MANDAMUS STANDARD - CRITERIA FOR GRANT OF MANDAMUS RELIEF
A writ of mandamus will issue when a trial court clearly abuses its discretion and there is no
adequate remedy by appeal. In re Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 148 S.W.3d 124, 135–36 (Tex. 2004).
A trial court abuses its discretion when it fails to analyze or apply the law correctly. In re Poly-
America, L.P., 262 S.W.3d 337, 346–47 (Tex. 2008).
Issuance of mandamus relief "is largely controlled by equitable principles," and equity "`aids the
diligent and not those who slumber on their rights.'" Rivercenter Assocs. v. Rivera, 858 S.W.2d 366,
367 (Tex.1993) (quoting Callahan v. Giles, 137 Tex. 571, 155 S.W.2d 793, 795 (1941)). To invoke
the equitable doctrine of laches, the moving party ordinarily must show an unreasonable delay by
the opposing party in asserting it rights, and also the moving party's good faith and detrimental
change in position because of the delay. Rogers v. Ricane Enters., Inc., 772 S.W.2d 76, 80 (Tex.
TEXAS SUPREME COURT & MANDAMUS RELIEF
MANDAMUS AFTER APPEAL FROM FINAL JUDGMENT
In Re Columbia Med. Center of Las Colinas, Inc., No. 09-0733 (Tex. Mar. 12, 2010)(per curiam) (exemplary
damages reduced by mandamus after post-appeal final judgment)
Although our judgment did not expressly address the amount of punitive damages, the statute capping
punitive damages as measured against economic damages requires a reduction in punitive damages as a
matter of law. See Gen. Chem. Corp, 852 S.W.2d at 924. We hold that, regardless of whether an appellate
court judgment expressly commands it, trial courts must give effect to statutory caps on damages when the
parties raise the issue. Accordingly, to give full effect to our judgment vacating a portion of economic
damages, the trial court was required to reduce the punitive damages award in compliance with the statutory
cap. By failing to do so, the trial court abused its discretion. See In re Poly-America, 262 S.W.3d at 346–47.
Because this issue arises in connection with a final judgment following an appeal to this Court, we conclude
that Columbia now has no other adequate remedy by appeal. For these reasons, and without hearing oral
argument, see Tex. R. App. P. 52.8(c), we grant the petition for writ of mandamus and direct the trial court to
vacate its order denying Columbia’s motion to modify the judgment, and to enter a final judgment making an
appropriate reduction of the punitive damages award. We trust the trial court will comply, and the writ will
issue only if it fails to do so.
IN RE COLUMBIA MEDICAL CENTER OF LAS COLINAS, INC. D/B/A LAS COLINAS MEDICAL CENTER; from
Pursuant to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 52.8(c), without hearing oral argument, the Court
conditionally grants the writ of mandamus.
Per Curiam Opinion [pdf]
View Electronic Briefs in 09-0733 IN RE COLUMBIA MED. CTR. OF LAS COLINAS, INC.
DISCOVERY IN HEALTH CARE LIABILITY CLAIMS: Adequate Remedy by Appeal
We finally consider whether mandamus is an appropriate remedy in this case. Collins argues that mandamus
is warranted because the trial court’s order thwarts important public policies embodied in section 74.052(c).
We agree. If the Legislature intended to provide health care liability defendants with an informal,
expedited means of evaluating the merits of a health care claimant’s claims, then the order here undermines
that purpose. Consequently, we hold that Collins has no adequate remedy by appeal. See In re McAllen
Med. Ctr., Inc., 275 S.W.3d 458, 469 (Tex. 2008).
In re Lester Collins, MD, No. 07-0737 (Tex. Jun. 5, 2009)(O'Neill)
(discovery mandamus, protective order lifted, ex parte contacts with witnesses)
CONTAINING SHAREHOLDER DERIVATIVE SUITS: Is Mandamus Available?
