Tag Archives: Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Word-Count Rules Going Into Effect December 1

D. Todd Smith
A trial lawyer poses the following question: Do you know for sure whether the new appellate rules are going into effect December 1? Any thoughts on whether an appeal filed on November 29 (but not actually due until December 3) should maintain the old format or use the new rule? Per this Texas Supreme Court … Continue Reading

At Last, E-Filing Is Coming to Texas Appellate Courts

D. Todd Smith
Four years ago, I first asked when appellate courts would catch up on e-filing.  Since then, the Fifth Circuit has successfully implemented an e-filing program, which has been mandatory for almost a year now.  In state appellate courts, however, the process has been painfully slow. The Texas Supreme Court took a giant step in the … Continue Reading

Use of K-9 Units at Traffic Checkpoints

Lujan v. State, No. PD-0303-10, 2011 WL 93025 (Tex. Crim. App. Jan. 12, 2011). On petition for discretionary review, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals approved the use of K-9 units at a stationary traffic checkpoint implemented with the stated purpose of merely identifying unlicensed and uninsured drivers. Lujan was traveling through El Paso with … Continue Reading

CCA Overrules Clewis‘s Factual Sufficiency Review

Publisher’s Note:  The following is Brandy Wingate‘s first post on this blog.  Please join me in welcoming Brandy to the blogosphere! In a splintered decision in Brooks v. State, 323 S.W.3d 893 (Tex. Crim. App. 2010), the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overruled Clewis v. State, 922 S.W.2d 126 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996), which provided for … Continue Reading

How Is the Texas Appellate Court System Structured?

D. Todd Smith
This is the first installment of my series entitled "20 Questions About Texas Appellate Practice."  The question answered here is:  "How is the Texas appellate court system structured?"  Visit the original post (linked above) for the list of questions updated with links to their respective answers. Texas has 14 intermediate courts of appeals, each of which hears both civil and criminal … Continue Reading

Ranking the States’ High Courts

D. Todd Smith
On the heels of a hotly debated study declaring that California has the top state high court (see discussion here, here, and here), another paper has reached the same conclusion.  At least this time the authors are from other states. Neither the Texas Supreme Court  nor the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals fared particularly well.  The paper … Continue Reading

Stretch the Facts, Go to Jail?

D. Todd Smith
The following is a guest post from Roger Hughes of Adams & Graham, LLP: Lawyers, and perhaps appellate attorneys, now face a new problem if their briefs or pleadings stretch facts or are flat wrong about them.  That problem is indictment and jail.  This week, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeal decided round two of Vasilas … Continue Reading

Appellate E-Filing Update

D. Todd Smith
Following up on this post, about 300 Texas lawyers have petitioned the Court of Criminal Appeals to adopt a rule permitting the e-filing of petitions, motions, and other documents in death penalty cases.  (UPDATE:  Per this news report, the CCA has agreed to allow e-mail filingfor emergency motions in death penalty cases and other "extraordinary … Continue Reading

Lawyers to Push CCA for E-Filing in Death Penalty Cases

D. Todd Smith
Austin Lawyer Chuck Herring is circulating a petition to be submitted to the Court of Criminal Appeals (download PDF here), along with the following message: RE: Rule-Making Petition To Permit E-Filing in Death Penalty Cases You may have seen the extensive press reports concerning the recent actions of Presiding Judge Sharon Keller of the Texas … Continue Reading

What’s Going on at the CCA?

D. Todd Smith
I don’t practice criminal appellate law, and I don’t ordinarily follow the the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, but even I notice when the CCA makes front-page news for the wrong reasons. In case you haven’t heard, the media is lambasting the CCA (more specifically, Presiding Judge Sharon Keller) for refusing to keep the clerk’s … Continue Reading