Handling an appeal from a Texas trial court’s arbitration order is about to be much simpler.

There has been a quirk in Texas law that often forced people to file two separate “appeals” to effectively challenge a trial court’s preliminary order about arbitration: a normal interlocutory appeal to raise a challenge under the Texas Arbitration Act and a parallel writ of mandamus to raise a challenge under the Federal Arbitration Act.

As Victoria VanBuren notes in her roundup of dispute-resolution bill from the Texas Legislature, that is about to change.

One of the bills just sent to the Governor is S.B. 1650, which provides:

Sec. 51.016. APPEAL ARISING UNDER FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT. In a matter subject to the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. Section 1 et seq.), a person may take an appeal or writ of error to the court of appeals from the judgment or interlocutory order of a district court, county court at law, or county court under the same circumstances that an appeal from a federal district court’s order or decision would be permitted by 9 U.S.C. Section 16.

This bill would apply to appeals initiated after August 31, 2009.