Texas Supreme Court Cases — And Bias — Easier To Access Now

The Texas Supreme Court on Monday converted to a new software system that will speed the time for the public to locate appellate decisions.

The Texas Appeals Management and eFiling System (TAMES) is already being used by the 1st and 14th Courts of Appeals in Houston,and over the next six months the remaining courts of appeal will start using this faster system. E-filing will be

required in the near future for all appellate filings.

I welcome the switch, as it is will speed up the sometimes cumbersome appellate process. It can be difficult to access cases and research the law as quickly as I would like. I only wish that the cases that I are being decided were more favorable to the plaintiffs I represent.

Just last month, for example, the Supreme Court of Texas on a 6-3 vote overturned a $2.5 million verdict decided by a jury and upheld by the court of appeals inWeeks Marine, Inc. v. Garza, 2012 WL 2361721 (Tex. 2012). The lawsuit was filed by a dock worker in Houston who suffered a serious injury and underwent surgery, but his company refused to pay for all of his medical care, violating the law and causing him a lot of problems.

According to the consumer watchdog group Texas Watch (http://www.texaswatch.org), “the Texas Supreme Court is an activist, results-oriented body that over the last 10 years has developed into a safe haven for corporate defendants at the expense of individuals, families, and small business owners.” Alex Winslow, the director of Court Watch, stated that “the statistics speak for themselves. The court’s pro-defendant ideology can not be disputed.”

A study of Supreme Court decisions over the last 10 years alamingly reveals the following:

•Corporate and government defendants prevail in an average of 74% of cases annually.

•Consumers have lost 79% of cases in which they were pitted against a corporate or government defendant.

•Justices appointed to the Court by Governor Rick Perry have sided with consumers an average of just 29% of the time.

Is this fair? What do you think? The Texas Supreme Court was viciously attacked in the 1980s for being too consumer friendly, but noone seems to be bothered by the present anti-consumer bias.


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