With its opinion in In re Butler, the Dallas Court of Appeals reminds us that there has been an important change to mandamus procedure.  Appellate Rule 52.3 was amended effective September 1, 2008, and now requires a certification by the person filing the petition for writ of mandamus that he or she has reviewed the petition and every factual statement is supported by competent evidence in the appendix or record.  Previously, Rule 52.3 required factual statements to be verified by affidavit, which sometimes presented difficulties for appellate counsel who might not have the requisite personal knowledge.

Despite the change in Rule 52.3, the Dallas Court of Appeals reiterates that a sworn or certified copy of the order or other document complained of still must be included in the appendix to the petition.  An affidavit swearing that the order is "to my knowledge" a true copy of the original is an equivocal statement implying something less than personal knowledge and it does not comply with the requirement for sworn copies.  The Court’s opinion may be found at this link