PSA—Ask for Permission, Not Forgiveness!

In re D.M.
Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-21-00185-CV (April 21, 2022)
Justice Goldstein (Concurring Opinion linked here)
In a public service announcement to the bar, written to “draw attention to a disturbing trend,” Justice Goldstein pleaded for Texas lawyers to file timely notices of appeal rather than wasting their time and the courts’ resources with after-the-fact motions for extension. This “pattern and practice of the legal profession to seek forgiveness rather than permission is one that cannot stand without comment and caution.” Justice Goldstein noted that a “notice of appeal is not labor intensive, extensive, or in-depth.” Nevertheless, too often, lawyers miss the deadline to file “what is essentially a rote, perfunctory notice” and then have to file a much longer motion for extension of time, which requires the Court “to consider a myriad of excuses to determine whether the motion’s rationale meets the generous latitude mandated by the Texas Supreme Court.” Justice Goldstein’s advice: “if you file a timely motion for new trial, a two-sentence notice of appeal should follow shortly thereafter.”
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