Framing Issues in Your Petition for Review

04/17/2009

Based on statistics over the last several years, a petition for review stands a 10-14% change of being granted. One of the most important factors in bringing your case within this 10-14% range is framing the issues in the petition for review. For many Justices (who may spend only a few minutes reviewing each petition because of the volume of petitions (25+) they must review every week), the issues presented are likely the first part of the petition they review (and it may very well be the last before moving onto to the next case). If the issue is not framed to get the Court’s attention, the case will likely fall off the “conveyor belt” and be automatically denied. Presenting issues at the Texas Supreme Court is thus more than just identifying and listing those issues in a concise form to meet the minimum requirements of Rule 53.2(f). Getting the Court’s attention with a well-crafted issue is critical to success at the Texas Supreme Court. Effectively drafted issues—in addition to concisely stating and preserving the issue for review—reveal the factual and legal context of the case and demonstrate how an issue will affect the state’s jurisprudence.  This paper will explore several strategies (and pitfalls) in framing issues in a petition for review.

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