Helping Trial Lawyers Navigate the Appellate System

Changes Coming to 3rd and 4th Courts of Appeals

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]With some notable exceptions, yesterday was a good day for incumbents running for re-election to the Texas appellate courts.

Texas Supreme Court Justices Nathan Hecht and Don Willett retained their seats. Though not an incumbent, former district judge John Devine did not have a major-party opponent and won election easily. On the Court of Criminal Appeals, Presiding Judge Sharon Keller and Judges Barbara Parker Hervey and Elsa Alcala each prevailed in their respective races.

In Austin, Republican challenger Scott Field defeated Justice Diane Henson for Place 3 on the Third Court of Appeals. Henson’s impending departure will leave Chief Justice Woodie Jones as the court’s lone Democrat.

San Antonio saw a significant shakeup, with Democratic challengers defeating three Republican Fourth Court of Appeals incumbents. Patricia Alvarez unseated Justice Rebecca Simmons for Place 3, Luz Elena Chapa unseated Justice Steven Hilbig for Place 4, and Rebeca C. Martinez unseated Justice Phylis Speedlin for Place 7. Justices Marialyn Barnard and Karen Angelini held onto their posts in close races.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

D. Todd Smith
About the Author

D. Todd Smith is an Austin-based civil appellate specialist who works with trial teams from the earliest stages of litigation. In trial courts, he takes the lead on strategic analysis and briefing, jury charges, and potentially dispositive motions, all with a focus on preserving error and positioning cases for appellate review.

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