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  News & Alerts
 
Recent News
 
Alerts
 
APRIL 2017
Mike Brem and Laura Jones obtained summary judgment in Brazoria County district court dismissing all of  plaintiff's claims with prejudice in an action where plaintiff alleged trespass, nuisance, and an implied easement over property leased by our Fortune 50 client.

 
MARCH 2017
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal in favor of our client in Alkhawaldeh vs The Dow Chemical Company.  Partner Mike Brem argued the case in the Fifth Circuit in December and, along with Janet Garza, handled this Title VII case throughout.  Read the Court's opinion here.

 
FEBRUARY 2017
Mike Brem and Janet Garza obtained a dismissal of our client in the Southern District of Texas in a construction dispute.  Read the district court's opinion here.

 
JANUARY 2017
The American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources recently published, in their Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee Newsletter, Senior Counsel Jim Smith's analysis "District Court Assesses $8.3 Million for Tribes' Past Costs for UCR Site; Teck Raises Procedural Issue on Appeal," which discusses Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd.

 
DECEMBER 2016
Partner Mike Brem argued the case of Alkhawaldeh v The Dow Chemical Company in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Listen to his portion of the argument here.
 
DECEMBER 2016
Minimize Enforcement Risks: Email jsmith@sdablaw.com to schedule his presentation "Fundamentals of Environmental Enforcement." Where: On site at your company; works great as a "Lunch and Learn." Length: One (1) Hour, Includes Q&A. Cost: Complementary!  Benefits: Help your employees understand and avoid the consequences of environmental enforcement; hear real stories about enforcement matters; discuss how a Trump EPA may affect enforcement, nationally and locally. Attendees:  For Non-Laywer Employees & In-House Attorneys.
 
MAY 2016
The Westlaw Journal Environmental recently published Senior Counsel Jim Smith's analysis "Jury Must Hear The State's Role in Delaying Environmental Remediation In a Condemnation Case," which discusses Caffé Ribs, Inc. v State of Texas.
 
MAY 2016
Mike Brem and Janet Garza obtained a $20.53 million judgment in federal court in Houston, in favor of our client, a major international deepwater drilling contractor.

 
MARCH 2016
The Westlaw Journal Environmental recently published Senior Counsel Jim Smith's analysis "Negligent Noise Nuisance Case Presents Substantial Issues to Texas Supreme Court," which discusses Crosstex North Texas Pipeline v Gardiner.

 
FEBRUARY 2016
Partner Mike Brem successfully tried an arbitration before the Texas Seed Arbitration Board, which heard the consolidated complaints of thirteen growers against our seed producer client and two distributors.  A unanimous panel found for our client on every issue of fact and conclusion of law.  Read one of the Reports of the Arbitration Board here.

 
DECEMBER 2015
Houstonia Magazine named Jim Smith to their annual list of Top Lawyers for Environmental/Natural Resources.


 
DECEMBER 2015
Mike Brem and Janet Garza obtained complete summary judgment for our Fortune 50 client in a Title VII case involving claims of religion, race, color, and national origin discrimination and retaliation.

 
SEPTEMBER 2015
Partners Peggy Brenner and Mike Brem have been named Texas Super Lawyers for 2015.  This is the tenth straight year that Mike has earned this distinction.

 
MAY 2015
Partner Mike Brem was admitted to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 
MARCH 2015
Partner Mike Brem and his wife Kate were featured on the cover of the March edition of West University Essentials magazine for their volunteer work with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
 
SEPTEMBER 2014
Partner Mike Brem argued the case of Patrickson, et al vs Dole Food Co, et al in the Hawai'i Supreme Court. Click here to listen to Mike's part of the argument.

 
SEPTEMBER 2014
Mike Brem and Janet Garza obtained summary judgment on limitations in favor of our Fortune 50 client as to 2,700 plaintiffs from Latin America in a Delaware federal district court.

 
SEPTEMBER 2014
Partner Mike Brem has been named a Texas Super Lawyer for 2014.  This is the ninth straight year that Mike has earned this distinction.

 
SEPTEMBER 2014
Partner Mike Brem obtained summary judgment for a subsidiary of our Fortune 50 client in an asbestos case in Philadelphia, PA. 
  

 
JUNE 2014
Andrew Schirrmeister was interviewed in the June issue of Fortune, Forbes and Money Magazines.

  

 
JUNE 2014
Partner Mike Brem has been elected to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's Board of Directors.  Mike also continues to serve as Chairman of the Show's Merchandise Committee.  Mike and the Firm strongly support the mission of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, participating in the Show's Wine and Junior Auctions, as well as donating to the Calf Scramble.

