47:5 Reasons For Reversal in the Texas Courts of Appeals

Article

Abstract

By providing and analyzing data about the appellate process, this study aims to help lawyers understand the types of cases that are most often reversed and the most common reasons for reversal in the Texas courts of appeals. For practitioners formulating a post-judgment strategy, this study is meant to provide a starting point toward a reasoned, accurate evaluation of the potential appeal and a tool to use in selecting the points deserving of the greatest emphasis on appeal. The study found that the statewide reversal rate in civil appeals is 36%. The study also found that the courts of appeals reverse judgments entered on jury verdicts at a higher rate than summary judgments, reflecting a recent shift toward reversing judgments entered on jury verdicts and a shift away from reversing summary judgments. Over the nine-year period since the study was last conducted, tort plaintiffs have responded to an increasingly difficult litigation climate by filing fewer cases, taking fewer cases to judgment, and appealing fewer cases to the courts of appeals. But even though tort and DTPA plaintiffs have been “picking their battles” more selectively, they have not experienced any greater success on appeal.