Articles Posted in Texas Supreme Court

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The beneficiary of an inter vivos trust sued the trustee for misappropriation of trust assets and failing to provide an accounting to the trust's beneficiaries. The trustee moved to compel arbitration, relying an arbitration provision contained in the trust. The trial court denied the motion. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that the provision could not be enforced under the Texas Arbitration Act (TAA) because there was no agreement to arbitrate trust disputes. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the arbitration provision contained in the trust was enforceable against the beneficiary, as (1) the settlor's intent here was to arbitrate any disputes over the trust; and (2) the beneficiary's acceptance of the benefits of the trust and suit to enforce its terms constituted the assent required to form an enforceable agreement to arbitrate under the TAA. Remanded. View "Rachal v. Reitz" on Justia Law

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Respondent sued the City of Houston. After an attempted settlement, Respondent asserted that the City breached the settlement agreement. The City filed a plea to the jurisdiction, which the trial court denied. The court of appeals affirmed, but the Supreme Court reversed. On remand, the City filed another plea to the jurisdiction (2006 plea), arguing that it was immune from suit. The trial court implicitly denied the City's plea and set the case for trial. The City did not appeal. After Respondent died, the case was transferred to probate court. There the City filed a motion for summary judgment and an amended plea to the jurisdiction. The probate court denied the City's motion for summary judgment and, construing the City's amended plea as a motion to reconsider the 2006 plea, denied it. The City filed an interlocutory appeal. The court of appeals dismissed part of the appeal but considered the merits of part of it. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding the court of appeals erred by failing to dismiss the entire appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the amended plea was a motion to reconsider the 2006 plea, and time had expired for interlocutory appeal from it. View "City of Houston v. Estate of Jones" on Justia Law