For the first time in its history, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments through video conference. The change is a result of the growing coronavirus pandemic and the need to adhere to shelter-in-place and social distancing orders around the state.
In March, the court was forced to delay oral arguments as the COVID-19 crisis began to unfold. The court will get back on track April 8 with arguments scheduled in three cases via video conference:
· 9 a.m. – W&T Offshore, Inc. v. Fredieu, No. 18-1134
· 10 a.m. – The El Paso Education Initiative, Inc., D/B/A Burnham Wood Charter School v. Amex Properties, LLC, No. 18-1167
· 11 a.m. – Innovative Block of South Texas, LTD. V. Valley Builders Supply, Inc. D/B/A Valley Block & Brick, No. 18-1211
Lawyers from Houston-based Wright Close & Barger, who represent a party in the first scheduled hearing of the day, have been preparing for the unique hearing, which is expected to be held using the Zoom video conferencing platform.
“We appreciate the opportunity to present argument by video when the current pandemic makes personal appearance inadvisable,” said Tom Wright, founding partner of Wright Close & Barger. “It is a positive thing that the court is committed to continuing its important work.”
Clerk of the Court Blake Hawthorne told Texas Lawyer he planned to train all the lawyers on using the platform and what to expect from Zoom oral arguments.
For more information, please contact April Arias at 800-559-4630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.