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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The relator, Frederick L. McGuire, brings a petition for writ of mandamus seeking relief from a discovery abuse sanction order entered by respondent, Judge Kenneth H. Keeling, the judge of the 278th District Court. HOLDING:Conditionally granted. McGuire first contends that Judge Keeling had no jurisdiction to sign the sanction order because he heard and determined the motion outside the confines of the 87th Judicial District. Texas Government Code �74.094(e) seems to allow a judge to hear anything but the trial on the merits in a different county. But, in the context of this statute, this makes no sense. In construing a statute, the court reads it as a whole and interprets it to give effect to every part. Chapter 74 of the Government Code is the Court Administration Act. This chapter does not provide for an exchange of benches; only assignment, docketing, transfer and the hearing of such cases. For authorization to exchange benches among themselves, the courts must look to Chapter 24 of the Government Code; and then only judges in multicounty districts may hear and determine non-jury preliminary and interlocutory matters in any county in that judge’s district. Under �24.017, Judge Keeling had jurisdiction to hear and decide the case if physically present within any one of the counties in the 87th Judicial District. The only authority under which he could be hearing this case was sitting under the exchange of benches with Judge Evans, Judge Keeling had no jurisdiction to hear and decide the motion in the Leon County case in Walker County. The sanction order issued by Judge Keeling is void. Lesser sanctions had not previously been imposed, and it has not been shown that lesser sanctions would have been ineffective. Therefore, the trial court abused its discretion in imposing the sanctions. Sanction 4 (“The Defendants not be allowed to oppose claims made by the Plaintiffs”) has the effect of adjudicating the dispute between McGuire and the real party in interest. Thus, McGuire does not have an adequate remedy by appeal and mandamus is proper. OPINION:Gray, C.J.; Gray, C.J., Vance and Reyna, JJ.

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