Marbury, Mandamus, and Default Judgments

writEchoing Justice Marshall’s classic head fake in Marbury v. Madison about jurisdiction, the case of In re Ralston Outdoor Advertising Ltd. offered a similar maneuver about Texas mandamus standards.  After first expanding the Fifth Court’s usual citation to In re: Prudential Ins. Co., 148 S.W.3d 124 (Tex. 2004) to include its discussion of balancing (“An appellate remedy is ‘adequate’ when any benefits to mandamus review are outweighed by the detriments.”), the Court then denied mandamus relief based on longstanding pre-Prudential precedent : “Texas courts have long held that a plaintiff denied a default judgment has an adequate appellate remedy.” (citing Jackson v. McKinsey, 12 S.W.2d 1044, 1045 (Tex. Civ. App.—Fort Worth 1928, no writ)).


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