Could the swing of Texas’s big courts of appeals to Democratic majorities lead to more removals from state to federal court? Despite the hurdles federal courts have raised to removal jurisdiction over the years, the addition of five new judges to the Fifth Circuit certainly creates an opening.
An appellate court ruled Thursday that the arbitrability of a $15 million legal dispute between Houston-based Apache Corp. and Fort Worth-based Wagner Oil Company will have to be debated in front of an arbitrator in Houston, not a trial court in Fort Worth as WOC had hoped.
The unprecedented election last week of 20 Democratic candidates to the state courts of appeals in Austin, Dallas and Houston will have an almost immediate and substantive impact on civil litigation and issues such as enforcement of arbitration clauses, excessive use of Anti-SLAPP laws and deference to juries in large-dollar plaintiff’s verdicts.
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.
Updated – Democrats Seize Control of Dallas Court of Appeals, Win Houston Appellate Judgeships; TX Lawyers Score Big Congressional Upsets
Democratic candidates for appellate judgeships in Texas scored historic victories in Tuesday’s election. Every Democrat running for the judgeships on the First, Third, Fifth and Fourteenth courts of appeals won. The Texas Lawbook has the details.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Phil Johnson, a conservative voice on the court for the past 13 years, has announced that he is retiring at the end of the year. Mark Curriden has the details.
Amid a flurry of amicus briefs from property rights advocates, business groups and municipal planners, the Texas Supreme Court heard arguments last week in an eminent domain dispute from Rowlett. The case is a test of a Texas statute designed to protect private property rights following Kelo v. City of New London.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed a 2017 jury verdict that awarded $3 million to a member of the Saudi royal family in a breach of contract dispute. The ruling benefits Prince Mansour Bin Abdullah Al-Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Details here of the ruling.
The Fifth Circuit ruled late Thursday that Lexington Insurance Co. was not required to indemnify famed trial lawyer John O’Quinn, who died in 2009, and his law firm for the costs of settling a case that accused him of improperly charging his clients for millions and millions of dollars in expenses that had nothing to do with the litigation.
AUSTIN – Vietnam veteran Phil Johnson was in mid-career as a military pilot when a distinguished law career intervened. These days, however, the Texas Supreme Court jurist is focused on the legal needs of today’s military men and women, and those interests were noted last week at the annual Texas Access to Justice luncheon.