The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued eight opinions from May 15-21. The Texas Supreme Court issued seven opinions from May 15-21. Both courts are the state’s courts of last resort. As of May 21, the court of criminal appeals issued 138 opinions in 2023 — 25 more than this point a year ago. The supreme court issued 64 opinions as of May 21, 2023 — nine fewer than this point a year ago. Three of 15 opinions are below:
- Pecos County Appraisal District v. Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District (Opinion), where the court “held that no statute expressly authorizes a school district to retain a lawyer on a contingent-fee basis to prosecute litigation designed to increase the appraised value of property so as to generate more tax receipts for the school district and that authority for such an arrangement cannot be implied from a school district’s express authority to bring litigation regarding appraisals.”
- USA Lending Group, Inc. v. Winstead PC (Opinion), where the court “reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the decision of the district court denying Winstead PC’s motion to dismiss USA Lending Group, Inc.’s malpractice claim brought under the Texas Citizens Participation Act in this legal malpractice case, holding that Winstead presented prima facie evidence sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss.”
- Bryant, Kerwin Bernard Appeal from 399th District Court of Bexar County (original per curiam), where the court directed that the applicant may file an out-of-time appeal of his conviction. The applicant was convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.
From May 15-21, state supreme courts issued 186 opinions nationally. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued the most with 21. State supreme courts in 15 states issued the fewest with zero. Courts where judges are elected have issued 121 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 65.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court are the state’s courts of last resort. The former is the state’s court of last resort for criminal matters, while the latter is the state’s court of last resort for civil matters; both have nine judgeships. Sharon Keller and Nathan Hecht are the current chiefs of the criminal and supreme courts, respectively. Combined, the courts issued 413 opinions in 2022 and 536 in 2021. Nationally, state supreme courts issued 7,423 opinions in 2022 and 8,320 in 2021. The courts have issued 2,660 opinions in 2023. Courts where judges are elected have issued 1,511 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 1,149. Texas is a Republican trifecta, meaning Republicans control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.