Exactly 358 days after the Texas Supreme Court issued its first Covid-19-related emergency order closing most state courtrooms to in-person hearings and trials, the justices issued their 36th order Friday officially lifting the statewide ban. But the pandemic caused a backlog of thousands of civil and criminal jury trials that Texas Chief Justice Nathan Hecht told The Texas Lawbook needs to be addressed.
Lawyer Edward Moses, Jr., self-described monarch and deity of the “Atakapa Indian de Creole Nation” and “Christian Emperor of New Orleans,” tried for a second time to get the judges of the Fifth Circuit to take up his case. For some reason, the appellate court felt that Moses’ lawsuit against 150 world leaders wasn’t supported by law or facts.
A state appeals court this week upheld a $3 million-plus trial court judgment in an oil and gas contract case. The appeal involved a debate over the correct language for standard of care in joint operating agreements, and the non-prevailing side says the debate isn’t over. Litigation writer Natalie Posgate has the details.
A Texas appellate court has reversed a $1.2 million judgment against a marketing professional who wrote a negative Yelp review about a dentist who owed him money. The marketer’s lawyers say the ruling is a win for both the protection of broad-form releases and free speech.
Lawyers for three Texas teenagers who were targeted by sexual predators on Facebook, raped and forced into sex trafficking told the Supreme Court of Texas Wednesday that a federal law protecting social media sites from defamation litigation should not shield them their duty to warn and protect minors using its website. The case is being monitored by legal experts nationwide. A win for the plaintiffs could open the floodgates for litigation against Facebook and other social media outlets brought by victims of sexual predators across the country.
The Texas Supreme Court is weighing a 2016 dispute brought by Panda Energy against ERCOT that could decide if the quasi-governmental non-profit corporation power grid operator should be protected from civil lawsuits via a cloak of sovereign immunity. The Houston Chronicle has details.
A 2018 dispute over four white tigers caged for viewing at a Houston restaurant has made its way to SCOTX. The dispute is no longer about the tigers — they found a more appropriate habitat. But sanctions levied for a SLAPP suit filed for commercial defamation are keeping the litigation alive. Janet Elliott has the details.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider whether it will weigh in on issues raised by the long-running $100 million property dispute between factions of the Episcopal Church in Fort Worth. Tony Mauro of The Lawbook is watching the case.
Lawyers for Unity Resources want the Fifth Court of Appeals to declare Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as a “designated responsible third party” in a securities case so they can question Paxton under oath about his role in the alleged securities fraud. The Texas Lawbook was there for oral argument.
A Dallas appeals court ruled Thursday that a trial court did not abuse its discretion by declining to seal a set of documents at Toyota’s request after a 2018 trial that rendered a $242 million verdict. The appeal of the verdict is still pending, but in the meantime, Natalie Posgate dissects the issues around the documents.