While we’re on a kick about rule changes, everyone in the counties of Wood, Upshur, Gregg and Rusk needs to know that there’s a new rule that will impact where your appeal gets heard. For reasons that defy a short blog post, those counties are in the jurisdiction of both the Tyler and Texarkana courts of appeal. That part isn’t changing. What is changing is the method of figuring out what happens when one party appeals to the 12th Court (Tyler), and another party appeals the same case to the 6th Court (Texarkana). As of September 1, 2008, there won’t be much point in a race to the appellate courthouse. Instead, the parties must agree on which court will hear the appeal. Failing that, the trial court clerk will literally pick a number (6 or 12) out of a hat.
Here’s the order of the Supreme Court of Texas amending the Rules of Judicial Administration. Public comments will be received until June 30th. I don’t expect much comment, nor do I expect the rule to change based on the comments. It’s a sensible accomodation for a less-than-sensible situation.