Shield The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth  
December 5, 2019

Supreme Court hears oral argument on appeal

Attorneys for the Diocese and Corporation appeared for oral argument today before the Texas Supreme Court, supported by the presence of Bishop Iker, Bishop Reed, and about two dozen clergy and lay people. It was the second time that this case has come before the Court, which returned it to the trial court in 2013 for a revised ruling based on neutral principles of property law. The neutral principles ruling was reversed in 2017 by the appellate court, and the Diocese appealed again to the high Court in Austin. The justices asked several questions, and our legal team was pleased to clarify issues about the origin of the suit against us and its 10-year record. We anticipate a decision from the Court not later than June 2020.
View the oral argument in the
archive of the Texas Bar Assn.
Download the bench exhibits submitted
by the Diocese and Corporation.
  August 30, 2019
  Court sets date for oral argument
  The Supreme Court of Texas has granted our petition for review, as well as the petition submitted by the TEC parties, and a date for oral argument is set on Thursday, Dec. 5, at 9 a.m. Please continue to keep the Justices and members of our legal team in your prayers as we prepare for this important hearing.
August 1, 2019
  Filings complete in response to Court’s request
  All briefs and responses are now complete in response to the request of the Texas State Supreme Court for a “briefing on the merits” of our appeal. The request for appeal is now before the Court for evaluation. We continue to pray for the justices as they carry out their duties.
  Petitioners’ Reply (PDF - 47 pages)
  June 7, 2019
  Petitioners’ Response filed
  Petitioners’ Response (PDF - 68 pages)
April 10, 2019
  Brief on the Merits filed

Attorneys for the Diocese and Corporation have filed the requested Petitioners’ Brief on the Merits in the Texas Supreme Court. The briefing, requested by the Court in February, summarizes the 10-year history of this litigation and explains the basis of our current appeal.

Additional filing dates are scheduled for April 30 and May 15, after which we hope to hear that the Court will consider our appeal.

  Petitioners’ Brief on the Merits (PDF - 282 pages)