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Category Archives: News & Politics

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Celebrating Chief Justice Woodie Jones

Posted in Announcements, Courts of Appeals, News & Politics

The Austin Bar Association Civil Appellate Law Section, along with several law-firm sponsors (including Smith Law Group, P.C.), is hosting a retirement reception for Third Court of Appeals Chief Justice Woodie Jones on Thursday, December 11, 2014, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Headliners Club. As many Austin-area readers know, Chief Justice Jones is winding… Continue Reading

Justice Moseley’s Departure Creates Unusual Election Scenario

Posted in News & Politics

In early June, Fifth Court of Appeals Justice Jim Moseley (pictured) announced that he would be leaving the Court this month. He has since decided to join Gray, Reed & McGraw, where he will chair the firm’s appellate section. I have appeared before Justice Moseley several times and have always found him to be a… Continue Reading

Brown Appointed to Fill Hecht’s SCOTX Seat

Posted in Announcements, News & Politics, Texas Supreme Court

Governor Perry has appointed Fourteenth Court of Appeals Justice Jeff Brown (pictured) to fill the seat being vacated by Justice Nathan Hecht, who in turn is replacing departing Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson. All of these moves officially become effective on October 1, 2013. Brown began his career clerking for Supreme Court Justice Jack Hightower, then… Continue Reading

Chief Justice Jefferson to Leave SCOTX

Posted in News & Politics, Texas Supreme Court

Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson (pictured) has announced that he will be departing the Texas Supreme Court effective October 1, 2013. The Texas Lawbook, a Dallas Morning News affiliate, first reported the announcement. It appears that Chief Justice Jefferson, like others who have left the Court in recent years, will return to private practice. As noted at the… Continue Reading

Governor Perry Appoints Boyd to Supreme Court

Posted in Announcements, News & Politics, Texas Supreme Court

Governor Perry has announced the appointment of Jeffrey S. Boyd (pictured) to fill the Texas Supreme Court seat vacated by former Justice Dale Wainwright. The official press release is available here. Boyd currently serves as the Governor’s chief of staff and is the Governor’s former general counsel. He was a partner in the Austin office… Continue Reading

Changes Coming to 3rd and 4th Courts of Appeals

Posted in Courts of Appeals, News & Politics, Texas Supreme Court

With some notable exceptions, yesterday was a good day for incumbents running for re-election to the Texas appellate courts. Texas Supreme Court Justices Nathan Hecht and Don Willett retained their seats. Though not an incumbent, former district judge John Devine did not have a major-party opponent and won election easily. On the Court of Criminal… Continue Reading

Chief Justice to Deliver State of Judiciary Address

Posted in News & Politics

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson (pictured) will deliver his biennial State of the Judiciary address to a combined session of the Legislature on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 11:30 am.  You can watch the address live through this link by choosing "Chamber Stream." Expect the forthcoming budget to be one of the Chief’s… Continue Reading

Chief Justice Joe R. Greenhill, 1914-2011

Posted in Announcements, News & Politics

The Texas Supreme Court has announced the passing of former Chief Justice Joe R. Greenhill (pictured) at age 96.  I suggest taking the time to read the Court’s advisory, which briefly traces Judge Greenhill’s remarkable legal career. Although Judge Greenhill had been off the bench many years by the time I clerked at the Supreme… Continue Reading

Rose to Take Waldrop’s Seat on 3rd Court

Posted in News & Politics

The Governor’s Office has announced the appointment of Judge Jeff Rose (pictured) to fill the vacancy created by former Justice Alan Waldrop’s resignation from the Third Court of Appeals.  Last week, Judge Rose lost a bid to remain on Travis County’s 353rd District Court, a bench to which Governor Perry appointed him following Judge Scott… Continue Reading

2010 General Election Results

Posted in News & Politics

For results in the contested appellate judicial races, see this post covering the March primary.  The Republican candidates won every seat. That includes Place 3 on the Thirteenth Court of Appeals, a spot incumbent Justice Linda Yañez has held since 1993.  Republican Greg Perkes defeated Justice Yañez in the tightest appellate-court race of the night,… Continue Reading