“The most frequent use we have made of mandamus relief involves cases in which the very act of
proceeding to trial — regardless of the outcome — would defeat the substantive right involved.” Allowing
this case to proceed to trial would effectively allow a shareholder to sue for damages connected with a
merger without giving the corporation’s board an opportunity to make such a decision for itself. As that would
defeat the substantive right the Legislature sought to protect, we hold mandamus relief is warranted. In Re
Schmitz, No. 07-0581 (Tex. May 22, 2009)(Brister)
(criteria for mandamus relief, shareholder derivative suit, sufficiency of pre-suit demand letter, notice)
If a trial court fails to enforce the demand requirements of article 5.14, there is no interlocutory appeal. But that of course
does not preclude mandamus review.
Mandamus may be available upon a showing that (1) a trial court clearly abused its discretion by failing to correctly apply the
law, and (2) the benefits and detriments of mandamus render appeal inadequate. Dillingham concedes that if her
demand was inadequate, dismissal was the appropriate remedy. Thus, the only remaining question is whether an
appeal could adequately address the error.
In balancing the benefits and detriments of delaying or interrupting a particular proceeding, we must consider the purposes
the Legislature was trying to accomplish. Article 5.14 was adopted to preserve the principle that a corporation should be
run by its board of directors, not a disgruntled shareholder or the courts. In some cases, this goal will not be defeated
merely because a trial court proceeds with a shareholder derivative suit despite an inadequate demand.
For example, if one shareholder is entitled to proceed with a derivative action based on a proper demand, a board gains little
by mandamus review of an improper demand by someone else. The parties in a closely-held corporation may have various
claims between them that require litigation, regardless of whether a derivative claim is added to the mix. And a corporation’
s interests may be adequately protected by article 5.14’s provision for recovery of expenses if a shareholder suit is
prosecuted “without reasonable cause or for an improper purpose.”
But this case involves a multi-million dollar merger proceeding on an expedited schedule. As the merger has now been
completed, Lancer Corporation no longer exists. It is thus too late for its board to entertain a new analysis of the competing
merger offers, or authorize an inquiry by independent and disinterested directors. Assuming as we must that the board would
have given proper consideration to this matter had it received a proper demand, that possibility is now foreclosed because
the demand fell so woefully short.
“The most frequent use we have made of mandamus relief involves cases in which the very act of proceeding to trial —
regardless of the outcome — would defeat the substantive right involved.” Allowing this case to proceed to trial would
effectively allow a shareholder to sue for damages connected with a merger without giving the corporation’s board an
opportunity to make such a decision for itself. As that would defeat the substantive right the Legislature sought to protect, we
hold mandamus relief is warranted.
Accordingly, we conditionally grant the writ of mandamus and order the respondent to vacate its order and enter a new order
dismissing the plaintiff’s suit. We are confident the trial court will comply, and our writ will issue only if it does
ARBITRATION MANDAMUS. A party denied the right to arbitrate pursuant to an agreement subject to the
FAA does not have an adequate remedy by appeal and is entitled to mandamus relief to correct a clear
abuse of discretion. In re L & L Kempwood Assocs., L.P., 9 S.W.3d 125, 128 (Tex. 1999). Under an abuse of
discretion standard, we defer to the trial court’s factual determinations if they are supported by evidence, but
we review the trial court’s legal determinations de novo. Brainard v. State, 12 S.W.3d 6, 30 (Tex. 1999); see
Walker v. Packer, 827 S.W.2d 833, 839-40 (Tex. 1992). Whether an arbitration agreement is enforceable is
subject to de novo review. See J. M. Davidson, Inc. v. Webster, 128 S.W.3d 223, 227 (Tex. 2003).
In re Labatt Food Service, LP, No. 07-0419 (Tex. 2009)(Johnson)
(arbitration mandamus, arbitration of wrongful death claim by nonsignatories compelled)
FNC MANDAMUS. An adequate remedy by appeal does not exist when a motion to dismiss for forum non
conveniens is erroneously denied. See In re Pirelli Tire, L.L.C., 247 S.W.3d 670, 679 (Tex. 2007).
Mandamus relief is available to enforce forum-selection agreements because there is no adequate remedy
by appeal when a trial court abuses its discretion by refusing to enforce a valid forum-selection clause that
covers the dispute. Lyon, 257 S.W.3d at 231; see also AIU, 148 S.W.3d at 115-20. In Re International Profit
Associates (Tex. 2009)(forum selection clause enforced by mandamus)
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