Texas appellate courts often reverse civil jury verdicts, Haynes and Boone study finds


Appeals court judges in Texas are increasingly hostile to jury verdicts in civil cases, especially when the jurors rule in favor of plaintiffs, according to a new Haynes and Boone, LLP study featured by the Dallas Morning News and Texas Lawbook.

The report - authored by Houston partners Lynne Liberato and Kent Rutter - examined a full year of decisions in 2010-2011 by the state’s 14 courts of appeals. It found that the judges on those courts reverse more than one-third of all civil jury verdicts and that they are four to six times more likely to overturn jury verdicts that favor plaintiffs than verdicts favoring defendants.

Even in non-jury cases, the Texas appellate court reversal rate of lower court judgments favoring plaintiffs was double that of decisions favoring defendants

The yearlong study found the Texas appellate judges have an overall reversal rate of 49 percent when they review cases that the plaintiff won in the trial court and the defendant appealed. But those same judges reversed only 25 percent of the cases in which the defendant prevailed at trial and the plaintiff appealed ...

“It does seem to me that whether you like tort reform or you don’t, it’s worked from the standpoint of really severely limiting plaintiffs’ ability to recover in the Texas court system,” said Liberato.

Excerpted from The Dallas Morning News and Texas Lawbook. To read the full article in the Dallas newspaper, please click here . The Texas Lawbook article is available by clicking on the PDF link below.

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