A “sham affidavit” has been described as referring to an affidavit in which an affiant offers sworn testimony that contradicts the affiant’s prior, sworn testimony on a material point and the affiant gives no explanation in the affidavit for the change in the testimony.  The scenario of the “sham affidavit” arises with great frequency in Texas summary judgment practice.   Because many district courts and intermediate appellate courts refuse to give credence to such an affidavit, many motions for summary judgment have been granted and upheld.

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The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion in Operaciones Tecnicas Marinas, SAS v. Diversified Marine Services, LLC illustrates the interplay between the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56—the summary judgment rule—and the requirements of Daubert case law that an expert adequately exclude alternative causes.

Diversified Marine Services, LLC (Diversified) was called upon to

Appellate courts in Texas have seen an influx of defamation, business disparagement, and other similar actions since 2011 when the Texas Citizens Participation Act (“TCPA”), Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §§ 27.001-27.011 (2015), was signed into law.  The TCPA is an anti-SLAPP statute; SLAPP is an acronym for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, which

One should always be careful of falling victim to using and reusing forms because it may come back to bite you.  Many drafters of affidavits start out by having the affiant state something like, "I have personal knowledge of the facts set forth below."  This language by itself may not be sufficient to give anything

A party seeking summary judgment must raise all its grounds in the motion itself; raising a ground for summary judgment at the summary judgment hearing will not support the summary judgment if the judgment is attacked on appeal.

In Ritchey v. Pinnell, Brenda Ritchey brought suit against Steven and Amy Pinnell after Ritchey

I have said on various occasions (during admittedly nerdy conversations with colleagues) that this expert opinion or that piece of evidence surely constitutes no evidence as a matter of law and that no court could possibly see it differently.  But we all know that it is never quite that easy and never that clear cut.  The Beaumont Court of Appeals’ recent 2-1 opinion in Pink v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company illustrates this point.

In Pink, the panel reversed a no evidence summary judgment rendered for Goodyear.  That reversal was based, in part, on the court’s determination that the following expert testimony presented by Pink constituted some evidence of causation: 

I was Veryl Pink’s treating oncologist. Mr. Pink was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, which was confirmed by biopsy. The ultimate cause of Mr. Pink’s death was the progression of the disease.

Based upon reasonable medical probability it is my opinion that the cause of Mr. Pink’s renal cell carcinoma was exposure to chemicals, more than likely benzene. In rendering this opinion I have reviewed Mr. Pink’s medical records, the deposition testimony of Mr. Pink and three of his coworkers, the deposition of Dr. Radelat, and scientific literature.


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