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.