For the week of June 21, 2010, the Dallas Court of Appeals issued eighteen opinions in civil cases. Eight of these dispose of a case without a detailed discussion of the merits (e.g., dismissing a case for want of prosecution, dismissing a case for mootness, dismissing a case pursuant to settlement). The remaining ten cases are as follows:
2327 Manana LLC v. Summit Elec. Supply Co., Inc. (05-09-00107-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing summary judgment; (2) rule that purchaser of real property is charged with knowledge of all recorded instruments; and (3) rule that purchaser of real property is charged with knowledge of all prior deeds in their chain of ownership, regardless of whether those deeds were recorded.
Bolling v. Farmers Branch Indep. Sch. Dist. (05-08-01566-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that an individual who is a party to civil litigation has the right to represent himself at trial and on appeal; (2) principle that pro se litigants have the responsibility to adhere to rules of evidence and procedure; and (3) rule that appellate brief must be supported by record references.
Comcast Cable of Plano, Inc. v. City of Plano (05-09-00754-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing an appealable order denying summary judgment; (2) rule that federal preemption is an affirmative defense; (3) rule that statutory construction is reviewed de novo; (4) rule that, when state law conflicts with federal law, the state law is preempted and has no effect; and (5) rule that legislative history cannot be used to alter the terms of an unambiguous statute.
DFW Aero Mechanix, Inc. v. Airshares, Inc. (05-09-00317-CV) – Recites well-established (1) general rule that, to preserve error for appeal, record must show that complaint was presented to trial court and either that trial court ruled on the complaint or that complaining party objected to trial court’s refusal to rule; (2) rule that, to raise factual sufficiency complaint on appeal, the party must have presented this complaint to the trial court in a motion for new trial; and (3) rule that, when party challenges legal sufficiency of the evidence, the appellate court weighs all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the challenged finding.
DMC Valley Ranch, L.L.C. v. HPSC, Inc. (05-08-01519-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that trial court may consider summary judgment evidence filed after the summary judgment hearing, but may not consider new summary judgment grounds; (2) rule that party may amend its pleadings without leave of court up to seven days before summary judgment hearing; (3) rule that trial court errs if it grants summary judgment on claim not addressed in motion for summary judgment; and (4) rule that a party seeking attorneys’ fees has a duty to segregate nonrecoverable fees from recoverable fees and to segregate the fees owed by different parties.
In re Estate of Hendler (05-08-01146-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing summary judgment; (2) definition of “pretermitted child”; (3) definition of “testamentary intent”; and (4) rule that motion for summary judgment must stand or fall on grounds expressly presented in the motion.
In re Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (05-10-00485-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for determining whether mandamus relief is available; (2) rule that trial court abuses its discretion if it orders discovery exceeding scope permitted by the rules; (3) rule that request for production of documents must be tailored to include only matters relevant to the case; (4) definition of “trade secret”; (5) rule that trade secrets are exempt from discovery if nondisclosure won’t conceal a fraud or work an injustice; and (6) factors used to determine whether a trade secret exists.
Owen v. Owen (05-09-00709-CV) – Recites well-established standard for reviewing trial court’s award of spousal maintenance.
Pollard v. Pollard (05-08-01615-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing whether trial court had jurisdiction; (2) rule that cause of action for divorce terminates on the death of either spouse prior to rendition of judgment granting divorce; (3) rule that, absent a motion extending plenary power, the trial court loses its plenary power thirty days after judgment is signed; and (4) rule that timely notice of appeal is essential to invoke appellate court’s jurisdiction.
Pollard v. Pollard (05-09-010870-CV) (companion case to the case immediately above) – Recites well-established (1) general rule that parties may only appeal from a final judgment; and (2) rules governing when probate order is appealable.