TYLA Hosts First Visit by Texas Supreme Court at TAMIU Feb. 29
Posted: 2/23/12

TYLA Hosts Texas Supreme
Court at TAMIU Feb. 29

The Texas Supreme Court justices will hear oral arguments in a historic public session from 9 a.m. until noon Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Texas A&M International University’s Student Center Ballroom.

Doors will open at 8 a.m. for seating.

The public is encouraged to attend and observe the Supreme Court in session. People planning to attend are urged to leave briefcases and backpacks behind to speed security scanning at the doors.

The Supreme Court’s appearance is hosted by the Texas Young Lawyers Association. The event is titled “A Discussion on Diversity and an Opportunity to Observe Oral Arguments before the Texas Supreme Court.” Legal arguments in two cases are being held in Laredo as part of the Texas Young Lawyers Association’s Attorneys Without Borders series that focuses on increasing diversity within the legal profession.

Organizer Victor Villarreal (TAMIU ‘99), director of the TYLA, District 19, said the Supreme Court makes history with its Laredo visit.

“This is the first time in the history of the State of Texas that the Texas Supreme Court will visit Laredo and Webb County to hold oral arguments,” Villarreal noted.

The Supreme Court will hear two cases, one involving a sexual assault alleged during a medical examination and the other a property dispute in the wake of a San Angelo congregation’s decision to leave the Episcopal Church.

Case summaries for each case are as follows:

In the first argument, Raul Ernesto Loaisiga, M.D. v. Guadalupe Cerda, a case from Cameron County and the court of appeals in Corpus Christi and Edinburg, a principal legal issue is whether the alleged sexual assault during the medical exam constitutes a health care-liability claim that must meet the requirements of Texas’ restrictions on medical-malpractice law. One of those requirements is for an expert report to address whether the doctor was negligent in the patient’s treatment. A second issue is whether the expert’s report can be based solely on what Cerda pleaded in her lawsuit.

In the second case, Robert Masterson, et al. v. Diocese of Northwest Texas, et al., the principal issue is whether in Texas the breakaway church or the larger Episcopal diocese owns the church property and whether ownership should be decided by “neutral principles” – using established trust and property law and taking account of deeds, the governing language employed by a local church and the larger denomination – or by “compulsory deference” – determining where church members place ultimate authority over property use. The San Angelo congregation voted to separate from the diocese and the Episcopal Church. The trial court and the Austin appeals court decided the diocese owns the property.

The Court will also be honored at a reception Wednesday night at the La Posada Hotel.

Champion Level sponsor for the event is the Laredo-Webb County Bar Association.

For additional information, contact Villarreal at 727-2402 or email Villarreal@vrlawfirm.com

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu