levinger, founding partners in the Dallas-based civil appellate firm of Hankinson Levinger LLP, are recognized as two of the state’s top appellate lawyers in the prestigious Chambers USA 2010 legal directory. The U.K.-based publication exclusively lists law firms and… + read more

Attorney:

DALLAS – Deborah Hankinson and Jeffrey Levinger, founding partners in the Dallas-based civil appellate firm of Hankinson Levinger LLP, are recognized as two of the state’s top appellate lawyers in the prestigious Chambers USA 2010 legal directory. The U.K.-based publication exclusively lists law firms and attorneys who are strongly recommended based on in-depth interviews with peers and clients.

Ms. Hankinson, a former Texas Supreme Court Justice, practices appellate law and serves as a mediator and arbitrator in cases involving a variety of complex legal issues. In addition to her work at Texas’ highest civil appellate court, Ms. Hankinson previously served as a Justice on the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas.

The publication notes that the “incredibly talented” Ms. Hankinson “is recommended for her intimate knowledge of judiciary procedures and her seasoned approach.” She was recognized earlier this year as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon; one of D Magazine’s Best Women Lawyers in Dallas; and as one of the country’s top appellate attorneys in The Best Lawyers in America. She has been recognized among Texas’ top lawyers each year since the Texas Super Lawyers list first was published in 2003, and is ranked by Texas Lawyer newspaper as one of the state’s “Go-To” appellate attorneys, 2007.

Mr. Levinger, who has practiced appellate law for more than 25 years, is cited by Chambers as a “highly experienced, talented and knowledgeable appellate specialist”. Earlier this year, Mr. Levinger was named to “The Defenders,” an elite list of North Texas’ top business defense attorneys published by the Dallas Business Journal. He currently serves as Chairman of the State Bar of Texas Committee on Pattern Jury Charges (Malpractice, Premises, and Products) and is an officer of the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section. He has been recognized among Texas’ top lawyers each year since the Texas Super Lawyers list first was published in 2003, and also was honored earlier this year in D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas listing. Mr. Levinger also is listed in The Best Lawyers in America as one of the nation’s top lawyers in both appeals and commercial litigation, since 2008.

Hankinson Levinger, the preeminent civil appellate firm in the Southwest, provides clients with innovative legal insights and judicial perspective in all phases of litigation. The firm’s attorneys work with trial teams to develop strategies designed to put a case in the best position before, during, and after trial. Hankinson Levinger represents national clients, regional companies, governmental bodies, and individuals with trial and appellate matters, and offers mediation and arbitration services as well.

Learn more about the firm at http://www.hankinsonlaw.com.

For more information on Hankinson Levinger and the Chambers honor, please contact Mark Annick at 800-559-4534 or mark@androvett.com.

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Hankinson Client Prevails in Trespass to Try Title Action

In this trespass to try title action, the plaintiff operator had filed suit against another operator who had purchased a lease on a tract of land on which the plaintiff also claimed to hold a lease. Ruling in favor of the defendant, represented by Deborah… + read more

In this trespass to try title action, the plaintiff operator had filed suit against another operator who had purchased a lease on a tract of land on which the plaintiff also claimed to hold a lease. Ruling in favor of the defendant, represented by Deborah Hankinson, the court of appeals held that the plaintiff had introduced insufficient evidence at trial to establish superior title out of a common source. The court reasoned the operator could not fill a gap in record title through the oral expert testimony of an attorney, and that documentary evidence is required to establish title. The court of appeals also concluded that the plaintiff had introduced no evidence to prove title by prior possession of the property through production from wells on the lease. McCammon v. Ischy, 2010 WL 1930149 (Tex. App. – Austin 2010, pet. denied).

 

Take-Nothing Judgment in Intellectual Property Dispute Affirmed on Appeal

In Rusty’s Weigh Scales v. North Texas Scales, the plaintiff alleged that NTS misappropriated trade secrets when it repaired industrial weighing scales originally sold and programmed by the plaintiff. Hankinson LLP was hired to represent NTS after the trial court initially rendered judgment for the… + read more

In Rusty’s Weigh Scales v. North Texas Scales, the plaintiff alleged that NTS misappropriated trade secrets when it repaired industrial weighing scales originally sold and programmed by the plaintiff. Hankinson LLP was hired to represent NTS after the trial court initially rendered judgment for the plaintiff. Deborah Hankinson successfully persuaded the trial court to withdraw the first judgment and render judgment that the plaintiff take nothing.  After briefing and argument, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of NTS, concluding that the plaintiff provided insufficient evidence to support any damages award. Rusty’s Weigh Scales v. North Texas Scales, 314 S.W.3d 105 (Tex.App.—El Paso 2010, no pet.).

