Going out with Laughs

Here is another nice tribute of Judge Buchmeyer.  Having been to a number of good Irish Wakes, including a couple for my grandparents, I can attest that Judge Buchmeyer was a wise man when he told a law clerk that he wanted "an Irish wake at Belo."  My favorite line from this Blog is the line delivered by Jones Day partner Wes Loegering, "If life was measured in laughs, he’d certainly outlive everyone in this room."   

H/T Texas Parte Blog



Going Electric in Dallas

Effective October 1, 2009, the Dallas Court of Appeals is now requiring attorneys to file an electronic copy of any brief filed with the Court.  The electronic file can be submitted by CD or by email.  This rule will also apply to amicus curiae briefs.  For attorneys intending to email a document to the Court, they should email it to with the appellate case number on the subject line. 


Attracting Businesses to Texas with a Business Litigation Court

Facing a budget short fall, Massachusetts has apparently targeted its court system to make up the short fall, and businesses have taken notice.  While Boston was one of the first states to develop a specialized business litigation court, which was designed to fast-tract an array of business disputes, it now looks like the state’s budget problems will force it to eliminate some of those fast-track measures.  And some high profile businesses, like EMC Corp, are taking notice and inquiring about whether it might be time to re-locate its business in another state.  This might be a good time for Texas to consider creating its own specialized business court.  Right now, fifteen states have set up specialized courts for business litigation and complex litigation.  Besides attracting businesses from other states, a business litigation court would also promote businesses to utilize the court system more often because a business litigation court could alleviate some of the concerns that motivate businesses to avoid the court system at all costs. 


R.I.P ~ Jerry Buchmeyer

On Monday, September 21, 2009, Jerry Buchmeyer, the founder of the humor column et cetera, died of natural causes at the age of 76.  He was a retired federal judge who was appointed to the federal bench by Jimmy Carter in 1979.  He served as the chief judge of the Northern District of Texas from 1995 to 2001.  Here is a special tribute published in December of 2008 by the Texas Bar Journal concerning his column et cetera


Be Wary of the Judge Switch

The Texas Supreme Court recently admonished a judge who entered, for all intents and purposes, a default judgment against an attorney’s client because the attorney was at trial in another court when the case was called.  At the docket call, the attorney had informed the court that he was preferentially set for trial in another court.  The judge told the parties to call it ready and to pick a jury, acknowledging that ‘I don’t ever object to people going to another Court.”  But the case was then transferred to another district court where the judge apparently did have an objection to an attorney going to another court.  After the jury was selected, the new judge ordered the matter to trial even though he knew that the other attorney was already in trial.  When the attorney failed to appear, he proceeded with the trial and entered a judgment against the attorney’s client. 

After the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s decision, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the decision, holding that the “default” judgment should be set aside because “(1) the failure to appear was not intentional or the result of conscious indifference, but was the result of an accident or mistake; (2) the motion for new trial sets up a meritorious defense, and (3) granting the motion will occasion no delay or otherwise injure the plaintiff.” 

What was significant about the case was the Supreme Court’s comment about the parties involved in the case:

“Finally, this record compels us to note that judges and lawyers should, and in most instances do, extend common and professional courtesies to other judges and lawyers.  Here, despite attempts by other judges to contact the trial judge and…counsel and the trial judge being aware of [attorney’s] counsel was in trial elsewhere, judgement was entered against a party that by neither word nor deed exhibited intention to abandon or frustrate the proceedings.  It is a credit to the trial bench and bar that this type of record rarely ends up before appellate courts.” 

So, while the Supreme Court admonished what had transpired, it took the attorney an appeal to the Supreme Court to reverse his decision to call a case ready when he knew that he had a conflict. 

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