Lawmakers are talking seriously about a 21.5 percent pay raise for state district judges. That raise would also mean a 21.5 percent bump in the pensions of lawmakers. It's a vote that opens politicians to criticism for fluffing their own financial pillows while leaving other budget items without enough money.Full Story
The Texas judicial system features five layers of courts and a bifurcated appellate system that separates criminal and civil appeals at its highest level. Article 5 of the Texas Constitution governs its structure.
The lowest court is the Justice of the Peace Court, or JP court, which handles criminal misdemeanors "punishable by fine only" and civil matters where the "amount ...
For this week's nonscientific survey of insiders in government and politics, we asked whether state judges are paid enough, and whether judicial salaries should be unlinked from lawmakers' own pensions.Full Story
A Lubbock County judge is making headlines after suggesting that President Obama might hand over sovereignty of the United States to the United Nations, possibly igniting in a civil war.Full Story
A runoff for the state district court in Marshall, just east of Longview near the Louisiana border, has two Republicans slinging lawsuits and ethics complaints over provisions of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.Full Story
How do you get state judges to go to a weekday afternoon reception in rural West Texas? It depends on who else is there — and what it could mean for their re-election bids.Full Story
Texas has scored a 68 out of 100, placing 27th in a national state integrity study. The state got high marks for auditing and for monitoring pension funds, but not as high for accountability of the governor and legislators.Full Story
In rural Val Verde County, defendants who are too poor to afford their own lawyers have waited years for resolution of their cases. As a new legal battle between their lawyers and the county begins, their day in court remains elusive.Full Story
The dog-sniffing evidence that led to the conviction of her father for conspiring to commit murder was unreliable enough for him to be released from prison. So why is his daughter, Megan Winfrey, serving a life sentence for the same crime based largely on the same evidence?Full Story
Hey, Texplainer: What will happen to Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams now that the video of him beating his then 16-year-old daughter has gone viral?Full Story
A state judge has declined to remove District Attorney John Bradley from continuing to investigate the case of Michael Morton, whose 1987 murder conviction has been called into question by new DNA evidence suggesting someone else killed his wife.Full Story
The Senate unanimously passed a major tort reform bill today that would allow courts to grant attorneys' fees to prevailing parties under certain circumstances.Full Story
Texas got one step closer today to becoming one of the few states with a rule that awards legal fees to prevailing parties in lawsuits.Full Story
With the House set to take up a loser-pays bill for the second time tomorrow, Gov. Rick Perry has added an item to his emergency list: tort reform.Full Story
In advance of today's bill filing deadline, lawmakers have introduced two bills that would require losing parties to pay attorneys' fees in a variety of civil lawsuits.Full Story
Advocates say requiring the losing parties in litigation to pay their opponents’ legal fees is the cure for courts choked with the costs of “junk” lawsuits.Full Story
Ever wonder what a defeated judge is doing up on the bench? Texplainer's got your answer.Full Story
James Ho said today that he's leaving the post he's held as Texas solicitor general since 2008.
The soft-spoken and — until now — media-shy presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals sat down with The Texas Tribune last week to talk about capital punishment in Texas, what she was doing on the afternoon she closed her office at 5 p.m. to a last-minute death row appeal, the flaws in the way the state sanctions judges, what it's like to be known as Sharon “Killer” Keller and the "ridiculous" idea that she doesn't care about defendants or indigent defense.Full Story