Touchstone partner Wayne Gordon was recently notified by D Magazine that he has been selected as one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas 2013” in the Tort, Product & Medical Liability category. The list will be published in the May 2013 edition of D. Magazine. This is a great honor for Wayne and the Touchstone firm. Touchstone Bernays continues to “set the standard” for high integrity and high quality attorneys. Touchstone was selected by Martindale Hubbell as one of the top-ranked firms in 2013.
This new Texas Supreme Court case is an important one in residential construction cases. First, it states than the existence of an express warranty preempts a common law claim for breach of implied warranty. Additionally, it reaffirms that building owners are held to strict standards in terms of investigating problems when it comes to the statute of limitations. In Gonzales v. Southwest Olshan Foundation Repair Co., LLC d/b/a Olshan Foundation Repair Co., Gonzales hired a plumber to repair water leaks under her foundation and hired Olshan to repair the foundation problems the leaks had caused. The foundation repair contract included a lifetime transferrable warranty on the work requiring Olshan to adjust the foundation due to settling. After the repair, in April 2002, Gonzales noticed doors not locking, windows not opening, and new cracks appearing in previously repaired walls. There were apparently additional leaks, and Olshan repaired those and leveled the foundation in August 2003 and again in October 2003. An Olshan employee reportedly told Gonzales in 2003 that the repair job was not … Continue reading
Whether an insured is entitled to select its own counsel in defense is a tricky proposition that may require careful analysis. Under Texas law, it is well settled that an insurer’s right to conduct the defense includes the authority to select the attorney who will defend the claim and to make other decisions that would normally be vested in the insured as the named party in the case. N. County Mut. Ins. Co. v. Davalos, 140 S.W.3d 685, 688 (Tex. 2004). However, under certain circumstances, an insurer may not insist upon its contractual right to control the defense. In a typical coverage dispute, an insurer may issue a reservation of rights letter, which creates a potential conflict of interest. While not automatically creating a conflict, a reservation rights letter recognizes the possibility that a conflict between insured and insurer may arise in the future. Unauthorized Practice of Law Comm. v. Am. Home Assur. Co., 261 S.W.3d 24, 40 (Tex. 2008). And when the facts to be adjudicated in the liability lawsuit are the … Continue reading