Editor Beth Crawford, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.

This regularly-appearing column will answer your questions about current practices in the internal operating procedures at the First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals. I encourage members to submit questions that would benefit the entire Section.

In most cases, this column will address one question per month. I must emphasize that the responses from the Courts relate to their “current” practices. Both Courts continually make changes to address new concerns and experiment with new procedures to improve the operations of the Courts and increase effectiveness and efficiency. The Courts may decline to answer those questions that implicate the confidentiality of the Courts’ inner workings.

Obviously, I could not prepare this column without the willingness of the Courts to participate and answer questions. My very special ongoing thanks to the Chief Staff Attorneys from the First and the Fourteenth, Janet Williams and Nina Indelicato, and to both Courts generally. My objective with this column is to benefit the local appellate bar by providing information that will help us serve our clients better, and benefit the Courts by eliminating phone calls to the clerks’ offices and making operations run more smoothly because the attorneys are aware of the Courts’ expectations and preferences.

Topic 1. Summer Recess

The First and the Fourteenth Courts of Appeals

On the topic of Summer Recess, the answer for both Courts is the same:
Generally, the First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals do not submit cases for decision during July and August of each year. The Courts use those two months to ready all previously submitted cases for issuance by the end of the Courts’ fiscal year, which is August 31. By legislative mandate, the Courts are required to dispose of as many cases per year as they have filed, and all cases should be disposed of within one year of submission.

However, the Courts continue to submit original proceedings and other time-sensitive cases during July and August. The Courts also continue to issue opinions during July and August.