In a decision that upends decades of open meetings law, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that the provision of the Texas Open Meetings Act prohibiting a government official from circumventing the Act through a “walking quorum” or “daisy chain” discussion outside of a public meeting is unconstitutionally vague.
As I reported recently, the overall reversal rates for the fourteen courts of appeals is right at about the average from the past few years. There are a few individual courts that had some noteworthy numbers.
With the close of 2018, the statistics for opinion disposition by the Texas Supreme Court are in. I’m still crunching numbers and will follow this post with additional statistics, but here’s what some of the preliminary data show for the 2018 calendar year:
The Fifth Circuit has affirmed a denial of all attorney fees under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act based on the “outrageous facts” and the conduct of the plaintiff’s attorneys.
The Texas Supreme Court resolved a longstanding debate and an unusual split in lower courts by declaring that there is no cause of action for intentional interference with inheritance.
There’s a perception in some appellate circles that if the court of appeals has issued a “memorandum opinion,” the chances of getting review by the Supreme Court of Texas are minuscule. A look at the supreme court’s statistics might change a few minds.
Each calendar year, the Supreme Court of Texas agrees to hear and decide somewhere around 80 petitions for review. This is only a fraction of the petitions for review that come knocking on the court’s door. When the court grants a petition for review the odds are very strong that the court is going to reverse the court of appeals judgment. Overall reversal rates range between 75% to 85% for the years 2014 through 2017, with the average reversal rate for all four years being 82.2%.
For well over a decade, the Supreme Court of Texas has been presented with more than 1000 different matters each fiscal year. These matters consist of petitions for review, petitions for writs of mandamus, certified questions, petitions for habeas corpus, direct appeals, and a handful of other miscellaneous items. The bulk of the court’s docket consists of petitions for review, which are either denied or granted.
A “sham affidavit” has been described as referring to an affidavit in which an affiant offers sworn testimony that contradicts the affiant’s prior, sworn testimony on a material point and the affiant gives no explanation in the affidavit for the change in the testimony. The scenario of the “sham affidavit” arises with great frequency in Texas summary judgment practice. Because many district courts and intermediate appellate courts refuse to give credence to such an affidavit, many motions for summary judgment have been granted and upheld.
The Federal Circuit has held that “virtual” business operations are insufficient to establish patent venue. And it rejected the widely discussed four-factor approach to patent venue adopted by the Eastern District of Texas, which until recently was the nation’s busiest patent venue.