Joshua R. Flores Earns Unanimous Jury Verdict

Article posted 03/21/2019

On March 20, 2019 firm Senior Associate, Joshua R. Flores, earned an unanimous jury verdict on a breach of contract matter in the 334th District Court of Harris County, Texas. After a three-day trial, the jury found the opposing party breached the contract at issue and award ...

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HOP ON BOARD THE EEO-1—THE HOTTEST NEW ROLLERCOASTER—WILD RIDE AWAITS

Article posted 03/06/2019

Late on the night of March 4, 2019, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a 42-page opinion in National Women’s Law Center v. OMB reviving the revised EEO-1 which requires employers with 100 or more employees (federa ...

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2019 Texas Rising Stars

Article posted 03/05/2019

Four Attorneys Named to 2019 Texas Rising Stars List Crain Caton & James congratulates attorneys Allison T. Beckham, Kathleen Tanner Beduze, Joshua R. Flores, and David A. Polsinelli for being named to the 2019 Texas Rising Stars list published by Super Lawyers. Alli ...

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Sarah Patel Pacheco named to Texas Top 50 Women’s List by Super Lawyers

Article posted 01/04/2019

HOUSTON-January 4, 2019 - Sarah Patel Pacheco, shareholder and president of Crain Caton & James, was named to the 2019 Super Lawyers Texas Top 50 Women’s List.  Sarah was recognized for using her extensive experience in litigation, accounting, tax, and estate a ...

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Crain Caton & James Elves Wrapped over 250 Gifts for Adopt an Angel Program

Article posted 12/05/2018

 HOUSTON-December 5, 2018 -Conference rooms at Crain Caton and James were filled with shiny bikes, glittery-covered packages, and festive music as firm members wrapped gifts for the Houston Young Lawyers Foundation’s (HYLF) Adopt an Angel Program.  This program ra ...

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Roadmap for Fiduciaries and Other Professionals to Avoid Being Sued

Article posted 11/15/2018

HOUSTON, November 15, 2018 - Sarah Patel Pacheco, spoke on Fiduciary Pitfalls to the Houston Business and Estate Planning Council.  Kathleen Tanner Beduze and Chasity W. Cooper assisted her with the written matters.  The program offered a roadmap for fiduciaries and oth ...

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Esteban Martinez receives 2018 Paralegal of the Year award

Article posted 11/14/2018

Congratulations to our own Esteban Martinez for receiving the 2018 Paralegal of the Year award from the Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association! ...

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Crain Caton & James Named to U.S. News 2019 “Best Law Firms” List

Article posted 11/01/2018

HOUSTON, November 1, 2018 - Crain Caton & James is pleased to announce that is listed on U.S. News 2019 "Best Law Firms" List.  The firm is listed on two national and eight regional rankings.  See below for the complete listing. National Ranki ...

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Hot Topics in Employment Law

Article posted 10/30/2018

Kimberly R. Stuart, a shareholder in the Labor and Employment practice area of Crain Caton & James, will speak on the latest Hot Topics in Employment Law at the Houston Association of Legal Professionals (HALP) November 13 meeting.  Some of the topics Kim plans to discus ...

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Crain Caton & James Names Sarah Patel Pacheco Firm President

Article posted 09/17/2018

HOUSTON, September 17 –Sarah Patel Pacheco, a leading fiduciary litigator, has again been named President of Crain Caton & James (CCJ).  She has been a member of the firm’s executive committee for close to 10 years and practiced law in Houston for over 20 yea ...

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Darlene Payne Smith Panelist at Texas Bar’s 7th Annual Course on Firearms Law

Article posted 09/13/2018

Darlene Payne Smith, shareholder and mediator in the Probate, Trusts and Guardianship and Fiduciary Litigation Practice Areas of Crain Caton & James, will be a panelist at the Texas Bar’s 7th Annual Course on Firearms Law:  What Every Texas Lawyer Needs to Know 201 ...

