Tribpedia: Texas Supreme Court

Tribpedia

The Texas Supreme Court is the highest appellate court for civil litigation in Texas. Located in Austin, the panel consists of a chief justice and eight justices who are elected statewide to staggered six-year terms. The governor also has the authority to appoint justices temporarily to fill vacancies. Appointed justices, who must be confirmed by the Texas Senate, may serve ...

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Some Family Lawyers Oppose Creating Divorce Forms

For years, Texas couples who were ready for the big D — divorce — but couldn't afford lawyers have had to take their chances with unapproved court documents. The Texas Supreme Court is preparing to help them out by approving a simple divorce form, like most of the other states in the country have. But some family lawyers say it's just not that simple.

Texas Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.
Texas Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.

Court Hears Challenge to State Business Tax

A successful challenge to the state's primary business tax would throw lawmakers into special session to try to find enough money to pay for public schools, a lawyer for the state told the Texas Supreme Court today.

Former Texas Tech football coach, Mike Leach - September 15, 2011.
Former Texas Tech football coach, Mike Leach - September 15, 2011.

Mike Leach: The TT Interview

The former Texas Tech football coach on his pending lawsuit against the university, how the state's doing at educating student athletes and what happens if the Big 12 falls apart.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett (center with glasses) at the State of the Judiciary speech in the House chamber on February 23, 2011.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett (center with glasses) at the State of the Judiciary speech in the House chamber on February 23, 2011.

Smith Eyes a Return

Texas Weekly

Austin lawyer and anti-affirmative-action advocate Steven Wayne Smith is planning a return to the Texas Supreme Court.

Texas Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.
Texas Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.

Day 28: Tort Reform Bill Gives High Court New Powers

Throughout August, the Tribune is featuring 31 ways Texans' lives will change come Sept. 1, the date most bills passed by the Legislature take effect. DAY 28: Under a new tort reform law, the Texas Supreme Court will make rules to expedite lawsuits with claims under $100,000 and to allow judges to dismiss meritless ones early on.

Texas Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.
Texas Supreme Court justices listen to the State of the Judiciary speech on February 23, 2011.

Supreme Court is Elected, but Bears Perry's Stamp

Judges are elected in Texas, but since Gov. Rick Perry took office in 2000, he's picked the winners on the state's highest civil court. To date, only one of Perry's 10 Supreme Court appointees has lost a subsequent election.

A photograph of Marcos Guerra at the gravesite in San Benito, Texas.
A photograph of Marcos Guerra at the gravesite in San Benito, Texas.

After Grave Is Moved, Regulations Are Scrutinized

In October 2001, Marcos Guerra’s wife and three daughters laid him to rest at the cemetery in San Benito where members of his family had been buried for three decades. Almost four years later, they were at his graveside again, burying him a second time, after the cemetery moved his body without their permission and exhumed his remains. Now the family’s legal battle with one of the largest funeral services providers in North America, which has faced class-action lawsuits in several states, has reached the Texas Supreme Court — and is raising questions about the state’s regulation of after-life care.

A voter casts a ballot in Travis County on November 2, 2010.
A voter casts a ballot in Travis County on November 2, 2010.

Election Night 2010: The Liveblog

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The Tribune's crack reporting staff — in Houston, Buda and other political hotspots — will be posting the latest news and spin the minute the polls close. Check back and refresh often for updates and photos from the field.

High Court: Broken Bed Falls Under Malpractice Cap

Is a hospital bed an integral part of medical care? As a federal judge considers the constitutionality of Texas’ 2003 medical malpractice reform — and Gov. Rick Perry campaigns for more lawsuit restrictions — the state Supreme Court has ruled that hospital injuries seemingly unrelated to doctor error can fall under Texas’ stringent medical malpractice caps. Some legal observers say the decision is a perversion of legislative intent, but tort reform advocates contend the high court simply closed a huge loophole in liability reforms.

A joint meeting between the House Elections and Judiciary committees on Aug. 26, 2010
A joint meeting between the House Elections and Judiciary committees on Aug. 26, 2010

Will SCOTUS Opinions Affect TX Judicial Elections?

Do two recent U.S. Supreme Court opinions have the far-reaching effects on Texas judicial elections that some in our legal community fear? Or do the state's current campaign finance laws adequately address the issues presented by both cases?

The Hearts Bluff Mitigation Bank as pictured with the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir
The Hearts Bluff Mitigation Bank as pictured with the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir

Denied Wetlands Permit Raises Property Rights Issues

In 2004, two brothers thought they had found the perfect ecologically friendly business venture: create a wetlands preserve on 4,000 acres of neglected farmland along the Sulphur River in Northeast Texas and make a pile of money selling mitigation credits to developers who build over environmentally sensitive lands elsewhere. Seven years later, the only thing stopping them from realizing that dream is the state of Texas, which has plans to submerge their property under 80 feet of water.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of July 26, 2010

Stiles' and Torres' three-parter on the changing Texas political map, Ramsey on questions about Brian Birdwell's voting history and residency, Aguilar on the Obama administration's immigration crackdown, Reed on hospitals that won't induce early labor, Stiles on what Troy Fraser left off his financial disclosure form, the latest installment of Hu's Face-Off video debate series, Grissom on the problem-plagued Driver Responsibility Program, Galbraith on the controversy over fracking and M. Smith's interview with former Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O'Neill: The best of our best from July 26 to 30, 2010.