Odds are extremely high that the last word on your case will come from the Cotton Belt Building. If you are thinking that you can always take your case to Austin if you don’t like the result in Tyler, it’s time for a reality check. You certainly can take your case to the Supreme Court of Texas, but as a court that gets to pick and choose what they hear, they may not choose you. What prompted me to say this? The Supreme Court of Texas took action on 19 cases in today’s orders. None of them were from Tyler.
But it’s about more than one week. Let’s put some numbers on it:
Out of all the 525 cases currently pending before the Supreme Court of Texas, only 11 are from Tyler. Bear in mind that the SCoTX has not decided to hear all 11 of those cases. In fact 10 of them are in various stages of asking to be heard by the SCoTX. There is only one Tyler case — one — that the SCoTX has said it will hear and decide.
Here is a chart I’ve pulled from a project that Don Cruse at SCOTXblog has in the works. The project is under wraps right now, but from my sneak peek, I can already tell you I’ll have good things to say about it when he releases it to the public. These numbers are based on petitions on the active docket of the SCoTX. The total cases are in parentheses next to the court of appeals name.
For a more detailed analysis, the plain language breakdown of the colors is: gray = something’s been filed, but no initial briefs yet. green = initial briefs filed begging the SCoTX to hear the case. yellow = the SCoTX wants more briefing, but hasn’t taken the case. orange = the SCoTX has taken the case but hasn’t heard oral argument yet. red = the SCoTX has taken the case, all the briefing and arguing is done, and everyone’s biting their nails waiting for a decision. purple = more begging, this time for a do-over after the SCoTX has either declined the case or issued a ruling someone doesn’t like.
Think of all the resources you’d consider using in your case “if it came to that.” If you’ve got a case going before the Tyler court, you’ve reached “that” point.