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Crain Caton & James Congratulates Eight Attorneys Selected for the 2018 Texas Super Lawyers List

Article posted 09/10/2018

We are pleased to announce that eight shareholders were named to the 2018 Texas Super Lawyers List.  Super Lawyers is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than five percent of attorneys in Texas. Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced ...

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New Guidance New Day for FLSA

Article posted 09/05/2018

Shareholder Kim Stuart updates clients on the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest opinion letters addressing significant issues under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Each of these opinions showcases the agency’s pro-business direction under the new ad ...

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Rob Wisner Shares Cherish Our Children International Success

Article posted 08/27/2018

CCJ banking attorney Rob Wisner is the Chairman of the Board of Cherish Our Children International (COCI), which is an organization whose “mission is to create sustainable solutions for the world’s most vulnerable children.”  Through their No More Victims p ...

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Crain Caton & James Attorneys Assist Candor Midstream

Article posted 08/23/2018

Crain Caton & James’ attorneys, led by corporate shareholders Jonathan Bickham and David Griffis, with assistance from real estate shareholder Jason Davis and tax shareholder Larry George, were legal advisers to Candor Midstream in $200 million commitment ...

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Crain Caton & James Attorneys Assist Moda Midstream in Terminal Acquisition

Article posted 08/22/2018

Crain Caton & James and Baker Botts served as legal counsel to Moda Midstream in their acquisition of Oxy Ingleside Energy Center and certain crude oil and LPG infrastructure from Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY).  The companies have entered into a definitive agree ...

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Eight CCJ Lawyers Named to Best Lawyers in America 2019 List Edition

Article posted 08/15/2018

Eight CCJ Lawyers Named to Best Lawyers in America 2019 List Edition Crain Caton & James congratulates eight of its lawyers for being named to the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers, a highly regarded peer review publication for the legal profession. The list includes: ...

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New Guidance New Day for FLSA

Article posted 09/05/2018

Shareholder Kim Stuart updates clients on the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest opinion letters addressing significant issues under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Each of these opinions showcases the agency’s pro-business direction under the new ad ...

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The Trump Administration Speaks On Independent Contractors

Article posted 08/16/2018

Attorney Shareholder Kim Stuart summarizes the current trends involving independent contractor status.  On July 13, 2018, the Trump administration issued its first guidance on its views on independent contractors when it issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) entitled &ldq ...

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Court Will Not Dismiss CWA Climate Change Related Counts against ExxonMobil

Article posted 03/18/2019

A federal district court judge in Massachusetts refused to dismiss climate change related counts in a citizen suit against ExxonMobil but did schedule a hearing on ExxonMobil’s request to stay the case to allow EPA to consider key issues in the case.  The stay request ...

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Groundwater Remediation Done under State Sufficient to Preclude Private Party’s Injunction Demand

Article posted 03/11/2019

Groundwater Remediation Done under State Consent Order Is Sufficient to Preclude Private Party’s Injunction Demand Under a Consent Order with the State and Illinois EPA (IEPA), General Electric (GE) is remediating groundwater contamination caused by historical operat ...

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United States and City of Houston Say Settlement Is Imminent in CWA Enforcement Case

Article posted 03/04/2019

At a status conference in federal court on February 22, 2019, the United States, the State of Texas, and the City of Houston told the judge a comprehensive consent order has been agreed, except for the amount of fine the City will pay, in a Clean Water Act (CWA) enforcement case. ...

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US Supreme Court to Decide CWA Issue

Article posted 02/25/2019

On February 19, 2019 the United States Supreme Court granted the writ of certiorari in the Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suit case County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund.  This means the Court will call for full briefs and schedule oral argument in the case. Review ...

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Tanker Company Hit with $2 Million Fine and Captain Faces 6-Count Indictment

Article posted 02/18/2019

Interorient Marine Services Limited, which operates vessels throughout the world, pleaded guilty to a felony for falsifying its Oil Record Book.  As a result, the company will pay a $2 million fine.  It will also be on probation for four years, during which the company ...

