Forthcoming HLRe: Summer 2012: Pope

In my article, Texas Arbitration Law: More Choices—And More Risk—Than Ever, I explore ways that practitioners can improve arbitration clauses in their contracts, including by hedging the risk of unfettered arbitrators. In a 2011 opinion, the Texas Supreme Court held that Texas arbitration law, unlike federal law, lets parties agree on judicial review of arbitration awards. As an appellate practitioner, I am obviously in favor of this new rule—the more avenues of appeal the better. But what does the agreement have to say to invoke judicial review? And what kind of review? Under what standard? How do you preserve error? What about the rules of evidence and procedure? Do statutes of limitation apply in arbitration, and can parties specify their own? These are some of the questions my article raises and, hopefully, answers in a practical way.

Forthcoming HLRe: Summer 2012: Underwood

Web Snippet to Accompany: Making Stuff Up Revisited: Opening Statement By Richard H. Underwood

It is hard to find an academic who will admit having had any interest in the Casey Anthony case. Perhaps it was the Nancy Grace factor. I was not exactly glued to the set, but I was stunned by the opening statement for the defense, and the verdict. In my short (and I hope, amusing) article I raise some questions about things said in opening statements, and how they might just come back to bite, if not in the same trial, then later. The old saw that “opening statements are not evidence” is an overstatement, on a number of levels. If you are interested in the civil fallout from a criminal case, I think you will agree with me that this case is the gift that just keeps on giving.