After trickling out just one briefing request on Wednesday [here] and another on Thursday [here], the Court quietly issued fifteen more briefing requests sometime on Good Friday. ((I had expected a silent weekend from the Court after Osler McCarthy’s distribution-list email that there would be no order list and the Court’s holiday schedule. Thanks to Roger Hughes of Adams & Graham for noticing some of these requests and prompting me to look again.))
The case of personal interest to the most Texas lawyers may be Abbott v. State Bar of Texas, No. 07-0836, from 03-06-00592-CV. COA Opinion. This is an open-records case about whether the information the State Bar maintains about its members is subject to disclosure and — if not — why not. The district court held that the information was confidential by nature. The court of appeals held that the information was “judicial” in nature because it was held pursuant to rules by the Supreme Court of Texas. The Attorney General’s petition (I am assuming) claims it is neither.
But the cases most likely to make the evening news (again) are definitely the two defamation cases out of Fort Worth, which fit together as a set. Both involve defamation suits brought by Gamal Abdel-Hafiz against television news networks and personalities (including Charlie Gibson and Bill O’Reilly). The allegations relate to news stories that named the plaintiff — an FBI agent who is Muslim — as having impeded some investigations prior to September 11, 2001 by, in the stories’ description, refusing to “wear a wire”. More details are to be found in the court of appeal’s opinions.
07-1074 Abdel-Hafiz v. Fox Entertainment Group, Inc., from 02-06-00353-CV. COA Opinion
The other dozen lucky cases moving to the next round of the appellate process follow the jump.
07-0711 Dallas Fire Insurance Co. v. Phoenix Assurance Co, from 13-05-00065-CV
07-0743 Tex. Dep’t of Transp. v. York, from 10-06-00210-CV
07-0773 Autozone, Inc. v. Reyes, from 13-03-00338-CV
07-0815 Intercontinental Group P’ship . KB Home Lone Star, L.P, from 13-06-00617-CV
07-0838 Petro Pro, Ltd. v. Briscoe, from 07-05-00327-CV
07-0842 Haddad v. Brown, from 13-07-00014-CV
07-0925 Noble Drilling (U.S.), Inc. v. Fountain, from 01-06-00426-CV
07-0931 City of Dallas v. Abbott, from 07-06-00161-CV
07-0942 Cirillo v. King, from 05-07-00081-CV
07-0944 In re Oakwood Apartments, L.L.C., from 02-07-00265-CV
07-0952 Maes v. El Paso Orthopaedic Surgery Group, from 08-06-00071-CV
07-0987 In re Union Carbide Corp., from 01-07-00707-CV