 
DECEMBER 2013
In an article appearing in the January issue of Inside Counsel magazine, DuPont Legal recognized the contributions of its preferred law firms, including Schirrmeister Diaz-Arrastia Brem, LLP.

 
DECEMBER 2013
Partner Mike Brem obtained summary judgment for our Fortune 50 client in a wrongful death suit in Brazoria County state court.  This was a case where plaintiffs' decedent allegedly died of asphyxiation.

 
SEPTEMBER 2013
Partner Mike Brem has been named a Texas Super Lawyer for 2013.  This is the eighth straight year that Mike has earned this distinction.

 
SEPTEMBER 2013
Andrew Schirrmeister filed a Petition for Review with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania seeking appellate review of a trial court's denial of a motion to certify for interlocutory appeal a substantial issue of venue and controlling question of law.  The case questions the parameters of a Pennsylvania trial court's discretion to deny a forum non conveniens motion to dismiss litigation with little to no actual connection to Pennsylvania.

 
SEPTEMBER 2013
Andrew Schirrmeister spoke at the HarrisMartin Benzene Conference in Chicago, Illinois on the subject of recent developments in Texas benzene litigation.  Andrew also provided a comprehensive survey of published opinions in Texas, which is attached here.

 
AUGUST 2013
DuPont Legal salutes its 2012 Challenge Award Winners, which includes Schirrmeister Diaz-Arrastia Brem. See award certificate here.

 
AUGUST 2013
Andrew Schirrmeister sponsored a luncheon on behalf of the Honorable Albert Kan-Depaah, the former Minister of Energy, Minister for Communication, Minister for Interior, and Minister for Defense for the Republic of Ghana.  The Honorable Kan-Depaah is touring the United States on behalf of OxFam America to promote transparency in U.S. foreign aid.

Mr. Schirrmeister is the former Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Houston.

 
JULY 2013
Partner George Diaz-Arrastia has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston.

 
APRIL 2013
The Fifth Circuit recently issued its opinion on affirming the summary judgment dismissal of all plaintiff's employment claims obtained by Andrew Schirrmeister and Janet Garza in the Southern District of Texas.  Read the Court's opinion here.

 
APRIL 2013
Mike Brem and Briana Bassler obtained a summary judgment for our client, a leading seismic solutions company, in a case brought by a Russian national who alleged that he was owed unpaid commissions from sales of our client's products in Russia and the former Soviet republics.

 
APRIL 2013
Partner Mike Brem argued the case of Blanco v Dole Food Company in the Delaware Supreme Court. Listen to the argument here.
 
DECEMBER 2012
Andrew Schirrmeister hosted a luncheon on behalf of the Houston World Affairs Council honoring Her Excellency Tebelelo Seretse, Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States. Ambassador Seretse previously  served as Minister of Works, Transport and Communications; Minister of Trade Industry, Wildlife and Tourism; and Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs, as well as finance manager for BP Botswana. Andrew is the former Chairman of the Houston World Affairs Council.

 
OCTOBER 2012
Partner Mike Brem has been named a Texas Super Lawyer for 2012.  This is the seventh straight year that Mike has earned this distinction.

 
AUGUST 2012
Janet Garza and Andrew Schirrmeister obtained total summary judgment on all plaintiff's employment discrimination claims in Houston federal court when plaintiff's filed suit alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA").  Read the Court's opinion here.

 
MAY 2012
Mike Brem, Tracy Larson and Tonya Rodriguez obtained summary judgment in federal court in Houston in favor of our Fortune 50 client, defeating the plaintiffs' attempt to create an exception to the Texas Supreme Court's decision in Entergy Gulf States v. Summers; 282 S.W.2d 433 (Tex. 2009). Read the Court's opinion here.
 
MAY 2012
Partner Mike Brem has been named Chairman of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Merchandise Committee for 2013-15.  Mike and the Firm strongly support the mission of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, also participating in the Show's Wine and Poultry Auctions, as well as donating to the Calf Scramble.  Since its beginning in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo has committed approximately $283 million to scholarships, research, endowments, calf scramble participants, junior show exhibitors, school art participants, and other educational youth programs.  See www.hlsr.com.


