For the week of May 30, 2011, the Dallas Court of Appeals issued nineteen opinions in civil cases. Ten 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 nine cases are as follows:
Arrendondo v. Dugger (05-09-00625-CV) – Recites well-established (1) holding that, under the unlawful acts doctrine, a plaintiff is barred from recovering damages arising out of his own unlawful acts; (2) standard for reviewing traditional summary judgment; (3) standard for reviewing statutory construction; (4) rule that a statutory wrongful death claim is wholly derivative of the decedent’s claim and is subject to any defense that would have been available against the decedent had he survived; (5) rule that, where the common law is revised by statute, the statute controls; (6) rule that the legislature has the power to set public policy; and (7) rule that no one has any vested or property interest in the common law and, therefore, no one is deprived of a constitutional right by their change through legislative enactment.
Crithfield v. Boothe (05-10-00789-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing findings of fact; (2) standard for reviewing factual sufficiency of evidence; (3) rules governing when Texas courts may assert personal jurisdiction over nonresident; (4) rule that fraud has no place in assessing contacts to determine jurisdiction; (5) rule that unchallenged findings of fact are binding on an appellate court unless the contrary is established as a matter of law or there is no evidence to support the finding; (6) rule that a valid and enforceable forum selection clause in a contract will support the denial of a special appearance entered by a party to the contract; and (7) rule that, when an individual signs a contract without indicating he is signing in a representative capacity, he is liable on a contract.
County of Dallas v. Walker (05-10-01421-CV) – Recites well-established rule that, under the Texas Tort Claims Act for a governmental entity’s immunity to be waived for a premises defect, the entity must have had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition at the time of the accident.
Durham v. Jones (05-11-00059-CV) – Recites well-established rule that, if an order does not dispose of all parties and claims, it is not a final order.
Dukatt v. Dukatt (05-10-01431-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rules governing when Texas courts may assert personal jurisdiction over nonresident; (2) standard for reviewing determination of special appearance; (3) rule that, when a trial court grants a special appearance and a plaintiff seeks to reverse that ruling on appeal on the ground that the special appearance was not sworn, the plaintiff must have raised that defect in the trial court; and (4) rule that a trial court is not required to file findings of fact and conclusions of law in connection with its order on a special appearance.
In re M.V. (05-10-00034-CV) – Recites well-established (1) definition of “clear and convincing evidence”; (2) standard for reviewing legal sufficiency of evidence; (3) standard for reviewing factual sufficiency of evidence; (4) definition of “endanger”; (5) holding that there is a strong presumption that the best interest of a child will be served by preserving the parent-child relationship; and (6) rule that parental rights may not be terminated merely because the child may be better off living somewhere else.
Rosenbaum v. Dupor (05-09-00994-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing case tried on stipulated facts; and (2) rule that stipulated facts are binding on the parties, the trial court, and the appellate court.
In re Spencer (05-11-00636-CV) – Recites well-established rule that court of appeals does not have mandamus jurisdiction over a justice of the peace.
Shaw v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co. (05-10-00642-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing traditional summary judgment; (2) rule that, when a party fails to assign error to all the grounds upon which summary judgment could have been granted, the summary judgment should be affirmed; and (3) definition of “condition precedent.”