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School finance: The State wins; the ISDs lose; the Legislature now has a wider range of options to reform the system

Today, the Court issued its ruling in the Texas school finance case. The public information officer’s summary is more than 3000 words. I tried it in three tweets: 1/ SCOTX rules unanimously that the Texas school finance system is within constitutional limits. https://t.co/RqPFL4mlXT— SCOTXblog (@scotxblog) May 13, 2016 2/ District court in school finance case placed improper emphasis on "inputs" (money spent) rather than "outputs" (results).— SCOTXblog (@scotxblog) May 13, 2016 3/ Four Justices join concurrences saying that, while everyone wants schools to be better, it's up to the Legislature to pursue that goal.— SCOTXblog (@scotxblog) May 13, 2016 The vote was unanimous on the merits, although some Justices wrote separately to emphasize the importance of education. MIKE MORATH, COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; GLENN HEGAR, TEXAS COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; THE TEXAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION; AND THE TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY v. THE TEXAS TAXPAYER AND STUDENT FAIRNESS COALITION, ET AL.; CALHOUN COUNTY ISD, ET AL.; EDGEWOOD ISD, ET AL.; FORT BEND ISD, ET AL.; TEXAS CHARTER SCHOOL ASSOCIATION, ET AL.; AND JOYCE COLEMAN, ET AL., No. 14-0776 education school finance Opinion of the Court Concurring Concurring Source: Supreme Court of Texas Blog School finance: The State wins; the ISDs lose; the Legislature now has a wider range of options to reform the system

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Personal jurisdiction in a defamation case that crosses borders; interpreting an oil-and-gas agreement [Feb. 26, 2016]

With this week’s orders list, the Texas Supreme Court issued opinions in five cases. It did not select any new cases for future argument. Looking at the calendar, to remain on-target to meet last year’s target Court has a fair number of cases to be decided in the next few months, to equal last year’s target of clearing its docket by the end of June. I see 44 argued cases remaining to be decided, with approximately 17 weeks remaining until the end of June. Opinions Does Texas have personal jurisdiction over a Mexican TV station whose broadcasts reach the state? TV AZTECA, S.A.B. DE C.V., PATRICIA CHAPOY, AND PUBLIMAX, S.A. DE C.V. v. GLORIA DE LOS ANGELES TREVINO RUIZ, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF A MINOR CHILD, A.G.J.T., AND ARMANDO ISMAEL GOMEZ MARTINEZ, No. 14-0186 defamation personal jurisdiction Opinion of the Court Summary for previous event: Set to be argued on October 12, 2015 This is a defamation case involving a broadcast that originated in Mexico and, it is alleged, caused harm in Texas. TV Azteka broadcasts from a location in Mexico that reaches both a local audience and several cities on the Texas side of the border. The TV station filed a special appearance arguing that Texas courts lack jurisdiction to hear this defamation claim. The trial court denied that request, and the court of appeals agreed that Texas courts can proceed. The parties dispute the degree to which the TV station has chosen to avail itself of the business opportunities, and legal responsibilities that may come, from having its signal extend into Texas.The plaintiff points to some materials suggesting that TV Azteka was selling advertisers on the benefits of having the signal extend into Texas. Emphasizing a different aspect of its revenue, the TV station says that it had no legal control over how its signals were used in Texas and was unable to charge local cable stations to rebroadcast them. The national and state associations of broadcasters have filed amicus briefs, urging the Texas Supreme Court to take the case and rule that signals crossing international borders — like postings on the internet — do not automatically create personal jurisdiction wherever they are read. In the news: A new personal jurisdiction case from the Texas Supreme Court (or ‘Killing Calder Softly’) (Volokh Conspiracy) APACHE DEEPWATER, LLC v. MCDANIEL PARTNERS, LTD., No. 14-0546 contracts oil and gas Opinion of the Court Court of appeals must address all issues necessary to judgment YVONNE CARDWELL v. WHATABURGER RESTAURANTS LLC, No. 14-1019 appellate rules Per Curiam In an employee-arbitration case, the trial court agreed with an employee that the agreement was unconscionable. Its ordered addressed only some of the employee's arguments, leaving the others unanswered. On appeal, the employee urged those other grounds as alternate reasons to affirm. The court of appeals reversed and ordered arbitration (the equivalent here of a rendition, not a remand), declining to consider the employee's alternate grounds: The court did not address any other arguments that Cardwell raised to oppose arbitration, explaining without authority that “as the trial court did not base its determination of unconscionability on those grounds, we need not consider them.” The court of appeals observed in a footnote that Cardwell had not cross-appealed from the trial court’s findings and conclusions or complained of the omission of findings and conclusions. The Texas Supreme Court reversed that outcome, remanding to the court of appeals to consider those alternative grounds. The Court noted that a party defending the trial court's judgment need not perfect a cross-appeal and that Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 47.1 says "[t]he court of appeals 'must hand down a written opinion that . . . addresses every issue raised and necessary to final disposition of the appeal.'” The latest: Supreme Court of Texas Overturns Appellate Court's Arbitration Order in El Paso Employment Dispute (March 9, 2016) IN THE INTEREST OF J.Z.P. AND J.Z.P., MINOR CHILDREN, No. 14-1072 appellate rules notice Per Curiam F. MICHAEL MCMILLEN v. TEXAS HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES COMMISSION AND KYLE L. JANEK, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY, No. 15-0147 employment whistleblower act Per Curiam Source: Supreme Court of Texas Blog Personal jurisdiction in a defamation case that crosses borders; interpreting an oil-and-gas agreement [Feb. 26, 2016]

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Four grants for future argument (likely in the fall); rehearing granted in the Houston takings case between home owners and a flood-control district [Feb. 19, 2016]

This Friday’s orders list brings four more cases chosen for oral argument. It also brings a rare grant of rehearing in an argued case that was decided last June: HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT AND HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS v. EDWARD A. AND NORMA KERR, ET AL., No. 13-0303 The Court has not specified an argument date for the new grants. Most likely, they will be heard in the fall. Rehearing Grant In June, the Court decided HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT AND HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS v. EDWARD A. AND NORMA KERR, ET AL., No. 13-0303 . The vote was split 5-4, with two separate dissenting opinions. A motion for rehearing was filed, and fifteen amicus filings followed shortly thereafter, urging the Court to reconsider. Today, the Court has granted the motion for rehearing but has not (yet) withdrawn its opinions and has not (yet) set the case for re-argument, if that is its intention. Instead, the case remains on the active docket, awaiting a more final disposition. The timing of today’s order was driven by the timing of the motion for rehearing. It was filed on August 28th — 175 days before this orders list. Had the Court waited until next week to take action, the 180-day clock for rehearing motions set by the Texas Constitution would have expired. New Grants ONCOR ELECTRIC DELIVERY COMPANY LLC, ET AL. v. PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS, ET AL., No. 15-0005 utilities Set to be argued on September 13, 2016 WADE BRADY v. LEAANNE KLENTZMAN AND CARTER PUBLICATIONS, INC. D/B/A THE WEST FORT BEND STAR, INC., No. 15-0056 defamation Set to be argued on September 13, 2016 KEN PAXTON, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS v. CITY OF DALLAS, No. 15-0073 open records Set to be argued on September 14, 2016 B.C. v. STEAK N SHAKE OPERATIONS, INC., No. 15-0404 employment Set to be argued on November 7, 2016 Source: Supreme Court of Texas Blog Four grants for future argument (likely in the fall); rehearing granted in the Houston takings case between home owners and a flood-control district [Feb. 19, 2016]

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