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Biodiesel Company Pleads to Felony for Releasing Wastewater into Storm Water Pit

Article posted 02/11/2019

Fuel Bio One, a biodiesel company, had tanks for its wastewater and a storm water pit.  Its water discharge permit allowed the company to pump from the storm water pit into Arthur Kill, a waterbody separating New Jersey from Staten Island.  The permit did not allow the ...

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Increased EPA Flexibility Predicted for Oil & Gas Audits by New Owners

Article posted 02/04/2019

A January 29, 2019 article in The Hill predicted EPA will soon announce a finalized audit policy for new owners of oil and gas facilities.  The Hill predicts the finalized “New Owner Clean Air Act Audit Program for Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Production Facilit ...

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Official 2018 EPA Enforcement Statistics Not Yet Announced; Unofficial Analyses Say Enforcement Has

Article posted 01/28/2019

In years unaffected by government shutdowns, EPA published its annual enforcement statistics before or just after the end of the calendar year.  EPA’s 2018 fiscal year ended September 30, 2018. Trend of Declining EPA Enforcement The statistics EPA published approxi ...

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Sixth Circuit Refuses to Rehear Key CWA Case

Article posted 01/22/2019

On January 17, 2019, the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit refused to grant rehearing en banc of a key Clean Water Act (CWA) case.  Two of the 16 active circuit court judges issued written dissents from the refusal.  This decision means the holding by the three-ju ...

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Ninth Circuit May End “Youth” Climate Suit

Article posted 01/14/2019

Several young persons sued the federal government alleging violation of constitutional rights from federal action contributing to climate change.  On December 26, 2018, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit accepted an interlocutory ...

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Government Supports Supreme Court Review in CWA Case

Article posted 01/07/2019

The Solicitor General, on behalf of the United States, filed a brief in the United States Supreme Court in two Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suit cases, County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund and Kinder Morgan v. Upstate Forever.  While private groups brought the case ...

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Court of Appeals Rejects Forest Service’s Approval of Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Article posted 12/17/2018

On December 13, 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit vacated a US Forest Service (USFS) Special Use Permit (SUP) and Record of Decision (ROD) authorizing construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).  The SUP and ROD would have allowed the pipeline to cross ...

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US Supreme Court Seeks Government's View on Key CWA Issue

Article posted 12/10/2018

The United States Supreme Court has requested the federal government file a brief in Kinder Morgan v. Upstate Forever and City of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund.  Interpretation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) is an issue in both cases.  According to the Court’s ...

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Environmental Group Allowed to Intervene in CWA Enforcement Case Against City of Houston

Article posted 12/03/2018

On September 20, 2018, the United States and the State of Texas (the Governments) sued the City of Houston for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) due to the City’s wastewater discharges.  One day after the Governments sued, Bayou City Waterkeeper (BCW) fil ...

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2018 Election Will Dramatically Change the Texas Mid-Level Appellate Courts

Article posted 11/26/2018

Republicans continued to win all statewide elections in Texas. Texas still has two Republican senators and only Republicans hold statewide offices.  The two highest Texas courts, the Supreme Court of Texas, which hears only civil cases, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeal ...

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Appellate Court Says Developer Cannot Increase Impervious Cover While Matter Is Pending

Article posted 11/19/2018

Patricia and Terrell Graham sued DHJB Development, the developer of nearby property, claiming the development diverted water in a way that damaged the Grahams’ property.  The trial court determined DHJB’s development threatened to cause irreparable harm to the Gr ...

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The 2018 Election: Results and Consequences

Article posted 11/12/2018

The Republicans won 51 Senate seats, the Democrats won 46.  Independents who will caucus with Democrats won two seats.  One seat is subject to a run-off election in Mississippi and two seats are in races so close a definitive winner has yet to be announced. Republica ...

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Largest U.S. Natural Gas Processing Plant Accepts Multi-Million Dollar Clean Air Act Settlement

Article posted 11/05/2018

The country’s largest natural gas processing facility, located near Chicago, Illinois, has agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement regarding alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations. Civil Penalty, Upgrades and Mitigation Aux Sable Liquid Products will pay a $2.7 mill ...

