Thursday, January 07, 2021

Texas Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments In Ecclesiastical Abstention Case

The Texas Supreme Court yesterday heard oral arguments in Diocese of Lubbock v. Guerrero, consolidated for argument with In Re Diocese of Lubbock. (Video of oral arguments.) The court's website describes the case:

In this defamation case by a deacon among a list of clergy published on the church website and in a press release, the issues are (1) whether the ecclesiastical-abstention doctrine bars the libel claim when a church internally decides to disclose inside information to the public at large and (2) whether Guerrero, the deacon, presented clear and specific evidence establishing a prima facie case of each element of his defamation claim.

Links to the pleadings and briefs in the cases can be found here and here. Courthouse News Service reports on the oral arguments.