In re Citigroup Global Markets, No. 08-0289
The Texas Supreme Court today set an expedited argument in the Clear Channel merger case. The argument will be held this Friday in Austin. The order is here.
Recusal-watchers will note that both Chief Justice Jefferson and Justice Wainwright “are not sitting.” The real parties in interest in this case (those opposing the banks) are represented by the Chief’s former law partner. I’m not sure why Justice Wainwright might have stepped aside for this one. The order today reflects that Justice Alan Waldrop of the Third Court and Judge Randall W. Wilson of the 157th District Court in Harris County have been appointed to serve on the Court to hear this case.
It’s not clear that the argument will happen, however, unless this order disrupts the settlement talks reported by Reuters and the New York Times. The New York trial is set to begin this afternoon. It remains to be seen if the Texas Supreme Court’s action will change the bargaining posture of the parties.
The Texas Supreme Court briefs are available here.
Update: This article from Bloomberg News reports that there was also a state trial-court hearing today in San Antonio on the same dismissal motions that are the subject of this mandamus. So, there is a second front on which Friday’s mandamus argument could become moot if the trial court takes some action in the interim.
2 responses so far ↓
1 Jeff N. // May 13, 2008 at 2:51 pm
I have no personal knowledge why Justice Wainwright recused, but he has a close relative who worked for Pace Concerts in Houston. Pace was owned by Clear Channel for a few years. It’s possible this relationship made him uncomfortable sitting.
2 Jeff N. // May 13, 2008 at 3:00 pm
D’oh. I looked at your link to the online briefs. The petitioners are represented by Haynes and Boone, including Lamont Jefferson, Chief Justice Jefferson’s brother. Justice Wainwright worked there before he took the bench and so there’s another factor that may have been related to his recusal, as well as the chief’s.
In recent cases, in fact, Chief Justice Jefferson has not recused himself from cases involving his old law firm. I believe the same is true for Justice Wainwright. There’s really no need, because several years have passed since these two justices worked at their old firms.