I’ve run the numbers on the reversal rates for the intermediate appellate courts in Texas for the calendar year 2019.  The overall reversal rate for the year was 77%.  To clarify, when the Supreme Court of Texas granted a petition for review, it reversed the court of appeals 77% of the time in 2019.  Some of the courts of appeals performed better than others:

  • First District Court of Appeals — 75% reversal rate
  • Second District Court of Appeals — 78% reversal rate
  • Third District Court of Appeals — 93% reversal rate
  • Fourth District Court of Appeals — 89% reversal rate
  • Fifth District Court of Appeals — 81% reversal rate
  • Thirteenth District Court of Appeals — 62.5% reversal rate
  • Fourteenth District Court of Appeals — 50% reversal rate

The Thirteenth District Court of Appeals and the Fourteenth Court of Appeals beat the average, while the Third District Court of Appeals had a significantly higher-than-average reversal rate.

You will note that I omitted the Sixth through Twelfth District Court of Appeals.  Each of those courts had too few cases taken up by the Texas Supreme Court in 2019 to produce meaningful reversal rates.

Aggregating the 2019 numbers with those I have collected since 2014 reveals the following reversal rates:

reversal rates by COA 2014 to 2019

The overall reversal rate for these 6 years is 80%.  The First, Third, Eleventh, and Thirteenth District Court of Appeals outperform the average, while the Eighth and Tenth District Court of Appeals have above average reversal rates.

By Published On: February 13, 2020Categories: AppellateTags: ,


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Mike Northrup is a Shareholder and Section Head of the Cowles and Thompson Appellate Practice Group. He practices in both the trial and appellate courts in cases involving personal injury, insurance issues, employment law, commercial disputes, and zoning disputes. He also provides litigation support to attorneys in other sections of the firm. Mike served as a briefing attorney for former Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips, Texas Supreme Court, 1988-89. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Hastings College of Law and SMU Dedman School of Law. He is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.