Justice Waldrop Leaving Third Court of Appeals

Posted in Announcements, News & Politics

Third Court of Appeals Justice Alan Waldrop (pictured) has tendered his resignation to the Governor, effective September 10.  Austin Legal covers the story here. Governor Perry appointed Justice Waldrop to the Court in August 2005, and he was elected to a six-year term in 2006.  His early departure allows the Governor to appoint a replacement… Continue Reading

Lehrmann Appointed to Fill O’Neill’s SCOTX Seat

Posted in Announcements, News & Politics

Governor Perry has appointed Judge Debra Lehrmann (R) (pictured left) to replace Justice Harriet O’Neill, who will vacate Place 3 on the Texas Supreme Court effective June 20. To retain the seat, Judge Lehrmann, must defeat First Court of Appeals Justice Jim Sharp (D) (also pictured) in the November general election.  Meanwhile, when not campaigning,… Continue Reading

Lehrmann to Face Sharp for Open SCOTX Seat

Posted in News & Politics

The Associated Press is reporting that Judge Debra Lehrmann (pictured) has defeated Rick Green in the runoff to determine the Republican candidate for Place 3 on the Texas Supreme Court.  Judge Lehrmann will face Democratic nominee Justice Jim Sharp to fill the seat being vacated by Justice Harriet O’Neill. Judge Lehrmann must have been fairly confident about… Continue Reading

2010 Primary Election Roundup

Posted in Appellate Practice, News & Politics

A number of judicial races affecting civil appellate matters took shape following yesterday’s primaries.  Here are the November major-party matchups. Texas Supreme Court, Place 3:  Rick Green and Debra Lehrmann have emerged as the top two vote-getters in a six-way Republican primary that was not final as of this morning.  If the numbers hold true… Continue Reading

Third Court’s Backlog Improving

Posted in Appellate Practice, News & Politics

On the heels of Chief Justice Woodie Jones’s presentation to the Austin Bar’s Civil Appellate Law Section last week, the Austin American-Statesman has published an article discussing the Third Court of Appeals’ backlog problem and how the Court is addressing it. The Chief spent some time at the beginning of his talk discussing the backlog… Continue Reading

Justice Harriet O’Neill’s Seat Open for 2010

Posted in News & Politics

In a news release issued today, the Texas Supreme Court has announced that Justice Harriet O’Neill (pictured) will not seek re-election when her term ends at the end of 2010.  Justice O’Neill has not confirmed her post-Court plans, although rumors have swirled that she may run for Attorney General. Two intermediate appellate justices Jim Moseley… Continue Reading

More Recusal Motions Coming in Texas Appeals

Posted in News & Politics, Opinions & Judgments

This morning’s release of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. (No. 08-22) could open the door to more recusal motions in Texas appellate courts (and possibly trial courts). In Caperton, the Court held that due process required a West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals justice to recuse himself… Continue Reading

Legislative Watch 2009

Posted in News & Politics

Today marks the beginning of the 81st Texas Legislature.  A number of bills that would affect litigators and appellate practitioners are expected, many of which failed to pass during the last session. I will be keeping an eye on noteworthy bills as they are introduced and will comment on them as my workload permits.  With the House relatively… Continue Reading

Let the 2010 Judicial Races Begin!

Posted in News & Politics

Shortly after the election, I mentioned having heard rumblings that a sitting justice on the Third Court of Appeals may be leaving.  I haven’t brought it up again because I hadn’t confirmed it directly with the judge in question, but with this story, the news has been broken. Congratulations to Kurt Kuhn on declaring his candidacy to replace Justice Jan Patterson (pictured),… Continue Reading

Chief Justice Jones to Preside Starting January 14

Posted in Announcements, News & Politics

Incoming Third Court of Appeals Chief Justice Woodie Jones won’t take office for a few more weeks, but he is already showing up on the Court’s January oral argument calendar. After next Wednesday (when I happen to be arguing a case), the Court’s next oral submission date is January 14, 2009, with the Chief presiding over the morning… Continue Reading

Texas Appellate-Court Election Results

Posted in News & Politics

Despite speculation that Democrats might pick up at least one spot, no Texas Supreme Court seats changed hands yesterday.  Chief Justice Jefferson and Justices Wainwright and Johnson each handily defeated their opponents, so the Court will remain all-Republican a while longer.  The Court of Criminal Appeals remained all-Republican as well. The big news around these parts is former Justice Woodie Jones’s (pictured)… Continue Reading