A career prosecutor argued that he was 17 and not a lawyer when Morton was convicted of murder in 1987 in Williamson County. The Supreme Court, however, said it was uncontested that Tommy Lamar Coleman “assisted the prosecution” in 2011 when he was an assistant DA who mocked Morton’s post-conviction efforts to have a bloody bandana tested for DNA.
Twenty lawyers, including several former Texas appellate and trial court judges, have applied for appointment to the newly created business courts and intermediate appellate court. They include prominent figures such as former Texas Supreme Court Justice Scott Brister, appellate specialist David Gunn and Houston MDL Judge Sylvia Matthews. Five candidates from the Texas AG’s office also are seeking positions. Gov. Abbott will appoint the judges and justices, who begin hearing cases in September. The Texas Lawbook obtained the applications through a public information request.
After Texas Disposal System successfully persuaded the Travis Appraisal Review Board to lower the valuation of its landfill by more than 80 percent, the Travis Central Appraisal District sought a district court’s review. TDS successfully argued that the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the appraisal district’s claim that the property was below market value because it had brought only an unequal-appraisal protest. SCOTX will review a court of appeals decision to allow the appraisal district to proceed with its case. Business taxpayers are weighing in as the dispute presents major questions for the handling of appraisal protests.
The decision is a high-profile win for Prather, who represents several bookstores and publishers who challenged the law. The case was Prather’s first appearance before the New Orleans-based appeals court.
The Texas Lawbook profiled Prather, who leads Haynes Boone’s media law practice group, in an in-depth article last week. In the article, Prather discussed the bookstore law case and other First Amendment matters that she is championing.
Nominees for vacancies in the Western District of Texas would be among the first under the current administration. Sens. Cornyn and Cruz are on board with Ernest Gonzalez and Leon Schydlower for courts in Del Rio and El Paso. Former president Trump had a considerably larger impact as he addressed a backlog of vacant benches in Texas.
Tasked with implementing new laws creating a business court system for complex, expensive litigation, the Texas Supreme Court is gauging whether the state’s law schools might want to provide courtroom space. With 10 new trial courts and an intermediate appellate court coming online next September, Chief Justice Nathan Hecht discusses logistics and substantive issues the court is considering during its rulemaking process. Meanwhile, the chief justices for the 14 courts of appeals are identifying cases involving state government for likely transfer to the new Fifteenth COA, which will have exclusive jurisdiction over those cases and appeals from the business courts.
Tensions between free speech and public protection were exposed during SCOTX arguments on licensing requirements for public adjusters. The justices posed hypotheticals about professions including lawyers, doctors and journalists, but the prevailing image was that of a roofer standing atop a house calling the insurance company.
Harry Reasoner grew up on a farm outside San Marcos, milking cows and raising pigs for 4-H competition. At 80, he has had a storied career, representing corporations in some of the biggest trials in history. Clients pay as much as $1,500 an hour for his counsel. Now Reasoner’s two children – Barrett and Macey and the extraordinary courtroom success they’ve had – are making sure that their father’s legacy will continue for many, many years. Meet the Reasoners.
The appeal involves high-powered lawyers and noxious fumes from East Texas industrial chicken farms. It presents important legal questions arising out of recent Texas Supreme Court decisions on temporary nuisances and permanent equitable relief.
Coming off another cohesive term, the Supreme Court of Texas began its new session hearing arguments this week in a variety of cases. The Texas Lawbook hosted a panel of appellate experts on Tuesday to discuss some of the upcoming cases they are watching and reviewed significant decisions from last term.