Texas Supreme Court weekly orders (10/3/14)

In its weekly orders (10/3/14), the Texas Supreme Court issued one new opinion and a revised opinion on rehearing in another case. Click here to read the order list. Click here to access the opinions. (The Court also granted review in six cases. Rich Phillips will follow up with a separate post to describe the six grants.)The two opinions are:No. 13-0158, Ford Motor Co. v. Castillo — This is an opinion on rehearing. The Court maintained its original ruling that there was legally sufficient evidence that Ford was fraudulently induced to enter into a settlement while the jury deliberated. There was evidence to support Ford’s argument that the presiding juror collaborated with a plaintiff’s counsel to send out a jury note asking “What is the maximum amount that can be awarded?” The note prompted Ford to settle the case, but it was later discovered that the jury had already voted in Ford’s favor on the first liability question. On rehearing, the Supreme Court revised the judgment to remand the case to the court of appeals to consider the plaintiffs’ factual-sufficiency challenge to the fraud finding.No. 13-0277, Pike-Grant v. Grant — This is a restricted appeal from a final divorce decree. One element of a restricted appeal is that the appellant did not appear at the hearing. Here, the divorce decree contains conflicting recitals about this element. The first recital indicates that the hearing occurred in November and the petitioner attended. This would foreclose the restricted appeal. The other recital indicates that the hearing was in September and the petitioner did not attend. The Court reviewed the rest of the record and concluded that the September reference was correct. Therefore, the petitioner could proceed with the restricted appeal.– Scott Stolley, Thompson & Knight