Wednesday, May 30, 2007

First and Fourteenth Court of Appeals Opinion Production

The First and Fourteenth Court of Appeals both sit in Houston and hear appeals from the same trial courts. Cases are randomly assigned to either. Both courts consist of nine members and are currently under the leadership of female chief justices. Unlike the state supreme court, and the district courts in Harris County, these intermediate courts of appeals decide both civil and criminal cases. Their annual caseloads are comparable to that of the Texas Supreme Court, which serves as court of last resort for civil and juvenile matters in the state. Unlike the supreme court, which exercises discretionary review, however, these courts decide a large number of cases on the merits, and issue a substantial number of signed and per curiam opinions. Not all are designated for publication in S.W.3d, but almost all of them are released on the judicary web site.

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