The Bassett Firm
Toll Free : (800)310-9769
Main Phone Number : (214)219-9900
Fax Number : (214)219-9456

February 2013 Archives

The Impact of the New Texas Expedited Trial Rules on Mediation

The new Texas expedited trial rules are set to go into effect on March 1, 2013. The new rules affect pleadings, discovery, and the ADR process in cases valued at under $100,000.00. Before this rule, courts had the ability to order cases to mediation. New Rule 169 will allow parties to agree not to go to mediation and the court will have to honor that agreement. The Texas Supreme Court, however, did give courts the discretion on sending cases to mediation where at least one side requests to mediate. The parties can always agree to go to mediation or be required by contract to mediate, but can no longer be ordered to mediate if there is no agreement. This new rule does not affect those cases pre-suit or where the damages sought are over $100,000.00. The absence of the court's ability to order mediation could result in fewer cases going through the ADR process and this could result in an increasing number of trials burdening the court's docket.

What is a "Whistle Blower" Lawsuit?

The United States Government may seem all-knowing and powerful, but in truth, it is often susceptible to fraud and deception. Everyday, especially during tax season, individuals or companies attempt to defraud the government in order to receive or avoid paying money. To combat this fact, the U.S. decided to pass the False Claims Act which incentivizes the disclosure of fraudulent activities by rewarding citizens who come forward with information a percentage of any recovered funds. Since its enactment in 1987, the government has recovered over $30 billion of fraudulent funds. Nearly $3.5 billion of that amount has been paid out to the citizens who helped uncover the fraud.

The Effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea on the Transportation Industry

A large percent of truck drivers are at risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when there are periods of complete or partial blockage of the upper airway during sleep. Those at the greatest risk for OSA are men and postmenopausal women, older than 42, who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or above, a family history of OSA, and/or a small jaw or airway. OSA can increase potential for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke if left untreated. Most importantly for the trucking industry, OSA leads to excessive sleepiness and exhaustion.

Primary vs. Ancillary Claims Case to be Heard in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court heard arguments today on In re John W. Cook, et al., a case that could yield a clarification of what constitutes primary and ancillary relief in Pleadings, along with direction on enforcing mandatory venue provisions in light of contradictory statutory allowances.

Elements Needed in Non-Compete Agreements in Texas

In Texas, there are two elements that must be present when determining the validity of non-compete agreements: (1) the non-compete agreement must be ancillary to an otherwise enforceable agreement and (2) the non-compete agreement must contain reasonable limitations that are not too burdensome.

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