Sunday, August 25, 2013
Interlocutory Texas State Discovery Appellate Court Relief
Texas state trial courts are less open to interlocutory (that is, non-final) appeals than their federal counterparts. A common way for an appellate issue to arise in a Texas state civil trial is a party to seek to mandamus the trial about a discovery matter-- usually a defendant's fighting disclosure. The final judgment rule prevents straight-up interlocutory appeal about this kind of thing. In order for mandamus relief to be warranted the law has to be so clear in favor of the party seeking mandamus, that the judge's duty is not one that requires any judicial discretion. The judge's duty needs to be a ministerial one-- a clerical act more than a judicial one. Additionally, the judge's failure to follow the law needs to be irreparably harmful to the party. If it is not, then there is no reason to get a mandamus-- the party could just wait until after the trial. This kind of mandamus is subject to the challenges and weirdnesses that I have discussed in at least four other blog posts.