Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview - 3/26/15

Posted by Rich PhillipsOn Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of Texas will hear argument in three cases. You can watch the arguments (either live or recorded) here.No. 13-1026, Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams LLP v. Lopez – The Petitioner law firm seeks to enforce an arbitration agreement contained in its engagement agreement with its former client. The respondent client contends that the law firm had an ethical obligation to explain the effect of the arbitration provision and that the provision is illusory and unconscionable. One interesting feature of the arbitration provision at issue is that it does not require arbitration of fee disputes. (This case was been consolidated for argument with No. 14-0109, In re Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, LLP.)No. 14-0067, Zorrilla v. Aypco Construction II LLC – The primary issue in this appeal is whether the statutory cap on exemplary damages is an affirmative defense that can be waived if it is not pleaded. The petitioner also claims that the court of appeals erred in finding that the exemplary damages did not exceed the limits of due process.No. 14-0272, SeaBright Insurance Co. v. Lopez – This appeal arises from a workers’ compensation dispute. The issue is whether the employee was in the course and scope of his duties for the employer (as that term is defined in Texas Labor Code section 401.11(12)) when he was killed in an automobile accident. The employee was working on a project several hundred miles from his home. The employer paid him a per diem for his housing and food and provided him a vehicle while he was working away from home. He was killed while driving from temporary housing to the work site in the company vehicle.