December 8, 2013
Galindo v. Snoddy
The appellant, who paid a bond fee for her brother, brought several causes of action arising from the bondsman's alleged threat to have the appellant arrested if she could not pay the full bond. Summary judgment on limitations was not proper; the discovery rule tolls the statute of limitations for fraudulent misrepresentations until the claimant discovers the falsity of the representations. While the better practice is to attach all summary judgment evidence to the motion for summary judgment or the response, Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 166a does not require the evidence to be attached and merely requires the evidence to be on file. The trial court's judgment is affirmed in part, and reversed and remanded in part. Texarkana Court of Appeals, No. 06-13-00072-CV, 11-22-2013.
Lee v. State
The appellant challenges the jury charge given in this alleged murder case. The instruction given to the jury completely reversed the legal requirement and instructed that even if the defendant neither knew nor had reason to believe that the alleged victim was trying to enter her home, her action in shooting him was presumptively reasonable. The jury charge, while erroneous, was not harmful to the defendant, and the errors in the charge resulted in a more favorable jury charge for the defendant. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Texarkana Court of Appeals, No. 06-13-00003-CR, 11-22-2013.
In re Brown
This suit was brought by an employer suing its former employee. The trial court denied the employee's motion to dismiss based on a forum-selection clause in the employment agreement. A trial court abuses its discretion by refusing to enforce a forum-selection clause unless the party opposing enforcement clearly shows: 1. enforcement would be unreasonable or unjust; 2. the clause is invalid for reasons of fraud or overreaching; 3. enforcement would contravene a strong public policy of the forum where the suit was brought; or 4. the selected forum would be seriously inconvenient for trial. The writ is conditionally granted. Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-13-01354-CV, 11-21-2013.
Glassell Producing Co. Inc. v. Jared Resources Ltd.
This interlocutory appeal from the trial court's order denying a motion to compel arbitration involves a dispute between a brother and a sister over the proceeds generated from property interests left to them by their father. When a contract includes a broad arbitration clause, an allegation is within the scope of the arbitration provision if the allegation is covered by, has a significant relationship to, is inextricably enmeshed with, or is factually intertwined with the contract that contains the arbitration agreement. An arbitration clause cannot be avoided by recasting the claims as torts against an owner, officer, agent, or affiliate, and it is impractical to require every corporate agent to sign or be listed in every contract. The trial court's judgment is reversed and rendered in part, and remanded in part. Texarkana Court of Appeals, No. 06-13-00020-CV, 11-21-2013.
Berryman's South Fork, Inc. v. J. Baxter Brinkmann International Corp.
The appellants challenge an adverse summary judgment in this contracts case. The court in Bumb did not specifically address the issue of whether, when a contract is repudiated, the non-repudiating party can increase the damages to which he would otherwise be entitled by continuing to perform. Those sums are not recoverable. The trial court's judgment is reversed and rendered in part, and the affirmed in part. Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-12-00492-CV, 11-20-2013.
Then There Were Three: Committee Looking at Trio of Texans for Fifth Circuit Spots
President Barack Obama has a chance to appoint three Texans to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and it appears he's playing it safe politically by considering promoting three sitting U.S. district court judges, one of whom is a Republican, according to seven sources close to the appointment process.
Prosecutors Prepare for New Year's Compliance With Michael Morton Act
Starting in January, prosecutors must disclose more information to criminal-defense lawyers. What are the state's elected prosecutors doing to prepare to comply with the Michael Morton Act, named after a man who spent more than 24 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife?
Gay Marriage Advocates Race to Courts; A.G. Calls for Consolidation
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June, the historic ruling started a quiet race to federal courthouses in Texas by same-sex couples seeking to overturn the state law forbidding them from marrying.
Inadmissible: Texas Scores an 'F'
The Center for Public Integrity released a report on Dec. 3 that grades states' judicial-finance disclosures. Texas ranked 32nd, tied with Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. California topped the list, and Utah landed at the bottom.