May a litigant ever choose which court of appeals will hear the litigant’s appeal?
Yes. Texas Government Code section 22.201 provides that both the Fifth Court of Appeals (in Dallas) and the Sixth Court of Appeals (in Texarkana) have jurisdiction over judgments of trial courts in Hunt County. Similarly, section 22.201 provides that both the Sixth Court of Appeals (in Texarkana) and the Twelfth Court of Appeals (in Tyler) have jurisdiction over judgments of trial courts in Wood, Upshur, Gregg, and Rusk counties. For cases arising out of these five counties, the appellants may chose between the two relevant courts of appeals. See Miles v. Ford Motor Co., 914 S.W.2d 135, 137, 138 n.4 (Tex. 1995). Although the First Court of Appeals and the Fourteenth Court of Appeals (both in Houston) have overlapping jurisdiction over a number of counties, for judgments out of such counties, the assignment to a court of appeals is random rather than by choice of the appellants. See Texas Government Code § 22.202(h).