 
DECEMBER 2011
Andrew Schirrmeister, Laura Jones and Jim Ezer persuaded the Houston Fourteenth Court of Appeals to grant mandamus relief in favor of a client of the firm, directing the trial judge to vacate two discovery orders that compelled the client to respond to certain of the plaintiffs' discovery in a products liability action.  Read the Court's opinion here.  The Court of Appeals also denied the plaintiffs' motions to stay the mandamus proceeding, dismiss the mandamus proceeding as moot, and for reconsideration.  We successfully obtained an emergency temporary stay of the trial court's discovery orders at the outset of the mandamus proceeding in October. 

 
OCTOBER 2011
Mike Brem, Laura Jones and Tonya Rodriguez obtained mandamus relief from the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, effectively overruling the trial court's discovery order that allowed discovery beyond plaintiff's pleaded claims in a case alleging tortious interference with a patent licensing agreement. Read the Court's opinion here. The Court of Appeals also denied plaintiffs' motion for rehearing.
 
SEPTEMBER 2011
On September 22, 2011, the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas in Houston unanimously affirmed a $3 million judgment in favor of our clients, an attorney and the hospital management company he co-managed. The firm's clients had been sued by the other co-manager for breach of fiduciary duty, legal malpractice, fraud, misrepresentation and deceptive trade practices, and the clients counterclaimed for breach of contract. In affirming the judgment, the Court of Appeals upheld four partial summary judgments which disposed of many of the claims against the firm's clients, including legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty, as well as claims that the contract on which our clients recovered was illegal, obtained by duress, and was unconscionable. Attorneys' fees incurred in the appeal and all costs were also awarded to our clients. The firm's John Klug drafted and argued the summary judgments in the trial court and defended the judgment on appeal. The portion of the final judgment entered on a jury verdict in favor of the firm's clients, obtained by John Klug, George Diaz-Arrastia, and Paige Boone, was not appealed. The court of appeals opinion is reported at 2011 WL 4398537.
 
SEPTEMBER 2011
Partner Mike Brem has been named a Texas Super Lawyer for 2011, the sixth straight year that Mike has earned this distinction.
 
AUGUST 2011
Joe Matta, President of the Mexican American Bar Association Texas Foundation delivered the invocation at the MABA Texas Foundation Scholarship Luncheon benefiting Hispanic scholarships.  The Firm is a long time benefactor of the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas.

 
MARCH 2011
The Houston Court of Appeals affirmed a Brazoria County trial court's grant of summary judgment on behalf of our Fortune 50 client.  Both the court of appeals and the trial court rejected plaintiff's claim that it was entitled to indemnity from a $3.25 million judgment under Chapter 82 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code and under the common law "innocent retailer" doctrine.  Partner Mike Brem handled the argument for all five defendants in both the trial court and the court of appeals.

 
MARCH 2011
The California Supreme Court denied plaintiffs' petition for review in Antonio Abrego vs The Dow Chemical Company.  The appeal was from a dismissal on the basis of forum non conveniens of 1,912 plaintiffs from Panama and 1,119 plaintiffs from Guatemala in favor of a Michigan forum on behalf of our Fortune 50 client headquartered there and other defendants.  Partner Mike Brem argued the case of in the Court of Appeals last December and the dismissal was affirmed thirteen days after the argument.

 
MARCH 2011
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Southern District of Florida's decision refusing recognition of a $97 million Nicaraguan judgment against, among others, our Fortune 50 client. Partners Mike Brem and George Diaz-Arrastia teamed with lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis to successfully try the case in the trial court. Click here to read the court's decision.
 
MARCH 2011
We welcome Peggy Brenner and Mark Font to the Firm.  Peggy and Mark joined the Firm from Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.
 
MARCH 2011
The firm was a Silver sponsor of the Hispanic National Bar Association's Corporate Counsel Conference held March 9-12th in New Orleans. During the conference George Diaz-Arrastia participated in a panel discussion on "Practical Alternative Dispute Resolution - Managing a Smooth, Timely and Economical Arbitration."
 
FEBRUARY 2011
The February 2011 issue of Metropolitan Corporate Counsel features an interview with George Diaz-Arrastia entitled "DuPont Firm Reaps the Rewards of Diversity." Click here to read this interview.
 
JANUARY 2011
George Diaz-Arrastia participated in a panel discussion on class actions at the ABA Environmental, Mass Torts and Products Liability Litigation Committees' Joint Conference held in Snowmass, Colorado from January 27-29, 2011. George presented a paper on the Class Action Fairness Act, co-authored with Marissa Yu, titled "CAFA: 2005 and Beyond; the most significant change in class action litigation since 1966?" Click here to view this paper.

 
JANUARY 2011
Robin Young, Senior Paralegal, participated in a DuPont Legal Webinar presentation on knowledge management and legal technology. This presentation is part of the Corporate Counsel Technology Institute in DuPont Legal's 13-part series on the application of best business practices to the practice of law.
 
