Year: 2014

Gage and Wright Obtain Landmark Dismissal

In Victoria Gilkerson and Blind Ambitions Group, et. al. v. The Chasewood Bank, Cause No. 4:13-cv-00132, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, Buck Keenan lawyers Bill Gage and Andrew Wright secured a dismissal for Chasewood Bank (“Chasewood”) of class action claims brought under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Texas Human Resources Code, Texas Architectural Barrier Act, and Texas Government Code. The claims alleged deficiencies in Chasewood’s automatic teller machine (“ATM”) network related to speech output, input controls, numeric keypad, display screens, and Braille instructions. The lawsuit was one of hundreds of nearly identical lawsuits across the country, and approximately 50 in Texas, filed against banks operating ATMs since the new ADA guidelines that took effect March 15, 2012. The dismissal is the first in Texas or elsewhere known at this time that did not involve a settlement payment by the defendant financial institution.

DeAyala Appointed to Attorney General-elect Paxton’s Transition Team

Texas Attorney General-elect Ken Paxton has appointed Buck Keenan partner Mano DeAyala to his transition advisory team.

“I’m excited as we work through this transition and prepare for the years ahead,” Paxton said in a press release. “We are building a highly qualified and dedicated team.”

Buck Keenan Included in “Best Law Firms” List for Litigation

We are pleased to announce Buck Keenan’s inclusion in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list.

Buck Keenan was named a Best Law Firm in the Houston metropolitan area and was ranked as Tier 1 for Litigation.

To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the US.

“For thirty years, U.S. News has provided consumers with accurate, in-depth information and rankings of a wide range of institutions,” said Tim Smart, Executive Editor of U.S. News & World Report, in a press release. “Law firms are an integral part of our rankings and a natural accompaniment to the law school rankings.”

DeAyala Recognized as Super Lawyer

Buck Keenan partner Mano DeAyala was selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers 2014. DeAyala was recognized for business litigation expertise for the fourth consecutive year. The list of Texas Super Lawyers was compiled by Thomson Reuters and will be published in an upcoming issue of Texas Monthly.

Andrew Wright Obtains TRO for Alzheimer’s Association of Houston

On May 2, 2014, Andrew Wright secured a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) in Cause No. 2014-24906, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc. – Houston v. 5959 Long Investments, LLC, in the 270th District Court of Harris County, Texas, for client the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc. – Houston (“Alzheimer’s Association of Houston”), enjoining an adjacent landowner from continuing use of a pipe that encroached the property line and was dumping waste on the Alzheimer’s Association of Houston’s property which is the location of its newly renovated regional headquarters.

At the contested hearing, Wright argued the neighbor’s continued use of the pipe would cause the Alzheimer’s Association of Houston immediate and irreparable harm by either causing sewage to openly flow onto the property in violation of various City of Houston ordinances or forcing the Alzheimer’s Association of Houston to capture and dispose of the sewage at its own expense. In granting the TRO, Judge Weiman ordered the Defendant to cease: (1) continuing use of the sewer line at issue until it could be repaired to flow directly into the City of Houston sewer system or causing anything including sewage from flowing onto the property; and (2) otherwise interfering with the Alzheimer’s Association of Houston’s ownership or possession of the property. Bond of $500 was executed and filed.

On May 16, 2014, the TRO was converted to a Temporary Injunction and trial is set for November 3, 2014 before Judge Gamble. The lawsuit includes claims for trespass, trespass to try title, and tort per se, and seeks permanent injunctive and declaratory relief, damages, court costs and attorneys’ fees.