Fletcher Farley Newsletter

October 2023

 "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act."
Proverbs 3:27

Greetings from Lane Farley

Surely you didn’t think that I was going to write a newsletter introduction and not gloat about our Texas Rangers! As I write this, the Rangers just won game 7 against the Astros and are headed to the World Series. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we will still have cause for gloating.

Condolences to our friends in Houston.

In keeping with my commitment to newsletter introductions that are not boring, I am staying with the baseball theme. We are going to do a version of firm trivia, and have the focus be on our lawyers and their claims to fame in baseball. Please identify which Fletcher Farley lawyer is associated with the following baseball accomplishments … or lack thereof. No peaking at the answers which are included at the end of the newsletter.

  1. Played middle infield on his college baseball team and has a freakishly large ring to prove his conference championship. 
  2. Totally whiffed on catching a fly ball at a Ranger game this season. Somewhat embarrassingly, the ball hit his seat, and a young girl in front of him caught it off the bounce.
  3. Used to sit behind the nuns that were Ranger superfans for so many years. https://www.fox4news.com/news/friends-share-fond-memories-of-rangers-nun-sister-frances-evans
  4. Have never attended a major league baseball game.
  5. 4A Region II, District Runner Up in baseball twice over in high school.
  6. Played little league baseball with the drummer for Pearl Jam.
  7. Current head coach of the Velociraptor Monkeys T-ball team for the Richardson YMCA.
  8. One of two girls that totally dominated all the other boys on their 1st grade T-ball team.

Go Rangers!


  1. DJ Hardy
  2. Lane Newbold
  3. Richard Harwell
  4. Rachel Favret and Abigael Campbell.
  5. William Sharp
  6. Richard Harwell, again.
  7. DJ Hardy, again.
  8. Julia Sinor

Getting Specific: LG Chem America, Inc. v. Morgan and Issues in Personal Jurisdiction


by Eliza Thomas

A threshold issue in any lawsuit is the issue of personal jurisdiction. No Texas court, or court of any state for that matter, can exercise authority over a defendant in a lawsuit unless the court has personal jurisdiction over that defendant. In Texas, personal jurisdiction can be established if the defendant’s minimum contacts are sufficient to give rise to either general jurisdiction, or specific jurisdiction.

General jurisdiction is present when a defendant’s contacts with the state in which it has been sued are so systematic and continuous that the defendant is essentially at home in the forum state; in other words, if the defendant is subject to the general jurisdiction of the courts in a given state, the defendant could be sued in that state for conduct that has nothing to do with the defendant’s contacts with that state. This is, understandably, a fairly high bar to meet—typically, in the case of a defendant who is an individual, general jurisdiction exists in the state where that person has her domicile, and in the case of a defendant that is a corporate entity, general jurisdiction exists in the state where that corporation is equally as “at home,” usually the state where the corporation is headquartered as well as the state where it was incorporated.

A court has specific jurisdiction over a corporate defendant when (1) the defendant purposefully avails itself of the privilege of doing business in the forum state; and (2) the plaintiff’s cause of action arises out of the defendant’s contacts with the forum state—essentially, the cause of action and the defendant’s contacts must be sufficiently related. Both of these elements must be met so that the defendant is not unfairly surprised by being sued in that state; in other words, the lawsuit does not “offend ‘traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.’” Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945) (quoting Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457 (1940)). The rationale behind the idea of specific jurisdiction is that a corporation that conducts a certain amount of business in a given state is availing itself not only of the economic opportunities in that state, but also the protection of its laws. On the flip side, however, along with the protection of the laws of a state usually comes the ability of the courts of that states to render judgments affecting the corporation’s interests.

The Texas Supreme Court recently took a closer look at the relatedness element of specific jurisdiction in the context of products liability actions. In LG Chem America, Inc. v. Morgan, the Court considered the question of whether a business that sells its products in a given state must market them specifically to the consumer demographic to which a plaintiff belongs, in order to satisfy the relatedness element of specific jurisdiction.

In that case, LG Chem was a company headquartered in South Korea that manufactured and sold lithium-ion batteries. Tommy Morgan was a Texas resident who was injured when a lithium-ion battery that he bought at a Texas smoke shop to charge his e-cigarette “exploded” in his pocket. Morgan sued LG Chem and its American distributor, LG Chem America, in Texas district court.

Both LG Chem and LG Chem America filed special appearances, claiming that neither was headquartered or incorporated in Texas and contending that while they did sell their products, including lithium-ion batteries, in Texas, they did not distribute, advertise, or sell the batteries directly to consumers, nor did they authorize the sale of these products directly to individual consumers or for use in e-cigarettes. Therefore, according to the LG Chem defendants, the court lacked specific jurisdiction, because their purposeful availment of Texas markets was not sufficiently related to the injury suffered by Morgan, an individual consumer using the battery in a way unauthorized by the manufacturer.

