Texas Supreme Court Orders - 10/23/15

Posted by Rich PhillipsIn its weekly order list, the Supreme Court of Texas granted two related petitions for review and set them for consolidated argument on December 10, 2015. The cases are No. 14-0293, ERG Resources LLC v. Parex Resources, Inc. and No. 14-0295, ERG Resources LLC v. Parex Resources (Bermuda) Ltd. These cases arise from rulings on special appearances filed by three different defendants in one case. Although there are two appeals, the court of appeals heard consolidated argument and issued one opinion. The court of appeals found that there is no personal jurisdiction in Texas over Parex Resources, Inc. (a Canadian company) or Parex Resources (Bermuda), Ltd. (a Bermudian subsidiary of Parex Resources, Inc.). The court of appeals found that there is jurisdiction in Texas over Ramshorn International, Ltd. (a Bermudian company domiciled in Bogota, Colombia). ERG Resources filed two petitions for review seeking reversal of the court of appeals’ judgment as to Parex Resources, Inc. and Parex Resources (Bermuda), Ltd. Ramshorn International, Ltd. filed a cross-petition seeking reversal of the court of appeals’ judgment that it is subject to jurisdiction in Texas.In other news, in an order issued on Wednesday, the Court requested additional briefing about jurisdiction in a case already set for argument on November 13, No. 14-0456, KBMT Operating Company LLC v. Toledo. This is an appeal of a trial court’s order denying a motion under the Texas Citizens Participation Act to dismiss a defamation suit. Because such orders are interlocutory, the court of appeals’ decision is final (and there is no jurisdiction in the Supreme Court) in the absence of “conflicts jurisdiction” or “dissent jurisdiction.” The petitioner asserts that the court of appeals’ opinion conflicts with Texas law regarding the fair report privilege and standards for substantial truth in a news broadcast. The respondent did not challenge or otherwise respond to the petitioner’s jurisdictional statement. The Court has asked the parties to file supplemental briefs regarding jurisdiction by November 2.