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”.