For the third time in five years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has rebuked a federal district court judge in Houston for denying a plaintiff discovery before summary judgment. “This is the third time we have been asked to consider whether a particular district court can deny discovery rights protected by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because, in the district court’s view, that discovery is unnecessary,” the three-judge panel declared in a per curiam opinion. “We have twice held no. Today we so hold a third time.”
In an amicus brief filed at the U.S. Supreme Court, several former Texas judges urge the court to grant certiorari in the case of a Grayson County Black man convicted by an all-white jury that included several jurors who said they disapproved of his interracial marriage.
Texas Justices Issue Mixed Decision on Child-Abuse Investigations Over Family Decisions on Transgender Minors
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas AG Ken Paxton have no legal authority to order state child-abuse investigators to act against parents and doctors who participate in medical and mental-health actions involving transgendered minors, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday. The state’s highest court, in a fractured opinion mostly confined to procedure, upheld a lower court injunction stopping the state’s child welfare agency investigation into the specific case being challenged, but adding that lower courts exceeded their authority by making the injunction statewide.
Calling the appeal of a construction dispute “a poster child” for abuse of the interlocutory appellate process, the 14th Court of Appeals sent the case back to a Houston district court for trial.
The Texas Public Utility Commission’s February 2021 emergency rules allowing an increase in electric rates to $9,000 per megawatt hour in response to Winter Storm Uri were “invalid and ineffective” and “wreaked havoc” on the state’s power system, lawyers representing several large energy companies told a Texas appeals court Wednesday. A decision by the Austin Court of Appeals could impact the efforts by more than a dozen electric providers challenging billions of dollars in ERCOT invoices.
Lawyers for some of Texas’ largest energy companies and their government regulators are scheduled to argue one of the most important cases resulting from Winter Storm Uri last year and the line-up includes some of the most prominent women appellate experts in Texas. The question is whether the Texas Public Utility Commission illegally adopted rules during the historic storm that allowed the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to increase the price of electricity 650 percent for nearly a week. Billions of dollars for several major energy companies are at stake.
Former Texas solicitor general Kyle Hawkins is joining the litigation boutique Lehotsky Keller as head of its Texas appellate practice group. As Texas SG Hawkins argued four times before the U.S. Supreme Court. Hawkins had been with Gibson Dunn since he left as solicitor general last year.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s liberal justices on Monday criticized their colleagues and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for the handling of the long-running death-penalty case.
Houston’s 14th Court of Appeals has reversed a $7 million arbitration award in an attorney-fees dispute because the arbitrator failed to disclose he had been an expert witness in litigation involving the party who selected a list of arbitrators. The court found the nondisclosure constituted “evident partiality” under Texas law.
Court officials say it is the first time in U.S. history when a chief judge of a federal appeals court and a state supreme court chief justice have married.