My spouse got way too much of the property in our divorce! Can I appeal this disproportionate division?

One of the most common questions we get concerning divorce appeals concerns disproportionate property divisions. In most contested Texas divorces, trial courts attempt to divide the marital estate evenly between the parties. But not always. Sometimes, for various reasons, a trial court believes that one spouse should receive a disproportionately greater share of the estate. […]

Supreme Court of Texas Decides New TCPA (anti-SLAPP) Cases

If you litigate cases in Texas, you need to be educated on the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), often referred to as the Texas anti-SLAPP statute. The TCPA originally was billed as a relatively narrow statute designed to prevent lawsuits aimed at stifling the exercise of constitutional rights related to freedom of speech and petition. […]

Modification Versus Clarification: Understanding the Difference in Texas Divorces

Parties in Texas divorce cases often become confused over when decrees can be clarified—and what constitutes a clarification as opposed to a modification. Being able to distinguish the two often means the difference between success and failure in divorce matters. Under Texas law, a trial court cannot change its final judgment after expiration of what […]

Determining Whether Your Texas Judgment Is Final and Appealable (and the special danger presented by family cases!)

As a general rule, only the final judgment in a lawsuit can be appealed. With a very few specifically enumerated exceptions, Texas law does not permit appeals from what are known as interlocutory orders (interlocutory orders are orders made during litigation of the case but before entry of final judgment). See generally City of Beaumont […]

Judicial Admissions and Judicial Estoppel Under Texas Law

Texas law recognizes judicial admissions, which “are assertions of fact, not pleaded in the alternative, in the live pleadings of a party.” Lyons v. Lindsey Morden Claims Mgmt., 985 S.W.2d 86, 92 (Tex. App.—El Paso 1999, no pet.) (citation omitted). In other words, a judicial admission is a factual statement made by a party to […]

Why you Need an Appellate Lawyer at Trial

There is a reason that major trials today almost always involve appellate lawyers on both sides. The best trial lawyers in America recognize the value an appellate lawyer adds to the trial team—and the danger inherent in proceeding without one. Unfortunately, too many clients remain reluctant to incur the costs associated with having an appellate […]

Attorney Immunity

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Texas decided Cantey Hanger, LLP v. Byrd, 467 S.W.3d 477 (Tex. 2015), clarifying what is known as the “attorney immunity doctrine.” Essentially, the doctrine posits that, “as a general rule, attorneys are immune from civil liability to non-clients ‘for actions taken in connection with representing clients in litigation.’” Id. […]

Informal (aka “Common Law”) Marriage in Texas

Section 2.401 of the Texas Family Code provides that a party may prove an informal marriage (formerly known as a common law marriage) “by evidence that . . . the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to […]

Citizens Beware: You Could Be SLAPPed

Texas litigants considering filing a legal action for defamation need to consider whether the Texas Citizens Participation Act covers their claims. Signed in 2011, the Act provides powerful tools by which defamation defendants may not only escape liability but also can turn the tables on their accusers by obtaining an award of attorney’s fees incurred […]