JANUARY 2011
Andrew Schirrmeister obtained a Summary Judgment for his client DuPont in a case involving allegations of benzene exposure and lymphohematopoietic disease pending in New Castle County, Delaware.

 
DECEMBER 2010
Partner Mike Brem argued the case of Antonio Abrego vs The Dow Chemical Company in the Court of Appeals for the Second District for the State of California.  The appeal was from a dismissal on the basis of forum non conveniens of 1,912 plaintiffs from Panama and 1,119 plaintiffs from Guatemala in favor of a Michigan forum on behalf of our Fortune 50 client headquartered there and other defendants.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal thirteen days after the argument.

 
DECEMBER 2010
George Diaz-Arrastia has been elected President-Elect of the Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston. The Institute is the oldest Hispanic cultural organization in Texas. It awards college scholarships and sponsors artistic and cultural events throughout the year. George has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute since 2008.
 
DECEMBER 2010
George Diaz-Arrastia and Tracy Larson obtained an arbitration award in excess of $2 million in a case involving the sale of petrochemicals for delivery in Asia.
 
DECEMBER 2010
Partner Mike Brem was presented the 2010 Bill Yeoman Special Contributions Award by Coach Kevin Sumlin at The University of Houston Football Banquet.
 
OCTOBER 2010
Partner Mike Brem was a panelist at the October 8, 2010 ABA Section of Litigation Regional CLE Workshop on the topic: "Litigating International and Cross Border Claims."
 
SEPTEMBER 2010
The Firm was an "Amigosponsor of the 35th Annual Hispanic National Bar Association Convention which took place recently in Minneapolis on September 8-11, 2010.  In addition to hosting a variety of legal educational programs, the Convention featured several distinguished speakers, including former United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina.  Joe Matta spoke at the Convention on a Panel addressing Race and Culture in Jury Selection and moderated a Panel discussion regarding equal protection and the U.S. Supreme Court's Hernandez v. Texas case.
 
SEPTEMBER 2010
Partner Mike Brem has been named a Texas Super Lawyer for 2010, the fifth straight year that Mike has earned this distinction.
 
AUGUST 2010
The firm received a special award from the Mexican-American Bar Association and the Partnership of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston for its five-year sponsorship of the Association's annual luncheon benefiting Hispanic scholarships.

 
AUGUST 2010
Joe Matta, in his capacity as President-Elect of the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston (MABAH), welcomed guests to the Fifth Annual Mexican American Bar Association of Texas Foundation Scholarship Luncheon which was jointly hosted with MABAH. The Firm was awarded a Special Honor for its long-time commitment to funding scholarships for Hispanic law school students at Houston area law schools.
 
AUGUST 2010
Andrew Schirrmeister filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus on behalf of his client DuPont in the Houston Fourteenth Court of Appeals.  The Court granted DuPont's Petition, as well as DuPont's Emergency Motion for Temporary Relief.

 
JULY 2010
Joe Matta chaired the Judicial Screening and Endorsement Committee of the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston which interviewed and evaluated over 140 judicial candidates running for various state and county judicial benches.
 
JULY 2010
Andrew Schirrmeister and Will Russell spoke at a seminar in Lima, Peru sponsored by the Association de Exportadores (Association of Peruvian Exporters). A copy of their written presentation and speech is attached.

 
APRIL 2010
Andrew Schirrmeister will speak at the May 24th - 25th HarrisMartin Publishing Benzene Conference. Andrew's presentation is entitled "Refractory Anemia with Ringed Sideroblasts (RARS): Law and Science." Andrew Schirrmeister is national counsel for DuPont in its benzene and trace benzene litigation throughout the United States and its territories.
 
APRIL 2010
Andrew Schirrmeister introduced Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, at the annual World Affairs Council of Houston Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones International Citizen Award Program. Andrew Schirrmeister is the 2009-2010 Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Houston.
 
APRIL 2010
Joe Matta is the President Elect of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston for 2010 and 2011. The firm congratulates Joe on this prestigious appointment.
 
MARCH 2010
Andrew Schirrmeister accepted a "Meeting the Challenge" Award for 2009 from E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company. Tom Sager, DuPont's Senior Vice President and General Counsel, recognized the firm for having "distinguished itself as one of the best among an already elite group of DuPont Primary Law Firms."
 
MARCH 2010
Partner Carolyn Roch Henneman and Shelley Ward Bennett obtained a dismissal in a race discrimination and retaliation case in the Southern District of Texas.
 
