The Dallas Court of Appeals, in an 8-5 decision issued Thursday, granted review of a personal injury case and reversed the trial court’s no-evidence summary judgment for the defendant.
When a brown recluse spider bit Henry McCall, no one could have anticipated that the aftermath would shape the future of tort litigation. But that may well have happened in the recent Texas Supreme Court case of Hillis v. McCall. In addressing McCall’s spider bite, the court’s opinion sets legal rules that will likely control future cases involving novel coronavirus exposure.
“Birds of a feather flock together,” says the old proverb. But in the Dallas Court of Appeals this year, justices of the same political party do not always rule together, as shown by two recent opinions from that court.
The Fifth Circuit’s ruling in the closely-watched constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act is more notable for what it does not say than what it does. The 2-1 decision could lead to several different paths going forward. Will the new Trump appointees join forces en banc?
Does Fifth Circuit federal jurisdiction extend to other galaxies? The “God of the Earth Realm” says it does and alleges that U.S. and Louisiana officials are illegally holding the “Atakapa Indian de Creole Nation” in an eternal state of “pupilage.” This is an actual case.
The new Democratic majority in the Fifth Court of Appeals was viewed as favoring trial court discretion and seen as pro-jury trial, thus not inclined to expand rules or processes that would resolve cases in other ways. But an appeal of a medical malpractice case directly pits those two ideas against each other and provides valuable insight into the philosophy of the new majority.
Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis said “questions of jurisdiction are questions of power.” That observation provides a useful lens to examine how three sentences from recent opinions by the Dallas Court of Appeals involve questions of power, and how they may illustrate areas where the newly-constituted Texas appellate courts may take new approaches.
Monty Python’s famous “Dead Parrot” sketch involved John Cleese and Michael Palin debating whether a dead bird sold by a pet store was, in fact, deceased. In that same spirit, the recent Fifth Circuit case…
Arbitration agreements often have carveouts for types of litigation, such as emergency injunction applications to protect intellectual property. Drafted cleanly, such a provision can save valuable time and resources. Drafted loosely, it can cause procedural delay and uncertainty about the proper place to resolve a dispute. The Fifth Circuit has some suggestions.