Texas Supreme Court Orders (10/21/16)

 Posted by Rich PhillipsIn its weekly order list on October 21, 2016, the Supreme Court of Texas issued a slightly revised opinion in one case and granted review in two additional cases.The corrected opinion was issued in No. 14-0743, Southwest Royalties, Inc. v. Hegar. According to Osler McCarthy, the Court’s staff attorney for public information, the changes are all in one paragraph on pages 10-11 of the slip opinion. The revised opinion adds one sentence clarifying that sometimes, oil and gas will not leave the formation without “application of artificial means.”The Court granted review in the following two cases:No. 15-0557, Rogers v. Zanetti – This is a legal malpractice case alleging malpractice in drafting an agreement and in defending the litigation that arose from the agreement. Petitioners argue that the Court should adopt a different causation standard for “transactional malpractice” than the “case-within-a-case” standard that applies to litigation malpractice. Petitioners also argue that the statute of limitations for the alleged “transactional malpractice” should be tolled under the same rule that tolls limitations for litigation malpractice. Respondents argue that some of petitioners’ issues were waived because they were not properly raised in the trial court and that there is no evidence that any of the alleged malpractice caused the petitioners’ damages. Argument has been set for January 11, 2017.No. 16-0075, Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. v. Helix Well Ops, Inc. – This appeal arises from a personal injury case asserting claims under the Jones Act for injuries sustained on a ship during an overhaul. The trial court granted summary judgment on the ground that the Jones Act did not apply because the ship was undergoing a ‘major overhaul” when the plaintiff was injured. The court of appeals found that there is a fact issue regarding whether the plaintiff was a “seaman” for purposes of the Jones Act and reversed and remanded for further proceedings. The issue in the Supreme Court is whether the ship on which the plaintiff was working could be a “vessel” under the Jones Act while the vessel was undergoing an overhaul. Argument has been set for January 11, 2017.