FEBRUARY 2010
In a suit arising out of the departure of two physicians from a group practice, John Klug and Janet Garza obtained a temporary injunction in the District Court of Harris County, Texas and subsequent agreement that permitted the physician clients to retain possession of, and remove to their new practice location, thousands of patient medical records and medical equipment over the prior opposition of the group practice.
 
FEBRUARY 2010
Partner Mike Brem obtained a dismissal on the basis of forum non conveniens of 1,912 plaintiffs from Panama and 1,119 plaintiffs from Guatemala by a state court in Los Angeles in favor of a Michigan forum on behalf of a Fortune 50 client headquartered there.
 
FEBRUARY 2010
A state district court in Harris County, Texas entered a $7.65 million judgment in favor of our client Performance Based Healthcare Solutions against Omni Health Management and a former executive. The judgment included $3 million in punitive damages, split evenly against Omni and the individual defendant. Mike Brem and Will Russell tried the case last December, at the end of which, the jury found for our client on each of its claims for fraud, breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, and conspiracy.
 
JANUARY 2010
Partner Mike Brem obtained a dismissal on the basis of forum non conveniens of approximately 700 Costa Rican plaintiffs by a state court in Los Angeles on behalf of a Fortune 50 client.
 
DECEMBER 2009
Mike Brem and Will Russell obtained a verdict for $6.922 million against Omni Health Management and two of its executives in Texas state court. The jury found for our client Performance Based Healthcare Solutions on each of its claims: fraud, breach of contract, and theft of trade secrets. The jury also awarded $3 million in punitive damages, split evenly between Omni and one of the individual defendants.
 
OCTOBER 2009
In September, partners Mike Brem and George Diaz-Arrastia teamed with laywers from Kirkland & Ellis to sucessfully try an enforcement action of a $97 million Nicaraguan judgment on behalf of a Fortune 50 client in the Southern District of Florida. The federal district court in Miami found in favor of our client on all grounds and rejected the effort to enforce the judgment, read the court's opinion here.
 
SEPTEMBER 2009
Partner Mike Brem has been named a Texas Super Lawyer for 2009, the fourth straight year that Mike has earned this distinction.
 
SEPTEMBER 2009
Partners Mike Brem and George Diaz-Arrastia just completed a trial in Miami involving an attempt by Nicaraguan citizens to enforce a $97 million judgment from a Nicaraguan court against our client and another defendant. Click here for the story on Bloomberg.com.

 
AUGUST 2009
Partner Mike Brem obtained a declaratory judgment, effectively rejecting a supplier's force majeure declarations after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Click here to read the Court's judgment.
 
JULY 2009
Partner Mike Brem obtained summary judgment on behalf of The Dow Chemical Company in a case in state court in Brazoria County, Texas, in which the Court rejected plaintiff's claim that it was entitled to indemnity from a $3.25 million judgment under Chapter 82 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code and under the common law "innocent retailer" doctrine.
 
JUNE 2009
Mike Brem, Janet Garza and Paige Boone filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court seeking review of an issue under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 on behalf of a major chemical company client. Click here to read the Petition.
 
JUNE 2009
Multinational litigation in which partner Mike Brem is lead counsel for a Fortune 500 defendant is the subject of a June 24, 2009 Bloomberg article.  Read the story click here.
 
JUNE 2009
Partner Mike Brem obtained summary judgment on behalf of The Dow Chemical Company in a case pending in the First Circuit Court of Hawai'i, where the Court found that plaintiffs' claims were barred by limitations. To prevail, our client defeated plaintiffs' assertion that an earlier class action in Texas tolled limitations under the doctrine of American Pipe v. Utah.
 
MAY 2009
Partner Mike Brem represented one of the defendants in cases that were the subject of a recent Wall Street Journal editorial. Click here to read.
 
APRIL 2009
Our Firm was featured in an April 20, 2009 story in the National Law Journal. To read the story, click here.
 
MAY 2009
The firm is serving as the lead sponsor for the Hispanic Bar Association's 21st Annual President Day Banquet.  Tom Sager, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of DuPont, is the featured speaker.

Since it's founding in 1988, the HISBA has worked tirelessly for the advancement of Hispanics in the legal profession by serving the public interest, by promoting high standards of integrity, honor and professional courtesy among lawyers, and by working with the other bar associations and community, legal and governmental organizations.
 

 
March 2009
Partner Mike Brem argued The Dow Chemical Company v. Tanoh, et al. in the Ninth Circuit. Listen to the argument click here.