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Solar Applications Engineering v.T.A. Operating: Worm Hole Discovered In SCOTX Offices

Back on July 2, the SCOTX released its final opinions before the Summer doldrums.  This made me wonder what might be in the offing when the Court returns in August. 

Fortunately, there is an App for that.  And Don Cruse over at the Supreme Court of Texas Blog supplies it.

If you click on the Docket DB link you can follow another link to the pending docket categorizing cases by where they stand in the process.  From there, you can choose the link showing the cases (by age) that have been argued and are awaiting decision.

There you see the tale of the tape, the oldest case is Solar Applications Engineering v. T. A. Operating, which was filed in April 2006.

You remember April 2006. Tom Delay stepped down from Congress. The former governor of Illinois was convicted of corruption.

No, not the one with the hair, the other one.

Then a year and a half later, the case was argued, in October 2007.

You remember October 2007.  Al Gore won a share of the Nobel Peace Prize and Iran and North Korea said they would dismantle their nuclear programs.

No, not that time.  The other time.

But, in the words of Coach John Wooden (who was alive in October 2007), "Goodness gracious, sakes alive," argument was over two and a half years ago.  The court has lost two of the nine members who were around for the argument.

What could account for this?

My curiosity got the better of me, and I checked out the petition for review.  Certainly it must be horrifically complex with many thorny issues.

Not exactly.  The issue presented is:

Is a general contractor who has substantially performed a construction contract required to provide lien releases from it and its subcontractors as a condition to sue an owner who has refused to pay for work done?

Well, I'm sure the Respondent's lawyer has something to say about it too, but that doesn't seem so hard.

Then it must be substandard lawyering that is mucking up the issues, right?

Not exactly.  The Petitioner is represented by Doug Alexander and the Respondent by Sharon Callaway.  They both "got game."

So there can be but one explanation that can account for the complete disappearance of matter from the known universe. 

There is a worm hole in the Supreme Court's suite of offices, and Cause No. 06-0243 has fallen through the void in the space/time continuum and entered a parallel universe in which parties' time and money are no object. 

If not, if in fact the cause is still housed in our dimension, perhaps contractors or lien holders will need to start holding candlelight vigils with hunger strikes when the next SCOTX opinions start appearing in mid August.

From Andrews Kurth's Appellate Record Blog:

Copyright © 2020, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume , Number 222


About this Author

Kendall M. Gray, Antitrust Litigation Attorney, Andrews Kurth Law Firm

Kendall is a board certified civil appellate specialist who has represented clients in state and federal appellate courts such as the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits, the Supreme Court of Texas and many intermediate courts of appeal. His practice includes a variety of complex commercial, medical malpractice and toxic tort matters, as well as a particular focus in disputes involving employee benefits, managed care and ERISA. The disputes commonly require complex written and oral advocacy on such topics as ERISA preemption,...