Hall v. Njoku
Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-12-01385-CV (March 26, 2015)
Justices Bridges, Fillmore, and Brown (Opinion)
On appeal, plaintiff argued that the trial court had improperly retrained his counsel’s speech, but the Dallas Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that the judge was engaged in appropriate courtroom management. The appellate court also rejected plaintiff’s argument that the trial court’s order prevented his counsel from making appropriate objections and arguments, noting that the trial court had invited counsel to respond to certain offers of evidence and to present a closing statement but that plaintiff’s counsel chose not to do so.
Finally, plaintiff argued that the trial court abused its discretion by sanctioning his attorney. The Court of Appeals rejected this argument as well on the grounds that plaintiff was really complaining about a contempt order—as opposed to a sanctions order—and a contempt order is not reviewable on direct appeal. Contempt orders that do not involve confinement may only be reviewed by mandamus.