Dallas Court of Appeals cases for the week of May 30, 2011

Dallas Court of Appeals cases for the week of May 30, 2011

Dallas Court of Appeals cases for the week of May 30, 2011

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.”

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