Brandon Darby, Appellant v. The New York Times Company and James C. McKinley, Jr.
Successfully defended the appeal of a defamation summary judgment ruling in our clients' favor after plaintiff, a former activist and FBI informant, sued our clients, The New York Times
and one of its reporters, for $187 million dollars for an article written about an arson at the Texas Governor’s Mansion that mentioned the plaintiff’s relationship, as an FBI undercover informant, to two activists who were convicted for their actions at the 2008 Republican National Convention. We filed a motion for summary judgment asserting the statements made were not capable of a defamatory meaning, were true or substantially true, privileged and plaintiff was a public figure and could not establish actual malice. After a hearing on our motion for summary judgment, and before any depositions had been taken, the court granted defendants’ motion and dismissed the case in its entirety. The plaintiff appealed and the Court of Appeals for the Seventh District of Texas at Amarillo affirmed on the grounds of actual malice.
Oil and Gas Leases Dispute
Represented a mineral lease interest holder in suit brought by landowner alleging oil and gas leases had expired due to alleged violation of continuous development clauses.
In re: L.A.C., in the 323rd District Court of Tarrant County, Texas
On behalf of daily newspaper, filed a plea in intervention opposing a defense motion to close the trial of a juvenile case to the press and public. The defense attorney withdrew the motion and agreed that the trial would be held in open court.
KTRK Television, Inc. v. Theaola Robinson, Cause No. 01-12-00372-CV; in the First Court of Appeals, Houston, TX
Represented a television station in a libel per se
action brought in response to the station's true reports on the closing of a local charter school due to (among other things) a lack of adequate funds and allegations of financial mismanagement and failure to properly account for state funds. Finding that the station had not accused the plaintiff, the former superintendent of the school, of any criminal activity and that the broadcasts were true, the court of appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the station's Anti-SLAPP Motion and dismissed the case against the station. The court also held that one cannot rely upon third-party user generated content to establish a defamation per se
Murphy v. Reynolds, 2011 WL 4502523 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth Sept. 29, 2011)
Represented the author of a financial newsletter who was found not liable under Texas Securities Act to a subscriber who claimed to have lost money in the market based on the author's advice.
NFL Properties LLC, Green Bay Packers, Inc. and Pittsburgh Steelers Sports, Inc. v. Does 1 through 100; Cause No. 352-250686-11, in the 352nd District Court of Tarrant County, Texas
Represented the NFL in obtaining "John Doe" injunctive relief to enable the League and its member teams to obtain civil enforcement orders allowing seizure of counterfeit merchandise that infringed upon NFL trademarks sold in and around the area where Super Bowl XLV was held.
Force Majeure Lease Termination
The issue in this case was whether the force majeure clause in an oil and gas lease operated to extend the primary term. Representing the owner of the minerals, we obtained summary judgment holding that the lessee’s efforts to obtain requisite governmental permits were, as a matter of law, insufficient to trigger the force majeure clause and extend the primary term. We obtained a declaratory judgment that the lease terminated, allowing the owner to sign a new, more favorable, lease with another operator.
DDB Technologies v. Schlumberger and MLB Advanced Media LLC
Represented Major League Baseball in series of state and federal court suits pertaining to certain game simulation patents owned by a Texas company and assigned to MLBAM by Schlumberger.
DDB Technologies, Inc. v. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Case No. A 04 CA 352 Western District of Texas, Austin Division
Defense of Major League Baseball in a patent dispute over interactive features of its website. Summary judgment was granted for MLBAM. Plaintiff appealed to Federal Circuit, which reversed and remanded. The case ultimately settled on confidential terms involving transfer of patents.
Thermacor Process, LP v. BASF Corp., 567 F.3d 736 (5th Cir. 2009)
Won summary judgment in a case involving fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and DTPA claims and alleged damages in excess of $10 million, and successfully defended the summary judgment on appeal.
Harvest House Publishers v. The Local Church, 190 S.W.3d 204 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2006, pet. denied)
In an interlocutory appeal following the trial court’s denial of summary judgment, obtained rendition of a take-nothing judgment for a media defendant in a defamation case.