Morgan responded to the special appearances and argued that the requirements of specific jurisdiction were met because the defendants specifically targeted Texas markets with their products. Morgan supported these arguments with spreadsheets purportedly containing U.S. Customs data which showed the number of shipments defendants had made. Defendants did not object to this data, but still responded that the requirements of specific jurisdiction were not met because Morgan’s claims were not sufficiently related to the defendants’ contacts with the state. The trial court denied both special appearances, and the LG defendants filed an interlocutory appeal. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the defendants could reasonably anticipate being hailed into a Texas court in relation to an alleged issue with a product they had marketed in Texas. The Supreme Court granted review to examine the question of how related the plaintiff’s claim needed to be.

The Court ultimately rejected the LG defendants’ argument that in order to satisfy specific jurisdiction, the company must have marketed its products to the particular “market segment” within the State of Texas. Rather, the analysis for specific jurisdiction is more broadly concerned with “the objective existence, nature, and extent of the Texas contacts rather than the particulars of what the parties thought, said, or intended about the course their product might take after the defendant targeted, and the product entered, Texas.” LG Chem Am., Inc. v. Morgan, 670 S.W.3d 341 (Tex. 2023). According to the Court, the dispositive question was whether exercising jurisdiction over the LG defendants in regards to Morgan’s claims would offend due process when Morgan was injured by a product that the defendants admittedly shipped into Texas markets in large quantities. Ultimately, the Court concluded that it would not.

Conflicts Resolved

Defense Verdict Obtained!

Fred Arias obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a Trader Joe's employee in Dallas County. The Plaintiff alleged that he was wrongfully terminated and entitled to reimbursement for gifts presented to his former supervisor while employed for the national grocery store chain. After the parties arguments were presented to the Court, the Court found that there was insufficient evidence that the Plaintiff was entitled to any damages as he was seeking reimbursement for items he considered gifts at the time. Further, there was insufficient evidence that he was wrongfully terminated. 

Halloween Fun!

The firm participated in a skeleton decorating contest and hosted a Halloween lunch filled with home-made treats and BBQ!

Lori Wiese

10/3 - 1 year

Derreck Brown

10/3 - 15 years

David Solomon

10/8 - 5 years

Janet Smith

10/9 - 27 years

Conor Austin

10/17 - 1 year

Lian Thang

10/24 - 1 year

Thank you for being an essential part of our success. Happy Anniversary!

Spooky Treats


Monster Bark


  • 12 to 16 whole graham crackers
  • 1 12-ounce package bright green candy melts
  • 1 cup purple candy melts
  • Candy eyeballs, for topping
  • Assorted green sprinkles, for topping


  1. Lay graham crackers in a single layer on a large baking sheet, breaking to fit as needed.
  2. Melt green and purple candy melts in separate microwave-safe bowls according to package directions.
  3. Pour green candy melts over the graham crackers and spread in an even layer.
  4. Drop tablespoonfuls of purple candy melts about 2 inches apart over green layer. Swirl with a toothpick to create a marbled look.
  5. Top bark with candy eyeballs and sprinkles while it’s still wet. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes, then break into pieces.

Spooky Cookies


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • optional: black food coloring
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • Candy Eyeballs


  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a bowl, combine butter and sugars. Stir together until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla, scrape down the bowl if needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until incorporated. Mix in the milk and chocolate chips.
  3. Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into balls and place on baking sheets. Flatten slightly. Top cookies with candy eyeballs. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Bake at 350˚ F for 10-11 minutes. Let cool.

Candy Corn Popcorn Balls


  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 12 cups popcorn1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/4 teaspoon salt1 1/2 cups candy corn


  1. Prepare baking sheet by lining with aluminum foil
  2. Place popped popcorn and candy corn in a large mixing bow
  3. Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds until melted. Add marshmallows and microwave for an additional 90 seconds. Once stirred, the marshmallows should liquefy. Stir to blend, then add vanilla and salt. Stir until the candy is well-mixed.
  4. Pour marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and candy corn and stir until thoroughly combined. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute to cool.
  5. Scoop up a handful of popcorn and press firmly between your hands, forming a ball shape. If the balls don’t form at first, allow mixture to sit for another minute.
  6. Place popcorn balls on the prepared baking sheet and allow them to firm up at room temperature.
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If you want more information or have questions, please contact:

Doug Fletcher
Firm Managing Partner

Joanna Salinas
Austin Office Managing Partner
Fletcher Farley Shipman & Salinas LLP

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