Texas Supreme Court Orders - 11/20/15

Posted by Rich PhillipsIn its weekly orders issued on November 20, 2015, the Supreme Court of Texas accepted a certified question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, granted petitions for review in four cases (consolidating two of them for oral argument), and scheduled oral argument on two mandamus petitions. No. 15-0489, Janveyv. Golf Channel, Inc. – The Court accepted the certified question in this case on July 17, 2015 and has now scheduled argument. The primary issue in this case, which arises from the Stanford fraud litigation, is the meaning of “reasonably equivalent value” as used in the Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. Specifically, the Court is asked to clarify whether “reasonably equivalent value” should be measured from the perspective of creditors or from the perspective of the general market. The Court set oral argument for January 12, 2016. (In the interest of full disclosure, Thompson & Knight represents Mr. Janvey in his capacity as the court-appointed receiver for the Stanford entities. We are not involved in this case.)No. 14-0507, Ineos USA v. Elmgren – The primary issue in this personal injury case is whether Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 95 is categorically limited to claims of premises liability, or whether it also applies to claims of negligent activity and negligent undertaking. The Court set oral argument for January 12, 2016. No. 14-0538, Cornerstone Healthcare Group v. Nautic Management, and No. 14-1539, Cornerstone Healthcare Group v. Nautic Partners – These related cases raise nearly identical issues regarding personal jurisdiction. One case relates to the jurisdiction of three private equity funds organized as limited partnerships, and the other relates to jurisdiction of the general partner of these funds. The issue is whether a nonresident private equity fund, acting through its general partner, is subject to personal jurisdiction in Texas in a lawsuit challenging the transaction through which wholly-owned subsidiaries of the private equity firms bought a chain of Texas hospitals. The court set oral argument for January 12, 2016.No. 15-0046, Hoskins v. Hoskins – This case involves a family property dispute that was resolved in arbitration. The issue is whether the Texas Arbitration Act permits courts to vacate an arbitration award on common-law grounds, or whether they are limited to the specific grounds enumerated in the TAA. The court set oral argument for January 13, 2016.No. 14-0999, In re Martin – This family law case involves the enforcement of a mediated settlement agreement (“MSA”), and whether the Family Code mandates entry of judgment on a statutorily compliant MSA when the MSA’s venue provisions conflict with those of the Family Code. Specifically, the MSA at issue contradicts the Family Code’s provision that mandatory venue for a suit affecting the parent-child relationship is the county where the child has resided for six months.The court set oral argument for January 13, 2016.No. 14-1045, In re M-I LLC d/b/a M-I SWACO – This mandamus petition presents several trade-secret issues. The first issue is whether the corporate representative of the opposing party (a competitor) should have been excluded from the courtroom during testimony about the trade secrets at issue. The second issue is whether a trial court may compel disclosure of a witness statement previously submitted, in camera, to the court of appeals in a prior mandamus proceeding, where the witness statement was submitted in a sealed record. The court set oral argument for January 13, 2016.