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EPA and Justice Department Reach Historic RMP Settlement with Chevron

Article posted 10/29/2018

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the largest Risk Management Plan (RMP) enforcement settlement in history. According to DOJ’s October 24, 2018 announcement, the settlement requires Chevron to upgrade its refineries, pay a $2.95 million civil penalty, and imple ...

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Insurance Must Cover Carbon Monoxide Leak at Hotel

Article posted 10/22/2018

Several guests at a hotel in Oklahoma claimed they were injured due to carbon monoxide poisoning from an indoor-swimming-pool heater that had recently been serviced.  The hotel had an insurance policy, but the insurance carrier said the policy did not cover these claims.&nbs ...

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Court Upholds Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program

Article posted 10/15/2018

The State of Oregon adopted a program that assigns a “carbon intensity” value to all transportation fuels.  Those fuels below a certain intensity receive economic credits; those above receive deficits.  The program gives an economic advantage to sellers of l ...

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Supreme Court Should Clarify Clean Water Act Scope

Article posted 10/01/2018

Recent cases illustrate the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if the Clean Water Act (CWA) applies to discharges that reach surface water through groundwater.  If it decides the issue, the decision may also clarify the meaning of “point source” in the CWA ...

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Appellate Court Affirms $8.3 Million against Teck for Tribes’ Past UCR Site Costs

Article posted 09/24/2018

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a trial court’s assessment of approximately $8.3 million in reimbursement of past CERCLA response costs to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (the Tribes) against Teck Cominco Metals (Teck) relating to ...

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California Jury Convicts Plains for Pipeline Leak

Article posted 09/17/2018

After three months of trial and six days of deliberation, a jury in Santa Barbara County, California convicted Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. of one felony and eight misdemeanors for a May 2015 pipeline leak.  The Plains 901 pipeline ruptured near Refugio State Beach in ...

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US Supreme Court Asked to Consider if CWA Citizen Suits Can Address Migration through Groundwater

Article posted 09/10/2018

On successive days, two Petitions for Writ of Certiorari in Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suit cases were filed with the United States Supreme Court, County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund on August 27 and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners v. Upstate Forever on August 28. Migratio ...

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Judge Refuses to Dismiss Suit Alleging ExxonMobil Defrauded Investors regarding Estimated Future Cos

Article posted 09/04/2018

A group of investors filed a securities fraud case against ExxonMobil, Ramirez v ExxonMobil.  The investors base some of the allegations on ExxonMobil’s public statements that, by using a proxy cost of carbon, it accounted for the economic effect of future governme ...

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Environmental Group Serves City of Houston with Intent to Sue Over Sewage Discharges

Article posted 08/27/2018

On July 23, 2018, Bayou City Waterkeeper (“BCW”) served a 60-day notice of intent (“NOI”) to sue to the City of Houston for more than 9,000 self-reported sewage discharge violations. These discharges were largely caused by sanitary sewage overflows. BCW ...

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California Roundup Verdict: Will It Survive Appeals? Could It Happen in Texas?

Article posted 08/24/2018

California Roundup Verdict: Will It Survive Appeals? Could It Happen in Texas? A California jury awarded $289 million, including $250 million in punitive damages, against Monsanto for allegedly causing a school district groundskeeper, DeWayne Johnson, to contract non-Hodgkins ...

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Mid-Level Texas Appeals Court Clarifies Procedures for Challenging TCEQ Tax Exemption Decisions

Article posted 08/13/2018

Mid-Level Texas Appeals Court Clarifies Procedures for Challenging TCEQ Tax Exemption Decisions  The Dallas Court of Appeals, a mid-level Texas appeals court, issued an opinion clarifying the procedures for challenging a TCEQ tax exemption decision, Panda Sherman Power v. ...

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Sovereign Immunity Bars Private Party’s CERCLA Claims against State Agencies

Article posted 08/06/2018

The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ordered dismissal of claims for contribution or cost recovery against several Texas agencies based on the doctrine of sovereign immunity.  State Agencies Allegedly Arranged for Disposal at the USOR Site The United St ...

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