Maitreya Tomlinson

Maitreya Tomlinson

Before the law beckoned, Maitreya Tomlinson worked extensively for JPMorgan Chase and other financial firms. After heeding the call, Maitreya equally dedicated his time serving as his law review’s editor-in-chief; interning with a federal district court chief judge; interning with an intermediate appellate court justice; and serving as an honors intern with the SEC’s enforcement division. He continued acquiring appellate experience while serving as a Texas Supreme Court law clerk and now employs that combined experience assisting clients with appellate matters and trial counsel with litigation.

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Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part V: How Will Rule 56.1 Operate in the New Jurisdictional Landscape?

As lawyers, we love rules (and by “love” I mean memorize, apply, hopefully comply, argue, and at times strive to change them). We don’t, however, amend rules until they somehow fail or become obsolete. Granted, failure/obsolescence can be in the beholder’s eye and must present itself before we strive to change the rule. In light … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part IV: Will Changes to Jurisdiction Necessitate a Change to Rule 53.2?

Sometimes the earth shifts along the ocean floor creating tsunamis that flood unsuspecting coastal areas. Sometimes the shifts amount to unnoticed ripples silently traveling alongside flowing waves. Like the quaking seabed, will the recent changes to the Texas Supreme Court’s jurisdiction lead to any amendments to the rules of appellate procedure? In Part II of … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part III: What’s Old May Be New in the Statutory Renovation

  As discussed in my previous two posts (here and here), the Texas Legislature has made significant changes to statutes demarcating the Texas Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. In what appears to be an effort to renovate, the legislature has done more than change the wallpaper. It has tried to simplify jurisdiction by applying the same jurisprudential-importance … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part II: The Times They Are a-Changin’ (Or Are They?)

My previous blog post briefly outlined the Texas Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and the soon-to-be-effective legislative changes. As the title of these posts suggests, the next step is to examine the potential effects, if any, that these changes will have on courts, practitioners, and clients. Admittedly, by doing so, I tread into uncharted territory armed solely … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part I: The Times They Are a-Changin’ (Or Are They?)

Likely obscured by the legislative din emanating from the capitol these days, the Texas Legislature has somewhat quietly altered the Texas Supreme Court’s jurisdiction by passing HB 1761. The Governor signed it, without much fanfare, on May 26, 2017, and the bill is now effective on September 1, 2017. For the uninitiated, at its most … Continue Reading

It’s Alive! Revive Your Dead Motions and Defend a Favorable Judgment With a Proper Appeal

While relatively short, a recent Third Court of Appeals memorandum decision is rife with lessons for attorneys defending favorable summary judgments made on superseded motions. The dispute in Larivee v. Louis meant to center on tenant-landlord issues concerning a carpet’s condition. Unfortunately, especially for the appellant, the case’s procedural posture forced the Third Court to focus … Continue Reading

An Evening with the Third Court of Appeals, 2017 Edition

Yesterday, the Austin Bar Association’s Civil Appellate Law Section hosted a program entitled “An Evening with the Third Court of Appeals” at Austin’s InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel. My firm, Smith Law Group, was among the event’s sponsors. This event was a natural sequel to the well-received peek behind the proverbial curtain when the Court, months … Continue Reading

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Formal Bills of Exception

Appellate lawyers are the legal equivalent of a parent that you call to help navigate life’s uncertainties. In action, this means that appellate lawyers receive phone calls regarding obscure areas of law or rarely utilized procedures. The parent comparison suffers in that, unlike answering many parental questions, even well-seasoned appellate lawyers may have to research … Continue Reading

Getting the Scoop on Calculating Texas Appellate Deadlines

Appellate lawyers share some job-related realities with journalists, namely running up against deadlines. Although attorneys don’t rush to finish stories before a midnight printing, we do have to meet filing deadlines to seek relief from erroneous trial-court or intermediate-appellate court decisions. Knowing those deadlines (and how they are calculated) is paramount to correctly perfecting appeals. … Continue Reading

Motions for Rehearing or Reconsideration En Banc: Why Bother?

While appearing rhetorical, there is a very good reason to bother. My firm recently turned an appellant’s partially favorable result into full relief on rehearing. In doing so, we utilized the Texas appellate procedure rules, which allow parties to request that intermediate appellate courts reexamine their decisions: either by filing a motion for rehearing or … Continue Reading

Are All JNOV Deadlines Created Equal?

As a young attorney, others advised me that, barring conflicting Texas Supreme Court precedent, Texas intermediate-appellate court holdings constituted the law of Texas. Naturally, with 14 appellate districts covering the great expanse we call Texas, there is ample room for disagreement between those districts. These disagreements can, in turn, set potential traps for litigants. Among … Continue Reading

Dream the Impossible Dream: Avoid Delay Caused by an Insurer’s Rehabilitation/Liquidation

I recently helped trial counsel avoid what has been a routinely granted stay in litigation when a defendant’s insurer is in rehabilitation/liquidation. In other words, even though the defending insurer was not a party in the litigation, trial courts would typically stay the litigation for six-months at a time (and longer) to accommodate resolution of … Continue Reading

Certificates of Merit: Don’t Let Your Lawsuit End Before It Begins

Clients have called upon me with increasing frequency regarding certificate of merit issues. While somewhat innocuous, I have found that real danger lurks behind the certificate of merit requirements contained in Chapter 150 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Noncompliance, for example, may lead to dismissal with prejudice. Because of the potential harm … Continue Reading

SCOTX: Postjudgment Interest—All Accrual Dates Are Not Created Equal

Statutes that appear clear are oft fraught with unanswered questions. This is unsurprising, as drafters cannot anticipate every scenario when crafting legislation. Falling into that vein, last week, the Texas Supreme Court decided a previously unaddressed question regarding the accrual date of postjudgment interest under the Texas Finance Code. In Long v. Castle Texas Production … Continue Reading

To Cite or Not to Cite: Do Unpublished Opinions Have Precedential Value?

I recall discovering my first unpublished case as a law student when interning for an intermediate appellate court justice. Strangely, a legend accompanied the opinion disclaiming precedential value, which seemed odd considering that the opinion was written and accessible through my legal database. Around the same time, I encountered my first memorandum opinion with its … Continue Reading