 

Hankinson Client Prevails in Indemnification Offset Argument

Manchester, the manufacturer of an LP-gas cylinder that exploded, appealed from the trial court’s denial of its indemnification claim against ECI, the manufacturer of the cylinder’s valve assembly component. Ruling in favor of Deborah Hankinson’s client, ECI, the Court of Appeals held Manchester was a… + read more

Manchester, the manufacturer of an LP-gas cylinder that exploded, appealed from the trial court’s denial of its indemnification claim against ECI, the manufacturer of the cylinder’s valve assembly component. Ruling in favor of Deborah Hankinson’s client, ECI, the Court of Appeals held Manchester was a manufacturer as to ECI within the meaning of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, and not just a mere seller. Because the injured claimants’ pleadings in the underlying products liability case alleged that both the valve and cylinder were defective, both ECI and Manchester had a duty to indemnify each other. The proof at the indemnification trial, however, established that neither the cylinder nor the valve was defective. Therefore, the parties’ duties of indemnification offset each other. Manchester Tank & Equip. Co. v. Engineered Controls Intern., Inc., 311 S.W.3d 573 (Tex. App. – Waco 2009, pet. denied).

 

Meaning of Ambiguous Indemnity Provision Properly Submitted to Jury

Pursuant to a stock purchase agreement, Maxus sold Occidental all the stock of a subsidiary and agreed to indemnify Occidental against claims arising out of the subsidiary’s prior chemical business. The court of appeals held that the indemnification provision was ambiguous as to whether the… + read more

Pursuant to a stock purchase agreement, Maxus sold Occidental all the stock of a subsidiary and agreed to indemnify Occidental against claims arising out of the subsidiary’s prior chemical business. The court of appeals held that the indemnification provision was ambiguous as to whether the indemnity was limited to a twelve year period or was indefinite in duration. Because of the ambiguity, the court held the trial court had properly submitted the question of its meaning to the jury, which had found in favor of Occidental. The court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of Occidental, which was represented by Deborah Hankinson. Maxus Energy Corp. v. Occidental Chemical Corp., 244 S.W.3d 875 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2008, pet. denied).

 

Supreme Court Strengthens Causation Requirement in Asbestos Cases

In an asbestos-related products liability and negligence case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Deborah Hankinson’s client, Borg-Warner, holding a plaintiff must prove that exposure to the defendant’s product was a “substantial factor” in bringing about his asbestosis. The expert’s testimony that plaintiff had… + read more

In an asbestos-related products liability and negligence case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Deborah Hankinson’s client, Borg-Warner, holding a plaintiff must prove that exposure to the defendant’s product was a “substantial factor” in bringing about his asbestosis. The expert’s testimony that plaintiff had been exposed to “some asbestos” was insufficient. Instead, the plaintiff was required to introduce evidence showing the approximate amount of Borg-Warner fibers to which he had been exposed. The plaintiff further had to establish and that this exposure sufficiently contributed to the total dose of asbestos he inhaled such that it could be considered a substantial factor causing his asbestosis. Borg-Warner Corp. v. Flores, 232 S.W.3d 765 (Tex. 2007).

 

Deputy Constables Entitled to Procedural, not Substantive, Due Process

When a newly elected constable refused to swear in three deputy constables, they brought suit against the county claiming substantive and procedural due process violations. The Supreme Court held that as civil servants who could be dismissed only for just cause, the deputies had no… + read more

When a newly elected constable refused to swear in three deputy constables, they brought suit against the county claiming substantive and procedural due process violations. The Supreme Court held that as civil servants who could be dismissed only for just cause, the deputies had no substantive due process rights in their continued employment. Even if they did, however, the county’s termination of their employment was not so arbitrary and conscience-shocking that it violated substantive due process. Because they were not given the procedural due process that the county’s civil service system required, the deputies were entitled to nominal damages without proof of actual injury. On remand, if the county establishes just cause to terminate them, the deputies will only be entitled to damages directly resulting from the denial of a hearing, but if the county does not show just cause, the deputies may recover damages resulting from their dismissal. Deborah Hankinson and Rick Thompson represented the County of Dallas. County of Dallas v. Wiland, 216 S.W.3d 344 (Tex. 2007).

 

City Waives Immunity only to Extent Claims against City Offset City’s Claims

The Supreme Court held that when a municipality and another party bring suit against each other, the city only waives its immunity to the extent the claims against it offset its own affirmative claims. As to any damages claim against the city that exceeds the… + read more

The Supreme Court held that when a municipality and another party bring suit against each other, the city only waives its immunity to the extent the claims against it offset its own affirmative claims. As to any damages claim against the city that exceeds the amount of the offset, the trial court has no jurisdiction. The Court further held that the Texas Tort Claims Act only waives a municipality’s immunity when the city is the user of the property causing injury, which the City of Dallas was not in this case. Deborah Hankinson represented the City in this important decision. Reata Const. Corp. v. City of Dallas, 197 S.W.3d 371 (Tex. 2006).

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