Dallas Court of Appeals cases for the week of June 28, 2010

Dallas Court of Appeals cases for the week of June 28, 2010

Dallas Court of Appeals cases for the week of June 28, 2010

For the week of June 28, 2010, the Dallas Court of Appeals issued twelve opinions in civil cases.  Three 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:

A & L Eng’g & Consulting, Inc. v. Shiloh Apollo Plaza, Inc. (05-09-00527-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing trial court’s decision to grant or deny attorneys’ fees in declaratory judgment case; (2) general rule that attorneys’ fees are not recoverable unless allowed by contract or statute; and (3) general rule that, when attorneys’ fees are authorized for some but not all of a party’s claims, the party has a duty to segregate the recoverable from the non-recoverable attorneys’ fees.

Bakhtari v. Estate of Dumas (05-09-00200-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing trial court’s decision on motion to dismiss health care liability claim based on deficient expert report; (2) rule that a trial court’s comments during a hearing do not limit the grounds on which an order can be upheld on appeal; and (3) rule that, in health care liability claim, required expert report need not be provided by a physician from the same community or similar community as the defendant physician.

City of Richardson v. Gordon (05-09-00532-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing questions of law; (2) principle that a plaintiff has the burden to plead facts showing that the trial court has subject matter jurisdiction; (3) rule that, if the evidence creates a fact issue concerning jurisdiction, a plea to the jurisdiction must be denied; and (4) rule that a declaratory judgment action does not give a trial court jurisdiction to pass upon hypothetical or contingent situations.

In re Ismoralda Fish Co. Tex., L.L.C. (05-10-00344-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that scope of discovery is generally withing a trial court’s discretion; (2) principle that ordering discovery outside the scope permitted by the rules of procedure constitutes an abuse of discretion; (3) rule that, when punitive damages are not recoverable, information about net worth is not discoverable; and (4) rule that, when trial court orders discovery that is not relevant, trial court abuses its discretion.

Moir v. Citibank (S.D.), N.A. (05-09-00641-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that pro se litigants are held to the same standards as licensed attorneys; (2) standard for reviewing traditional summary judgment; and (3) elements of common law “account stated” cause of action.

Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Steinberg (05-08-01418-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing trial court’s construction of an insurance contract; (2) rule that an insurer bears the burden of pleading and proving that a policy exclusion applies to bar coverage; (3) definition of “theft”; and (4) rule that intent is a question of fact to be determined by the trier of fact.

Shutter v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (05-09-00639-CV) – Recites well-established definition of “plea in abatement”.

Stromberger v. Turley Law Firm (05-09-00029-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing trial court’s imposition of sanctions; and (2) rule that a discovery sanction should be no more severe than necessary.

Williams v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon (05-09-00710-CV) – Recites well-established (1) definition of “forcible detainer”.

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