Last week, Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann spoke in Dallas about (1) how the court decides whether to grant or deny review; (2) common mistakes seen in appellate petitions and briefs; and (3) oral argument at the court. Because Justice Lehrmann had so many great insights, I am dedicating a blog post to each of these three topics. Here is the FIRST of the three blog posts:
As for how the supreme decides whether to grant or deny petitions for review, Justice Lehrmann emphasized that the supreme court is not a court of error correction. The fact that the trial court or the court of appeals made an error (even an egregious one) is simply not a basis for the supreme court to grant review. To the contrary, Justice Lehrmann noted that the “Court only takes cases that will significantly impact the jurisprudence of the state.” As such, review is often denied simply because the issue is not sufficiently significant to the state’s jurisprudence. If the issue is significant to the state’s jurisprudence, but the facts of the case do not make the case ideal for addressing the issue, the court will likely deny review and wait for a case with facts that would make for a better presentation of the issue. Interestingly, Justice Lehrmann indicated that, even if the petition presents an issue significant to the state’s jurisprudence and the case has ideal facts for addressing that issue, the court will likely deny review if the petition and/or the brief on the merits is not well written.