Does the TCPA apply to a petition for a pre-suit deposition?

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Is a petition a “petition”? That’s the question raised in the recent case Florez v. Olibas, No. 08-19-00302-CV (Tex. App.—El Paso July 26, 2022, no pet. h.). Let me explain. The Texas Citizens Participation Act (the “TCPA”) is the Texas “anti-SLAPP” statute. I used to write a lot of blog posts about the TCPA, and then I stopped when it became less relevant to my practice. You can read a recap at Shrinkage: TX Legislature and 5th Circuit Cut the TCPA Down to Size. In a nutshell, if the TCPA applies to a lawsuit, then it gives the defendant an […]

What Clients Need to Understand About Litigation

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Sometimes at the end of a lawsuit I’ll tell my client, “congratulations, you’ve earned your Masters in litigation!” Or sometimes, if it’s a long, complicated lawsuit, a Ph.D. Usually the client is not excited. I don’t understand this. Why aren’t they happy to learn so much about how litigation works? Oh, yeah. There’s the time, money, and energy they expended to win that knowledge. But what if you could learn all those lessons, just without the lawsuit part? That was the inspiration for this blog post. I’m going to tell you the things you need to know about litigation ahead […]

Groove Crimes: A Practicing Litigator and Amateur Musician Explains “This Song Sounds Like That Song” Lawsuits

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Before we get into copyright infringement, first let me do you a favor. If you haven’t watched the video of Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes,” you have to check it out on YouTube. Weird Al has been churning out great song parodies since the 80s, but Word Crimes may be his magnum opus. It’s so good. Word Crimes is a parody of “Blurred Lines,” a song by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams that generated controversy from the start. First there was the music video, which was a little, uh . . . PG-13? Then people started scrutinizing the cringey lyrics. […]

What is the right measure of damages for breaking a non-compete?

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Checking in on our favorite non-compete fact pattern You might be wondering what happened to our friend Dawn Davis. Well, with the housing market booming, the window business is doing well. Dawn just had her best year of sales at Paula Payne Windows. But Dawn felt like she wasn’t getting a big enough cut of the profits. So she jumped ship and went to work for Real Cheap Windows. Trouble is, Dawn had a two-year non-compete with Payne, and Payne sued, asking for an injunction and damages. The judge denied the injunction, but the case is about to go to […]

A Juneteenth Lesson on Voting Rights

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Try This One Weird Trick for Denying the Right to Vote On this Juneteenth holiday, let me introduce you to Dr. Lonnie Smith. He was a dentist living in Houston’s Fifth Ward in the 1940s. Dr. Smith wanted to vote in the 1940 Democratic Party primary elections in Harris County. This was important, considering Democrats dominated Texas politics at the time, as they did in the other Southern states. The winners in the primary would effectively be the winners in the general election. But Dr. Smith could not vote in the primary for one simple reason: He was an African-American. […]